BH08 Ölper (1 August 1809)
Battle of Ölper (August 1, 1809)
In the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt, Duke Charles William Ferdinand of Brunswick was mortally wounded. On his deathbed he nominated his son Frederick William as his successor. Although the Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel had remained neutral in the conflict against France, Napoleon declared in 1807 that the House of Brunswick had ceased to reign, broke up the duchy and made it a part of the Kingdom of Westphalia, named the Département Oker.
Resisting this, Frederick William, equipped 2,000 troops at his own expense and offered them and his services to Emperor Franz I of Austria in the Convention of Vienna on 25 February 1809. Due to their black uniform these troops were called the Black Brunswickers. After the Battle of Wagram, Austria had made peace with Napoleon, Frederick William decided to pull his troops on their own through northern Germany to embark on the North Sea to England and on the side of England continue to struggle against Napoleon. After taking Halberstadt on 29 July, Black Brunswickers and their leader reached Braunschweig on 31 July. The troops were joyfully welcomed by the population, but on the morning following their arrival Frederick William received word that a 5,000-strong Westphalian Division commanded by General Reubell was approaching from the north of the city.
The Blacks were outnumbered and were also threatened by an invading Dutch division from Halberstadt. In order not to fall between the two divisions, the Duke decided to face the Westphalians north of Brunswick, near the village of Ölper, to attempt to break through to the north.
At 14:00 the Black crowd moved toward Ölper, reinforced by about 200 citizens of Braunschweig, who were equipped with material looted from Halberstadt. Major Korfes destroyed the crossings over the Oker, in order to prevent flank attacks by the enemy.
An hour later, Reubell's troops appeared at Ölper; the lead Westphalian cuirassiers were immediately fired upon and retreated. The First Infantry Regiment of Westphalia now advanced on the village of Ölper. Friedrich Wilhelm left and withdrew his troops to the south and stationed artillery on a hill. From there they could counter the Westphalian infantry attack.
Now Brunswick continued with their Duke at the head of the counter-attack; Friedrich Wilhelm's horse was killed, but he himself remained unhurt. However, the Captain of Rabiell, commander of the advancing companies, fell. The Blacks progressively withdrew, without having recaptured Ölper.
A direct attack on the Westphalians that followed failed. The bold counterattack against the Hussars under Major Schrader did do damage to them and caused great confusion in the ranks of Westphalia.
An artillery battle finally destroyed one of Brunswick's guns, but further attacks never came. Although the Duke was planning a night attack, Reubell had presciently already cleared the village of Ölper
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
Allies: Black Brunswickers
Commander: Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
4 Command Cards
2 Tactician Cards (Optional)
(2 Iron Will)
French: Kingdom of Westphalia
Commander: Jean-Jacques Reubell
5 Command Cards
2 Tactician Cards (Optional)
The Oker River is not fordable.
The village of Ölper is worth 1 VP to the French if occupied by them at their turn start (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)