Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bonaparte's Day June 16, 1815 (fictional) part 1 - Yvoir

Within the Hundred Days Campaign that I have been adjudicating over the past few months, the forces under direct order of Napoleon Bonaparte had taken a flank march, crossing at Dinant on the 15th.

This was mostly unknown to the Prussian command as the message of the crossing and further penetrations would take almost a day to reach the ears of Blucher.

Then a day later Bonaparte himself could command a force of the Guard Heavy Cavalry in support of an assault by VI Corps of the French Armee Norde.

Now the battlefield would be set up for that morning ...

view from the south from behind the French lines

Prussians of III Korps make ready to hold off the French

along the French line viewed from the west looking east

Loubou was commanding and knew that his commander Bonaparte would be coming from the east later that morning, so took advantage of firing into the limited numbers of Prussians that could be used to block the one good crossing.

by 08h30 the battle for the crossing was started in earnest

while only one brigade was able to hold off the French infantry, it could not hope to keep them away indefinitely with the massed artillery moving up
by 10h00 the arrival of Bonaparte occurred

now the whole field would be brought into use

leading his black horse, Bonaparte himself was identified by Thielmann and messengers were sent to Blucher

Three brigades of the Imperial Guard Heavy Cavalry made for a terrifying sight to the Prussian light horse of III Korps

the field at 10h33

wasting no time the heavies were lined up against the light Prussian horse

a splendid sight - the whole of the Guard Heavy Cavalry

with Bonaparte looking on ...

The black horse charged in!

Shattering many Prussian horse, though not quite wiping them out, some Prussian foot were able to fill the gap in time before the Heavies could press on

meanwhile at the river the guns had started to pound out their deadly beat

within minutes of his arrival, Bonaparte had shifted the Prussians into a hopeless defensive stand.

Barely even an hour after Bonaparte's arrival on the scene the battle started looking already won for the French ...

the field tilted towards French Victory early

Prussian horsemen fought on valiantly just barely able to score some small victories against the superior French Guard Heavy horse

Thielmann could see the 'hat' of the hated French Emperor, yet was not in command of enough men to effect anything more than a gory delay of the inevitable

as the sun reached its zenith, Bonaparte took a number of ADC messengers from outside the tactical field of action.  Snapping shut his telescope a final message was sent off to Loubou, informing him of the Guard Heavy Cavalry success and that the horse would remain here at Yvoir under Loubou's command.  With that Bonaparte and his petit GHQ rode eastwards away from the field of action ... presumably some other action now needed his personal attention.
Still the action at Yvoir was not done.

A lull descended over the action, and it was not till 14h00 that the next significant events took place.

the river was nearly breached

while combined attacks by Prussian Horse and Foot delivered significant casualties to the French Heavies

Prussian Cavalry Commander Hobe was not going to surrender his command without a fight!

though the river crossing was temporarily held by the French, the Prussians did not stop with counter-attacks

Loubou realized that this was going to be a battle that could take all day

Guard Heavy Cavalry continued relentless attacks

French Artillery was also non-stop in their firing

Prussian numbers dwindled to a few wounded brigades and militia were pressed into hot action with regulars
undeterred the Prussians had resolved to fight to the end

Loubou had begun to withdraw wounded brigades from the river crossing and feed in new fresh units

the body count grew for the Prussians

still the French had not forced the crossing

Thielmann was down to only a remnant of his forces ...
At long last the casualty count had forced the Prussian troops into considering a retreat.

the river line was held to the very last man

outnumbered 4:1 this final brigade takes its last gasp in vain attempt to stop the French

not enough in the end though as the Prusians failed their 'army morale' check and the rout was on
Some more Prussians were lost in the rout that followed, they were unable to cross the river to the west and were forced to flee north in the forests of the western Ardennes.

The final surviving forces:

Guard Heavies lost 1/3

VI Corps was reduced to two under-strength divisions

All of Prussian III Korps was cut to one Landwher Brigade!
One bright spot for the Prussians, now they knew where Bonaparte WAS!


David Cooke said...

I don't know what the rules are but they look like great fun.

MurdocK said...

Hello David, the rules set used was Fast Play Grande Armee, and can be found for free at: