Friday, January 18, 2013

Dennewitz 1813-2013 Part 1

Here it is; the Dennewitz AAR! This is the first installment to be followed by a couple more, as it will be picture heavy, and this post is already a long one.

It's been a long time coming because it was a HUGE battle and I took a lot of photos. Choosing the best to illustrate the narrative is not easy!

Also not helpful was the week I had down at the beach with my kids at my father's place; what was I THINKING?! How could I leave you in suspense for all this time? Hopefully the wait has got you salivating in anticipation! :-D

The playing field without any troops, looking from north to south. The  central tables are  4' x 6' and the outer tables are 2' x 6'. All are mounted on castors so that they can be wheeled out of the way to enable access to the centre tables.

Map of battlefield from Napoleon Series

The bravest of the brave: C'est moi!
Don't I look dashing?

The heroic French under my command! 

The following are the units commanded by players. Any divisions not allocated to a player were commanded by the Corps commander

Morand's (Jim) IV Corps: 15th Div. Fontanelli (Paul) & 38th Div. Franquemont (Robin)

Reynier's (Qinny)VII Corps: 24th Div. Le Cocq (Jenko),  32nd Div.  Durutte (Pete E.)

Oudinot's (Malcolm) XII  Corps: 14th Div. Guilleminot (John W.)

Arrighi's (Garry) III Cavalry Corps

Starting positions: Bertrand's IV Corps passing through Dennewitz with  Fontanelli's division across the stream supported by the 5th Light Cavalry Division from Arrighi's command. The stream had steep banks which made it impassable to cavalry and artillery and gave infantry 4 disorders if crossed.

Andrew B.'s Prussian 4th Army Corps waiting to the front. Note the tiny cavalry units, which we dismissed to our  peril!

Ney's orders to Bertrand; Attack!

Fontanelli and Arrighi comply!

IV Corps Reserve Cavalry (Wurttemberg Light Cav.) and Franquemont's Wurttembergers make way for the rest of Bertrand's command to pass through Dennewitz

The artillery park bring up the rear. Andrew B. created special rules for the arty park; If they were taken by the enemy, French artillery supply would be disrupted and batteries could run out of ammunition. French morale would also be affected negatively, but the train could be 'garrisoned' by infantry to protect it if in danger. Fortunately it never was! 

The traffic jam at the Dennewitz crossing

Robin brings his Wurttemberg command out of the column of march to the right flank in order to seize the Rohrbeck crossing and flank the Prussians to the east. 

Bertrand's command north of the stream looking form the west.

Fontanelli's horse guns go BANG!

First blood to us! HUZZAH!

Garry's light cav. division shaking out to the western flank in an attempt to outflank Andrew. We should have known presenting him an open flank was not a good idea!

Garry's lead regt. passes Nieder Görsdorf to the west

Fontanelli's (Paul's) brave boys advance on the Prussians

Andrew awaits Paul's advance, but moves his lancers forwards; The master of combined arms at work!

The traffic snarl at Dennewitz sorts itself out

Things start to go pear shaped: Garry's light cav (Lorge) move to the left and get whacked by Andrew's tiny cavalry units. Andrew holds Paul's attack with the help of more of his tiny cav. Ominously, Prussian reinforcements start appearing to the west in the form of Tim's 4th Brigade (Thumen) of Bülow's (Andrew S.) 3rd Army Corps. The 4th Brigade are the hammer that desroys Morand's attack on the anvil of the 4th Army Corps!

Andrew B. charges at Paul's artillery. Paul's infantry form square in time, and despite infantry flank fire the charge goes in his artillery also  manages to limber in time to flee before the lancers hit home. 

Blown, disordered, but still alive! Phew!

As their target fled before the charge hit home, the cavalry pulled up half way, leaving them at the mercy of the squares who gave them some curry before they withdrew.

