Sunday, November 13, 2011

Campaign Summary

23 July 1813

Having crossed the river Elbe Blucher orders his corps to advance west until they make contact with the French. His strategic objective is Hanover, but he can not develop a plan until he locates the enemy corps.

Davout has received reports of a large scale Prussian advance over the river Elbe. He has ordered his corps to move east and take up defensive positions between Uelzen and Brunswick.

24 July 1813

The first battle of the campaign was east of the northern town of Uelzen.

This was an encounter battle between Reynier’s IV corps and Kleist’s 2nd corps.

Reynier was defeated and retreated towards Munster

Both corps suffered light casualties

25 July 1813

A second encounter battle to the south between Steinhorst and Bodenteich

This time a French victory as Laurison’s V corps defeated Yorck’s 1st corps

Yorck retreated east towards Salzwedel

Both corps suffered medium casualties

26 July 1813

When Marmont received news of the French victory he ordered an advance on Wolfsburg

Another French victory despite a determined defence by Tauentzien.

VI corps entered Wolfsburg and 4th corps withdrew east towards Kalbe

Light casualties meant both corps would soon be operational again

27 July 1813

Second Uelzen was the result of Kleist marching south to support Tauentzien

Reynier took advantage by marching to occupy Uelzen

IV corps took Uelzen but 2nd corps managed to regain the Rosche road

Kleist suffered heavy casualties, leaving Reynier in a strong position

28 July 1813

After their third defeat of the campaign, the Prussian army retreated east to gain time to rest and recover.

The French had also suffered casualties, and Davout allowed them this one day to rest and recover.

29 July 1813

Blucher attacked XIII corps at Helmstedt with 3rd and 4th corps

Poniatowski withdrew east to allow time for VI corps to arrive

Marmont waited for orders and arrived too late to join the battle

XIII corps was broken and routed west on the Hanover road

30 July 1813

Two battles, one at Rosche and a second at Wolfsburg

Reynier attacked Kleist east of Rosche expecting an easy victory

2nd corps fought with great determination, and eventually won the day

Both corps suffered heavy casualties

IV corps withdrew in disorder leaving their artillery behind

Wolfsburg was a complicated battle

Yorck and Marmont fought for possession of the town.

Both were attacked from the rear during this fight

In the confusion 1st Prussian corps had to surrender two brigades

Prussians lost and retreated south towards Helmstedt.

31 July 1813

Prussian 1st and 4th corps retreated to Helmstedt

French V and VI followed them

Blucher ordered 3rd corps to abandon march on Hanover

By nightfall three Prussian corps were concentrated against two French

1 August 1813

Davout fought Second Helmstedt to stop the Prussian advance on Hanover

He attacked with V and VI corps

Blucher held Helmstedt with 1st and 2nd corps and was much weaker than Davout

He ordered 3rd corps to abandon their march on Hanover and return to Helmstedt

The result was a convincing Prussian victory

2 August 1813

Davout fled from the battlefield along the Wesendorf road with V and VI corps

His only desire was to put as many miles between him and Blucher as possible

He was relieved to find that the Prussian’s had not mounted a pursuit

Blucher had spent the day regrouping 1st, 3rd and 4th corps on the Brunswick road

He was determined to march on Hanover in overwhelming force

2nd Prussian corps was ordered south to guard his lines of communications

3 August 1813

Davout was relieved that the Prussians had not mounted a pursuit

By nightfall he had reached Celle with IV, V and VI corps.

Both V and VI corps carried battle casualties and were in need of a rest

A report from XIII corps at Peine that the Prussians were expected to attack at daybreak

He promised Poniatowski that if he decided to fight, Davout would march to support him

West of Peine Blucher prepared his three corps to attack at first light

4 August 1813

XIII corps decided to fight to hold Peine

Davout agreed to support them with IV, V and VI

IV corps did not arrive, but marched on Brunswick instead

Blucher attacked Peine with 1st, 3rd and 4th corps and won the battle

XIII corps routed towards Hanover

Davout held a council of war with V and VI to decide what to do next

Unaware that IV corps was at Brunswick they decided to retreat to Celle.

5 August 1813

Second Peine was a disaster for the French

IV corps attacked Peine from Brunswick at first light

Unaware of their approach Davout had ordered V and VI corps to retreat to Celle.

The three Prussian corps were regrouping after yesterday’s battle.

IV corps attack on the farm caught Blucher by surprise.

1st corps occupied the hill on their left and forced them to redeploy

IV corps failed to take the farm and lost two brigades

The remainder of the corps advanced towards the Celle road

They were held by 3rd and 4th corps, broke and fled back towards Brunswick

Another convincing victory for the Prussians.

6 August 1813

Blucher has entered Hanover and achieved his campaign objective

He has secured his lines of communication with Magdeburg

He has abandoned his pursuit of Davout in order to rest his army

Davout is fleeing north to Hamburg with V, VI and XIII corps

IV corps is also retreating to Hamburg, but in better order.

The campaign has been a convincing victory for Blucher

Campaign Casualties

At the end of the campaign total casualties are as follows:

IV French Corps

13 Infantry Brigade - 4

14 Infantry Brigade - 3

15 Infantry Brigade - 8

16 Infantry Brigade - 3

4 Cavalry Brigade - 0

4 Corps Artillery - 0

V French Corps

17 Infantry Brigade - 3

18 Infantry Brigade - 8

19 Infantry Brigade - 8

20 Infantry Brigade - 2

5 Cavalry Brigade - 3

5 Corps Artillery - 0

VI French Corps

21 Infantry Brigade - 8

22 Infantry Brigade - 7

23 Infantry Brigade - 0

24 Infantry Brigade - 3

6 Cavalry Brigade - 2

6 Corps Artillery – 4 (lost guns)

XIII French Corps

1 Infantry Brigade - 4

2 Infantry Brigade - 1

3 Infantry Brigade - 3

4 Infantry Brigade - 2

13 Cavalry Brigade - 0

13 Corps Artillery - 0

1 Prussian Corps

1 Infantry Brigade - 7

2 Infantry Brigade - 8

3 Infantry Brigade - 1

4 Infantry Brigade - 8

1 Cavalry Brigade - 2

1 Corps Artillery - 0

2 Prussian Corps

5 Infantry Brigade - 0

6 Infantry Brigade - 0

7 Infantry Brigade - 4

8 Infantry Brigade - 0

2 Cavalry Brigade - 0

2 Corps Artillery - 0

3 Prussian Corps

9 Infantry Brigade - 2

10 Infantry Brigade - 1

11 Infantry Brigade - 5

12 Infantry Brigade - 5

3 Cavalry Brigade - 4

3 Corps Artillery - 0

4 Prussian Corps

13 Infantry Brigade - 1

14 Infantry Brigade - 4

15 Infantry Brigade - 1

16 Infantry Brigade - 0

4 Cavalry Brigade - 2

4 Corps Artillery - 1

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