Thursday 28 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Conclusion

We leave Grazzbenn with Napoleon and his battered force withdrawing under cover of darkness. This was his first defeat of the campaign, and aside from setbacks in the south, the French had enjoyed almost universal success. 

Although the French withdrew in good order I awarded the Prussians a decisive victory which impacts returning casualties. The French were resoundingly defeated with almost universal underperformance in stark contrast to the Prussian cavalry in particular who occasionally excelled themselves.

I will detail casualties shortly but first will highlight the performance of one individual unit. The Prussian 6th Uhlans. They had arrived as part of von Ziethen's 1st Corps reinforcements in Lutzow II's 2nd Cavalry Brigade. It was turn 27 when they first made their presence felt. Having negotiated their way through the great mass of advancing Prussian columns they were joined by Lutzow who lead a charge on an unprepared French infantry battalion still in line formation. 

Having almost wiped out that battalion they routed or forced to retreat 3 more infantry battalions in quick succession adding to the mayhem among the 2nd Corps as the panicked troops piled into the various tightly packed units in an attempt to escape. Their attention was then drawn to the approaching French cavalry of Pire's Division. Lutzow lead the 6th Uhlans in immediate charges against that division successfully causing 3 of the 4 French cavalry regiments to flee the field. The last Chasseur regiment also fled but successfully rallied later. This removed any possibility of the French holding the line or counter-attacking in any meaningful way. 

The total cost to the 6th Uhlans? Just 3 of their initial 13 figures, one of which returned post battle. This is one of the most outstanding performances of any unit in the campaign so far. They did not fail a single morale check. Normally when any unit goes above and beyond they are awarded an upgrade in their quality. In this particular instance I have for the first time given a unit a double upgrade taking it from line to elite! Lutzow will also be upgraded to excellent from average.

The 6th Uhlans at the start of their rampage.
Continued - 

Sunday 24 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 29 - 32

 Turn 29

The turn began with success for the French south of Grazzbenn. They have temporarily at least stalled the Prussian cavalry threat to their retreating infantry. The 1st Carabiniers and 3rd Dragoons defeated Watzdorf's 3rd and 5th Hussars in melee. Unfortunately for the French, both of their regiments will pursue the defeated Prussian Hussars. Clearly the humiliating defeats so far has generated a desire for revenge!

All the Imperial Guard infantry and artillery are now withdrawing south.
Continued -

Saturday 16 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 25 - 28


A reminder of the situation at the end of turn 24.
Turn 25

An early success came for the French when the combined Guard horse artillery batteries firing from the high ground onto the Prussian cavalry decimated what was left of Sydow's brigade. A double 6 was rolled killing Sydow and wiping out more than half of the 2nd Pomeranian Landwehr cavalry (losing 6 out of 11). The survivors fled the field and with the loss of Sydow the subsequent brigade morale test failed leading to the dispersal of the last unit in the brigade, the 1st Pomeranian Landwehr cavalry.

The photo shows the aftermath with just two Prussian cavalry regiments remaining to hold the line east of Grazzbenn.
Continued -

Thursday 7 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 21 - 24

 Turn 21

The Imperial Guards have now defeated the whole of the Prussian left flank and are beginning to concentrate on their next phase of assisting Vandamme defeat the centre.

In the Prussian centre, the Grenadiers a' Cheval continue their devastating attack. Having maintained superb discipline they press on to charge the 1st Dragoons. Thurmen leads the Dragoons into a counter-charge. The Prussians put up a spirited charge but are no match for the Grenadiers who inflict heavy losses on them (8 figures). This forces the Dragoons to retreat but some respite is awarded to the Prussians when the Grenadiers become unformed.
Continued -