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Monday, October 31, 2016

20 May 1813 – Battle of Gotha

Tactical map of battle area
Wittgenstein is reorganising his army in preparation for the expected French attack
Gotha is his main supply base and controls his lines of communication
1st Russian corps have orders to hold the city at all costs
They have deployed to the west of the city

Davout is determined to disrupt the Russian redeployment
To do so he orders 14th Westphalian corps to attack Gotha

French – 11200 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Russian – 10800 infantry, 900 cavalry, 30 guns
Table at start of wargame
14th Westphalian corps passing through Meiningen
1st Russian corps deployed to cover the approach to Gotha
Gotha is off table to the right
Both corps start the battle with casualties
The Westphalians have deployed east of Meiningen
They are out of artillery range of the Russians
The Russians await the Westphalian advance.

Westphalian artillery advance, deploy and open fire
The infantry advance, supported by the cavalry on their left
The Russian grenadier brigade receive 30% casualties but hold their ground
Artillery open fire as soon as the Westphalian infantry come within range
Cossacks, who have 10% casualties, are reluctant to engage the French lancers

Cossacks move forward to threaten the Westphalian advance
Westphalian artillery fire and rout them with 30% casualties
Lancers charge gunners, who retreat into nearby square
Cavalry rally, charge and rout the grenadier square, who already had 30% casualties
Infantry close with Russian infantry and a firefight develops
One Westphalian brigade is shaken, one Russian brigade is routed

Constantine has lost two of his four infantry brigades, plus his cavalry
His gunners have abandoned their guns
He orders his corps to break contact, retreat and abandon Gotha

The French have lost 800 casualties
The Russians have lost 3000 casualties