Saturday, September 29, 2012

Campaign Move 14

1200 to 1600 18 August 1813

 Campaign Map at 0800 18th August 1813

Battle of Bad Kosen
By midday it is obvious to Langeron that he will not be able to cross the river Saale by either the northern ford, or the central bridge.   Both are too well defended.   The French have deployed their artillery to cover both crossings, and in addition have sufficient infantry and cavalry to counter any attempted crossing.

Both sides engaged in a fruitless long range artillery duel.  Throughout the morning this had no effect.  However by mid afternoon the French gunners started to inflict casualties on the Russian crews.  Each hit reduced the effectiveness of the Russian gunners and their ability to reply.

Fortunately Wunzow was not in position at the southern bridge with 3rd Russian corps.    This bridge was held by a brigade of French lancers, but lacking any artillery support they were forced to retire when the Russian gunners opened fire on them.   

Wurzow only had one regiment of cavalry available, but he ordered them over to the northern bank or hold off the lancers whilst his infantry crossed.   The French risked the artillery fire and charged the Russian cavalry.   The fight raged for some time, but eventually the lancers were forced to withdraw again.  

Battle of Jena

Just after midday General Wittggenstein arrives with 6th Russian division moving through the hills behind 4th division.   The Russian CinC had taken control and ordered the division to march to support 2nd corps.  

Now that he has arrived on the battlefield General Wittgenstein takes command of 2nd Russian corps.   He sends orders for 4th to move to C05 and 5th division to C04.   This will threaten the weak French right flank, and make room for 6th division to deploy in C06

4th division had already halted east of the northern bridge to avoid a frontal attack in the north against the French Imperial Guard-   5th division had  moved south and was opposite the southern ford.

5th Russian division sent their cavalry brigade to recce the river south of Jena to see if there was a ford.   The Polish cavalry were already doing so on the western bank withdrew just after midday.  It would take another three hours before the Russians discovered that there is in fact a ford there.

4th Russian division had the difficult task of defending the northern ford against a possible attack by the French guard, and at the same time extend their left flank to cover the bridge as well.  In doing so their artillery came under heavy fire and the gunners routed.   Left without artillery support it is now unlikely that they will be able to fight their way over the defended river.

6th division had arrived just in time to plug the gap and deter the French from attacking.

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