Author Topic: The Musings of 'Ole Man Brunswick: A reflection on a lost campaign Prussia 1806  (Read 2024 times)

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Offline Hatricvs

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From: Ruchel
To: Prussian Command
 
OK Looking at the map I think, for my troops, any plan needs to have me move towards Gotha and Erfurt. Eisenach is just too far out of the way to be useful. If the French happen to march that route they'll have to turn and come through Gotha anyway.
 
So how about this for my initial movements:
We march for Gotha and deploy there. I'll send my Advanced Guard forward to Ohrdurf to see if the French come over the Thuringe that way.
 
Nappy is a crafty bugger and just might take the difficult route over the Thuringe rather than march the gap at Hof. And there are only 2 easy ways over that range: Ohrdruf and south of Saalfeld.
 
That's my 2 reichsthaler anyway.
 
Ruchel.

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Ruchel
 
Completely concur this achieves two things consolidation and a recce of the French intentions in your sector. Staying at Eisenbach would separate you from the main body of our forces, it seems untenable!
 
Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Blucher
To: Brunswick

Sorry for the radio silence.  Been on vacation this week and had a few things unexpectedly shake loose.  Read all of your e-mails.  A concentration of our forces after determining the French line of advance would be key to our winning this thing.  From what I see, there are four ways in, Eisenach, Ohrdruf, Saalfeld, Hof and Zwickau via Eger.  Knowing the enemies movements will give us a better idea of what he is going to do. 
To that end, can we set up our Inf. Divisions in say, Eisenach, Ohrdruf, Saalfeld, Lohenstein and Hof and send Cav Divisions south on the roads leading to our Infantry?  Recon with the Cav with orders to fall back to your Infantry upon contact with the enemy?  Possibly set a drop dead date for each of us to move North, drawing the French after us and choose a place to combine our forces and make a stand?  Not really sure how all this works.
Or maybe, looking at the map, converge on Bamberg and hit the Sicilian ogre where he hurts?  They have a much easier setup than we do.  They can only be in so many places.  Still looking at the map, the Bamberg and Bayreuth roads cross south of Hof.  There is a town south of Lohenstein, Kronach(?), then further west at Cobourg and Morningen.  Four towns that expect to have troops advancing through them.  Do we set up there and contest the movements?  And I forgot Eger.  Damn.
I am for setting Sharnhorst's 3rd Division Infantry in Hof and his Cav at the crossroads south and west of there on the Saale.  Blucher's Infantry at Lohenstein and Cav ranging towards Kronach and Arnim's 2nd Division Infantry and Cavalry at Schleitz.  Although I seem to think I saw someone already set up there.
Anyways, somebody let me know
 

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Blucher

I think the force that I have given to you have to start somewhere between Gotha and Weimar. I had assumed Weimar...we already have Ruchel withdrawing from Eisenbach toward Gotha and I thought you might withdraw from Gotha to Erfurt and then Northward.
 
There are two ways of doing this...we contest the entree points via the forest roads/ gaps and perhaps hold the French or get destroyed in detail or withdraw and create some space and then consolidate against a French army that is unclear where we actually are. I have opted for the later and have given out suggested orders to enact that view.
 
Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Blucher
To: Brunswick

Very well then.  Scharnhorst, with the full forces at his disposal, shall be stationed in Gotha itself.  Arnim will hold Erfurt with his Infantry and Cav.  Blucher will station his Infantry in Ohrdruf and personally lead the Cavalry on a recon in force toward Hildburghausen then move northwest, taking the first northeast road if he is pursued, the second if he is not, to rejoin his troops and start the retreat north.
 
Blucher

Offline Hatricvs

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So based on the information I had received and the general feel for what was the initial plan at least the first orders went out to the Prussian commanders based on the above communications:

From: Brunswick
To: Ruchel

Orders:
Sender : Brunswick
Time Sent: Now
Recipient: Ruchel
Time Received:
Unit Marching: Entire Force 3 divisions and associated cavalry and guns.
Route of March: Eisenback to Gotha to Erfurt/ Ohrdruf via road.
Time to spend Marching: until positions reached.
Expected Objective: Withdraw from Eisenback to Gotha and then on to Erfurt.
Rules of Engagement: Some scouting with cavalry around Ohrdruf to establish French advance position. Do not engage.
Dispatches: Withdraw as agreed. Await further orders when done. Try to keep adjacent to rest of Prussian army.

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Blucher

Orders:

Sender : Brunswick
Time Sent: Now
Recipient: Blucher
Time Received:
Unit Marching: Entire Force 3 divisions and associated cavalry and guns.
Route of March: Assume you are located in Gotha. Gotha to Erfurt then North along road to Weissensee.
Time to spend Marching: until positions reached.
Expected Objective: Withdraw from Gotha and then on to Erfurt and then along road to Weissensee.
Rules of Engagement: Do not engage.
Dispatches: I do not have a location for you. I assume you are in Gotha. Effect orderly withdrawal as best you can.
 

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Hohenlohe

Orders:

Sender : Brunswick
Time Sent: Now
Recipient: Hohenlohe
Time Received:
Unit Marching: Entire Force and associated cavalry and guns.
Route of March: Head toward Gera with outlying forces use road net to cover ground quickly.
Time to spend Marching: until positions reached.
Expected Objective: Orderly withdrawal from original positions head towards Gera and then onward to Altenbourg. Scout French positions if it appears they are closing with you.
Rules of Engagement: Some scouting with cavalry. Do not engage.
Dispatches: withdraw as agreed. Await further orders when done. Try to keep adjacent to rest of Prussian army.
 

