Thursday, January 22, 2015

Grand Campaign BATTLE at LUBBEN - French Overview

Napoleon Bonaparte re-enacted
After many days of encouraging the forced march of Maréchal Count Saint-Cyr's XIV Corps at long last the Emperor was prepared to make his presence known in force to the Allied powers.

Many times over the past month it appeared as though the superior Allied cavalry numbers would penetrate the screens thrown up by the French.  Yet each time the French had prevailed in preventing the Allies from learning about the location of key elements of the Imperial Guard, or on one occasion, Bonaparte himself.

Now the chance at a crowning glory to the campaign presented itself, at Lubben were concentrated perhaps 1/2 of the Allied forces, under the command of Blucher, someone that the Emperor felt would most certainly stand and fight.  So the moves had been made over the past four days to make the appearance of a "La manoeuvre sur les derrieres" so as to push the wily old General out of his comfort zone in Lubben and possibly make a mistake.

The bait has appeared to work with a massive cavalry assault launched against I Corps on the 11th of September 1813 (fictional).

Now here on the 12th the cut off to the south of Lubben is in progress and all is in readiness for the main assault, commanded by the new Marshal Poniatowski, to take place on the 13th of September.

Field of battle as seen for French on 12 Sept 1813 (fictional)


Order of Battle

French

arriving from North West of Lubben (part by road, part via open country march)

Napoleon  (with escort of 2 Brigades of Polish Lancers of the Guard)

Druout
Guard Corps Mortier:
Old Guard Division Friant:
Curial Brigade
Michel Brigade
Old Guard Foot Battery

Young Guard 1 Division Doumoustier
___ Brigade
Tindal Brigade
___ Brigade
Guard Foot Battery

Young Guard 2 Division Barrois
Rottenbourg Brigade
de Morran Brigade
Boyeldieu Brigade
Guard Foot Battery

Young Guard 3 Division Delaborde
Gros Brigade
Combelle Brigade
Dulong Brigade
Guard Foot Battery

Young Guard 4 Division Rouget
de Rebeval Brigade
Pelet Brigade
___ Brigade
Guard Foot Battery

Guard Artillery Grand Batteries
4xGuard Foot 1xGuard Horse

Guard Heavy Cavalry Brigade Ornano
2xGuard Horse Batteries

6th Heavy Cavalry Division Lamotte
___ Dragoon Brigade
___ Dragoon Brigade
Horse Battery



Field Commander Maréchal Poniatowski

 XIV Corps St Cyr
42 Division Mouton-Duvernet
___ Brigade
Creutzer Brigade
Foot Battery
 
43 Division Claparède 
Godard Brigade
Butrand Brigade
Foot Battery

44 Division Berthezène
Pailard  Brigade
Letellier Brigade
Foot Battery

45 Division Razout
Goguet Brigade
d'Esclevin

Corps Artillery  1xFoot  1xHorse

III Corps Souham (in command since Ney's injury)
 8 Division Souham
Brayer Brigade
Charrier Brigade
Foot Battery

11 Division Ricard
Tarayre Brigade
Doumoulin Brigade
Foot Battery

Corps Artillery 2xFoot 1xHorse

Arriving from West Southwest:

Loubau
I Cavalry Corps Latour-Maubourg
 1 Light Cavalry Division Corbineau
Pire Brigade
Montmarie Brigade
Piquet Brigade

3 Light Cavalry Division Chastel
Valin Brigade
van Merlen Brigade
Demoncourt Brigade

1 Cuirassier Division Bourdesoulle
Berckheim Brigade
Bessieres Brigade
Lessing Brigade

3 Cuirassier Division Doumerc
d'Audenard Brigade
Reiset Brigade

Corps Artillery 2xHorse

VII Corps Reynier
32 Division Durutte
Devaux Brigade
Jarry Brigade
Menu Brigade
Foot Artillery

26 Light Cavalry Brigade Lindenau

Corps Artillery: Saxon Foot Battery

IX Corps (now formed) Augerau
51 Division Tureau
Lagarde Brigade
Aymard Brigade
Foot Battery

52 Division Sémélé
Bagneris Brigade
___ Brigade
Foot Battery

Corps Artillery 1xHorse

In Cottbus arriving late from South EAST:


Nansouty
Guard Light Cavalry Corps
Dutch Lancers Brigade
Cheveau-Leger Lancers Brigade
Berg Guard Lancers Brigade
Chasseurs a Cheval de la Guard 1 Brigade
Chasseurs a Cheval de la Guard 2 Brigade

South of Lubben on road (in battle on 12 Sept with Prussian Cavalry Reserve under Roder)

V Cavalry Corps (now formed) Milhaud
5 Heavy Cavalry Division Quinette
___ Dragoon Brigade
___ Dragoon Brigade

