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Friday, August 28, 2015

17 March 1813 – Battle of Kassel

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
3 French corps have orders to attack
3 Russian corps have orders to hold
French – 28000 infantry, 3000 cavalry, 81 guns
Russian – 35600 infantry, 1800 cavalry, 90 guns
Table at start of wargame

All corps start on the wargames table
Russian HQ arrive start of move 5
French have 5 brigades missing due to casualties or garrison duties
Russians have 4 brigades missing due to casualties or garrison duties
French advance
Russians wait for French deployment 
All three French corps advance
However 2nd corps at the top will be the main attack
5th and 6th corps are both outnumbered, and have weak artillery
Russian artillery open fire on approaching French
No casualties
1st Russian artillery hit 6th French gunners, who already have 10% casualties
They fail their morale and are shaken with 20% casualties
2nd French artillery hit 2nd Russian infantry, who pass their morale with 10% casualties
2nd French infantry pass through woods and approach 2nd Russian
Russian artillery fire on infantry, but no casualties
French cavalry charge and rout Russian cuirassiers with 20% casualties
5th and 6th French corps ordered to halt and hold their current position
All now depends on 2nd French corps
Davout orders 2nd corps to attack the Russians
They charge, and rout, both the artillery and supporting infantry square
The Russian gunners rout into the rear square, who break and join the rout
All of 2nd Russian corps is now in rout
Russian Rout

With the rout of 2nd corps Wittgenstein accepts defeat and orders a retreat
The French have lost 100 gunners
The Russians have lost 2000 infantry, 200 cavalry and 200 gunners

A crushing defeat for the Russian Army
Wittgenstein must now consider whether he should accept defeat and order a general retreat.

Battle Summary
Davout took a risk in ordering an attack when he was outnumbered.
His artillery were particularly weak.
Two of his corps were heavily outnumbered
But 2nd corps, on his left, was full strength except for a brigade on detachment
He ordered his two weak corps to hold the centre and right
2nd corps would decide the outcome of the battle.
It was fortunate that the Russian right wing was held by their weakest corps
The Young Guard advanced through the woods and charged the Russian line
The Russian cavalry were routed by the horse grenadiers
Their infantry were forced to form square and were broken by the French columns
The Russians lost 2400 casualties and four brigades in rout
The French lost just 100 gunners

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