Saturday, November 28, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #10 - the political maneuvers continue

the campaign map as seen by Prussian ministers
The machinations of Count Haugwitz continued:


And the re-groupment of the Prussian armies to the north, mein Herr General, this is of the very essence. It is so essential for the Prussian forces isolated and imperilled at Marienberg to be recalled at once-sofort!-by way of Komotau and Leitmeritz on Zittau, however, that this force can only make its northwards movement after it is clear of the Austrian rear. After that it can turn north and the army should really concentrate at a suitable point in the Mark Brandenburg.

Nach Norden, immer nach Norden!

We do not want the Habsburgers to understand that we are offering full neutrality if the French pull back from Berlin and then evacuate the Kingdom, of course, but that is what our envoys must be saying to the envoys of the French commander-in-chief. Only that will, I am sure, offer him the security that he needs to prolong his campaign in Saxony and be assured that his left flank will not be in constant danger (not that he will be able to neglect it entirely, under the circumstances, ho ho!).

The truce, and the regroupment, then.

Wo ist Bluecher?


while the player had these comments:

The other interesting point is that it is not only the Prussians,
befuddled by the neutralist advice in their camp and notoriously misled
by their weak-minded monarch, who have gone wrong, despite the
equivocal advantages of hindsight. In some ways they are doing right by
pulling back from an isolated position: was not the key to the success
of the historical 1813 campaign the firm resolution amongst all the
Allied commanders that they would never fight the Beast as a national
contingent by themselves, only when the entire Allied Army was
assembled? And look what Francis is doing now! How does he know the
Emperor will not appear?

I shall look forward to each post with great
anticipation, do I hear the thud of the despatch-rider's hooves on the
Lobauer Landstrasse even now?


 Thinking 'privacy of his own tent' meant anything:

Alles immer schlechter, Euerer Majestaet...
The normally restrained Minister von Haugwitz is going to deliver an immoderate tirade in the privacy of his own tent, at this latest blow. How did all this come about? I was given to understand that Bluecher was coming up out of Silesia, I had hoped with a significant force, I had fondly imagined that he would save the day-now we discover him immersed in the great Lausitzer Bog, at the remotest corner of the theatre, as far as our army at Marienberg is concerned, in the land of the barbarous Sorbs, who speak a Slavonic dialect and still worship the Sun and Moon. We discover indeed that the Prussian Army, quite in contrast to the Habsburg one, and no doubt we shall discover to the Russian one as well, is actually deployed on a front of 200 miles, from the western Bohemian mountains on the left to Rothenburg on the middle Bober on the right, and that to reunite with Bluecher our corps from Marienberg must march the whole length of the fighting front, our flank to the enemy, to reach him. And all the while your Majesty's capital is under close siege by the French!

Oh, now we see the plans of our enemies made plain! Ganz sicher! Had we the most charitable view of our Habsburg cousins, we should have to conclude that they have contrived to consign the army of your great uncle to the role of flank-guard, outpost-provider, convoyer and garrison-keeper: with any more realistic appraisal of the situation we should have to say that they have set out deliberately and entirely to destroy the fighting capacity of the Prussian State, and to remake your Majesty as a vassal of the Habsburg empire. We have not been outmanoeuvred by the French, Euerer Majestaet, but we have been utterly bamboozled by our so-called Allies!

I cannot tell what is to be done by the generals, who are just as blame-worthy in this situation, a gaggle of hens presenting their necks for the farmer's chop. Would that Scharnhorst were still with us! It seems to me that Bluecher cannot move away north towards Cottbus or even Stettin until the corps from Marienberg is close at hand, but if this is any longer delayed-and what will Bonaparte be doing in the meantime, eh? Apart from defeating the arrogant Francis at Bautzen, of course-then it may be that the Marienberg corps (what is it called? Who commands it? I cannot keep calling it after the place it long ago departed) will have to remain detached, and march on into Upper Silesia by way of Jungbunzlau, Koeniggraetz and Nachod, where I presume it will find the fortress of Glatz in our hands, at least. We must look now to save the Army at all costs, it is yet the rock upon which the machinations of the enemies of Prussia will break.

I should suppose, Euerer Majestaet, that you should wish to depart the camp of the faithless Verbuendeten as soon as possible and make your way to join Bluecher, for under these circumstances, I deign to say that I fear for your Majesty's personal safety, I really do...


To which the Prussian King responded:

Yet again you are absolutely right - I shall await a reply from the Beast, and assuming it is favourable, this will give me even more reason to take off for Berlin immediately - pausing only perhaps to discover if, against all the odds, our Hapsburg cousins do succeed in giving the French a bloody nose, which I think most unlikely under the circumstances.


Count Haugwitz responded:
As I thought, Euerer Majestaet, answer comes there none. Your generals hang their heads in shame, if they are capable of it. They have presided over the extinguishing of their own prestige. The Army of the Great Frederick!
 then a few days passed (in the real world, nothing in-game had yet happened) and Haugwitz continued his verbal work on the Prussian King:

I presume the French besieging Berlin are growing weary of waiting for
their opponents to assemble sufficient forces to offer them a real
fight or even to defend the capital, and want to make an end of it.
Perhaps your Majesty needs to consider the Royal Castle at Posen, as
his first resort, and send ahead some staff and court officials to make
it ready. It is the twilight of Great Prussia...

