Tuesday, December 02, 2014

1806 Campaign day 10: Battle of Eilenburg

After a day of manoeuvre and minor scrapping between Bittefeld and Eilenburg on day 9 of the campaign, both sides stayed on the battlefield overnight.   Units within 12' of the enemy were pulled back to make a 12" gap.  Units were allowed to move up to 12" overnight, but not forward of the front line.  Units broken the day before remained off table.  Shaken units were restored to black (1 less) & other casualties were retained.

The French stayed because they knew they had reinforcements coming.  The Prussians stayed because they had parity of numbers overall & a great advantage in cavalry.  They figured that they had an outside chance of beating the French before their reinforcements could arrive, and that if that attempt failed, their cavalry could still cover their retreat.

The Prussians are on the right in all the pics.  The battle started with the Prussians advancing on their left and centre.  This pic is after turn 2 and one Prussian infantry division has got a bit carried away and charged home down the road on the left.  Unfortunately the units on its flanks were not so enthusiastic.

The over-enthusiastic Prussian attack down the road has been broken.  A French infantry division has come out of Leipzig behind the French centre.   The rearguard in Bittefled has sent a message saying hordes of French are coming from the west.  On turn 3 the Prussians called off the attack and began to withdraw their right.

The Prussians are moving their batteries back to Eilenburg.   Their infantry is following while on most of the front, their cavalry holds the French back.  The 4th division on the far right (near the turn counter) is in danger of being cut off.

The gallant infantry of the 4th has been broken and the survivors have fled over the river.  A French dragoon division has lead the French reinforcements from the west and has nearly reached the front line.

In the foreground the Prussian retreat proceeds.  All the artillery is on the road to Torgau, most of the infantry is following on.   The French dragoons have broken one Prussian cavalry division leaving the rearguard looking  a bit shaky.

The Prussians have turned two cavalry divisions back, stopped the French cavalry & stabilised their right.  The French concede that that they can't pursue in the face of the superior Prussian cavalry and around noon the gun fall silent as the Prussians retreat to the safety of Torgau fortress on the Elbe (off table from the near corner). 

The casualties in today's fighting were:
French: 5 cavalry brigades broken.
Prussians: 6 infantry brigades & 4 cavalry brigades broken, 1 battery broken.
                 1 infantry (in Bittefeld) & 1 battery captured.

Total casualties in 2 days fighting:
French: 2 infantry brigades, 11 cavalry brigades & 2 batteries broken.
Prussians: 10 infantry brigades, 7 cavalry brigades, 3 batteries broken.
                 1 infantry & 1 battery captured.

So the battle ends as a French victory, but the Prussians have retired in good order - it's a far cry from Jena-Auerstadt.

This battle has ended the campaign,.  I'll add a history of the campaign as a whole in a later blog.

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