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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

25 April 1813 – Battle of Helmstedt

Tactical map of battle area

Blucher is aware that Napoleon is preparing to attack his centre at Eilseben.   To disrupt this attack he orders 4th corps to attack Helmstedt.  

Napoleon orders 13th Polish corps to attack 4th Prussian corps.   He hopes to distract Blucher from his planned attack on Eilseben, and possibly send reinforcements to support 4th corps.

Prussians – 16000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Polish – 16000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns

Table at start of wargame

4th Prussian corps (on the right) are deployed ready to advance
13th Polish corps must march through Helmstedt before they can deploy
Both corps start the battle on move orders
42 French brigade is the garrison of Helmstedt and must remain in the town

Both corps have deployed their cavalry and artillery south of the town and woods
Prussian infantry have taken possession of the woods
Polish infantry are moving to attack the woods
Prussian artillery have caused 100 Polish gunner casualties
The Polish artillery have failed their morale and are shaken.
Polish lancers charge Prussian dragoons, dragoons win melee and lancers rout
The battle for the woods now has three brigades on each side
The Poles have lost 400 casualties, the Prussians 1200
But both sides continue to fight for the woods
Prussian cavalry and artillery have advance to threaten the Polish right flank.
Polish lancers (left) fail to make their morale and rout from the battle
The Prussian dragoons rally and charge the artillery
The Polish gunners suffer 300 casualties and rout
The nearby square suffers artillery casualties, lose 800 casualties and also rout
The battle for the woods continues until nightfall, and the Poles have the advantage
However the Poles are outnumbered and have no cavalry or artillery

Decouz has lost his artillery, cavalry and one brigade all in rout
However his infantry are winning the melee for the woods
The garrison of Helmstedt is shaken by the infantry rout
Without cavalry and artillery he cannot hope to hold the town
At nightfall he orders 13th Polish corps to abandon Helmstedt and retreat

The Poles have lost 2300 casualties and three brigades in rout
The Prussians have lost 2000 casualties

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