Francis, meanwhile,
cannot wait to be beaten by the French at Bautzen, indeed he seems to
want to arrange it so that he may be beaten several times over on the
same field-unlike the Beast himself at Marengo, he will be able to say
that he had lost the battle in the afternoon, and lost it all over
again by nightfall!


The Prussian King appeared to be more concerned than ever:

We must avoid an encounter at Potsdam at all costs! What is the news from our emissary to the French Emperor?

 It was at this point that the Battle of Second Bautzen took place in our Campaign of Nations.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #9 - Politics enters the game I

Count Haugwitz, former foreign minister of Prussia
Unknown to the Allied commander, portraying Schwartzenberg, there was a secret set of three 'informed players' from the ANF that would step into the roles of King Fredrick Willem, Emperor Francis of Austria and Tsar Alexander of Russia.  Only a lack of communication or a gap in space of 12 miles for a day by the Allied military commander would cause this to 'activate'.

The activation came on the night of 21 August, as it appeared that Schwartzenberg was too ill to attend to his command and staff duties (or the player was unreachable working in Iceland!).

To that end, first came some news for the Prussian King:

You will be fully aware, Euerer Majestaet, that following the setback at Luetzen the enemy armies now lie further east than Berlin and greatly outnumber your tapfere remnants. I am sure General Wittgenstein will do his best, but it would hardly be very wise to fight the Emperor of the French himself at this point. If only we had the army of General von Buelow with us, 30,000 men abandoned at Rosslau who did nothing at the time of the last battle! But they now are all that stands between the enemy and your capital, and should Bonaparte move that way, even just with a significant part of his forces, he might be dining at Potsdam in a week. He has already just persuaded that fathead King of Saxony to rejoin the Rheinbund-and you stand here on Saxon soil, after all. At the hour when he put his boots up on on the fauteuil of your illustrious great-uncle at Sans Souci, all of north Germany would be his again, all the little Rheinbuender his loyal allies.
You will be equally aware, natuerlich, how such a move into the heartlands of the kingdom would disrupt the entire ingenious Kruempersystem, which sad to say has not delivered anywhere near as many recruits as were promised initially but which absolutely depends on a measure of administrative stability to operate to build up the army you need. It would place him in a position to threaten Russian communications through Poland from the north, and-schrecklich zu sagen-menace you with an advance up the Oder and Warthe and a reprise of Jena on the borders of Silesia...although in such a case I am sure General Wittgenstein would do his best, of course.
But still worse, the Habsburgers are proving to be as tricky as they ever were. Of course they were showing an interest before Luetzen, who would not have done? But now, I have it on excellent authority that they plan to close the border to us, not only in the event of any difficulty, but with an active intention to deprive the allied armies of any true room for manoeuvre. The only way to avoid this would be for the armies to set out north again, to protect the capital, indeed, but also to ensure that you are not trapped up against the Bohemian mountain frontier. There may be little time to lose.
This move should not preclude an active diplomacy, not not at all. You should-Entschueldigung, Euerer Majestaet, darf ich vorschlagen-that emissaries go now to the enemy camp, with offer of an armistice, just a couple of months, but so as to enable you to secure your historic possessions in the north and reposition the army where it can be more effective. That will give you time to bring up more Russians, ach, so few of them have arrived so far, to complete undisturbed the recruitment of an army worthy of the name of Prussia; and to expose the Austrian machinations for what they are. Time is on your side, Euerer Majestaet, the French are far from home, surrounded by peoples who do not love them, and hoping for nothing more than one of their quick victories. Another unsuccessful action like the one at Luetzen simply cannot be borne, it would be the end of the Coalition. By August, say by September, our chances are so much better!


The (game) plot thickens ...


Later he had more to say:

Ausgezeichnet, Euerer Majestaet!

Now, obviously our first condition has to be that the siege of Berlin be lifted and that in return the Prussian armies will undertake to realign themselves to the north to protect the capital and ensure the fighting remains firmly limited to Saxony-where its ill-effects are thoroughly deserved, ja sicher. Does your Majesty think it would be going too far-in just the right circles-to breath the word neutralitaet?

It might be proper do you not think at that point to make a return entry to the city, up a flower-strewn Unter den Linden to the Royal Palace, for would you not then be the effective liberator of your capital and its people?

And would this move not also thwart all Bonaparte's efforts to outflank the place d'armes of Upper Saxony to the north, both limiting the effectiveness of his own campaign and keeping the fighting-and all those rampaging Cossacks-outside the kingdom? How could the Tsar object to that? His own lines of communication through Poland would be safeguarded at the very same moment!

Whilst the secret parley goes ahead, your Majesty's armies might do well to mark time until we hear that this, and any other conditions which your Majesty might discover, have been agreed, and to adapt the position of the army accordingly-sad to say, your devoted Minister too has not been vouchsafed a glimpse of the staff map, which remains shut up in the quartermaster-general's dropbox, er lock-box, that is...

