|The French had 'dug in' and prepared defensive positions to face three columns of Prussians|
|Initial deployment at 14h00|
The French were to have deployed for battle, ready to receive the troops from across the Spree and Bulow's columns to the east, now they were also going to throw up defenses for the column coming from the south!
|French forces in position, with a 'hold back' reserve of infantry and cavalry|
|French deployed, ready to receive attacks on three sides|
With the Fast Play Grande Armee system that I am using there is a 'dicing' for when the battle will start, in this case I ruled that the column arriving from the south would have no way to accurately coordinate with the high command coming out from a wooded region to the east. While the north column of Prussians could easily coordinate with the high command as they could see the whole of the battle region where the high command was to arrive from.
This meant that a separate die roll was needed for the south column, as it happened the south column came up a "4" and the high command a "6". This indicated that the south column would have to engage alone ... AND that the French could not easily afford to abandon their positions for concern that they would be 'caught out' of position by the later arriving columns.
|Arriving from the south on turn 4, von Hirschfeld's force was all Landwher|
Facing an entire French Corps alone, the results would have been predictable ... however, the French could not afford to commit their full force to attacking the Division of Hirschfeld, therefore St Cyr launched his cavalry and supported them with infantry ... from his operating reserve.
|field at about 16h00|
The Lancers of Steadmann were to smash their way through all opponents!
|Steadmann's Lancer brigade was unstoppable|
|the remaining French forces manned their positions, knowing that more Prussians were coming|
|most of the Prussians had fled, only one freiwillinger brigade refused to budge!|
|forced down to their last man the freiwillinger brigade was finally cut down by cannonade|
|44th Division is in the center, leaving the guns vulnerable in the north|
|Prussians arrive in force at 18h00|
|Generallieutenant Bülow in command|
|Prussian east column or main body|
|crossing the Spree from the north, 4th Korps|
|French north and east flanks are ready to receive the Prussians ...|
|while in the south, the damaged infantry reserve remained stationary|
While in the east the Prussian columns of horse, could not quite reach the French defenders, this left them vulnerable to counter-attacks, one of which sent the Cossacks fleeing from advancing French infantry.
|situation at 19h40|
|in the east, French threw back advancing Cossacks|
|in the north, French push back Prussians from the gun line|
|view from the headquarters of the center and north of French positions|
Given that this battle was taking place in August and the weather where I was was raining - I ruled that it was a cloudy day for basic game length purposes. This meant that the battle was to only have 7 turns. The dice determine the number of 'pulses' in a turn - anywhere from 1 to 4 possible pulses. If the d4 roll on the start of the second pulse comes up a '1' then the turn ends.
|the die rolls for the start of pulse 2 of turn 7, note the d4 has a '1'|
|the field at nightfall|
|St. Cyr had held his ground for a day|
|The Prussians coming from the north had only just arrived all 'on table'|
|The east Prussian columns had also only just arrived|
So the decision of stay or go for a second day of action was to fall back on orders sent to each commander:
For the French:
"Orders as previously to St Cyr (Corbineau):For the Prussians:
1. Prepare embrasures and redoubts on three sides to defend against Bulow's command, the Prusso-Russians in Potsdam and the former besiegers of Magedburg.
2. If attacked, hold out for as long as possible. Line of retreat is towards Premnitz (and if necessary on to Seehausen).
3. If the Prusso-Russians withdraw a large proportion of their force towards Berlin, attack the remaining defenders. If all Prusso-Russians withdraw, march towards Berlin."
"Attack across the Spree and drive off the French south of Potsdam."
This made staying the only option for Bülow, and retreat the only sensible and ordered one for St. Cyr.
|view of the field from the south at end of day|
|French survivors retreating|
|Prussians hold the field at dawn on the 24th August 1813|
Another excellent battle puzzle put together from the Campaign of Nations game.