BH12 Dresden - Day2 - French Left flank (27 August 1813)
Battle of Dresden - 27 August 1813
Day 2 (French Left flank)
After suffering defeat in Russia, Napoleon had rebuilt his Grande Armee for campaigns in Germany in 1813. The initial campaign led to battles at Lützen and Bautzen, incomplete french victories either due to failure of Napoleon's marshals to pursue battle plans properly, or failure of adequate pursuit from lack of available cavalry. An armistice was called between June and August, but probably benefited the Allies more than the French.
Dresden was the last major depot in Napoleon's line of communications and full of supplies. St. Cyr (XIV corps) was in charge of its defence.
The Allies had decided upon the Trachenberg Plan, to avoid battle with Napoleon himself, and focus on defeating his Marshal's individually. As such, feeling that Napoleon was planning operations elsewhere, Schwarzenberg along with Francis II, Alexander I and Frederick William III decided to attack St. Cyr.
Napoleon took the initiative and arrived at Dresden, to reinforce the defending forces there led by St. Cyr, surprising the attackers. During the battle shouts of "Vive L'Empereur" from the defenders made it clear that the emperor himself was present. Only the Prussian Frederick William stood firm, while the other Allied leadership considered abandoning the attack with this new development at hand. Why should we retreat an army from one man?'
The defending forces were pushed back to the city, but late in the afternoon, Napoleon ordered an attack from the reinforced defenders and pushed the allies nearly back to their starting positions in bloody combat.
As night fell, the French were further reinforced by concentration of nearby forces, more so than the allies. Napoleon ordered an attack the next morning, continuing the initiative from the previous day. His plan was to strengthen the flanks for a double envelopment. The allies focused on the center, which quickly stagnated into an artillery duel. The attack began on the French left with Mortier leading the Young Guard, backed by Nansouty's cavalry. The Russians were pushed back and outflanked. Later, St. Cyr pushed out of the Great Garden and took Strehla, repelling Kleist's counterattacks.
Plans for counterattack from the Russians were delayed As Barclay de Tolly feared his artillery would get mired in the mud from rains during the night, and out of fear when an artillery shot hit the encampment of the Tsar himself, killing General Moreau, a former rival of Napoleon's. The news of French successes on the opposite side of the battlefield by Vandamme and Murat sealed the decision to retreat during the night.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
•5 Command Cards
•3 Tactician Cards
•Mother Russia rule is in effect, roll 4 dice
•Iron Will 2
•5 Command Cards
•5 Tactician Cards
•The "Great Garden" is composed of the 2 walled garden hexes near Gruhna. This represents a temporary victory banner objective for the allies. One banner is gained by the allies if they occupy either hex at turn start.
•Streisen, Gruhna and Strehla are a Temporary Group Victory Banner Objective worth 1 banners to the side occupying two of them at turn start or 2 banners to the side occupying all three of them at turn start.
•Mud: Artillery moves a maximum of 1 space per turn, regardless of Command or Tactician Card effects.