Thursday, August 18, 2011

Campaign Move 24 – Rosche and Wolfsburg

1600- 2000 30 July 1813

After a hard fought battle IV French corps retreated towards Uelzen, leaving 2nd Prussian corps in possession of Rosche

Further south Davout won the battle of Wolfsburg. The Prussians retreat towards Helmstedt was covered by 4th corps who had played little part in the battle.

The French victory at Wolfsburg has given Davout one final opportunity to turn the tables. If he can take Helmstedt he might cut the Prussian lines of supply and force them to abandon their march on Hanover.

Battle of Rosche at 1900

As the three brigade French column approach the Prussian line the gunners concentrate their fire on the left hand brigade, which breaks and routs. The remaining two brigades close on the weakened 7th infantry brigade, which soon routs.

The left hand French brigade turns to face the remaining three Prussian brigades, but is unable to hold against such odds. As it breaks it takes the third brigade with it.

Further north events are also going badly for the French. The cavalry attempt to break the enemy horse, but lose the melee and rout. The gunners drive off the Prussian cavalry, but when their supporting infantry break under Prussian artillery fire they break with them.

By nightfall the whole of Reyniers corps is in rout. Much against the odds Kleist has not only held IV corps, he has soundly beaten them.

Casualties were heavy on both sides. The French lost 11 casualties and abandoned their guns. The Prussians lost 12 casualties, but only one brigade had broken and fled the field.

Battle of Wolfsburg at 2000

1st Prussian corps have one cavalry and one infantry brigade in reserve north of Wolfsburg. As V French corps nears the town, they send their cavalry brigade to engage the enemy hussars. The French win the melee, and the hussars rout into the supporting infantry square. Both brigades are forced to surrender as they are pinned between V and VI corps.

The fighting in Wolfsburg continues until early evening. Three of the original four brigades in the town have routed, but both sides have sent in reinforcements. As night fall Blucher orders a withdrawal, leaving the French in possession of the town

1st Prussian corps has lost 20 casualties, including two brigades captured. Under cover of darkness they retreat south to join 4th corps

4th Prussian corps have not played much part in the battle, and they fall back south towards Helmstedt

VI French corps have suffered 9 casualties, but finish the day in possession of Wolfsburg

V French corps halt north of the town to await further orders.

A decisive victory for the French, who must now consider how best to take advantage of their strong central position.

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