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Saturday, August 1, 2015

14 March 1813 – Battle of Kassel

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Four Russian corps have orders to attack Kassel
Three French corps have orders to hold or attack Russians
One French corps has orders to attack Kaufungen and will not take part at Kassel
Russian – 51600 infantry, 3900 cavalry, 120 guns
French – 28000 infantry, 3000 cavalry, 90 guns
Note – brigades with 30% casualties or more will not take part in the battle

1 Russian will arrive F06 start of move 1
2 Russian will arrive E07 start of move 1
3 Russian will arrive F05 start of move 1
4 Russian will arrive F05 start of move 2
French send out cavalry to spot Russian columns
All corps are spotted and figures replace blinds

4 Russian arrive on table (bottom right)
2 French and 2 Russian both move to occupy the hill (top)
Remainder of French redeploy to meet Russian attack.
1 and 2 Russian ordered to attack north of farm
3 and 4 Russian ordered to attack between farm and city
2 French and 2 Russian cavalry advance to charge range on hill (top)
1st Russian cossacks charge artillery, receive 30% casualties and rout
2nd Young Guard cavalry charge and rout Russian cuirassiers with 10% casualties
Artillery exchange fire, but no casualties
Russian start to deploy ready to attack
2nd French artillery hit square, who pass morale with 10% casualties
6th French artillery hit cossacks, who pass morale with 10% casualties
The Russian cavalry are suffering heavy casualties to cover the deployment
Russian army ordered to advance and attack
2 French artillery hit gunners, who pass morale with 10% casualties
All artillery fire, but no other casualties
3 Russian artillery hit garrison, who pass morale with 10% casualties
4 Russian infantry enter Kassel
5 French infantry enter woods
French create cavalry division in the centre
1 Russian artillery hit gunners and infantry behind, both pass morale
1 Russian cossacks charge and rout gunners with 20% casualties
4 Russian infantry attacking town lose 10% casualties, but pass morale
2 French infantry behind crest are shaken when 2 Russian infantry advance
French cavalry division advance

2 Russian infantry lose 10% casualties but pass morale
4 French infantry in woods lose skirmish and are shaken with 10% casualties
4 French infantry in support of woods are shaken by artillery fire and lose 10% casualties
6 French garrison suffer 20% casualties, but ass morale

2 Russian infantry storm the hill held by the young guard.   Although outnumbered the French win the melee, and rout one of the Russian columns.

In the centre 3 Russian cavalry charge and rout the French gunners.   The surrounding infantry are all weak from casualties, and join the rout.  The supporting Russian infantry drive the French from the woods.   Two French brigades rout, taking a supporting cavalry brigade with them

4 Russian infantry take Kassel and rout the two brigades holding the city.

With the loss of the centre and Kassel Davout ordered a general retreat
The French have lost 3200 casualties and seven brigades in rout
The Russians have lost 4400 casualties and four brigades in rout
Despite the heavier casualties, the Russians far outnumber the French

After a hard fought battle both sides have suffered considerable casualties
But the three Russian corps heavily outnumbered the three French corps
The result was a clear and convincing Russian victory

Battle Summary
The Russians started the battle with 51600 infantry against the French 28000
They also outnumbered the French in cavalry and artillery
So it was always very likely that they would win the battle.

The Russian cavalry suffered heavy casualties covering the deployment
As a result the infantry also suffered as they advanced to attack

Despite this they took Kassel with ease

They also took the woods in the centre by overwhelming the defenders

Only on the right did they suffer a setback when they attacked the hill held by the French Young Guard.   The French held the hill.

The French Young Guard, and their cavalry superiority, ensured that the rest of the army could withdraw in good order.

The Russians lost 4400 casualties against 3200 French casualties
But they still greatly outnumbered the French in all three arms
With seven brigades in rout Soult had to order a general retreat
The Russian cavalry had suffered heavy casualties and were unable to pursue.

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