Friday, January 25, 2013

Dennewitz 1813-2013 - Part 2

Here's the next exciting installment of the Dennewitz AAR. It's later than I expected to have it up because real life keeps getting in the way. I'm supposed to be on holiday, but I seem to be busier than usual! Below is a reminder of where the last post left off. 

Before we get stuck in, however, I just want to acknowledge a point Tim made about a throwaway line I put in the last post. I mentioned how Andrew B.'s use of the small Prussian cavalry detachments to hold up our cavalry division caused a little grumbling among some of the French players who thought that this was not historical and taking liberties with the rules, but that I felt that giving a flank to him was just plain dangerous whatever was facing us. Tim pointed out that this was exactly what happened in the historical battle; small cavarly detachments, including landwehr cavalry, were thrown into battle in death or glory charges to slow down the French in surges of patriotic vengeance. While there was a benefit in coming to the battle blind, obviously there was also a downside, especially if one wasn't familiar with the Befreiungskrieg period!

The situation where we left off: French  IV Corps getting a hammering and falling back  south of Dennewitz to create a defensive position facing north and west; Prussian reinforcements arriving from the west; French VII Corps arriving from the south after a scenic detour.

Andrew B's Prussian Landwehr chases Paul's broken Italians to the stream. 

Paul's remnants safely behind the stream. In the nick of time, too, as Tim's cavalry swarm the northern bank.

Jim's French (Morand's division)  regroup behind Dennewitz after the breakoff

VII Corps skirt the woods to the south of the battlefield and begin deploying on the Prussian flank

The cavalry screen the infantry's advance, while the Prussians  scramble to react!

Morand's division gets itself organised behind Robin's wall of Wurrtembergers.

Here come the Saxons of VII Corps!

More Saxons...

...and Poles!

Prussian cavalry charge the French dragoons in front of their guns.

The lead elements of 2 regiments were moved only until the battle was resolved... the French favour, but the Prussians were driven far back enough that they weren't masking their guns as we'd hoped.

More pesky Prussian cavalry charge the approaching infantry, which just manage to form square. As this column was still in march order, this could have been catastrophic if the lead unit had failed to form square. Phew!

On comes the tail of the VII Corps column

Things are looking up as the French pile in on to the Prussian  flank , stretching their line with a nice gap opening in the middle!

While the right flank held the crossing points at Dennewitz and Rohrbeck, and the centre held the line Göhlsdorf-Dennewitz, VII Corps' job was to put pressure on the Prussian right flank, creating a gap between Göhlsdorf and Wölmsdorf, which could be exploited by Oudinot's approaching corps (that was the plan, anyway!)

Darren's 3rd Brigade Prussians advance on Robin's 38th Division Wurrtembergers, hoping to crack our defensive line before our reinforcements come into play

Bad photo, but Garry throws some of his battered chasseurs at Darren's closed columns to stop his advance on Robin's line.
He catches the limbered artillery, sending it routing to the rear, but bounces off the closed column. That was all that was required as it stops Darren's advance in it's tracks!
Robin's Wurrtemberg artillery discouraging Darren's advance.

Meanwhile, the last Saxon divisions of VII Corps shake out of march column just south of Göhlsdorf

Saxon fusiliers

Saxon Jägers

Tony's Prussian 6th Brigade sends in another death or glory charge at the advancing French columns of Pete E.'s 38th Division. The target battalion squares up and gives the Prussian cavalry a taste of powder...
 ...while the rest of the division moves to block in the audacious Prussians who were forced to surrender after taking fire from the front and flank.

French hussars look on 

The battlefield from the Prussian perspective: Nieder Görsdorf closest to the camera, Wölmsdorf to the right. Prussian reinforcements arriving to plug the gaps in the centre of their line.

French cavalry and Saxon infantry moving to threaten advancing Prussian brigade.

Vörwarts, meine kinder!

Reinforcements move around Wölmsdorf

Darren's troops hold the line around Nieder Görsdorf, despite the right hand landwehr battalion falling back after failing a morale check brought about by losing one too many casualties from Robin's artillery.

Andrew B. masses his brigade around Dennewitz to the north in an attempt to seize the bridge over the stream. Jim had put Dambowski's Polish division across the bridge to hold the two city blocks closest to the bridge to thwart Andrew's attempts. Andrew's guns are sited to give flank fire if Robin makes any forward move with his Wurrtemberg division.

Quinny, Jenko and Garry doing their best to give the Prussians a headache on the south-western flank, while Johnny W. waits patiently for Oudinot's corps to make its appearance so that he can impose himself on the game! 

Andrew B. tries to ford the stream between Dennewitz and Rohrbeck, while 

Quinny directs traffic while Robin takes photos.

On comes more Prussian reinforcements, this time the Prussian 5th Brigade commanded by Andrew S. who also doubled as my counterpart, the overall commander of the Prussian forces.

5th Brigade cavalry

Garry's French and Saxon cavalry move to counter the new threat.

On the board and... 

...into battle straight away!
Angemeldet Jena!
Prussian artillery and limbers ready for action!
A study in concentration!

The Prussian southern flank settles with the added reinforcements.

However the centre still looks ripe for exploitation... Oudinot's XII Corps, approaching from the left of picture!

XII Corps: The hammer to crack the Prussian centre?
Stay tuned for the last exciting installment of the marathon Dennewitz AAR!


  1. Very very cool game. Love the photos!

  2. That look so so good I do love seeing those big games, you get e sense of the scale of a real battle

  3. This is simply magnificent; the game itself, the great photos and your report—wargaming at its best!


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