Author Topic: The Musings of 'Ole Man Brunswick: A reflection on a lost campaign Prussia 1806  (Read 2025 times)

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Offline Hatricvs

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21.30 Hrs:
 
From: Brunswick
To: Tauntzein

Sent: 21.30 Hrs

My Dear Tauntzien,

Excellent work and information. Your position at Altenbourg is untenable and so you must move to link with the army at Leipzig. Move North at haste and avoid any encounter with the enemy; I think the time for a show down is fast approaching!

Take the fastest route and make haste to rejoin the army at Lepizig. Once there report back and we will make moves to expel the invader together!

Yours Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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23.00 Hrs:

From: Brunswick
To: AG Louis

Sir,

Sent 11pm 15th October
 
Effective 3am 16th October.
 
Deploy a small light cavalry force to reconnoiter the road east from Lepizig to Grimma, say a force of 500 light cavalry. Position your force at Grimma and report upon any enemy activity noted. Hold Grimma until otherwise ordered.
 
Yours Brunswick
 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 11:58:03 AM by Hatricvs »

Offline Hatricvs

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23.00 Hrs

From: Brunswick
To: 2nd Division Wartens

Sent: 11 pm 15th October

My Dear Sir,

With immediate effect, select a strong body of light cavalry, say 1000 and scout/patrol the road and adjoining area south west of your present location towards Naumbourg and onward down the road to Awerstadt, Mattstadt, Apolda upto, but no further than, the T junction with the Weimar-Jena road. Link up with any Prussian units located along this line and report hourly upon progress and incidents. Go no further that this junction!. Pay particular attention to indications of enemy movements. Send regular hourly reports of any and all enemy activity in the vicinity.

Yours Brunswick
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 11:59:23 AM by Hatricvs »

Offline Hatricvs

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23.00 Hrs

From: Brunswick
To:  1st Division Orange 

Sent: 11 pm 15th October
 
My Dear Sir,
 
With immediate effect, select a strong body of light cavalry, say 1000 and scout/patrol the road and adjoining area south of your present location towards Zeith. Pay particular attention to indications of enemy movements and leave a small force, say 200 troops at Zeith as an advance party to indicate hostile activity and inform their commander. Send regular hourly reports of any and all enemy activity in their vicinity.
 
Your Brunswick
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 12:00:22 PM by Hatricvs »

Offline Hatricvs

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16th October 1806


05.00 Hrs

From: Brunswick
To: Zeichwitz and Tauntzien and associated Prussian forces at Altenbourg

Sent: 05.00 Hrs 16th October 1806

Gentlemen, I think your current location is becoming untenable. I would ask that you withdraw from Altenbourg and gather north of the small river on the road to Leipzig.

Tauntzien should continue north to Leipzig to seek succour there. 'Hohenlohe' and Zechwitz to hold the line of the river and make preparation for the destruction of the crossing once all Prussian forces have moved north of that point.

Screen your withdrawal with available cavalry forces as you see fit to allow a well ordered withdrawal to your new positions.

To be clear the river crossing I am referring to is the river crossing south of Leipzig which forms the main route from Lepizig to Altenbourg, the river runs east from this bridge to Grimma. Do not confuse this with the small bridge just immediately North of Altenbourg. The Altenbourg crossing can be sacrificed and rendered unusable by the enemy if time allows.  I want you to gather your force at the bridge across the river Grimma and contest/ hold it against the enemy if he deploys against you.

Being located at this bridge will bring you close to a significant portion of the Prussian force and allow aid to be given if/when French forces attempt to breach our line. Hold this river line if practicable but not at heavy cost. Report back to me on any sightings of the enemy at haste. Also ensure that the enemy cannot work around your left flank (when facing south). If pushed then falling back to Grimma or Leipzig will be your line of retreat.

Report when you arrive and have achieved your objectives. Ensure all subcommands know what they need to do.

Yours Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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05.30 Hrs:

From: Ruchel
To: Brunswick

Sent: 22.30 Hrs 15th October
Received: 05.30 Hrs 16th October

Sir!
 
We have withdrawn from combat and moved off the main roads after fighting what I believe to be the main force of the French Army! We did give good account of ourselves during the fight but were overwhelmed by numbers and not skill.
 
The French we encountered are definitely making their way North from Erfurt. Marshals Davout and Murat Corps definitely among them.

Our Advanced Guard has unfortunately surrendered the previous days fighting and Weimar Division has fled and not been heard from.
 
I am currently with Saxe Division. We are making our way towards you, how I will not put into words in this dispatch as I am unsure how secure it is yet in the vicinity.
 
Regards,
Ruchel

Offline Hatricvs

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08.30 Hrs:

From: Blucher
To: Brunswick

Sent: 02.00 Hrs  16th October
Received: 08.30 Hrs


My Lord of Brunswick,

Your rider, sent at the behest of General Wartens, has found me and my corps at Auerstedt.

