Sunday, October 31, 2010

French victory at Duenas

18 July 1813




Background

The village of Duenas is north of Valladolid on the Leon road.

The French have occupied the village both to protect the road itself, but also to support the garrison of Valladolid.

Because of the river the city can only be attacked head on, or outflanked to the north.

Unaware that it has already been occupied by the French, Wellington has sent his best corps, including the light division, through the hills to take the village.




Table

The French have occupied the village and the bottom farm which is on the road to Valladolid. But their main strength is beyond Duenas on the Leon road. General Leval has gone forward with his cavalry brigade to look for the British

The British will enter the table on the left.



Battle

General Alten ignored the village and farm on the right, and directed his attack against the French right and the road to Leon.

He had to march across the length of the table, as the French did not come forward to meet him. Instead Leval moved his brigade from the farm on his left, to support his right.

The performance of the light division was disappointing. The leading rifle brigade was routed, and the hussar brigade withdrawn after they became shaken due to light casualties.

By late afternoon Leval had redeployed his corps, and Alten has lost his cavalry and best infantry brigade.

As night fell the British withdrew into the mountains.


Effect on the Campaign

Wellington has hoped that his best corps would take the village, cut the French right flank and force Soult to withdraw from Valladolid

His failure to do so has left Soult in a much stronger position.

He can now wait for the rest of his army to arrive from Santander and Madrid.


Link to Battle Report

The full battle report can be found at

http://1813valladolidcampaign.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wellington approaches Valladolid

17 July 1813



British

Wellington advances to drive the French out of Valladolid

4th corps move north through the mountains to Duenas

3rd corps to cross river at Simancas


4th corps march through mountains to Duenas


French

Soult is determined to hold Valladolid
7th corps orders to hold the city at all costs
6th corps ordered to Duenas to protect the Leon road.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wellington orders his army to cross river Douro west of Valladolid

16 July 1813



British

Wellington orders a show of force to drive the French out of Valladolid

4th corps approach Valladolid on the north bank of the river Douro

3rd corps move up Valladolid on the south bank


4th corps approach Valladolid

French

Soult is unimpressed.

7th corps orders to hold the city at all costs

6th corps ordered to Duenas to protect the Leon road.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

French abandon Madrid and Santander to save Valladolid

15 July 1813



British

1st and 4th corps continue their march towards Valladolid


Marshal Soult and 6th corps on the march to Valladolid

French

Marshal Soult orders concentration of his whole army at Valladolid

16th corps march from Santander to Burgos

8th corps march from Madrid to Valladolid

Davout moves towards Valladolid with reinforcements


14 July 1813


British

4th corps march towards Valladolid

1st corps cross river douro and enter Zamora


1st and 4th corps cross the river Douro

French

Marshal Davout moves his headquarters to Valladolid
6th corps ordered to Valladolid from Burgos

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

British cross the river Douro at Zamora

13 July 1813


British

4th corps cross the river Douro and enter Zamora

1st corps move into Ledesma in support


4th corps cross the river Douro

French

Marshal Soult is unaware of the British advance over the river Douro

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Introduction to the Valladolid Campaign


North West Spain 13 July 1813

Background to the Campaign

In 1812 Wellington had defeated the French in western Spain at the battle of Salamanca. He had occupied Madrid and laid siege to Burgos.

Despite this setback King Joseph was able to gather a large army and drive Wellington back to Salamanca.

In January 1813 orders arrived from Napoleon to send many of the best French divisions north to rebuild the Grand Armee, which was lost in the terrible retreat from Russia. King Joseph was relieved of the command of all French armies in Spain. Marshal Soult would command in western Spain and Marshal Suchet in eastern Spain.

Marshal Soult was ordered to abandon Andalusia and march his army north to replace the troops sent to Germany. He would hold the area from Madrid to Bayonne and cooperate with Marshal Suchet in eastern Spain.

The Duke of Wellington was soon aware that the French armies in Spain had been greatly reduced in number. In January 1813 he was appointed to command all allied troops in Spain, including all Spanish armies.

In May 1813 he issued his orders for the coming campaign.

Captain-General Copons would command the four Spanish armies in the east. He would create a diversion, which would pin Suchet in the east and prevent him sending any reinforcements to Soult.

The main offensive would be in the west. He would lead his own Anglo Portuguese army back to Burgos, defeat Soult and drive him out of Spain.


