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Thursday, August 13, 2015

15 March 1813 – Battle of Wolfenbuttel

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Two Prussian corps have orders to attack three French corps
All corps come under the command of the wargame commander
All four Prussian corps will join the attack as they enter the battle area

The French have 9 shaken or routed brigades
I gave each of them one chance to rally and join the battle
3 rallied, the remaining 6 will not take part in the battle

Any brigade with 30% casualties will not take part in the battle

French – infantry 24000, cavalry 4000, artillery 68
Prussian – infantry 50000, cavalry 4000, artillery 120

The Prussians outnumber the French by 2 to 1
The battle is decided by Campaign Rule 09
Dice roll 7 = 800 Prussian casualties, 1600 French casualties
Blucher orders 2,3 and 4 corps to move south and attack
1st corps is ordered to support

1,3 and 4 French corps are on hold
13 corps is ordered to move north and join the battle line

The French start the battle with many fragile brigades due to earlier casualties
Despite this they hold their own throughout the morning.
The arrival of 1 Prussian and 13 French increases the intensity of the battle
The French are taking much heavier casualties than the Prussian
French brigades start to break and withdraw

The rout spreads throughout the French army
All four corps break contact and retreat south

By nightfall the French are in full retreat
The French have lost 1600 casualties
The Prussians have lost 800 casualties

The result is a crushing defeat for the French
The Prussians have suffered reasonably light casualties and are in pursuit

Battle Summary
The French did not want to fight this battle
They badly needed to rest, rally and resupply

The Prussians opened the attack with two corps
But quickly reinforced them with two more corps

Napoleon was aware that the loss of Wolfenbuttel would mean defeat
So he ordered his battered corps to hold their ground
When they were forced to retreat it quickly turned to rout

The French lost 1600 casualties
The Prussians lost 800 casualties

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