Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Battle of Bautzen 20–21 May 1813: Day Two, 21st May—Part One

Oudinot's and MacDonald's Attack

Quite fittingly this, our last big bicentennial game for 2013, is also the fortieth game since our inception on 8th August 2010.

We played the first 'half' of the game on Sunday. We were joined by Stephen, an ANF regular, who is now an 'honorary member' (not that we have anything so formal!) and Mark, 'Son of York'. The set-up of this game was described in a previous post.

As with the historical version, the game began in the south of the battlefield with the French-Allied attack against the Allied left flank in the Bohemian foothills. Oudinot's corps, lead by Pacthod's and Lorencz's divisions, made good in-roads, securing Mehltheuer and Reischen. Beside them, MacDonald's corps and Gérard's division in particular, had taken the brunt of the losses, attacking around Jenkwitz.

End 07:00 turn: in centre foreground is Mehltheuer, Pacthod's division of Oudinot's XII Corps to left and Ilowaisky X's Cossacks to the right.
Same view at the end of the 07:30 turn.
End 07:30 turn looking roughly east with Raglowich's Bavarian division of XII Corps in the foreground and Lorencz's division beyond them.
Same turn, looking over MacDonald's XI Corps with Ledru des Essarts' division in the foreground and Charpentier's division beyond them (Gérard's division to the left).
08:00: Ilowaisky X's combined #1 & #4 Don Cossacks unsuccessfully charge Pacthod's lead infantry. 
This set-back causes Ilowaisky X's entire brigade of Cossacks to retreat to safety, reaching the 'eastern' table edge.
 Resulting view of the table from our usual vantage point.
08:30: Pacthod's troops occupy Mehltheuer.
Looking rougly south at the same time. Bonnet's division of Marmont's VI Corps remains in its start position in the woods, while the action that we have been observing is in the distance (south of the tabletop).
At the end of the 08:30 turn, Schachafsky's small 3rd Division has been broken by Lorencz's division (just 'north' of Mehltheuer).
09:00: Pacthod's and Lorencez's divisions continue their steady progress into the woods of the Bohemian foothills. Emmanuel's cavalry, lead by the Cossacks, threaten Charpentier's infantry (XI Corps) as Gérard's division of the same corps moves to attack the redoubt NE of Jenkwitz.
Above and below: same view from the allied lines.

 End of 09:00 turn
09:30: in the centre, Emmanuel's first Cossack unit has been driven off by a square of Charpentier's men, opening the way for the Kiev/Kharkov dragoons. Further 'north' two of Gérard's infantry have broken in a failed attempt against the redoubt.
10:00: Oudinot's advance has slowed in the south, but, in the centre, Charpentier's men have defeated von Helfreich's Estonia infantry regiment around Jenkwitz; but Emmanuel's cavalry threaten!

Napoleon launched Marmont's and Bertrand's corps to attack just before the lead division of Ney's III Corps (Souham) attacked Preititz in the north, in accordance with Ney's orders of the day before.

10:30: Morand's division advances on von Zeithen's position on the Kreckwitz Heights, only to be charged by the latter's cavalry. The 3/3e légère formed square and pushed back the Silesian Uhlans, but the 4/3e légère failed to do so and were overrun by the Silesian hussars, who then broke through onto the unfortunate battery of Württemberg artillery from Franquemont's division.
At the same time, and as expected, those Kiev/Kharkov Dragoons have broken Charpentier's 14e légère (centre of photo).
 Overview of the table at the end of the 10:30 turn.
Overview of the table at the end of the 11:00 turn: Oudinot's corps has largely stopped attacking, having reached its objective. In the centre, both of MacDonald's lead divisions and Gortschakov II/Berg's lead divisions are much reduced. Help is coming for MacDonald in the form of Bonnet's division of Marmont's VI Corps and the divisions of Young Guard. In the 'north', Bertrand's lead divisions (Morand and Franquemont) are engaged with von Zeithen (Blücher's I Corps), Friederichs' division, supported by Compans', both of VI Corps, are moving to engage von Klüx's brigade (also of Blücher's I Corps) and Souham has driven Tschaplitz's infantry out of Preititz (the latter being left as a garrison by Barclay as he retired towards Baruth).

Below are photos going around the table from the southern corner (Bohemian foothills) along the allied line to von Zeithen's position on the Kreckwitz Heights, finishing with an aerial view from the northern corner. 

Next some close-ups of the troops, beginning with Souham's attack on Tschaplitz's infantry around Preititz,
to von Ziethen's position once more, 
back around behind von Klüx, von Röder and von Dolffs
 two views of von Yorck's defence,
which Friederichs' men are moving to attack,
as Bonnet's division moves up in support of the French-Allied left-centre,
Ledru des Essarts' men ready themselves to receive the Kiev/Kharkov dragoons,
and Oudinot's corps remains in force in the south-west of the battlefield.

So far this game is living up to expectations, which is marvellous after all the planning and putting it back a few times. In fact, it is set to trump our game of the Battle of Eylau as the best ANF game from a playing perspective, in my mind. 

We'll have to see what mid-November brings, when we reconvene to commence the 10th turn!


  1. Good lord, that's huge! Wonderful-looking game.


    1. Thanks FMB. It has been nearly a year in the planning, a bit at a time.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. True praise indeed after the recent effort of you and your mates!

  3. Brilliant write-up. LOL I didn't know all that was happening and I was there! It is nice to be able to identify the regiments by name in the various actions.

    1. Mark, don't tell anyone, but I cheat and check my lists and maps. I even go so far as to simply 'guess' the unit if I'm not sure which one it was!!

  4. Great looking game, with lost of play left in it for next month, and a great write up so far, James. Even better if it's being a lot of fun to play as well!

    " is also the fortieth game since our inception on 8th August 1810"
    Unless you're truly the Old Guard, I would presume that's slip of the bicentennial pen, and you meant 2010, non?
    In any event, that's pretty much a steady pace of a game a month or slightly better; it's along time (since HS, to be exact) since I could claim to play a game a month, so I'm envious! :-)

    Looking forwards to part deux!


    1. Didn't I tell you about our blue telephone box?! Anyway, where does it say 1810 (he he)?! Thanks Peter, I have corrected it now.
      I read that so many times and read exactly what I wanted to read, as one does. I need a proof reader... want a job?! One trick I use sometimes is to get the 'puter to read it to me. It's time consuming, but helps pick up the major typos.

    2. James,
      Well, considering the number of typos in my own message above(!), I am hardly one to talk, am I? Then there are those famous Dames, LOL! Pot, Kettle... Kettle, Pot! :-)

    3. No dramas Peter, it was a witty comment that was taken, and appreciated, in the vein in which it was delivered (*and* it was a good pick-up of a big typo)! I'm continually amazed at the ability of the brain to 'trick' the eye. There must be some good papers on that hey?!
      There ain't nothing like a dame...

  5. Spectacular stuff as always. The scale of your games and the wonderful way you put them together is something else.

    1. Thanks Millsy. It looks even better 'in the flesh' (as it were). Since we take our time over this we are able to sit down and look down the diagonal of the table at a sea of figures. I try to capture it in the photos, but it's never the same.

  6. It is nice game. I like your post. The view and tricks are awesome.

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  7. Great looking game, once again, I do like the mass effect!

  8. That's a real spectacle James!

  9. There are a few more to come onto the table early in part two, so it should look more impressive—until we start breaking some more of those Russo-Prussian divisions that is (ha ha)!