Friday, January 28, 2011

Introduction to the Test Hanover Campaign

Campaign Background- The Magdeburg Campaign

Northern Germany 1 May 1813

The Hanover Campaign is the sixth phase of the 1813 campaign.

In April 1813 Marshal Davout was appointed CinC of all French troops in Northern Germany. These were mainly the survivors of the Russian campaign of the previous year. He was ordered to hold the line of the river Elbe from Hamburg to Magdeburg.

On 1 May 1813 Prussia declared war on France, and general Blucher was ordered to invade Westphalia, take Magdeburg and secure a crossing of the river Elbe. It was anticipated that this objective could be achieved before the French could build up their forces and take the field.

Against all expectations Marshal Davout had the Second Army battle ready within days of the Prussian advance. He could not prevent Blucher crossing the river Elbe, but he did fight a series of battles for Magdeburg.

On 14 May 1813 Blucher won a narrow victory at the major battle of Magdeburg.

The next day Davout abandoned his defence of the river Elbe and withdrew towards Hanover.

Both armies were battered and weary after a hard fought campaign, both needed rest and reinforcement.

The Hanover Campaign

Northern Germany 22 May 1813

After a period of rest and reorganization on 22 May 1813 Blucher received orders from Berlin to march his army eastwards and take the city of Hanover. The second phase of the battle for Northern Germany had begun.

At the start of the campaign the French army is concentrated in and around Hanover. The Prussian army is in and around Magdeburg

The Campaign Area

Hanover Strategic Map 22 May 1813

The campaign area covers an area 135 miles by 75 miles

The French concentration area is in and around Hanover

The Prussian concentration area is in and around Magdeburg

All movement is by road

The red roads are the major supply routes

The yellow roads are minor supply routes

The brown roads are tracks suitable for movement but not supply vehicles

Second French Army

The Second French Army consists of four corps.

Each corps has four infantry and one cavalry brigades.

Marshal Davout may withdraw cavalry brigades from corps to form a cavalry reserve

First Prussian Army

The First Prussian army also consists of four corps

Each corps has four infantry and one cavalry brigades

No change in this order of battle is allowed.

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