MD07 Polotsk - First Day of Battle (17 October 1812)
Polotsk - 17 October 1812 (First Day of Battle)
As Napoleon advanced eastward into Russia, he set up three supply depots at Polotsk, Minsk and Smolensk to keep his army in supply. Vitebsk was the northernmost depot, and most vulnerable to Russian attacks under a steadily growing force under Wittgenstein. It was imperative that Saint-Cyr hold Wittgenstein on the Dvina line to prevent the Russians from cutting the French Army’s communications. On the 18th, Wittenstein’s 40,000 Russians made no fewer than seven frontal assaults on the 23,000 French troops strategically positioned in front of Polotsk while 9,000 additional Russians under Steingal moved on Polotsk from the rear. The fighting was fierce, yet all of the Russian attacks were beaten back by the end of the day. That night and the next day the Russians bombarded the French positions. When Steingal’s force arrived, Saint-Cyr knew he had to retreat or be surrounded. He ordered his Bavarian contingent to attack Steingal. They attacked with élan, driving the Russians back in disorder and opening a line of retreat. Saint-Cyr’s force was weakened to the point that Wittgenstein was able to advance, cut the supply line at Vitebsk, and set in motion the logistic catastrophe that destroyed Le Grande Armee.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wittgenstein
• 5 Command Cards
• (Optional 3 Tactician Cards)
• Move First
• Commander: Saint-Cyr
• 5 Command Cards
• (Optional 4 Tactician Cards)
• The Russian win a Sudden Death Victory, if the Russian occupies both Polotsk town hexes at the start of its turn.
• The River Dvina is impassable
• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll rule is in effect. Saber have no effect.