Friday, July 25, 2014

Fast Play Grande Armee - Campaign of Nations - Battle of LOSCHWITZ - day 1

A Campaign of Nations After Action Report:

This time we gamed out using Fast Play Grande Armee (FPGA) what is essentially a flank action on the far east side of Barclay de Tolly's sector along the north side of the Bohemian Mountains.

Dresden is the only major fortification in the area and in order to reach it, either the French must be beaten back from the south and west or the river Elbe must be crossed.

Our campaign map places the river between Dresden and the lands to the east, with a gap east of the city.

I interpreted this as a crossing point of Loschwitz and Blasewitz, as seen on this older map (though not current with 1813 as there are railways on it) of the area, there was a crossing here for some time.  Again not clear in the historical record if there was a bridge or ferry here in 1813 as the historical battle was much further west, and with much larger forces.

A topographical map of Dresden area, with the battle site circled in red
The battle would center around that one principle crossing, that was deemed made of stone and thus not able to be so easily destroyed.

Moreover, the French would be defending with some 'wounded' formations, while the attacking Russian and Austrians, commanded by the Prussian von Müssling, would be having to assault with limited artillery support, using 'flank' formations (no heavy divisions or grenadiers) and neither side had any cavalry to exploit any minor success.

battlefield view looking north, Loschwitz is on the right

looking east from the south side of Blasewitz across the Elbe

again looking east, now on the north side of Blasewitz at the bridge over the Elbe into Loschwitz
Die roll for battle start turn was "4", meaning it was not till well into the afternoon that the first columns of Russians moved towards the bridge that the French had been fortifying for the past 11 days ...

Russians from the right, French holding the left bank of the Elbe

Maréchal Victor's II Corps bore the brunt of the day's action

Russian batteries are hastily rushed forward to clear the bridge defenses

Maréchal Macdonald was elevated to wing command of the whole of the south region, Dresden is coming under attack and so this action pulls in his personal attention as overall commander - releasing Victor to work his magic with II Corps

von Müssling found all sorts of challenges with the multi-national Russian and Austrian forces under his command

Artillery batteries of both sides exchanged furious fire

the death toll at the bridge crossing began

35th Division artillery were brought in just that day and found range to the far side of the bridge

Right from the start Russian infantry began hurling themselves across the bridge ... straight into murderous artillery fire.

by 18h00 most of the first Russian column had arrived and were pressing the crossing of the Elbe

35th Division was marched through the woods to form a rear-guard

Artillery exchange was continuing, with both Russian and French gunners paying the price

the sacrifice to cross the bridge was becoming clear

ever more Russian brigades were lined up to make their try at getting across that bridge

while the column of re-enforcements stretched off the board to the east

Maréchal Victor kept a steady hand on the leading French Brigades

Maréchal Victor surveys the scene from a highpoint in Blasewitz

Maréchal Victor and II Corps holding Blasewitz
The length of a turn in FPGA, or how many 'pulses' a turn has is an unknown factor ... some turns are really long, others short.  The turn six for this first day of battle, 7 September 1813 (fictional), had a really long turn - this has the effect of unpredictable results when the 'command die' influence is gone ...

turn 6 pulse 2 at 18h20, just as the Russians ran out of CD's

Russian artillery had been wrecked and now the French were to be similarly undone by counter-battery fire

Russians continued to push across the bridge, indeed they even briefly held the French side of the bridge

Austrians were also moving forward, leading with Horse Artillery seen here at the tail of the Russian columns
the far end of turn 6 - resulting in maximum chaos for the Russians as some of the Divisions simply refused to move

with the confusion in the hold the death toll of Russians at the bridge rises

whole brigades of Russians were sent fleeing to the rear, so the score remained 1-0

Austrian artillery still could not get through the mass of Russian infantry to reach their desired location along the Elbe in range of the French barricades
Darkness overtook the exhausted armies, while the Russians and Austrians poured more troops into the bridgehead, the French counted their losses and made ready to repel the next wave of Russians to cross the Elbe ...

Would the Austrian Division of Mayer be enough to tip the scales?

Read all about day two of the Battle of Loschwitz here on MurdocK's MarauderS

1 comment:

Rafael Pardo said...

It looks like a great Scenario. Maybe I can adapt it for Lasalle!
Best regards