6th Heavy Cavalry Division Montelegier
___ Dragoon Brigade
___ Dragoon Brigade

Corps Artillery 2xHorse

Arriving on 13th from West of road south of Lubben:

Maréchal Oudinot, Duke of Reggio

VI Corps Marmont
20 Division Compans
Pelleport  Brigade
Jobert Brigade
Foot Battery

22 Division Freidrichs
Bachelet Brigade
Foot Battery

Corps Artillery 1xFoot  1xHorse +  Captured Aust Horse + II Cav Arty under Colin  2xHorse

Standing to west of Allied staging area:

XII Corps Guilliminot  (as Oudinot is to north)
14 Division Guilliminot
Gruyere Brigade
Brun de Villeret Brigade
Foot Battery

Corps Artillery 1xFoot






Saturday, January 17, 2015

Grand Campaign BATTLE at LUBBEN - Allied overview

General Blucher urging on his cavalry to recover position
The Allied positions on the 12th of September 1813 (fictional) were spread from the town of Peitz, north of the Spree River down through Lubben and further south to Luckau.

These forces were all contiguously connected, though only a small force of cavalry under Röder was the connection south of Lubben.

That day, Blücher was to learn that his cavalry strike north of the river was at a phantom and that the French Guard light cavalry had evaded contact while he engaged the French 1st Corps infantry.

Now the Allied forces might have only a day to gather as the French made the move to encircle Lubben, or at least cut it off from any further re-enforcements.

overall field positions on 12 Sept 1813 in our campaign
With Blucher rushing his tired troopers back to Lubben, there could be little chance of taking action against the French on the 12th ... the 13th though would be a day for maximum risk of major action in the Lubben area.

Allied forces:

From Peitz: (still blown from battle on 11 Sept)
General der Kavallerie Blücher (with escort of Don Cossack Guard brigade)
von Ribbentrop

Cavalry Corps:
St Petersberg Cossack Brigade
Lokouffkin Cossack Brigade

Provisional Heavy Cavalry Corps:
1st Dragoon Brigade
3rd Cuirassier Brigade of GM Duka

1st Light Cavalry Corps:
1st Chasseur a Cheval under Pantschulid Brigade

2nd Hussar Division Kalovsky Brigade

IN LUBBEN:
GM Langeron
commanding horse batteries left by cavalry 11 Sept (1xhorse)

9 Corps Aleusiev:
9 Division Udom II
Schapskoy Brigade
Durnov Brigade

5 Division Rusdevitch
Tern Brigade
Anensur Brigade
Tichanovsky Brigade

9 Corps Artillery (horse battery in FPGA)

10 Corps Kapzevitch:
8 Division Urussov
Schindshin Brigade
Revin Brigade

22 Division Turtshaninov
Schapskoy Brigade
Durnov Brigade

Detached Corps: Pahlen I

8th Corps St.Preist
11 Division Gurgalov
Kartvenkov Brigade
Turgenev Brigade
Bistrom II Brigade

17 Division Pillar
Kern Brigade
Shertov I Brigade
Charitanov Brigade

Reserve Cavalry Corps Gallitzin V:
1 Cuirassier Division Depradovitch
Arnesiev Brigade
Rosen Brigade
Guard Cossack Volunteers Brigade

2 Cuirassier Division Kretov
Karatiev Brigade
Leontiev Brigade

Reserve Cavalry artillery  (2xfoot 2xhorse)

On the road just south of Lubben:  (facing battle with French Cavalry Corps V (two Div of Dragoons))

Cavalry Reserve: Generalmajor von Röder
von Wrangel Brigade
von Starkenfels Brigade
von Mutius Brigade
Attached artillery (horse battery in FPGA)

On the road 12 miles south of Lubben [Allied staging area]:

Allied Monarchs
General Quartermasters: Generalmajor Baron Langenau

2nd Army Abtielung: General der Kavallerie Graf Meerfeldt
1 Division Ignaz Lederer
Sorenberg Brigade

Artillery (1xfoot in FPGA)

IN LUCKAU (just south of the 12 mile staging area):

5 Guard Corps Yermolov
1 Guard Division Rosen
Potemkin Brigade
Krapovitzky Brigade

2 Guard Division Udom I
Krishanovsky Brigade
Scheltuchin II Brigade

3 Grenadier Corps Kaevsky
1 Division Sulima
Zweilikov Brigade
Acht Brigade
Yemelianov Brigade

2 Division Tchoglokov
Pissarev Brigade
Colovin Brigade
Hesse Brigade

2nd Division: Feldmarschal-lieutenant Fürst Lichtenstein
Klopstein Brigade
Meszerey Brigade

1st Army Abtielung: Feldzeugmeister Graf H. Colloredo

3rd Division Greth
Mumb Brigade
Quasdannovich Brigade

Artillery (1xfoot in FPGA)

Kuirassier Brigade Rothkirch



These forces have been examined for use in the Fast Play Grand Armee (FPGA) rules and will need 44 brigades and 10 gun stands along with numerous officer stands.  The game moderator does not have enough base stands for both this army AND the French attackers in the correct FPGA sizes.  So alternatives are being examined for the game planned to be played out on 23 January 2015.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tsar Alexander decides

Decision made
The Allied staff were set into frantic activity, Tsar Alexander had made a decision late in the morning of September 11, 1813 (fictional).  The Russian Reserve, Guards and Grenadiers would be committed to the support of Blucher's positions in the north around Lubben.  Now all forces were mustered into action to make this decision complete.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Strategic Dilemma ... what would Alexander, Tsar of Russia, do?