Map of the conditions that the King and former minister were discussing ...

amazingly the Prussian King was considering a separate peace with Bonaparte!


Es freut mich viel, Euerer Majestaet, to discover that our thinking is so closely aligned. We should be careful of course-as I supervise the moving of my furnishings and baggage from a remote corner of the camp into the tent next to the Royal Pavilion-not to allow the dreadful Habsburgers to understand our purposes too well from any contacts with them. And urgent action may have to be taken, may I respectfully suggest, about the position of the Army, which is not favourable for a redispositioning such as you have ordained. From a copy of the staff map which I have been sent by one of my agents, it appears that in my absence the Army commanders-our army that is-have allowed a very dangerous situation to develop, in which (no doubt as a deliberate result of Habsburg policy) our forces seem to be divided by the Austrian army at Bautzen and sent instead to pursue footling missions on the flanks, placing them in extreme danger of being trapped in the mountains (this after all is the so-called Saxon Switzerland, the frightful tangle of peaks and rivers in which your Majesty's thrice-illustrious great uncle encircled and then enlisted the faithless Saxons at Pirna) or of dwindling away into irrelevance on the Bober-all this whilst the capital burns!

Wollen wir eine zweitende Moskau an der Spree?

The King responds:

Again, exactly my thinking, on reviewing the map at my headquarters. How has this unfortunate position been allowed to develop? With a third force under Blucher still some distance away, there remains the risk, I would have thought, that the Emperor may decide to try to defeat his enemies in detail with a series of lightning strikes, and we in Bohemia could very well be the first victims. We should therefore organise a strategic withdrawal to the North, leaving light cavalry forces to screen our withdrawal, and at the same time, if our diplomats think it wise, assuring our Hapsburg delinquent cousins that we are simply consolidating our positions to avoid encirclement. What does my illustrious advisor have to say? And my military advisors - how quickly can this be accomplished?

Count Haugwitz counters:

I would say that the strategic withdrawal in the mountains is the trickest operation of all, but may be accomplished, Gott sei Dank, by means of the road from Marienberg to Komotau and then on to Leitmeritz and back to Allied HQ. It cannot be managed by means of a northward movement, obviously, as the French are ensconced at Dresden.

But young Steinmetz, one of my promising military assistants, points out that this movement must be commenced without the slightest delay, begging your pardon, your Majesty. He notes that not only is the way very long, in effect the outer circle of all the armies, and through Habsburg territory where snares of all kinds might be devised to delay the troops further, but with your Majesty's cousin the King of Saxony now back in the French camp, the vital fortresses, Koenigstein in particular, in the Elbe valley passing through to Bohemia, are to all intents and purposes in French hands as well. This offers Bonaparte, should he be at Dresden for example, the opportunity just as your Majesty has so ably discerned to descend from the north by way of Aussig and Teplitz upon our tapfere Soldaten as they march home.

On the other hand, with this force endlich under your Majesty's direct supervision at Allied HQ, as it would be upon successful arrival there, your ability to ensure further rearrangements would be as secure as it could possibly be, until sturdy Bluecher comes up...

The King continues in something of a tizzy ...

The more I look at the map, the more horrified I am that we have allowed ourselves to be inveigled into this adverse situation by the scheming Hapsburgs. I agree completely with you that we must withdraw in the fashion you describe. Once we reach Allied HQ, however, we have a potential diplomatic and military encounter of a rather serious kind to manage. How are we going to explain our need to withdraw further? And how will this, in fact, be accomplished? Is there any word from the Emperor?

After the Czar and Francis meet, they respond with this missive about the coming progress:

We agree that the opportunity presented to us is too good to let go. Let the forces of the Austrian Empire attack Marshal Marmont and General Reynier. The second Battle of Bautzen will be a great Austrian victory for the forces of this alliance!

It will show my fellow monarchs that the forces of my empire are ready for this crucial struggle, particularly since we have not been left to stand alone as we were in '09.

Francis I

To which the King of Prussia responded:

Outstanding, my Emperor! You will not be standing alone! We Prussians are as you know rushing to your assistance. You will not be risking an assault on your flank during the great battle to come.  I am quite sure you are right, this will be a great victory for the noble Hapsburg Monarchy.....


more of the machinations from the Count continued though:


Your Majesty, there is not a moment to lose!

The Habsburgers are sleepwalking to disaster in their insane bid to gain credit for an impossible victory-and when they fail, as they must, our army in Bohemia is irretrievably lost! The Habsburg plan-how did your Majesty's generals ever concur in it?-has turned their army in the centre at Bautzen into our Bohemian army's only flank protection, and if it goes, there is nothing to stop the Beast descending over the passes to wipe us out. But they must be on the road already, surely, and they must force-march in long stages to reach safety and link up with the doughty Bluecher at Zittau. Your Majesty, assure me that the order has gone out!