Link to campaign blog

http://1813valladolidcampaign.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 8, 2010

End of Passau Campaign

12 July 1813

Locations at end of campaign

After a very good start Archduke Charles ends the campaign with his army widely dispersed and must withdraw to Linz to allow his army time to regroup if he is to hold the road to Vienna.


This has not been a great campaign for Marshal Oudinot. The Austrian invasion came as a complete surprise, and he was slow to react to it. He then committed his corps piecemeal, resulting in early defeats.


Holding Salzburg was the turning point. Although he did not have a convincing victory at Reishach, his ability to move the Salzburg garrison north meant that the Austrians must retreat beyond the river Salach to avoid disaster.


Link to campaign blog

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IoiqOZzk1lM/TGmSCkiTjWI/AAAAAAAABug/oNw4o3KmQOA/s1600/strategic.jpg


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Major Austrian defeat at Reishach


11 July 1813


Battle of Reishach

Campaign Background

Archduke Charles has ordered an attack on Reishach by 1,3 and 4 corps to destroy the enemy before they can move 11 corps north and take his army in the flank.

Marshal Oudinot expects Charles to withdraw his army to the east following his defeat at Salzburg. He orders 9,10 and 12 corps to strike at Branau before they can retire. 11 corps will abandon Salzburg and march north against their left flank at Mattsee.


Table at start of game

Wargames Table

Reishach is the town at the top left of the table

The road bottom to top is from Hochburg (bottom) to Simbach (top)

The road left to right is from Muhldorf (left) to Branau (right)

9 and 10 Bavarian, and 12 Baden, corps have orders to attack Branau

1, 3 and 4 Austrian corps have orders to attack Reishach.



Both armies advance and the result is a confused and complicated battle.

During the morning both sides suffer setbacks. But through the afternoon Oudinot gains the upper hand. Eventually the Austrians retreat.


Effect on the Campaign

The loss of this battle left Archduke Charles with no option but to retreat.


Link to battle report

http://1813danubecampaign.blogspot.com/search/label/11%20-%20Battle%20of%20Reishach


Bavarians hold Salzburg


10 July 1813


Battle of Salzburg

Campaign Background

General Wrede has orders to hold Salzburg and the surrounding area until the main army is ready to start their counter attack further north.

General Klenau has orders to move to Salzburg and occupy the town


Table at start of game

Wargames Table

Salzburg is the town on the left centre of the table.

The road bottom to top is from Italy (bottom) to Hochburg (top)

The road left to right is from Inzell (left) to Mondsee (right)

11 Bavarian corps are in and around Salzburg

2 Austrian corps will enter the table on the Mondsee road

The river Salach has one bridge which can be crossed by all arms. There is also a ford top and bottom which can be crossed by infantry and cavalry, who will move at half speed and be Disordered whilst crossing.

Austrians attack Salzburg

To avoid having to force the Salzburg bridge the Austrians have crossed the river south of the city.

Despite support from their artillery on the right bank, the Austrian hussars have lose the cavalry melee. But the guns force the Bavarian cavalry to retire.

The delay in crossing the river allows the Wrede to redeploy his infantry to meet the Austrian advance.

Klenau is unable to take the city and must retreat into the mountains and abandon his guns.

Effect on the Campaign

This Austrian defeat leaves them in a very dangerous situation.

Klenau has been forced to retreat into the mountains, and it will take some days for him to find a ford to cross the river Salach, and he will then have to march north to join the remainder of the Austrian army.

Link to battle report

http://1813danubecampaign.blogspot.com/search/label/10%20-%20Battle%20of%20Salzburg

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another Austian victory at Branau

9 July 1813


Battle of Branau

Campaign Background

Marshal Oudinot and 10 Bavarian corps are in and around the town of Branau and have orders to hold the town.

9 Bavarian corps will arrive on the Orienburg road at the start of move 5.

3 Austrian corps will arrive on the Altheim road at the start of move 1

Archduke Charles and 1 Austrian corps will arrive on the Altheim road at the start of move 5.


Table at start

Wargames Table

Branau is the town in the centre

The centre road bottom to top is from Mattsee (bottom) to Orienburg (top)

The road from left to right is from Reishach (left) to Altheim (right)

10 Bavarian corps are deployed in and around Mattsee. They have orders to hold the town, and must also hold the road to Orienburg until 9 corps arrive

3 Austrian corps will enter the table on the Altheim road They have orders to attack Branau. The Archduke Charles and 1 corps will arrive on the same road at the start of move 5.