Andrew B.'s tiny dragoon detachment charges Garry's guns, but are counter-charged by one of the Chasseur regiments. The quality of the Prussian cav. plus the fact that the French are still in column result in a Prussian victory with the French forced to retire. There was some muttering on the French side a the historical improbability of this happening, but there was nothing in the rules to prevent this, and Andrew is not someone we should have taken quite so lightly in this situation!

Andrew takes the breakthrough and hits the guns, while the repulsed  chasseurs look on in anguish and the regt. behind the guns wets itself!

The battery is sent flying...

...while the flat-footed column gets a whacking from the flank. Ouch!

After that debacle, ominous dust clouds appear from the west as  the Prussian  3rd Army Corps makes its appearance!

Poor Garry wasn't allowed to recover with his cavalry getting another  spanking from more of Andrew B.'s Prussian  dragoons!

And again!

Forced back to Wölmsdorf, Garry now has to contend with MORE cavalry to the west!

Ney orders Robin's Wurrtembergers to the left  to stop this Prussian advance on our flank. Traffic lights would have been good as the Wurrtembergers pass through the column!

Tim's 4th Brigade passes Nieder Görsdorf across land that the 5th Light Cav Div was supposed to be guarding!

The lead brigade of Morand's (Jim) 12th division shake out to the left to face the oncoming Prussian threat, but now with no cavalry support! Fontanelli (Paul) keeps his focus on Andrew B.'s Prussian infantry to the north.

Oppen's (Andrew S.) Cav. Reserve sweeps into the gap between Wölmsdorf and Göhlsdorf followed by Hesse-Homburg's (Darren) 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps.  

The French position north of Dennewitz with the Prussians closing in.

But what's that? To the south-west comes reinforcements; Reynier's (Quinny) VII Corps come  along a round-about route after ignoring his march route (as happened in reality)

Guilleminot (Robin) Forms his Wurrtembergers in a line from Dennewitz to Göhlsdorf.

??? @$&@#$!
My messenger looking for Reynier's command due south.

The battlefield looking south with Dennewitz to the centre-left. Note all the Prussian players licking their lips as they close in for the kill. Vultures!

Jim forms line as Tim brings up his command.

Jim quickly changes into square as Tim's cavalry approaches on the flank. Without cavalry, Jim 's infantry became a n easy target for a full on combined arms attack from another of the masters

And here comes the hammer blow! The Leib Hussars spear-head Tim's attack

Meanwhile, Robin plugs the left flank...

...and Quinny moves up in march column.

The rot sets in for Morand as 2 battalions run...

...followed by more!

Morand's division is on the brink of collapse and about to be driven in! I issued a break off order, which allowed Jim to extract his forces before they were destroyed...

...but that left poor Fontanelli's flank exposed!
Prussian dragoons head through he gap to take Paul's infantry in the flank. Sorry Paul!

To the south, VII Corps shake out into combat formation as they approach Göhlsdorf.

The situation as it stands: Morand has withdrawn south of Dennewitz to regroup with the rest of Bertrand's French  infantry. Fontanelli is broken and routs across the stream. Guilleminot holds the left flank against the advance of the Prussian 3rd Army Corps, while VII Corps approaches from the south to attempt to turn the Prussians' right flank.

Below is a link to Andrew's OB for the battle with battalion sizes etc.

Dennewitz OB

Stay tuned for more!


  1. Wow brilliant battle report Rosbif, once the world economic crisis is over I'm moving over close to you guys with the hope of getting regular games like this!!!

  2. Huge! A battle of length, width, massive amount of troops and color. Very nice, Sirs.

  3. Great report Rosbif! What an awesome looking table, fantastic effort!!

  4. Thats a great report there Rosbif and that table is massive

  5. What a fabulous looking game! Great report and marvellous photos. Can't wait for part 2...

  6. Lovely... Just the way a game should!!!

  7. Brilliant. Dennewitz is one of my favored engagements, and you really did justice to it.
    Thank you for sharing!


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