This plot line was not done with by any stretch of the imagination ...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Orders all over the world.

just a finger on a map?  across the globe it is not that easy ...
In a Skype exchange, orders were confirmed:

[8:34:22 AM] JW: I'll be in the far NE of Iceland...
[8:34:45 AM] DM: If you could send me a quick summary of what you want done I could make sure those orders are acted on ... ?
[8:35:06 AM] DMi: just looking to keep things moving quickly (for the sake of player interest)
[8:41:33 AM] JW: ok.  For the cossack corps  disperse, some hovering around chemnitz, bigger group on road north toward Notzen ?(cant read the map clearly), smaller force fall back toward Zwickau
[8:42:36 AM] JW: de Toll'ys austrians toward Chemnitz to press through the Italians (Bertrand's corps?)
[8:43:08 AM] JW: de Tollys russians and prussians push on MacDonard with Sayda as a target
[8:45:44 AM] JW: in east, the Autrian mega stack continues on to Bautzen with as much mass as possible.  the kurassier corps on the north flank as a flanking force if resistance is met.  Keep the two major masses of troops on the two roads they are presentlyusing, .  I have/ promised aid to Blucher if he neds it
[8:46:04 AM] JW: If he needs it, will detail some troops at least to go to his aid
[8:46:38 AM] JW: move the monarchs up, keep them close to Swartz. and try to keep them close enough to be a reserve (ha!)
[8:46:54 AM] JW: does that answer?  nothing surprising there...
[8:47:01 AM] DM: yes the Russian foot is slow
[8:47:26 AM] DM: only one little surprise, the Russians under de Tolly pushing on the Italians.
[8:47:39 AM] DM: sounds like at least one battle will happen
[8:48:25 AM] JW: that was s upposed to be the austrians under de tolly on the italians.  basicall, the allied west flank form the previous battle conmtinues to press on the french west flank
[8:48:37 AM] DM: ok
[8:48:46 AM] JW: nice spelling, eh?  good grief!
[8:49:12 AM] DM: you are rushed, imagine doing that in 20 mins in the dark (or candle) after riding a horse all day
[8:49:31 AM] DM: with the stub of a pencil
[8:49:36 AM] DM: on wet paper
[8:50:04 AM] JW: while I am gone I will not be able to fight out a battle, obviously.  So, if the aussie boyz want to do it, or work it out abstractly ? i'm cool with whatever keeps the turn going

This was some of the methods used to keep the action moving on 21/22 August 1813 (fictional) while one of the game commanders was working in Iceland!  Planning games to happen in Canada and Australia.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #8 - The tale of Marshal Ney

re-en actors from 2010
The tumultuous Battle of Berlin last saw Maréchal Ney, Prince of Moscow charging off towards the then opened gates of the city, opened so that some of the retreating Russian horse artillery might escape into the citadel and continue the defense of the city.

Ney was attacked by a force of cossacks and knocked from his horse by a saber blow to the head.  He was rescued by a force of grenadiers, though his horse was taken and his hat claimed as a prize by the cossacks who had thought him dead.

Not so!  As Ney quickly regained his composure, though such soaked in blood, he led the force of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs westward outside the city walls in hot pursuit of other Russian forces that were escaping from the battlefield.

These Russians were fleeing to a small access in the walls on the south-west side of the outer city, Ney and his band of elite Frenchmen were in hot pursuit.

The Russians threw 1/2 of their number at the pursuing French, who overcame the rearguard in only minutes as these tired stoic Russians had only powder of a couple of shots and no stomach for hand-to-hand.  Leaving some grenadiers to guard the Russians, Ney set off again in the near dark towards the, hopefully, still open access to the outer city of Berlin.

Upon arrival at the door, Ney was foiled ... the Russians had left another 20 men outside the door as they had been trapped outside the walls.  While they did not fight with the French, it was clear now that there was no way into the walls of the outer city.  Commandeering a tavern near the gate the Frenchmen then toasted one another on a great field victory in advance of what would likely become a siege.  Ney and the men drank the few remaining bottles and casks dry.

Ney could not be roused from his sleep on the morning of 21 August 1813 (fictional) and his head wound was not the only one suffered in the dark in clashes with cossacks and Russian foot.. as there were a number of torso wounds now bleeding into his already blood-soaked tunic.

The Voltigeurs and Grenadiers sent off messengers to get help at once for their stricken leader.

That day, information arrived in Napoleon Bonaparte's hands:


The outer city of Berlin has opened the gates and surrendered.   Only the garrisoned citadel on the north bank of the Spree at the city has given any resistance.  That resistance is formidable.  This is a Vauban fortification, the south works are gone - subsumed into the city, but the north side is fully positioned with 4 'points' of a 9 pointed Vauban fort still present.  Though artillery could be moved closer in the Konigsburg of south Berlin, there are plenty of Freikorps innsurrectio forces that have been taking shots at passing French forces, the city is not yet secured.



He has been found at an inn outside the south walls of the city, lots of gin and garlic.  He has a head wound and a sabre slash to the torso.  Has not regained consciousness since collapsing there early on the 20th.  There are calls for Doctor Larrey.  None outside of III Corps command and the grenadiers that cared for Ney know that he is still alive.


Bonaparte was to promote Prince Poniatowski to the  post of command of the Army of Berlin and keep the truth about Ney a secret.  While Larrey would manage to recover the Marshal, Bonaparte wanted to keep the morale effects limited and potentially be able to re-activate Ney as a surprise to the Allied armies and provide the sudden boost to morale that such a lightening bolt might bring.


