Friday, March 11, 2011

Summary of 1813 Hanover Campaign

22 July1813

The French campaign objectives are

1 - Defeat the Prussians

2 - Take Madgeburg

3 - Keep the Hanover to Hamburg road open

Davout’s strategy is concentrate in the south of the campaign area and advance on Magdeburg, defeating any enemy in their path

The Prussian campaign objectives are

1 – Defeat the French

2 – Take Hanover

3 – Cut the Hanover to Hamburg road

Blucher’s strategy is to advance on a wide front from Ardensee to Magdeburg.

They are likely to sever the Hanover to Hamburg road, but run the risk of being defeated piecemeal in the south.

23 July 1813

The first contact, on the first day of the campaign, is at Welbeck. The Prussians are only aware of VI French corps, they are not aware that there are four French corps advancing against just two Prussian corps.

24 July1813

A major battle was fought at Helmstedt, and a minor one at Marienborn.

4th Prussian corps launched a surprise attack on VI French corps as the latter marched south from Helmstedt. Both sides suffered medium casualties in the fighting, and the Prussians held the town at nightfall

3rd Prussian and XIII French corps fought a minor deploying battle at Marienborn. Neither side had completed deployment at nightfall, and both sides suffered light casualties.

V French corps and the cavalry reserve were delayed due to congestion, and a refusal to give way, at Brunswick

1st Prussian corps is moving away from the main concentration area.

25 July 1813

Blucher has grasped that all four French corps are concentrated against Magdeburg, and ordered 1st Prussian corps to march south and join him at Helmstedt.

There is a second battle at Helmstedt with two fresh corps, V French and 2rd Prussian. In addition the two battered corps from the previous days battle, VI French and 4th Prussian, are drawn into the battle.

In the south 3rd Prussian corps has withdrawn to Seehausen, pursued by XIII and IV French corps.

End of Campaign

The second battle of Helmstedt was never fought. Nor was the anticipated battle in front of Magdeburg. Nor the final battle somewhere near Madgeburg. Because the campaign came to an abrupt and untimely end when one of the CinC players resigned. This followed a period of petty complaints by the other CinC. Very disappointing, and a waste of a lot of work.

But not the end of either the 1813 campaign, nor my attempts to create a PBEM 1813 campaign. Lessons have been learnt. Work is under way to rewrite the campaign rules. Recruiting is well advanced for the new command posts. I hope to have the revised PBEM 1813 Hanover Campaign up and running in a week or two.

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