Author Topic: The Musings of 'Ole Man Brunswick: A reflection on a lost campaign Prussia 1806  (Read 4062 times)

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Offline Hatricvs

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21.00 Hrs:

Sent: 18.00 Hrs 13th October
Received: 21.00 Hrs

From: Wurtemburg
To: Brunswick

My Lord,
We have arrived at Halle after an easy 13-hour march.  We are preparing camp for the evening.
Your Servant,

Wurtemburg


Note: I am picking up a certain level of sarcasm here from the Umpire...or admonishment that I might be abusing my forces somewhat on the March!


Offline Hatricvs

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14th October 1806


04.00 Hrs:

From: Umpire
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,

It is with great sorrow that I must report that General Hohenlohe has been wounded most grievously by a musket ball to the chest.  Despite the doctor's best ministrations he remains insensate, rambling out fine times spend at Spa in his youth.

Forgive the bloodstains, but I felt it prudent to forward all his most recent communications to you for your information.

With night having recently fallen, we eagerly await your instructions for the morning march.

S!

Note: This is what Jim wrote just prior to this information about Hohenlohe.

"I had hoped it wouldn't come to this for this game, but we seem to have lost Hohenlohe.  What follows is my best approximation of how to move forward. I'll obviously give you a couple days to sort out orders.  You may imagine that the below missives are received on the evening of the 13th so that you have time to respond. --  Jim"

To say I was knocked back by this news is an understatement. I had started this campaign with too many troops under my command and it had been stated that I would need to divide my force and ensure that some of the command went to Blucher as there would be just too many to command. Now with the incapacitation of Hohenlohe, I found myself once again commanding way too many troops for my own good and the difficulties in controlling who was where and doing what increased exponentially! However it did give me a chance to get these boys marching at the double-quick so that they could be brought to where I wanted them in the first place.

Offline Hatricvs

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Accompanying the rider who came with news of Hohenlohe's fall, I received some papers which had come to him just prior to this event and which threw some light on what was going on in the eastern sector.

02.00 Hrs:

From: Von Tauentzien
To: Hohenlohe

Sent 00.00 14th October
Received: 02.00

My Lord Hohenlohe,

We have been approached by enemy cavalry that appears to be deploying for the attack, although it be night.  We are withdrawing in haste to Zwickau.

S!

GM BFE Von Tauentzien

Offline Hatricvs

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04.00 Hrs

From: Brunswick
To: Umpire

Orders for the three units currently located at Altenbourg.

All will move via road to Lepizig by most direct route.
Louis departs 7am
Grawert departs 9am
Pritwitz departs 10am

Leave Calvary to screen the withdrawal from Altenbourg .
All units to march until Leipzig is reached.

Hope this will suffice to get things moving in the game again. I will refine once the day gets underway.

Offline Hatricvs

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Oops in all the excitement this missive was posted out of order with the rest. It should have been shown here prior to receiving the information about Hohenlohe!


01.00 Hrs:

From: Brunswick
To: Ruchel

Time: 0100

Date: October 14th 1806

My Dear Ruchel,

The activity in your area is of concern as is the fate of your lost unit. In terms of orders I still think our best policy is to fall back. I am still in the vicinity of Naumbourg adjacent to a small town on the river Saale.

Continue with the extraction of your forces to Eisleben if practicable. You really ought to have been much further on towards that goal as I think it is becoming less likely that we will have the luxury of putting together the line that I aimed to hold now due to enemy movements.

Please convey to Blucher my displeasure that he singularly seems to not only fail to make good his orders but, also fails to keep his commander up to date with either his actions or his whereabouts! Our forces are now scattered due to his lack of alacrity in moving his forces north!

I also have to inform you that I have also had ominous silence form Hohenlohe's sector too. I have to assume that the enemy has also been involved in his area although I have no direct knowledge of that being the case.

Given the situation and proximity of Blucher's force to yours it may well be that you will have to work in tandem especially if the enemy force you face is significant. As previously stated my desire is for your forces and Blucher's force to extricate themselves and for you to effect a link up with my forces further north. If this is no longer feasible then so be it but, be aware that I am too far away from you to assist or aid you.

Yours Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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04.00 Hrs:

From: Umpire
To: Hohenlohe

My Lord of Hohenlohe,

Reports have come from your piquets that the men of Zechwitz's Division have begun arriving in Zwickau.  Their account seems confused, but they seem to be saying that the men of Taunzien's Division were engaged earlier in the morning and, in conducting an orderly retreat, have pushed Zechwitz's men before them.  There is, at present, no sign of Taunzien's men, however.

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Umpire
To: Brunswick

To put a bow on the evening, the patrols you send out reported back at the following times:

1.  Naumbourg -- 0200

2.  Zeith -- 0400

3.  Leipzig -- 0500

All report no contact with the enemy.

S!

Offline Hatricvs

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06.00 Hrs:

Orders:

Sender : Brunswick
Time Sent: 0600 14th October 1806
Recipient: Zechwitz
Time Received:
Unit Marching: Any that you currently have located in your area

Time to spend Marching: until Altenbourg is reached or at your discretion depending upon location of hostiles.

Expected Objective/Dispatch:

Given the incapacitation of Hohenlohe I am now directing you to fall back toward Altenbourg. This was my plan all along and yet for reasons unbeknownst to me Hohenlohe appears to have taken little opportunity to carry this out.

Therefore I order you to fall back to Altenbourg, at pace, and once there report back to me regarding the condition and location of your force. If practicable use cavalry to screen your withdrawal and hold up any pursuing French where possible. Send out scouts to ascertain your freedom of movement toward Altenbourg.

If you feel the position has already been compromised then protect our left flank as best you can by executing a withdrawal via the vicinity east of Zwickau along the line of the River Mulde in an attempt to gain a position in the area of Grimma.

What knowledge do you have regarding the location and condition of Hohenlohe's other forces and whereabouts?

Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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08.00 Hrs:

Sent: 02.00 Hrs, 14th October
Received: 08.00 Hrs

From: Zeichwitz
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,

My division is being hotly pursued by troops in the service of the Corsican barbarian's IV Corps.
Although we are sustaining losses, we will continue our withdrawal to Altenbourg where we pray for succor!

Your Obedient Servant,

Zechwitz
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 08:13:31 AM by Hatricvs »

Offline Hatricvs

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08.00 Hrs:

From: Brunswick
To: Kuhneim

Orders for 1st Reserve Kuhneim

0800 am 14th October 1806

Immediate effect.

Detach cavalry arm from your Division and send it forth to the following locations:

2000 cavalry leaving as soon as possible from Halle to Nordhausen along road via Eisleben. Leave a few capable, say six to eight, riders at equidistant points along the road between Eisleben to Nordhausen in the role of pickets. They should be positioned at approximately two hour ride points along this route. They are to provide a round the clock 'early warning' relay service. If needed messages of dire need regarding the location of the enemy can be transmitted at pace down this line with fresh horses and fresh riders taking the role from each staging point.

Once the main body of cavalry is at Nordhausen take up a defensive position around the town and guard the key junction running North toward Magdebourg/Halberstadt. Once established scout forward in particular along the road running South West of Nordhausen.

If the need to retreat occurs then take the route North toward Madgebourg.

2000 cavalry leaving two hours after the first group from Halle to Eisleben along the road. Leave a few capable, say six to eight, riders at equidistant points along the road between Halle to Eisleben in the role of pickets. They should be positioned at approximately two hour ride points along this route. They are to provide a round the clock 'early warning' relay service. If needed messages of dire need regarding the location of the enemy can be transmitted at pace down this line with fresh horses and fresh riders taking the role from each staging point.

Once at Eisleben take up a defensive position around the town and key junction running North toward Magdebourg/Halberstadt.  Once established scout forward in particular along the road running West-South-West of Eisleben around the junction with the onward road to Nordhausen. Scout forward of this location on the road running South of this point toward Weissensee. Use judgement as to the level and frequency of such scouting patrols in that vicinity.

If the need to retreat occurs then take the route North toward Magdebourg

Keep me informed of what occurs with either of these forces at your discretion.

Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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16.00 Hrs:

Sent: 07.00 Hrs, 14th October
Received: 16.00 Hrs

From: Ruchel
To: Brunswick

Sir!

Our way North is blocked by unknown enemy troops! With other enemy formations approaching Erfurt I have no choice but to fight!

I shall endeavour to prevail in this combat and continue our march north.

We shall prevail!

As always, your servant.




Sir!