The Orders sent out on the 21st from Imperial Headquarters were:

From Davout (8/7) to 30th Light Cav, XIII Corps (10/11) move to Parchim (9/12) and cut line of supply/communications to the enemy troops that are in and around Schwerin (8/9). Should any of the enemy move against you fall back towards Pritzwalk (10/14) and then towards Karstadt (11,11) where I will endeavour to bring the rest of my command to persue the enemy. If you have to fall back in the face of the enemy send me news by your fastest rider.

From Davout (8/7) to 9th Light Cav, V Cav Corps at Wismar (5/9) by the time you receive this despatch the lines of supply & communication to the enemy troops in Schwerin (8/9) will all have been cut by troops under my command. You are only to move from your present position if faced by superior force of enemy arms moving north from Schwerin. Under those circumstances fall back westwards towards Lubeck (5/5) and send me news by your fastest rider.

Remainder of Davout's command to remain at their present position; should the enemy move westwards against me I will issue further orders at the appropriate time.
Ornano's command - units of the Guard Light Cavalry - Ornano is keen to continue with the mission of capturing Prince John Charles, the traitor Bernadotte, 

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends ultimatum to FM Gen Lt Vegesak for him surrender himself and his troops forthwith to prevent any further bloodshed

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Flahault and the Young Guard (18/25) to proceed to Lubben via Teupitz

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Oudinout; Hold for as long as you can, without your force being badly damaged, then fall back towards Cottbus. The Young Guard Division together with the Guard Heavy Cavalry have been already been ordered there. I intend joining them at Cottbus together with the Imperial Guard, the Guard Light Cavalry and another Cavalry Corps. Please report your position and situation as a matter of urgency.

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Omano; continue your pursuit of Prince John Charles and bring him to me at the earliest opportunity. When you capture him or, if you are sure, he has fled back to Sweden then you are to bring the Light Cavalry of the Guard to join me at Cottbus.  Please report your position and situation as a matter of urgency.

Napoleon, at (14/24) sends orders to Poniatowski. Detail one of you Infantry regiments to escort the prisoners, from the Swedish division (actually the remnants that had retreated from VIII Corps), currently held at (14,24)(?).
Also I would wish that you order 1st Cavalry Corps, under Général de division Latour-Maubourg, to march to Lubben, via Teupitz, where they will then come under my direct command. 


A full day was expected across all the lines, from Berlin to the Bohemian pass at Marienberg and along the line of the Bobr.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #7 - Napoleon Orders capture of Bernadotte

Crown Prince Charles John, aka: Bernadotte
The epic skirmish series of Cossack and Lancer battles had determined that the French would learn of the whereabouts of the commander of the Allied Army of the North, Crown Prince of Sweden, Charles John, who was formerly known as Imperial French Marshal Bernadotte.

This news was very nearly a coup for Napoleon, as his Guard Cavalry was in camp only 12 miles away.  Certainly close enough to make a dash and attempt at capture of this vital person.

With this information in hand, here are the orders as dictated by our Napoleon (Mike in UK):

Napoleon has issued the following orders at 21.30 on 20th.

Prince Poniatowski has been promoted to the rank of Marechal of France. he received his Baton at 21.00 today from Napoleon.

Further Prince Poniatowski is to take command of the Army of Berlin forthwith

Orders for the Imperial Guard, to be actioned at 03.00 on 21st

Napoleon, at (16,25), to move with Old Guard Infantry.
Guard Heavy Cavalry, at (16,25), to march to (14,24) via (15,25)
Old Guard Infantry, at (16,25), to force march to (14,24) via (15,25)
Young Guard Infantry, at (16,25), to march to (18,25)
Guard Light Cavalry, at (17,25), to march to (14,24) via (16,24) & (14,2)
An ADC to be created, he is to move with, and issue orders to the Young Guard

Marechal Oudinot's Orders

Oudinot, (at 27,36), to move to (
XII Corps, at (27,36), to fall back to Lohsa, (27,34)
II Cavalry Corps, at (27,36), to cover XII Corps withdrawal by remaining at (27,36): if the enemy moves to engage with II Cavalry then they are to retire in the direction of Lohsa (27,34)

Messenger to Bautzen with orders for troops there to hold

Baron Drouot's Orders

Drouot, at (30,32), to move to Bautzen (30,33)
II Cavalry, at (30,32), to move to Bautzen (30,33)
IV Cavalry, at(3,33), to move to Lobau (31,35); if contact with enemy then retire towards Bautzen

Marechal Davout's Orders

Davout, at (8,7), no movement order.
9th Light Cavalry, at (7,8), are detached from V Cavalry Corps and are to move to Weimar (5,9) via (6,8)
30th Light Cavalry, at (9,8), are detached from XIII Corps and are to move to (10,11) via (10,8), (11,9), (11,10), (11,11)
V Cavalry, at (7,8), no move orders; if enemy approach then fall back, maintaining distance between them.
XIII Corps, at (9,8), no move orders; if enemy approach then fall back, maintaining distance between them.
Now a series of battles would be touched off when these orders were combined with the Allied nations moves, resulting in this list of conflicts:

*Game Players for tabletop action proxy Battles:*

North to south:

BATTLE (x2 possible): Prussians are moving out from Potsdam - lots of them!  Faced by French (across a river) = David (Western Canada) over weekend of 15-16 June

BATTLE (x2 possible - or just a LONG table?): Rothenburg part II:  This time can the French conduct a withdrawal under fire from Russians? = James & Julian (Australia) over weekend of 22-23 June

BATTLE (x2 possible battles - or a mini campaign?): Marienberg - the main event?  Russians, Austrians, Prussians are all converged against French and Allied forces in the Bohemian pass ...  (big battle potential here!) = Co-ordinated battle work with David (Western Canada) and Jim (Eastern Canada) 14-23 June

BATTLE: Chemnitz - major skirmish with LOTS of Cossacks versus French horse with some foot in support ... = still open (though some current research shows that this may not be much of an entertaining game) ...


Then the critical item for the Allied Army of the North:

Charles John was still free as of nightfall on the 21at of August, his escort consisted of Schonen Carabinierregementet (4 sq) yet the situation was grim.

trapped along the coat of Pomerania, Charles John was desperate for any floating transport to permit him to escape
General Ornano was pursuing him with a substantial part of the Guard Light Cavalry, the Cossacks that were forming a part of his escort had deserted him at the edge of their first forced march attempt at Prenzlau.  Part of the Guard Light Cavalry had been dispatched to keep the Cossacks off the back of Ornano's remaining brigade that stayed in hot pursuit all night ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #6 - Rothenberg and crossing the Bobr River II

21st of August 1813 (fictional) would prove to be the turning point on the Bobr River.

General de Kavallerie Blücher had a trap planned for the French army under Oudinot.

A copy of the dispatch (email):

With regards to Rothenburg.  The goal is to attack with everything possible from the South and the East at the same time.   Preferably cutting off routes of retreat if possible.  Orders for the battle commander.

Your priorities are as follows:
1.  Inflict as much damage on French forces as possible.
2.  Capture or kill Marshall Oudinot.
3.  You are not to retreat.  Death or Glory!

the overall picture sent to the tabletop organizing team in Australia

The resulting run-and-gun battle was played out by The Avon Napoleonic Fellowship and the After Action Report is in three parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Meanwhile, Berlin was under attack ... unknown to the Allied Supreme HQ with Tsar Alexander, Emperor Francis and King Fredrick William.

Prince Charles John was faced with the following data:

Berlin is completely invested now and cut off by the French forces.

Bulow is holding at Potsdam, the French are holding the opposite bank
of the Spree.

Corps besieging Magdeburg: Generalmajor von Hirschfeld  reports ready
to break off the siege and assist at Potsdam or otherwise.

In Mecklenberg, Davout has moved the French infantry to the south,
while a force of Cavalry has appeared in the north.

There was no way that the Russian cavalry would remain in Berlin at the citadel.  Their horses would become nothing more than rations within a week.  So Charles John had determined to move out with the cavalry before the complete encirclement of Berlin.

Prince Charles John collapsed into a short sleep in Eberswalde, to be
awoken during the night ... many patrols had not returned, one that
did claims to have seen a Colonel of Chasseur a Cheval - possibly of the
Imperial Guard?


Charles John next ordered:

Order to troops besieging Magdeburg to support and assist at Potsdam.
If they can attack from the rear so much the better.
Prince John will continue to retreat north if he is attacked to
stretch out the French. Any troops left in Berlin are order to do what
they can to damage and harass the French if they are able.

Aides asked of the Prince:
Did you want another Potsdam breakout to the south?

Anything with the Swedes in the west? 

To which the Prince replied:
Forgot about the Swedes. They are to retreat east as there is too big of a
French force to even delay it. They are to travel as fast as they can to
possibly meet up with Prince John in a couple of days if they can.
The troops at Potsdam will have to prevent the French from getting past them
easily. While keeping an eye out to the east for the enemy coming from the
battle at Berlin. I don't think I can do anymore seeing as the French has
superior forces everywhere. 

snapshot of the map for Charles John as of the 20th overnight
 The planned route of escape for Prince Charles John would have great impact on the progress of the Campaign, for the details about his whereabouts were going to face a skirmish contest that would see a whole new game set be invented and used again and again in this Campaign of Nations.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #5 - Rothenberg and crossing the Bobr River

Very quickly in the campaign 20th of August 1813 (fictional) the Allied army under Blucher made the first of many attempts at forcing a crossing of the River Bobr.

Here listed are the forces for the first battle and the Allied orders:

Battle is in Hex 27,36, with the French on the west bank of the Bobr and the Russians advancing from the East.