I will scout the road SW as far as Weimar while awaiting further orders from you.

Gen. Blucher

Note: At last something from Blucher and I now know where he is!

Offline Hatricvs

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11.00 Hrs:

From: Zechwitz
To: Brunswick

Sent: 07.00 Hrs 16th October
Received: 11.00 Hrs

My Lord of Brunswick,

We are under savage attack from at least two French Corps.

We prepared the emplacements as directed, and continue to resist, but our escape has been circumscribed by cavalry to our rear.

I fear we must resist to the best of our ability or risk destruction.

I have recalled the artillery which had previously begun the march North to our aid.

Ever Your Servant,
Zechwitz

Offline Hatricvs

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11.30 Hrs:

From: Blucher
To: Brunswick

Sent: 10.00 Hrs, 16th October
Received: 11.30 Hrs

My Lord of Brunswick,

I am at Naumbourg.  I am at a complete loss as to your position.  I am heading for the crossroads on the Saale along the road to Leipzig.  Once at the Saale crossroads, I will await orders from you.

Your Servant,
Blucher
 

Offline Hatricvs

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14:00 Hrs

From: Control
To: Brunswick

Sent:  14.00 Hrs  16th October
Received: 14.00 Hrs


General Blucher has arrived at the unmarked city at the crossing of the Naumbourg - Leipzig Road and the Meersbourg - Zeis Road.  I believe this to be the modern Weissenfels.  In any event, as fate would have it, this is where General Brunswick has made his HQ.

You are in range and make speak to one another directly.

S!

Note: Joy of joys! I finally get to speak with Blucher and in direct meetings. This is a momentous point in the campaign because I have been trying to find/talk with Blucher almost since the beginning of the campaign and finally after six days here he is....huzzah!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 12:36:01 PM by Hatricvs »

Offline Hatricvs

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This is a major turning point in the campaign from my perspective. Up until now I have conducted the campaign in a defensive manner with my whole intent centred upon a policy of orderly withdrawal, denying the French, where possible, the ability to destroy the Prussian army enmass. The conversations with Blucher recorded below over the next couple of posts will have profound implications for that policy going forward and will set intrain a series of events that I am still unclear what the results were and how this impacted the campaign til the end!

Offline Hatricvs

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Blucher to Brunswick

So, what's the plan?  The only troops whose whereabouts I am totally familiar with from the beginning are mine.  I also know that Ruchel is out, so, holding any hope for him will not bear fruit.  There have been numerous reports of battle for this day and it's not happening to me or Ruchel, so it has to be something you are involved with or aware of.  So tell me, what is going on and how do you want to respond?

Offline Hatricvs

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Brunswick to Blucher

Well Blucher, I can assure you that I still have not had sight or sound of any Frenchman here....my only concern is that somehow the French have worked themselves up from Altenbourg to Leipzig....I have no knowledge to support this and I would have thought that I would have had some knowledge of battle fought at such close range especially as I have a myriad of riders out and about who's specific task is to supply me with info and data.....which I am just not receiving! To be brutally honest I am almost at the point of just marching out southward and will not stop until we engage the enemy!

Our directive is to protect Berlin and presumably survive the battle. Should we consider yet another move this time towards Leipzig in the hope that we will either engage the enemy or interpose ourselves between him and Berlin?

I am at a loss to know what to do given I still have no firm information as to the whereabouts, strength or intent of our foe.....baring blindly marching about in the wilderness I really do not know what best policy is...I may yet release the entire army to your goodself and remove myself to one of my schloss in the country as this war, fought in this way is an enigma to me!

So suggestions from your good-self are most welcome

Offline Hatricvs

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Blucher to Brunswick

Other than mine and yours (and Ruchel's, who are no longer in the fight), are there any troops detached?  Didn't you say Hohenlohe was in Leipzig?  It's 40km between here and there.  My troops are well rested (shouldn't have any fatigue).  I say we leave an Inf and Cav division where we are, and march east for Leipzig.  Leave another Inf and Cav division at the halfway point and bring the bulk of our troops to Leipzig.

Offline Hatricvs

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Brunswick to Blucher

I concur, if we move to Leipzig it concentrates our forces and it shortens our lines in terms of a deflection of enemy attention from the route to Berlin. I have some satellite forces on patrols to ascertain enemy activity and I have a division at Halle to protect that route across the river. To be honest I am sick of sitting on my butt in this small town and welcome some activity even if it results in unlooked  for attention.

I will give the order for my units to move out first as they are totally fresh and will move on to Leipzig. You should occupy my positions here and then gradually follow on as time and space permits. I will set my people off at 6 am and move in hourly increments. You can follow on after that in a similar fashion starting at say 10am. We will establish a new base around Leipzig. Can I ask you to provide some rear guard units for our current location and an appropriate halfway point/junction.

I am fed up of being passive,  let us take fthe fight to the French!