Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Introduction to the Hanover Campaign

Europe - 22 July 1813

The main 1813 campaign consists of five mini campaigns

North Germany – Hanover - French v Prussians

Central Germany – Halle - French v Russians

Southern Germany – Linz - French v Austrians

Eastern Spain – Tarragona - French v Spanish

Western Spain – Burgos - French v British

Germany – 22 July 1813

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.

Hanover Strategic Map - 23 May 1813

The Hanover Campaign is the sixth phase of the 1813 campaign, and the second phase of the campaign in northern Germany.

Davout deployed his army in and around Hanover.

Blucher deployed his army west of the river Elbe in and around Madgeburg.

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

Campaign Area

The campaign area covers an area 135 miles by 75 miles.

All movement is by road only

The red roads are the major supply routes, the yellow minor supply routes. The brown roads are tracks and not suitable for supply.

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 to form a cavalry reserve

Prussian Army

The 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment