Thursday 26 January 2012

Battle of Seehausen

This is the first battle of the 1813 Campaign to be fought at the club, notable by the absenteeism of a number of players. I was drafted in as a Russian liaison officer who ended up in charge of the Prussian II Corps.

One other battle had been previously fought away from the club and had set up the current situation.

The following battle report was posted later by Dave M.

Day 5 of the German Campaign

Poniatowskis’ Polish corps, facing the might of Bluchers I Corps decided to fall back towards Eugene, ensconced at Seehausen, hotly pursued by Marshal Vorwarts!

After a day of marching, Bluchers Prussians managed to pin the Poles to the north of Seehausen. Calling up Yorcks II Corps in support, he ordered them to attack Eugenes corps camped around the town of Seehausen while he sorted out the pesky Poles.

With only a few hours until nightfall, the Prussians attacked en masse. Around 40,000 Prussians lumbered forward. In the centre, I Corps attack on Seehausen itself was repulsed, while the 1st Division had some initial success on the Polish defences, causing the massed Polish artillery to withdraw.

II Corps, under the temporary command of Russian liaison officer Count Telovski, (due to Yorcks’ piles playing up again) got in to a messy fight with Eugenes’ divisions, gradually gaining the upper hand and virtually annihilating French 3rd Division. Meanwhile Kleist on the right wing was in difficulties against the Poles, stalling in the bad terrain and having to face the Polish guns and infantry.

As darkness fell, a determined counterattack led by Poniatowski himself threw back the Prussians. A spectacular charge by the Polish Lancer brigade routing the entire Prussian division.

Under cover of darkness, Martian Blucher reorganised his forces, but with news of approaching French reinforcements decided to retreat from the field.

Total casualties for the battle, where around 8000 Prussians, including 2nd Division Commander von Kloppenhoppen killed and the loss of 8 guns. The French lost about 2000, mostly from their battered 3rd Division of Eugenes’ Corps.

Think Martin was a bit over eager to attack the town in the centre; His force there, even when combined with the two brigades I had facing, was not really sufficient to take it. Plus it might of help prevent Dave S from his counterattack. Martin had no real option but to attack the Polish position on his right, despite his troops not being deployed favourably (all Prussian troops had been pre-deployed by Dave M due to not having an officers present at setup). Bad Luck kept him from making any permanent breakthrough there.

The left was basically it's own mini-battle, with the opposing forces effectively wheeling around each other, with the hill as the pivot point, after the French attempted to aggressively seize the heights to prevent the Prussians from deploying our artillery. Regardless of where the Prussian guns were deployed they did not fire a single effective volley all day, not even causing any disruption in the enemy columns.

In the campaign itself meta-gaming is starting to creep in a bit, as with the identities of individual commanders now revealed, communication and suggestions are openly being issued outside of the Berthier campaign system, where communications between distant commands is notoriously slow.

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