Offline Hatricvs

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16.00 Hrs:

Sent: 10.00 Hrs 14th October
Received: 16.00 Hrs

From: Blucher
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,

It's been a day and a half with no word from you.  Ruchel has been engaged at Erfurt.  I do not know the outcome as I have had no word from him either.  In light of that, I am ordering Scharnhorst to Weimar immediately.  Once he arrives, we will leave for Naumbourg before first light of the 15th.

Note: This was news to me, had I missed something? Were our communications being intercepted or captured along the way between Blucher and I. Now I really started to questioned what had got through, to whom and when. The information gap seemed to be opening up wide and really made me think there might be a lot of French situated between our two positions.

Offline Hatricvs

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19.00 Hrs:

Sent: 11.00 Hrs 14th October
Received: 19.00 Hrs

From: Ruchel
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,

Sir!

We are in battle! Reports are the cavalry are under the command of General Grouchy, Marshal Murat is rumoured to be in the area as well. So far we are doing well, though the enemy is not fully engaging. My guess is they are waiting for reinforcements to arrive. Three more divisions of cavalry are starting to join the battle. Numbers are still on our side and we are giving much worse than we are receiving.

My plan is to press on and break through to the North.

We shall prevail!

Hoping this message actually finds you.

As always, your servant.


Note: I really loved this report, not because one of my commanders was being beaten up but because it gave really good Intel about who he was facing and from where. This got me trying to extract detail from the other reports that I had already received and would receive and try to locate all known units from the French order of battle on my wall map in the vain hope I might just start to put together a more clear picture of who was where and more importantly who I had not yet heard about...later this will lead me to believe that I had accounted for the vast majority of the French Corps....oh how wrong can a commander be!

Offline Hatricvs

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Phew I am finally sort of up to date with the AAR's and am almost in alignment with it. That was an epic session to get this done and I have most probably forgotten some bits and bobs along the way but, generally I think this pretty much captures most of the correspondence that I both sent and received to date in the game. Hopefully the next instalment of the AAR will not be too soon in being published as I need to go and have a lie down!

Listened to the latest episode of the Grogcast last night all about this Kriegspeile and it was really great to get to hear some of the voices behind the commanders in the game. It was also very interesting to hear that we all had very similar issues and confusions with regard what to do and how to do it and just what did victory look like! Really interesting to hear everyone's views on that one!

I was also Really excited to hear that there will be another Kriegspeile planned for July 2018; battlefield yet to be confirmed. As stated previously I was a newb to Kriegspeile and was really grateful to be able to take the opportunity to be a part of this amazing experience. It is something I have always wanted to do and it was a pleasure to be part of and, like others, discovering the realisation of just how much fun it all actually is.

I would dearly love to be part of another campaign if Jim can put up with a Brit messing around with his game and causing issues with time differences in the dispatch and receiving of orders and reports. If you do let me play again Jim, maybe this time I could just command a corps or division instead of being the so-called Commander-in-Chief of the army; I think I might be more comfortable in that type of role!

Offline JasonPratt

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This thread has been of particular interest to me!  :notworthy:  O0

We can know now, from comparison with the video AARs, that no French were anywhere remotely close to intercepting couriers back and forth from Blucher, so did you ever find out what happened there? -- he wasn't getting couriers from you either, evidently!

Don't feel too bad about seeing bugbears everywhere; I was delaying a bit trying to ascertain whether your Prussian marshals had left behind any ninja non-player divisions hiding out in Thuringia with time-delayed orders to mess with us!

Your experience demonstrates why I designed a plan which effectively split us into three smaller armies working on their own recognizance under the flexible framework of a larger plan. You had interior lines, better than we did, and still were suffering from lag time in managing everyone. I don't want to imagine the nightmare of trying to pass orders over to our West Wing while also managing center and East wings. (I did my best not to manage East wing either! -- possibly to our sorrow late in the game...)


An inescapable part of your problem was that you were randomly assigned CnC at a late date, so had less time to coordinate and develop battle plans than we did. All things considered, you pulled together well once you pulled together with each other. (Too late? -- remains to be seen but very possibly not too late!)


I was highly gratified and amused to learn that no one seems to have imagined we might make substantial surges through ALL THE PASSES!  :D :D :D While that wasn't very Nappy of me at all, I feel a bit nappish in coming up with a somewhat unexpected plan. (Though really it wasn't me so much as just finding a way to synthesize together the suggestions I received from all the marshals into one grand initial plan. They deserve most of the credit even for that.  O:-) O0 )
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