Russian attackers: (ordered to cross the Bobr river in force)

General Intendent: von Ribbentrop = CIC

1st Cavalry Corps: Generallieutenant Baron Korff

Russian Cavalry Brigade
Brigade: Generalmajor Berdaeev

Tver Dragoon Regiment (2)
Kinbourn Dragoon Regiment (2)

Russian Cavalry Division
1st Chasseur à Cheval Division: Generalmajor Pantschulid

Tchernigov Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (3)
Sievesk Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (2)
Arasmass Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (2)

Light Troops: Generalmajor Grekov VIII
Brigade: Generalmajor Count de Witte
1st Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
2nd Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
3rd Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
1st Teptar Cossack Regiment
Zikilev Cossack Regiment
Isaeva #2 Cossack Regiment
Selivanov #2 Don Cossack Regiment
Kutainikov #8 Cossack Regiment

Russian Artillery
Reserve Artillery:

Position Battery #10
Light Battery #29
Pontoon Company #4   <-- YES you see that correctly there is a pontoon bridge available and may be deployed (if your table/rules allow - or make some up!)

75th Marine (or Ships) Equipage <-- fully set river craft could also deliver some horse companies (maybe a regiment?) in one go ... they would likely be in disorder as they landed but operable after the landings.

Pioneer Company Lt. Colonel Gebenera

Cavalry Corps: Generallieutenant Vassil'shikov

Russian Cavalry Division
3rd Dragoon Division:

Brigade: Generalmajor Pantschulid
Courland Dragoon Regiment (2)
Smolensk Dragoon Regiment (2)

++++++ Russian Troops listed below are present at the battle yet
the Bobr River

Russian Cavalry Division
2nd Hussar Division: Generalmajor Tschaplitz

Brigade: Colonel Vassil'shikov
Akhtyrsk Hussar Regiment (4)
Marioupol Hussar Regiment (4)
Brigade: Generalmajor Kaslovsky
Alexandria Hussar Regiment (4)
White Russia Hussar Regiment (4)
Horse Battery #18

Russian Cavalry Division
Light Troops: Generalmajor Karpov II

Semenschenko Cossack Regiment
Kutainikov #4 Cossack Regiment
Tcharnusubov #4 Cossack Regiment
Loukoffkin Cossack Regiment
Karpov #2 Cossack Regiment
4th Ukrainian Cossack Regiment
St. Petersburg Cossack Regiment
2nd Kalmuck Regiment
Popov #13 Cossack Regiment
Unknown Cossack Regiment

FRENCH Defenders:

XII Corps
Troop Strength: 9224
Commander-in-Chief: Maréchal Oudinot, Duke of Reggio  <-- Personally in command
Chief of Staff: Général de division Lejeune
Artillery Commander: Général de brigade Nourry
Commander of Engineers: Général de brigade Blein

French Infantry Division
13th Division: Général de division Pacthod
Troop Strength: 2336
1st Brigade: Général de brigade Bardet
4/1st Légère Regiment (19/471)
3/7th Line Regiment (21/340)
4/7th Line Regiment (19/296)
4/42nd Line Regiment (2/411)
2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Cacault
3/67th Line Regiment (21/537)
4/67th Line Regiment (20/449)
2/101st Line Regiment (20/520)
3/101st Line Regiment (17/538)
4/101st Line Regiment (18/403)
4/4th Foot Artillery (3/70)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
20/4th Foot Artillery (4/77)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
Det. 2/4th Principal Train Battalion (1/89)
Det. 3/7th Principal Train Battalion (1/77)

French Infantry Division
14th Division: Général de division Guilleminot

1st Brigade: Général de brigade Gruyere
2/18th Légère Regiment (24/445)
6/18th Légère Regiment (17/382)
1/156th Line Regiment (22/855)
2/156th Line Regiment (20/893)
3/156th Line Regiment (25/897)

2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Brun de Villeret
2/Illyrian Regiment (26/486)
3/52nd Line Regiment (17/512)
4/52nd Line Regiment (16/544)
1/137th Line Regiment (27/585)
2/137th Line Regiment (16/586)
3/137th Line Regiment (16/606)
2/4th Foot Artillery (3/92)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
1/8th Foot Artillery (4/71)
(6-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
Det. 1/9th (bis) Train Battalion (0/56)
Det. 4/3rd (bis) Train Battalion (0/19)
Det. 1/4th Principal Train Battalion (1/59)
Det. 5/7th Principal Train Battalion (3/37)

French Allied Infantry Division
29th Division: Generalleutenant Raglowich

1st Brigade: Generalmajor von Becker
2/3rd Bavarian Line (13/369)
2/4th Bavarian Line (10/387)
2/8th Bavarian Line (18/432)
Res/13th Bavarian Line (12/364)
1st Combined Jäger Battalion (14/452)

2nd Brigade: Generalmajor Maillot de la Treille
2/5th Bavarian Line (11/439)
2/7th Bavarian Line (18/606)
2/9th Bavarian Line (17/517)
2/10th Bavarian Line (20/645)
2nd Combined Jäger Battalion (16/419)
1st Bavarian Foot Battery "Bammler" (2/60)
(6-6pdrs & 2-7pdr howitzers)
2nd Bavarian Foot Battery "Weisshaupt" (2/60)
(6-6pdrs & 2-7pdr howitzers)
Bavarian Reserve Battery (2/280)
(6-12pdrs & 2-7pdr howitzers)
Bavarian Train Det. (6/190)

