Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Last day of the Campaign

25 July 1813

Strategic map at 2000 25 July 1813

By the end of the third day of the campaign the fog of war would have lifted, and all eight corps would be identified.

The two battles of the previous day would dictate the efforts of both armies during 25 July.

In the north 1st Prussian corps marched south to draw closer to the main battle area, but would still be too distant to play any role.

In the south 3rd Prussian corps would break contact at Marienborn during the early morning, and would retreat to Seehausen.

XIII French corps were unaware of the withdrawal and did not start the pursuit until midmorning. As they approached Seehausen they found the Prussians deployed in a strong defensive position. The French deployed ready to attack, but by then it was too late in the day to commence battle.

IV French corps had an uneventful march from Salzgitter to Marienborn, where they arrived late in the afternoon.

But it was in the centre, around Helmstedt, that the most critical action took place.

The second battle of Helmstedt would involve two Prussian corps and two French corps plus the cavalry reserve.

Throughout 23 July 4th Prussian corps and VI French corps had battled for possession of Helmstedt. Both corps suffered medium casualties, and at nightfall both withdrew from the town. The French to the south, the Prussians to the east.

Marshal Blucher was aware that 2nd Prussian corps was approaching the town from the north, and he ordered 4th corps to deploy just east of the town so that they could support them

Marshal Davout also had fresh troops available. V French corps, and the cavalry reserve, had arrived just west of Helmstedt at nightfall.

He ordered V corps to occupy Helmstedt, and push east on the Welbeck road.

The cavalry reserve was ordered north to protect the left flank and to delay any Prussian troops marching on Helmstedt.

VI corps would take up defensive positions just south of Helmstedt.

Campaign Note

Both CinC and corps commander orders were plotted on the map, and this was the result.

The next stage would have been to fight the second battle of Helmstedt. The wargame was set up when one of the CinC resigned, bringing the campaign to an untimely end.

A summary of the campaign will be published on the blog shortly

Because this is a campaign game, and because it ended as it did, I will be refighting the Hanover phase of the 1813 campaign as a PBEM again. I expect the new campaign to start in a week or two.

If you would like to keep up with the preparation for the second attempt you will find the campaign forum at

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