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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

13 March 1813 – Battle of Brunswick

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Prussian army launch a surprise attack
French army are under orders to rest and resupply
Prussian – 50800 infantry, 4000 cavalry, 120 guns
French – 40000 infantry, 3900 cavalry, 117 guns

Note.   Brigades with 30% casualties, or more, will not take part in the battle
They would be more of a liability than an advantage.
Table at start of wargame

4 Prussian arrive E07 start of move 1
2-7 Prussian brigade arrive E07 start of move 2
1 French arrive E05 start of move 1
3 French arrive F04 start of move 6
1st Prussian corps are ordered to occupy woods on right
2nd Prussian corps ordered to occupy farm on left
3rd and 4th Prussian corps ordered to deploy either side of main road

4th and 13th French corps are both on hold
1st French corps marching through Brunswick
Both armies deploy
1st Prussian enter woods on the right
Old Guard continue to pass through Brunswick

Both armies continue to deploy
French artillery open fire on deploying Prussians
Both armies continue to deploy
Artillery open fire, no casualties
Both armies continue to deploy
French infantry on hill on left receive artillery casualties
French infantry opposite woods on right also receive artillery casualites
Both brigades pass their morale test
Table has been moved one square (5 miles on the map) south
This is to allow room for 3rd French corps to deploy as desired

3rd French arrive on right
Blucher orders 3rd Prussian to support 1st Prussian
13th French square receive more casualties, fail morale and rout into lancers
Lancers fail their morale and are shaken
The French right flank is now very vulnerable

3rd French continue to arrive on the right
13th French receive more casualties, but infantry pass morale test

3rd Prussian infantry receive casualties, but pass morale test

Blucher orders 2nd and 4th corps to advance and attack hill
The Prussian attack moves forward
Infantry in 3rd Prussian receive 20% casualties, but pass morale test

Infantry in 13th French suffer 20% casualties, but also pass morale test.
Prussian infantry advance along the whole line
cavalry charge French artillery
2nd Prussian cavalry rout gunners on hill, who take two infantry brigades with them
3rd Prussian cavalry rout grand battery, who also take infantry brigade with them
Rout of 4th French corps
2nd Prussian cavalry charge French gunners.
Gunners fail morale to move to nearby square
Gunners lose 20% casualties and rout
Nearby square, who already have 20% casualties, join rout
Prussian cavalry test morale to pursue
Fail morale and charge nearest French brigade
French lose melee and rout with 30% casualties
Rout of 13th Polish corps
3rd Prussian corps charge 1st Guard artillery
Gunners fire, but cause no casualties
Gunners then fail morale test to evade to nearby square
Cavalry charge home and rout gunners with 20% casualties
Nearby 13th Polish artillery already have 20% casualties
Test morale because of rout, fail and join rout
Polish infantry supporting artillery already hve 20% casualties
They also fail morale, and also join rout
Nearby Polish lancers are shaken, and unable to support routers
Prussian cavalry pass morale to rally, but remain disordered

With eight brigades in rout Napoleon is forced to accept defeat
He orders all four corps to break contact and retreat
The French have lost 4100 casualties and 15 guns
The Prussians have lost 1200 casualties

The battle is a convincing Prussian victory
Brunswick is not a fortified city, and has to be abandoned.

Battle Summary
Napoleon was not expecting to be attacked
He had two corps in and around Brunswick, with a third (the Old Guard) in reserve
His fourth corps was five miles away, and would not arrive until lunchtime

Blucher had concentrated his four corps, and they advanced in mass

Both armies had casualties from previous battles
But both had been able to concentrate those casualties
As a result the Prussians had 13 infantry brigades, the French only 11 brigades
Both armies had four cavalry brigades and corps artillery present.

Blucher sent his cavalry and artillery to cover the deployment of his infantry
He decided to ignore the city of Brunswick
Two corps would pin the city and French right
Two more corps would attack the hill on the French left.

The Old Guard had to march through Brunswick and then deploy
Whilst it was doing so the Prussians completed their deployment
The Prussian artillery proved more effective than the French
But they only inflicted light casualties

Blucher ordered his army to advance just as 3rd French corps arrived.
The Prussian cavalry advanced and charged the enemy artillery
They were extremely effective, and routed three out of the four corps artillery
The rout spread to nearby infantry, who had received casualties earlier in the battle

With eight brigades in rout, Napoleon accepted defeat
He ordered a general retreat before the Prussians could press home their attack
The French lost 4100 casualties and 15 guns
The Prussians have lost 1200 casualties

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