Thursday 22 March 2012

Battle of Groningen

Two Battles to report from the 1813 Campaign. The first played out at the club, as the French forces try to strike hard at Blucher before reinforcements can envelope them. The second, smaller action, was played out elsewhere (and possibly via an automatic combat resolution system.)

Battle reports from Dave M, as usual.

From Furness Wargamers in Shakos

Battle of Groningen, Day 12

Davouts march on Halberstadt came to an abrupt halt with the news Poniatowski had abandoned Magdeburg. He reversed course, heading towards Calbe, but was intercepted by Blucher and I Prussian Corps at Groningen. This was part of an elaborate trap by the allies, hoping to catch Davout with four of their corps, but due to bad roads hampering their movement only II and IV Corps were stuck at Halberstadt. III Corps and IV & II Corps cavalry were able to make it to Groningen though.

With the knowledge that Wiitgenstein and III Corps were rapidly approaching from the east, Davout launched an assault on Blucher, hoping to eliminate him before his support arrived.

Blucher quickly deployed his troops in and around Groningen and wandered off to find a moustache waxing shoppe.

Davout launched his 2nd Infantry division, with artillery support against Groningen, which was defended by Landwehr, the 1st Infantry Division with Light Cavalry support assaulted Prussians to the west of Groningen and the Heavy cavalry attacked to the east of the town in an attempt to encircle the Prussians.

Inital assaults against Groningen were thrown back and Davouts lancers came off second best against the Prussian Grenadiers. The Heavies were having better luck against Bluchers cavalry, driving off his Dragoons, before getting bogged down against the Prussian light cavalry.

Reinforcements under Russian cavalry general Jimski Elastikov arrived from Halberstadt, deflecting Davouts attention from the encircling move.

To the east of Groningen, French 1st Division was beating back the Prussians, forcing them to flee in to Groningen woods, where they eventually rallied.

Further assaults on Groningen were all beaten off by the Landwehr.

Wittgensteins Corps began arriving, hitting the French 1st Division from behind and eventually forcing them to retire.

Blucher, briefly reappeared and ordered his Landwehr to attack the French lancers, which they managed to, disordering the French, but as Blucher wandered off looking for some gin, the Landwehr were hit in the flank by French infantry and routed from the field.

As night fell, the battered armies drew apart. Blucher had been given a bloody nose (again), but the allies remained in control of the battlefield.

Davout fell back towards Seehausen, unaware that the Poles had been in action there earlier in the day.

French losses, around 4500

Allied losses, over 6000 plus 8 guns destroyed.

[This was closer than it sounded and only a failure, against the odds, to win initiative prevented the French from doing serious damage to both I and III Corps. Plus some mobile French Cavalry failed a crucial activation role, stopping them from charging into the flank of the Russians.

Was surprised that Blucher became the main target for the assault as previous communications with the GM had given me the impression that it would be my III Corps that would take the brunt of the combat due to the French heading towards Calbe.]

Action at Seehausen, Day 12.

Pursuing the Poles from Magdeburg, Grand Duke Constantines V Corps brought Poniatowskis corps to action to the north east of Seehausen.

The Poles deployed across the Helmstadt road, between woods and the hamlet of Likspitl, the cavalry in the centre and infantry and artillery on the flanks. As the Russian Grenadiers advanced, a precipitous charge by the Polish Lancers was smashed by heavy artillery fire and the bayonets of 2nd Grenadier brigade. The Poles reeled back and were eventually routed by a charge from a Russian Kuirassier brigade.

The Poles defending Likspitl were winkled out by the Russians, losing their heavy artillery in the process. Realising all was lost, the Poles fled in the direction of Helmstadt.

The Russians pulled back to Magdeburg.

Polish losses, 2700 plus 8 guns

Russian losses 700

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