413 Blankenfelde (23 August 1813)
Blankenfelde - 23 August 1813
After the disastrous Russian campaign, Napoleon feverishly rebuilt his Grande Armee. The young recruits, the ‘Marie-Louisas,’ acquitted themselves well, but the French victories at Lutzen and Bautzen had come at a high cost in casualties. Both Napoleon and the Allies needed time to rebuild and strengthen, so a short truce went into effect.
Negotiations were fruitless, so when the war resumed, Napoleon ordered Oudinot to lead the offensive against the Prussian capital of Berlin, hoping to knock the Prussians out of the war. Oudinot’s ill health, lack of cavalry, weather and underestimation of the enemy, would doom the expedition to failure. The Allies were prepared to fight because they had adopted the wise strategy of fighting only when Napoleon was not present on the battlefield whenever possible.
Oudinot’s 60,000 man army was forced to advance on three widely separated roads due to marshy terrain and rainy weather toward a Swedish-Prussian force under the former French Marshal Bernadotte, now a Crown Prince of Sweden. Bertrand’s French/Italian IV Corps advanced on the right. Around 9:00am, Bertand’s column attacked toward Blankenfelde. The Prussians had taken up a strong defensive position in front of the village close to the woods. Even though most of the Prussians were militia, their patriotism more than made up for their lack of training. Bertrand believed, mistakenly, that his role was diversionary, and after two halfhearted advances, he gave orders for Fontanelli’s Italians to fall back. Meanwhile in the center, Reynier’s VII Corps was decisively repulsed at Grossbeeren.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Tauentzien
• 5 Command Cards & 3 Iron Will Counters
• Optional 3 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Bertrand
• 4 Command Cards
• Optional 4 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The Prussian player, at the start of the turn, gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner if the French do not occupy any town hexes. As long as no French units occupy any town hexes, the 1 Victory Banner is retained (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The French player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn for each town hex a French unit occupies (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
His strategy was to pull back all the French and then advance up the French Left flank. An interesting move.
He was fortunate that my cards tended to immobilise my Centre and Left, so if I could have followed it might have played out differently. However, a French win here earns full kudos, and a cunning plan award.