Tuesday, November 25, 2014

1806 Campaign: Battle of Eilenburg (or Bittefeld) - afternoon

We restarted the battle tonight on turn 10. 
(Note that the troops near the turn counter are the broken units removed from play).
The Prussian column is continuing along the road on the left towards Eilenburg with divisions deploying to the right as they reach their place in the line. On the other side of the wood Davout's lead division's initial success has left it in an exposed position and it is being pulled back.  (The troops in the wood are Prussians).  The rest of the French line is being straightened out.
The two armies have formed parallel lines just out of artillery range. In the right foreground Ney's Corps has arrived.
Davout has renewed his attack on the Prussian right.  There has been some opportunistic attack & counterattack on the far flank, but it's late afternoon and neither side seems very keen on starting a fight they won't have time to finish.
In the foreground, Davout's attack has petered out as night falls.

Casualties at the end of the day amount to:
Prussians: 4 inf brigades, 3 cav brigades & 2 batteries broken.
                 3 inf & 3 cav shaken.
French: 2 inf brigades, 6 cav brigades, 2 batteries broken.
             1 inf & 1 cav shaken.

The casualties were very light because primarily both sides seemed more concerned with not losing that winning.   The Prussians had more troops on the battlefield with about 58 units to the French initially about 45.  But the Prussians expected more French to be arriving either behind them or through Leipzig.  As it happened only Ney arrived with just another 12 units (from the SW) taking the French to about parity, but too late to get involved.  The Prussians also believed that clearing the road through Eilenburg to Torgau the Elbe fortress where they could wait for the Russians had to be their prime objective.  The difference in command rating of the two armies also weighed heavy in the Prussian thinking: Previous experience at Gera made them very wary of the speed & flexibilty of  the French troops & very aware of their own army's tendency to move slow & to miss opportunities. 

The French had a chance of a crushing victory if they could have pushed through to the road in the morning, but the superior Prussian cavalry delayed their advance and bought time for the infantry & artillery to come up.  Having missed that opportunity, & knowing more troops were coming, their decision to go on the defensive against superior numbers of cavalry & artillery was understandable.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Impressive pictures, nice looking game!