The Campaign has reached a critical moment, FZM Schwarzenberg is nowhere to be seen in the Allied Grand Headquarters.  General staff are edgy as Tsar Alexander and Emperor Francis are demanding situation reports and appear poised to issue orders for the Army Reserves, Grenadiers and Guards.

Would you, as Alexander, prepare a large force to meet the French threat in the north at Lubben, where Blucher has been preparing defenses for a few days and reports repeated cavalry attacks?

-or-

Would you, as Alexander, secure your flank against the French forces moving from the south, having crossed the Elbe and known to be commanded by Marshal Macdonald?

-or-

Would you, as Alexander, move to 'shore up' the Allied lines in the center, between the Army of Silesia and Army of Bohemia to maintain communications and be ready to respond where the French may attack?

-or-

Would you, as Alexander, Tsar of Russia, have some other option ... ?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Battle of Wildberg

MurdockS MarauderS have played out the pursuit battle of Wildberg, you can read the AAR here.

Count Pahlen III leads two brigades of Hussars to cut off the French retreat
Barclay de Tolly's forces conducted a forced march and caught up with the 36th Division south of Meissen.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Cavalry Clash northwest of Lubben

Desperate for information about French troop movements GdK Blucher ordered a massive cavalry sweep into the roads north west of Lubben south of the river Spree.

Russian Chasseur a Cheval
The summary of the battle from Jim:

In a nutshell, a French ambush worked well but they were spotted in hilly and wooded terrain in time to avoid utter surprise.  The french jumped the two Russian CàC units but only sawed off the skirmish, no killed units on either side.  Neither the french nor the Russian units rallied promptly, allowing the Cossacks time to worry their way around the French flank.  The french backed off while trying to recover units (1 of 3 in effective command and in order).  With units finally recovered, a second melee was initiated with the Russians coming off the worst but not losing anyone.  They were then able to move to the edge of the board while the French, heavily outnumbered, did not get an opportunity to land another strong blow without overpowering counter attack. The kicker however was the French never really got their first attack in as hoped, and it could/ought to have gained 3 or more kills.
view of Jim's table just as the trap was sprung!

10th September 1813 has been a busy day for both sides with fights on both the north and south of a line of troops from Lubben to Dresden.  Map details go out soon now for the orders of the 11th ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Battle of Meisen Bridge

Austrians forming a rear-guard
The Austrian 4th Army Abtielung 1st Division was facing the French II Corps 4th Division at a crossing of the Elbe east of Meisen.  The French had been building up defenses since the 28th of August, now here on the 10th of September the Austrians were ordered to attack.  2nd Division was forced marching up with the
Abtielung (Corps) artillery to support the assault.

1st Division was mostly Hussars with some Cheveauxleger and Grenzer battalions along with a 6lb Horse battery.  Facing them behind their two weeks worth of fortifications at the bridge were 3 battalions of Leger and 9 of Line foot along with 2 12lb Foot batteries under Dubreton's command.

Due to the need for the forced marching 2nd Division to come up the battle could not start until 15h00.  The Cheveauxleger set up a screen while the Grenzers and horse batteries got into position to rush the bridge and fire on the French on the far bank, while the 2nd Division arrived and moved up the three heavy batteries that were the 4th Army Abtielung reserve.  This took some three hours to accomplish under French artillery fire, the 1st Division suffered some 35% casualties during this phase, scoring negligible hits on the French.

By 18h00 the main assault was under way, with the Austrian Foot batteries pounding into the French defenses and all-out assaults began with the Grenzers.  The first hour saw 10% casualties on the Fernch and 30% on the Austrians, with the Grenzers all but wiped out.

Undaunted the second wave went in at 19h00, over the next three hours successive battalions of Austrian foot stormed the bridge, again only 10% casualties were suffered by the French; while a whopping 50% were suffered by the Austrian attackers.  Faced with withering losses Austrian Wing Commander
Generalmajor Baron Trapp called off any further assaults and by 22h00 on 10th September 1813 the attacks on the eastern bridge of Meisen was over, the Austrians were in full retreat to Furstenwalde.

Battle was 'simulated' using GURPS Mass Combat system and the troop strength sheets combat system.