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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

29 March 1813 – Battle of Magdeburg

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Two French corps have orders to attack
Prussian corps has orders to hold
French – 28000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 60 guns
Prussian – 16000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns

Table at start of wargame

 2 Prussian – behind river on he left
4 French – west of city, ready to advance
1 French – arrive start of move 5   

The river is fordable to infantry and cavalry
They move at half speed and are disordered whilst crossing
Normal movement on the bridges for all arms
Napoleon has ordered 4 corps to advance south of Magdeburg
His aim is to get the Prussians to move south
He will then order 1 corps to attack north of Magdeburg
The Prussians have unlimbered their artillery and moved the cavalry south
But the majority remain just east of the centre bridge
Napoleon has gone to join 1 corps and direct them north of the city.

1 French corps arrived (centre left)
4 French artillery hit Prussian square, who are shaken with 10% casualties
Prussian artillery hit 4 corps gunners, who are shaken with 10% casualties

1 French cavalry have crossed the river
The remainder of the corps has reached the river
4 French artillery hit square again, who rout with 20% casualties

Prussian commander orders a general retreat
Prussian have 800 infantry casualties and one brigade in rout
French have 100 gunner casualties and have lost 3 guns

The French have won the battle
They have taken Magdeburg, which is the campaign objective
They have also forced the Prussians to retreat

Battle Summary
The outcome of this battle was never in question.
Not only did the French outnumber the Prussians by two to one
But one of their two corps were the Imperial Guard
The battle was decided by artillery fire
The Prussian infantry suffered first casualties, and they retreated out of range
The French artillery advanced, but suffered casualties from the Prussian gunners
Towards nightfall the Imperial Guard started to cross the river
One Prussian brigade suffered more casualties, lost their morale and ran
The Prussian commander ordered his corps to retreat
The French had lost 100 gunner casualties and lost three guns
The Prussians had lost 800 infantry casualties and one brigade in rout

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