Monday, January 11, 2016

Campaign Post Operations Report #15 - French Command disarray

Bonaparte was not a well man in 1813
Unknown to almost all players in the campaign at the time, indeed the GM was only aware that the Napoleon player was not responding to email contacts, the French high command was 'not well'.

Our Napoleon player, who has been doing Napoleonic games since the 1970's as was intrigued by the prospect of a intercontinental game, had been briefly hospitalized and was 'out of action' ~ while this made the communication gap with the Allied command easier to take time resolving, it did cause some concern ~ at least with the GM, where was our Napoleon player?  Was he alright?

Eventually we did hear from the player, then all went quiet again, still no orders, though not an issue as the front line commands knew what to do from earlier directives, it would become an issue in a few game days.

Then again, news came:

My apologies for lack of input this last week. I unfortunately had a relapse and was taken back into hospital.
I have been discharged, this morning, and my daughter has just brought me home. Although still feeling a little shaky I am positively loads better than this time last week.

Xxxxxx, bless her, wouldn't bring my computer/iPad into the hospital insisting I get complete rest. So I have a stack of mails to read and am tackling the latest first. (maybe not the best way)

I will get up to date with the progress of the campaign during today and get a set of orders etc off to you tonight/tomorrow am

Best regards

Once again we had a Napoleon player and the status of the French command was set.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Campaign Post Operations Report #14 - Allied Monarchs Orders

Allied Monarchs in 1813
Unable to find Schwartzenberg, the Allied Monarchs issued a directive to their field armies:

The Monarchs are unanimous; Berlin must be relieved!
We order Schwarzenberg to await the arrival of Gallitzin V's reserve cavalry, Raevsky's grenadiers and Yermolov's Russian Guard and then to take command of these troops plus the army of Bohemia (except for Klenau's IV Korps) and march to join FM Blucher near Lohsa. This combined force is then to proceed to Berlin via Grossraschen, Cottbus, Lubben and Teupitz.

Klenau is hold at Bautzen and await the arrival of Sacken and Scherbatov. This combined force, under the command of von Müssling, will proceed towards Dresden to join forces with Barclay de Tolly.

signed,
Francis I
per Alexander I and Frederich-William III

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Campaign Post Operations Report #13 - Allied Monarchs are roused

Driven by the messages of the 19th and 20th of August, that Berlin was now under siege and only the citadel was being defended by Russian troops under the command of Pozzo di Borgo, Count Haugwitz continued his tirade about the situation to King Frederick of Prussia:

Count Haugwitz
"Vorwaerts, immer vorwaerts, I always said it-on to the relief of Berlin, surely, Euerer Majestaet...
...unless for some reason, of course, our Habsburg allies and friends have some cause to delay the advance? Surely not, surely not-why they are our friends, and victory is theirs-ours, I should say, for all have played their part. If Vienna was in similar danger, I doubt not that we would all rush to the Danube, after all.
Some reason for delay, Euerer Majestaet/ Surely not, surely not!
Euerer hochtreueste Ergebener,
C.v.H."
To which the King responded:

This splendid victory of which we have heard so much, meinen herren, can someone perhaps describe it to me? I shall be delighted to receive Metternich at the earliest juncture, except of course that Potsdam has not been relieved yet so I cannot even celebrate in my own palace, as far as I recall...

The discussion continued:

That is because it has not really happened, Euerer Majestaet, as I am sure that you perceive...
I predict that we shall see by and by that far from having routed the French at Bautzen, and sent the eagles flying in terror back over the Elbe, we shall learn that the results of this action are meagre, that the Emperor Francis himself does not think them worthy of any particular military movement in consequence, no swift pursuit, no daring combination, no strategic or even tactical advantage having accrued whatsoever, upon which we can depend. I think we will see the signs of this quite soon, even if the August Habsburger seeks to keep up as long as he can the pretence that his armies at long last won a victory, because he will not want to take any risks as a result of this, what shall we say, Begegnung, this encounter..
But none would be more delighted than your Majesty's truest Servant, to find that suddenly the way is clear to Berlin, that the shadow of war is lifted from the Kingdom, and our Habsburg allies, having depended on us to shield at great risk to ourselves their territories in Bohemia, are ready now to do their part and drive the enemy from the gates of our own capital. Why do we not put this to the test, eh?
C.v.H.

Unknown to any of the Allied GHQ, Prince Charles John (formerly French Marshal Bernadotte) has deployed his forces in a more 'land grab' mode into Mecklenberg.

Allied Army of the North, Charles John, 19 August

 However by the 24th the situation had greatly changed ... and the Allied command knew nothing of this at the time:

Allied Army of the North, 24 August
So the North Commander had this message regarding the deployment of his forces:

If possible the Swedes will now head east to Pritzwalk, if not then Parchim.

Bulow and co appear to be engaged against the French so I don't think I can
do much there.
I would like the Swedes to meet up with Bulow if possible but they are to
try and prevent the French from getting past them. 

Clearly the situation in the north had deteriorated ... and now the Allied Monarchs were to meet formally for a detailed council of war.   

Meaning we were arranging a 5 continent, 22 time-zone conference call on Skype.

Campaign Post Operations Report #12 - News arrives at the Allied Supreme Headquarters - 24 Aug 1813

detail from the Leipzig Battle painting
Below are the messages and information received at Allied Monarchs Supreme Headquarters on 24 Aug 1813:

At about 0800:
Swedish Courier:
Messenger to Allied Monarchs
Siege of BERLIN

Message Dated: 19 August 1813

At about 1000
Prussian Liaison: Generalmajor Baron von Krusemark

Prince Charles John has abandoned BERLIN, retreating to Pomerania.  Only Russian forces are hoding the citadel.  Under command of Pozzo di Borgo.