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Umpire

Orders:

Sender : Brunswick
Time Sent: Now
Recipient: Umpire
Time Received:
Unit Marching: Entire Force 3 divisions and associated cavalry and guns and myself
Route of March: Weimar to Mattstedt via junction on Weimar/Jena road then on to Naumbourg along road in column with baggage in middle and cavalry screening the withdrawal from rear.
Time to spend Marching: until positions reached.
Expected Objective: Orderly withdrawal along roads to Naumbourg.
Rules of Engagement: Do not engage.
Dispatches:
I will be with 2nd Division Warten's on the orderly withdrawal from Weimar on the way to Naumbourg.

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Umpire
To: Brunswick

OK, you've begun your march.
However, given the relatively slow pace of your troops (3 km/h) an eight hour march puts the nose of your column just to the West of Auerstadt.  Your stated objective is ca. 20 hours away.  I can march your lads that hard but the fatigue cost would be brutal.  On the other side of it, because eight hours only gets them 24 km out, your two rearmost divisions haven't yet left Weimar.
In the spirit of learning the game, I don't think it amiss that I've stopped your lads after an 8 hour march and now would await some further direction for the remainder of October 10.
 

Note: Thanks to Jim's intervention it began to dawn upon me just how much I was asking of my troops so early in the campaign. This was the first real time that I discovered just how clogged a road could get and just how long a column would take from getting from A to B in this game system. It was an error that I would make more than once!

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Umpire
 
Yes I realised I was asking an awful lot of my troops to march to the destinations I had quoted. It was only the other night and I actually had a set of dividers out on the map and the penny dropped just how far away everything is...oops!!! Anyway can I look at the situation and come back to you...I most certainly do not want them over marched and badly fatigued. I also realised that I had left no one behind to notify any potential messenger where my intended location was to be....I assumed that I may well have just cut myself off from all means of communication. I 'll get back to you soon regarding a revised position and order of March if that is ok?
 
P.s. I will keep a log of all the f ups a noob can make and lessons learned...this game has already got me hooked and I am so grateful to be able to play. Even though very little has so far unfolded for me; this game is truly filling my waking hours just thinking about the problems, issues and plans...what a great game!
 
Cheers
 
Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Brunswick
To: Umpire
 
Can I just check the situation with you?
 
I have 1 division just west of Auerstadt
1 division strung out along the road between Weimar and Auerstadt
1 division still in Weimar
 
So can the 1st division stop and set up camp where they are west of Auerstadt allowing the division to concentrate on that location.
Can the 2nd division stop at Mattstedt again allowing the division to concentrate on that location.
Can the 3rd division stop at Apolda?!? Can't quite make out the name but it the village/town a little north of the road junction with the Weimar-Jena road.
 
As I was stupid enough not to give an order of March can you please tell me which division is where please?
 
So I have Warten's 2nd Division
Orange's 1st Division
And Kuhneim's 1st Reserve
 
Also can I send out some messengers to establish the whereabouts of each of my sub commanders forces please to ensure that they are indeed following a policy of ordered withdrawal and for me to establish their respective progress towards their target locations.
 
Wow never realised command could be so tricky?!
 
Who would of thunk it!
 
Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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With all of that out of the way it was now time for our 6 am orders for the 11th October 1806 and this is where the flow of the game started to reveal itself more fully with messages coming in from other commands etc.

I have tried to post the following in the order I received them so quite often I will have written something only to have a report come in, written hours or even days earlier, that I would then respond to. Once again the realisation of just how large an area we were dealing with and just how long it took information to be received and replied to really hit home. It was quickly apparent that most times I could do little about the information that I had received as the situation was already several hours old and would take a similar time to respond to. Another interesting lesson!

Offline Hatricvs

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06.00 Hours 11th October 1806

From: Brunswick
To: Umpire
 
Orders for 6 am 11th October 1806

Sender : Brunswick
Time Sent: During night of 10th/11th October 1806
Recipient: Umpire
Time Received:
Unit Marching: Entire Force 3 divisions and associated cavalry and guns and myself.
Brunswick will March with Warten's Division.
Order of March:
Orange start out 6 am and March to Naumbourg or if it takes longer than eight hours encamp at that point in bivouac.
Wartens start out 7am and March to Naumbourg or if it takes longer than eight hours encamp at that point in bivouac.
Kunheim start out 8am and March to Naumbourg or if it takes longer than eight hours encamp at that point in bivouac.
Brunswick's Artillery start out at 9 am and March to Naumbourg or if it takes longer than eight hours encamp at that point in bivouac .
Route of March: Auerstadt  to Naumbourg along road in column with baggage in middle and cavalry screening the withdrawal from rear.
Time to spend Marching: until positions reached or eight hours clear March whichever the earlier.
Expected Objective: Orderly withdrawal along roads to Naumbourg.
Rules of Engagement: Do not engage.
Dispatches: Send messengers to establish the location of the other Prussian commanders and their current locations and general direction of travel. Also to relay any information available from them as to the whereabouts of the French Army.
 
Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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11.00 Hrs:
From:Umpire
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,
After a light march of five hours, your corps has arrived at Naumbourg.
No enemy has been sighted.
S!