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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

16 May 1813 – Battle of Friedland

Tactical map of battle area
Both corps ordered to advance and engage
Unexpected, and unwanted, battle east of Friedland.
Russian – 16000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
French – 16000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Table at start of wargame
The French (left) have deployed south of Friedland
The Russians (right) are deployed on the ridge
Rosdorf is off table on the right
Both corps have orders to advance

The French have advanced to occupy the centre ground
Two infantry brigades have been sent to secure the high ground on their left
The cavalry have been ordered to advance and engage the Russian Cossacks

The Cossacks charge and win the cavalry melee
The French cavalry rout with 10% casualties
This is a serious set back so early in the battle
With the loss of his cavalry brigade Brayer realised he could not continue to attack.   He ordered his corps to halt and hold their position
The two brigades on the hill deployed into line to await the Russian attack.
They had to test their morale as the Russian columns came into sight
They both passed, held their ground and skirmished with the enemy columns.

Wintzinerode now ordered his corps to advance and engage the French.
As they did so his artillery concentrated on the square supporting the French artillery
They suffered 10% casualties but continue to hold their ground

As the Russians advanced Brayer rallied his cavalry behind the square.

The final phase of the battle was a disaster for the French
The Russian artillery routed the square defending the French gunners
The recently rallied French cavalry broke and ran as a result
Russian Cossacks charged and routed the French gunners
They were themselves routed by the nearby French infantry
Meanwhile the firefight on the hill developed
The left hand Russian brigade was routed with heavy casualties
But the remaining brigade broke and routed both of the French brigades
By nightfall the whole of the French corps was in rout

6th French corps is broken and in retreat, with not a single brigade to cover their rout
3rd Russian corps have two brigades in rout, but the rest of the corps is combat ready

The French have lost 4500 casualties
The Russians have lost 3000 casualties

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