Corps Cavalry Division: Général de division Beaumont

French Allied Cavalry Brigade
29th Brigade: Général de brigade Wolff
1/,2/,3/,4/Westphalian Chevauleger-lancier Regiment
(35/482)(545 horses)
1/,2/,3/,4/Hessian Chevauleger Regiment (12/248)(283 horses)
Bavarian Combined Chevauleger Regiment (3)(16/394)(421 horses)

French Artillery
Reserve and Grand Park

1/4th Foot Artillery (1/73)
(6-12pdrs & 2-6" howitzers)
18/4th Foot Artillery (4/82)
(6-12pdrs & 2-6" howitzers)
3/5th Horse Artillery (3/90)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
4/2nd Sapper Battalion (3/100)  <-- could be used to disrupt pontoons?
4/9th Sapper Battalion (3/92)
Det. 1/4th Principal Train Battalion (1/102)
Det. 2/4th Principal Train Battalion (0/89)
Det. 4/12th Principal Train Battalion (0/6)
Det. 1/3rd (bis) Train Battalion (0/11)
Det. 3/3rd (bis) Train Battalion (0/9)
Det. 3/7th (bis) Train Battalion (1/4)
Det. 4/7th (bis) Train Battalion (1/88)
Det. 5/7th (bis) Train Battalion (0/17)
1/7th Train d'Equipage (1/75)
2/7th Train d'Equipage (1/66)
3/7th Train d'Equipage (1/130)

II Cavalry Corps:

Commander-in-Chief: Général de division Sébastiani
Chief of Staff: Adjutant Commandant Lascours
Commander of Artillery: Colonel Colin

French Cavalry Division
2nd Light Cavalry Division: Général de division Roussel d'Hurbal

7th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade F.Gerard
Staff/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (6/8/29/9)
1/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (9/165/20/167)
2/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (10/212/23/211)
3/4th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (3/87/7/86)
Staff/5th Hussar Regiment (9/5/28/2)
1/5th Hussar Regiment (8/195/18/195)
2/5th Hussar Regiment (8/199/18/196)
3/5th Hussar Regiment (11/195/24/193)
Staff/9th Hussar Regiment (6/9/21/11)
1/9th Hussar Regiment (7/195/16/196)
2/9th Hussar Regiment (8/201/18/198)
3/9th Hussar Regiment (8/203/18/196)
4/9th Hussar Regiment (6/206/13/208)

8th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Domanget
Staff/2nd Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (3/2/9/2)
1/2nd Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (9/183/10/179)
2/2nd Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (8/220/18/221)
Staff/11th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (6/9/22/5)
1/11th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/222/21/212)
2/11th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/217/20/218)
Staff/12th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/8/19/12)
1/12th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (8/190/18/187)
2/12th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (16/287/32/285)

French Cavalry Division
4th Light Cavalry Division: Général de division Exelmans

9th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Maurin
Staff/6th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (6/4/20/4)
1/6th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (4/233/30/230)
2/6th Chevauléger-lancier Regiment (9/171/22/174)
Staff/4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (10/6/26/10)
1/4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/156/16/152)
2/4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/215/19/214)
Staff/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (6/7/20/3)
1/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (8/199/18/200)
2/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (8/159/18/158)
3/7th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/174/18/17)
1/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (14/202/33/200)
2/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/175/20/174)
3/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/178/20/178)
4/20th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (3/71/7/70)

10th Light Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Wathiez
Staff/11th Hussar Regiment (6/5/27/6)
1/11th Hussar Regiment (9/137/20/138)
2/11th Hussar Regiment (5/61/11/62)
Staff/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (9/5/22/4)
1/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/174/11/175)
2/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/143/15/136)
3/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/150/12/149)
4/23rd Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (6/152/14/150)
Staff/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (7/6/30/6)
1/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (4/104/9/100)
2/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (4/83/8/82)
3/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (5/80/7/78)
4/24th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment (3/76/3/74)

French Artillery
Artillery: Colin

7/1st Horse Artillery (2/103)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
2/11th (bis) Train Battalion (1/62)
7/4th Horse Artillery (3/94)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
3/13h (bis) Train Battalion (0/62)
8/6th Horse Artillery (3/84)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
3/13th (bis) Train Battalion (1/71)
4/11th (bis) Train Battalion (0/57)
4/3rd Horse Artillery (3/88)
(4-6pdrs & 2-24pdr howitzers)
Det 8th Train Battalion (0/57)


The battle is being fought over the Bobr crossing near Rothenburg near 51 Degrees 45 minutes North; 14 Degrees 55 minutes East.  There is a small airport with a single landing strip and Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) having the same name.  The river forms the boundary between modern day Germany and Poland.

Mostly flat lightly wooded terrain with some 'meres' or lakes - though they are likely dry in August, possibly not more than muddy patches? - in the area.

The Bobr River will be the main defining feature.

Blucher has ordered the crossing in some haste ... my overall view is that the cavalry will take a mauling here ... only a great failure by the French will see the Russians successful in the crossing.  This is an opportunity to eliminate many Russian horse before they can become a problem later in the campaign.

The results of this battle can be found at Avon Napoleonic Fellowship