Austrians attack Branau

Despite their early advantage the Austrians have failed to take Branau. However their advantage in cavalry and artillery made it difficult for 9 Bavarian corps to deploy.

As night fell the Austrians had just captured the hill, and were engaged in a skirmish fight with Branau.

Marshal Oudinot is at a distinct disadvantage. As night fall he orders a withdrawal towards Reishach. The lack of resolve on part of the Austrians allows him to recover his artillery and make good his withdrawal


Effect on the Campaign

Another defeat for Oudinot.

Once more he will have to retreat towards Munich, but keep close enough to the river Danube to allow 9th corps to rejoin him.

Archduke Charles is now in a very good position to move forward and take Munich


Link to battle report

http://1813danubecampaign.blogspot.com/search/label/09%20-%20Battle%20of%20Branau


Monday, October 4, 2010

A day of decision

8 July 1813





Archduke Charles

Charles is delighted with his victories at Mattsee and Altheim. Ever cautious he decides to spend the day consolidating and reorganizing his army before ordering an advance towards Munich.

Marshal Oudinot

His defeat at Mattsee and Altheim have left his campaign plan is tatters. With two weakened corps, and 9 corps still north of the river Danube, a drastic change of plan is called for.

He will have to abandon Passau and try to bring 9 corps south of the river further to the west. He will try to hold Salzburg, but this will depend on whether he is attacked by the Austrians.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A major Austrian victory at Altheim

7 July 1813


Battle of Altheim

1 Austrian corps have been at Altheim since 4 July with the aim of preventing communication between the garrison of Passau and Bavarian forces south of the river Danube. One infantry brigade has been deployed north of the table to hold the bridge south of Passau. They are aware that 2 Austrian corps is moving to Franken to support them

10 Bavarian corps has been ordered to advance west from Branau, attack the town of Altheim and join forces with the garrison of Passau. They are not aware that 11 Bavarian corps has failed to take Mattsee and have retreated south to Salzburg.



Table at start of wargame

Altheim is the town in the centre of the table

The centre road bottom to top is from Franken (bottom) to Passau (top)

The road from left to right is from Branau (left) to Raab (right)

1 Austrian corps is deployed in and around Mattsee. One infantry brigade has been detached to guard the bridge at Passau (off top of table). They have orders to hold the town, and must also hold the bridge at Passau.

10 Bavarian corps will enter the table on Branau road. They have orders to take Altheim and join forces with the garrison of Passau.


Bavarians attack Altheim

The Bavarians have pinned the Austrian centre, and threatened it with their cavalry.

Meanwhile the main attack is delivered on the opposite flank against the town.

Two attacking columns are repulsed with heavy casualties, and as night falls the attack is called of


Effect on the Campaign

By holding Altheim the Austrians have secured their bridgehead over the river Salach, and also forced the garrison of Passau to withdraw on the north bank of the river Danube in order to rejoin the rest of the Bavarian army.


Link to battle report

http://1813danubecampaign.blogspot.com/2010/04/battle-of-altheim.html

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Austrian victory at Mattsee

6 July 1813

Battle of Mattsee

Campaign Background

2 Austrian corps are in and around the town of Mattsee and have orders to hold the town

11 Bavarian corps have been ordered to advance north from Salzburg and attack the town of Mattsee.


table at start

Wargames Table

Mattsee is the town in the centre

The centre road bottom to top is from Salzburg (bottom) to Branau (top)

The road from left to right is from Hochburg (left) to Franken (right)

The river on the right is the Salach

2 Austrian corps are deployed in and around Mattsee. They have orders to hold the town, and must also hold the road to Franken which is their line of retreat..

11 Bavarian corps will enter the table on Salzburg road . They have orders to take Mattsee, but retreat to Salzburg if this is not possible.


Bavarians attack Austrian held hill

The Bavarians pin the centre and left, and send three brigades of infantry to attack the high ground on their right.

This area is held by one Austrian brigade, but quickly reinforced by a militia brigade.

The Bavarian infantry come under artillery fire as they approach the hill, and the left hand brigade is shaken. The remaining two brigades are not strong enough to storm the hill and the attack is called off.

Effect on the Campaign

The failure to take Mattsee will prevent the two Bavarian corps joining together to raise the siege of Passau.


Link to battle report

http://1813danubecampaign.blogspot.com/search/label/07%20-%20Battle%20of%20Mattsee