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02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

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02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:58 pm



In late April the French VII Corps advancing from Asherlseben and a stronger Prussian Corps that was marching west from Bitterfeld collided at Bernburg. The outnumbered French withdrew and were chased back over the Saale by Prussian hussars losing a couple of dozen prisoners. From these the Prussian commander may have gleaned information about his enemy's strength for a few days later the Prussians pressed the issue again, crossing the Saale and moving in strength upon the small town of Ascherlseben.

This time VII Corps stood its ground to meet the enemy.



The town of Anveiler will represent Ascherlseben and I have highlighted some roads dark brown to represent the main N-S highway between Magdeburg and Eisleben and the lesser road east to Bernburg, along which the Prussians are advancing. The Saale is just off the east map edge.

The French have two safe/exit zones - either of the entry points of the N-S road; the Prussians have one - the road they have marched along.

This will be a two hour scenario.

Objectives:

French - hold Ascherlseben.

Prussian - capture Ascherlseben.

The force which fails will recoil exhausted along it's LoC to the adjacent town on the master map.

I will create threads in the private forums for planning asap (probably tomorrow my time as I'm still working on the OOBs) and set up a Doodle poll after Naumberg has been fought.


_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:23 pm

20:00 GMT. Arrive at 19:30 at the latest so we can download mods and get everything ready. A 20:00 start prompt.

I will try, if we can, to do both Naumberg and Ascherlseben today and tomorrow. I realise this is pushing things but we have a great turnout for tomorrow and if we play Ascherlseben then, then whoever shows up today we can try to do Naumberg which needs fewer people. The fact I had about 9 or 10 people sign up for Naumberg initially was a bit embarrassing as the battle doesn't need that number. I have this thing about refusing to waste player slots on battery commanders!

For Naumberg the Coalition can get away with 3 players and the French about 5.

Getting these two fights out the way will let me crack on with turn 3 on Monday.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:14 am

The Prussians attacked with vigour initially, driving VII Corps back from its defensive line on rising ground beyond a stream and a wooded valley but upon sighting the distant flags of more French troops arriving from the direction of Eisleben, Generalleutnant Yorck halted his advance and then drew back behind the stream to occupy a prominent hill east of where the French had first drawn up.

A powerful host of French forces then arrived on the open slopes west of Ascherlseben and the Prussians were able to count no fewer then three corps d'armee facing them. With the prospect of capturing the town now extremely slight the Prussians withdraw across the Saale to Bernburg, their withdrawal covered by their superior cavalry. Their guns kept up a desultory fire until almost nightfall, inflicting a steady trickle of casualties on the French who remained within cannon shot without attacking.

Prince Eugene de Beauharnais had protected an important road junction and more important still, his line of communications, but had committed three army corps against one to do so.

As the French held the field of battle as night fell the action was considered a minor French victory but the Prussians were not beaten and withdrew of their own volition. The wily old General Yorck remains a threat across the Saale. Prince Eugene has learned accurate numbers of the enemy from wounded prisoners taken as the Prussians withdrew.

Replay File.

The French suffered 140 killed, 1,000 wounded and 25 missing; most of these in VII Corps. The Prussians lost 65 killed, 470 wounded and 10 missing. In terms of the intensity of the combat, and how extensive it was among the units present, many of whom saw no action, this turned out to be merely a skirmish.


The Prussian right wing of infantry and a cavalry division advance up the slope over the ground at first occupied by Durutte's division of VII Corps.



The Empire Strikes Back. Prince Eugene at the head of la Armee d'Elbe.



All that General Durutte saw of the enemy for much of the action.



French reinforcements manoeuvring.


_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Grog on Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:54 am

Thanks again for the game Martin and everyone

Sorry to those who did not get much of a game and ,perhaps, wonder why I didn't attack when our forces became strong.

I did really want to attack but felt that the Prussians would have easily retreated back off the map and inflicted even more casualties with their artillery. Our artillery had barely come up, especially, with so many being manhandled to the front (an unfortunate result from a scenario oob mistake).

The other reason being that I interpreted the pre battle objectives a bit too rigidly.

"Objectives:

French - hold Ascherlseben.

Prussian - capture Ascherlseben.

The force which fails will recoil exhausted along it's LoC to the adjacent town on the master map."

I fully understand Martin's decision to call this a 'non-battle/skirmish' and not apply the above rule (although at the time I was a bit upset...sorry Embarassed ).

Mike





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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:30 pm

I do apologise for my spur of the moment decision but really the Prussians never made a serious attack and Eugene never counter-attacked. Had Eugene done so and obliged the Prussians to retreat, they would have been exhausted. As it was, Eugene let them march away unmolested. I agree that forcing them to retreat would have cost you casualties but that seems reasonable.

When I wrote out the victory conditions I never made allowance for there not being a proper battle at all! Those rules were set out on the assumption that there would be some serious fighting Smile

I think your response and actions Mike were excellent and extremely in-character for poor old Eugene. I am going to allow some additional reinforcements to arrive to bolster your force because you role-played so well.

I think I'll make this a feature of this campaign - bonuses for good role-playing and acting like the real people were known to do and penalties for the opposite.

BTW the Prussians did have an excellent opportunity here to destroy VII Corps or at least do it serious harm. When the two teams were set up it was at once obvious to the Prussians that there were going to be French reinforcements and thus from the outset they attacked cautiously and left a third of their corps as a south-facing flank guard.

I will in future design OOBs and command sizes as carefully as I can so that two armies greatly different in size can be commanded by a similar number of players. This should help limit that kind of reaction.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  CaptainAndrew on Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:32 pm

I will in future design OOBs and command sizes as carefully as I can so that two armies greatly different in size can be commanded by a similar number of players. This should help limit that kind of reaction.

That would be very welcome as this battle suffered somewhat from the lack of players even with around 10 people participating. It's nice though that it brings back the players that I see less frequently, which makes for more interesting battles.
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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Grog on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:19 pm

As with my chosen character, I will strive to act with honour, loyalty and bravery.

Strategic and tactical decisions remain based on my own judgement, which may or may not compare well with 'poor old Eugene' Very Happy

Actually, I am honoured. Eugene is generally underestimated IMO. No Davout, for sure, but he generally gave a good account of himself.


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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:34 pm

You must be related to Kevin then?

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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:44 pm

Petre didn't have a very high opinion of Eugene's conduct between January and May 1813. Mind you, Eugene was hardly given good tools to do the job with. As I become more familiar with the 1813 OOBs I am only now discovering how truly bad the French cavalry situation was. Petre criticises Napoleon for the summer armistice that allowed his enemies to both bring Austria on board and summon vast forces westwards across Poland, but given that during 6 weeks Napoleon mustered five cavalry corps out of basically nothing you can understand his reasons.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 02 Battle of Ascherlseben - 4th May 1813

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