Supplies will last until spring 1814.


Expect no further messages until siege is lifted.

Message Dated: 20 August 1813









Pozzo di Borgo
At about 1300:

BERLIN surrounded by French forces.

Demanding surrender.

Pozzo di Borgo

Dated: 20 August 1813



Feldmarschall Fürst Carl zu Schwarzenberg has still not been seen in the Headquarters and is assumed to be touring the recent battlefield at Bautzen.



Are there any directives/orders from the monarch(s) forthcoming?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #11 - a diplomat emerges

Julius August Reinhold von Grawert
Count Haugwitz continued ...

May I respectfully suggest to your Majesty the following excellent fellow, Julius August Reinhold von Grawert (1746–1821), awarded the Pour le Merite, former governor of Silesia, General der Infanterie,and hardened on campaign but well-known to his French counterparts and only recently retired as a corps commander to his estates near Landeck in Lower Silesia-you may recall taking the waters at the Marienbad by Ober-Thalheim, your Majesty, as many have done in happier times, and the general lives nearby. As it is a truce we are talking about, we need the delegation to be headed up by a soldier, and I am sure that he will pass muster with the French, and as staff assistant I would nominate my own adviser the elder Steinmetz brother-no friend of the French he, like his younger sibling, but a tapfer Kerl who famously slipped through French lines at besieged Breslau, if he can do it once, he can do it again...

As political adviser, surely your Majesty could do no better than Hans, Graf von Buelow, at the moment your finance minister and at headquarters as he cannot get into Berlin at the moment on his way back from Liegnitz-this versatile man has actually met and negotiated with Napoleon in his time and also has good connections in the enemy camp, although he fell out with the preposterous Jerome of Westphalia when at that court some years ago, he has a realistic eye for what can be done in Germany. He will be in a position too to insist upon seeing the French Emperor and not being palmed off with a lackey in ostrich feathers and tight breeches.

The suggestion is being made that this all may go awry, however-surely your Majesty, we have a system of passwords agreed with the other side to ensure that nobody has to carry signed letters or risk getting entangled with minor functionaries? Do the French want to negotiate or not? A proper meeting of ambassadors can take place later, I should say, to sign off the deal.

C.v.H.

(Historical note: Grawert headed the Prussian contingent in the Grande Armee and is a Francophile; the elder Steinmetz on the other hand was a fire-eater against the French and was killed at Leipzig, his younger brother being the famous Steinmetz who commanded in the 1866 and 1870 campaigns; Hans von Buelow was finance minister both of Westphalia and later of Prussia and a supple political character, just the party we need, eh?)

 =======================================

The players in charge of the Prussian issues happening now were unclear about the reality of communicating on the 1813 battlefield.  As the game master here explains:

> There is no way to get a message to the French Emperor *immediately*.
>
> This is 1813, you are crossing a FEBA (forward edge of the battle
> area) and the fastest communications is by horse.
>
> Your supreme command is coming out of the eastern Bohemian Mountains,
> with your troops out of Potsdam, some 200 miles away. Even with the
> fastest horses that is TWO DAYS before the message could reach them!
>
> I shall not reveal, at all, how far away Bonaparte is; let alone
> comment on the likelihood that Prussian Officers - whatever their
> mission - will be so easily permitted to travel in the territory
> controlled by France.
>
> The battles are happening,as you have summoned the messengers, and
> they are still to arrive at the Allied Monarchs Supreme Headquarters
> in the field near Zittau. You will have news of Bautzen before
> sending off the emissaries to communicate with Bonaparte.
 Further explanation was needed:

> The, troops in the north are under the overall command of Swedish
> Crown Prince Charles John. Generallieutenant Bülow commands the
> forces that have marched to victory south of Potsdam and are now
> attacking to force the French away from Potsdam completely.
>
> As Monarch, you have had little or no contact with Berlin or the
> Northern forces for at least two weeks.
>
> Since the 17th of August 1813 (the current game turn is 23 August) you
> have been in the Allied Monarchs HQ in Bohemia, now marching out.
>
> -- in game we have been stuck on the 23rd for more than a month, not
> what I wanted and we are dealing with it --
>
> This means that the game is *frozen* at the moment and there is
> nothing to do until after the battles are resolved.
 The challenges with the one player were (mostly) resolved and James had this commentary:

As I have said several times previously, I am really enjoying this campaign. I particularly like the way that the fog of war is playing out. Julian as Frederick is deep in that fog now...!
 To which the player responded with:

Want of a telegraph, I suspect...
================================================

There were whispers ...

 here is some news from "a source close to the Czar":
Alexander was bemused to hear rumours that Frederick William is considering treating with "the ogre".
"Why would Frederick consider dealing with Napoleon?" he asked.
 "What is he thinking?"
"I do not know sire, they are only rumours..."
"Surely he would not be so foolish as to do such a treacherous thing? It will cost him his crown!"
<<silence>>
"Should he be so stupid he will regret his loss of reason when I burn Berlin!"
 ==================================================


Tsar Alexander, looking over his shoulder at Prussian "Allies"

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?

C.v.H.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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...

C.v.H.
 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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!

C.v.H.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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!

C.v.H.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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