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Thursday, May 14, 2015

7 March 1813 – Battle of Kassel

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Two French and two Russian corps have orders to attack Kassel
Russian – 28000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 60 guns
French – 28000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 60 guns
Table at start of wargame
3 Russian – start on table
1 Russian – arrive start of move 1
Russian HQ – arrive start of move 1

6 French – arrive start of move 1
2 French – arrive start of move 5
French HQ – arrive start of move 5
0800 - 1100 
6th French corps are outnumbered two to one until 2nd corps arrives at the start of move 5.   They have sent one brigade to occupy each of the left hand sections of Kassel.   Their cavalry will try to slow down the Russian deployment

1st Russian corps has been sent south of the town, 3rd corps north.
Each has sent one brigade into the two right hand sections of the city.  The remainder of both corps are deploying to attack the French corps 

1100 - 1400
2nd French corps arrives and starts to deploy behind town.
CinC has sent their artillery north to form a grand battery
He has joined the cavalry of both corps to form a reserve division

Russian artillery batter town and cause casualties to top section 
Garrison are shaken, but hold the town and rally 

1400 - 1800 
The Russian artillery pound both sections of the town held by the French at close range.  In addition the garrisons of the sections held by the Russians skirmish with the French.  

Both French brigades in the town lose their morale and rout.  In doing so they disrupt the newly arrived 2nd corps deploying.

Marshal Davout can see that there is insufficient time left for 2nd corps to deploy and take the town.   Any delay would result in more casualties for no good purpose.  He orders a general retreat.

The Russians win
They will spend the next day reorganising
The French will retreat to create the “no mans land” square

Battle Summary
Both armies race to occupy Kassel
Both occupy two town sections
However there are two Russian corps and only one French
The Russians use their cavalry superiority to move their artillery into short range
They then bombard the two French brigades in the city
By the time the second French corps arrives both brigades are battered
They rout through the arriving young guard corps, causing confusion
It is too late for the French to disengage, deploy and take the city
The French lost 1600 infantry and two brigades in rout
Russians had no casualties
Davout accepts defeat to avoid further futile casualties

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