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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

13 April 1813 – Battle of Meiningen

Tactical map of battle area

General Langeron, commander of 4th Russian corps, has orders to hold the town of Meiningen, and the river Weser to the west of it.  He has detached one of his infantry brigades to garrison Meiningen.

General Delmas, commander of 14th Westphalian corps, had been ordered to cross the river Weser and threaten Meiningen.   This attack is intended to draw the Russian reserve to the south, and away from the main French attack planned in the centre against Barchfeld.   He has detached one of his infantry brigades to garrison Kaufungen.

French – 12000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Russian – 12000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Table at start of wargame

Langeron has deployed his corps to hold the main Kaufungen (bottom centre) to Meiningen (off table top centre) road, and in particular the main bridge over the river Weser.

Delmas is deployed to cross the river by the wooden bridge (centre right).   He hopes to have established a bridgehead before the Russians can redeploy to stop him.
Langeron had redeployed his corps to cover both the main bridge and the wooden one used by the Westphalians.   He has taken care to keep his brigades out of range of the enemy artillery.

Delmas has crossed the river and is also deploying out of artillery range.  His cavalry have taken the hill on the right.   His artillery is out of range of the enemy, and can only cross the river by using one of the bridges.

Langeron manhandles his artillery forward and opens fire on the Westphalian infantry, but no hits.

Delmas orders his artillery to cross the river by the wooden bridge, and unlimber in range of the Russian infantry.   The first rounds fired causes casualties, but the infantry hold their morale.   Delmas orders his infantry and cavalry to advance.


As the French advanced the Russian cuirassier charged the Westphalian lancers.    The Russians lost the melee and routed with 20% casualties.

The Russian gunners concentrated on the leading infantry brigade, who lost 30% casualties, were shaken and forced to retreat.

One Russian infantry brigade suffered similar damage from artillery fire.

The loss of the Russian cavalry forced one of their two remaining brigades to remain in square.   The other brigade, elite grenadiers, formed line and engaged the nearest infantry.   They won the fire fight and a second Westphalian brigade withdrew in disorder.

However the third Westphalian brigade formed line and engaged the Russian infantry square.   The Russians broke and routed with 30% casualties.  The nearest support were already shaken, and they joined the rout.   The grenadiers, disordered and with 10% casualties from the firefight, also lost their morale and routed.

Langeron has lost both his infantry and cavalry.  He orders his gunners to limber and retreat.

The French have lost 3200 casualties
The Russians have lost 3400 casualties and have four brigades in rout

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