Thursday, October 11, 2012

Battle of Jena - Day One

Campaign Map at start of battle

2nd Russian corps is attacking Jena in support of 1st Russian corps attack on Bad Kosen

4th division have orders to attack across the ford
5th division have orders to hold the bridge and east bank
6th division have orders to support 1st corps attack on Bad Kosen

5th French corps have orders to hold the west bank of the river
1st division have orders to support 13th if Jena is attacked
13th division have orders to hold Jena and recce the river in CO4
Table at start of battle

Jena is the town centre left
Road north to Bad Kosen and south to Saalfeld
Road east to Domburg and west to Erfurt

Top left - 1st French division is full strength
Centre left - 13th Polish division (cavalry brigade bottom left) is full strength
Top right - 4th Russian division has 100 casualties
Centre right - 5th Russian division has 100 casualties

5th French corps

Corps commander is General Friant (Gifted)
Commander 1st  Guard division (left)  is General Michael (Average)
Commander 13th Polish division (right) is General Kaminiecki (Average

 2nd Russian corps

Corps commander is General Sacken (Poor)
Commander 5th Russian division (right) is General Bistrom (Average)
Commander 4th Russian division (left)  is General Potemnkin (Average)

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Both French corps are on Hold orders
4th Russian division (top right) must move towards river in accordance with campaign orders
It is clear to General Sacken that he can not attack in the north or centre, but that the south is only lightly held by cavalry.   He knows that there is a ford in the north and the bridge in the centre.  But he does not know whether there is a ford in the south.  
He orders both divisions to move south and 5th division to recce the river for a ford

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
Only artillery are in range and both sides exchange fire. 
The Russians gunners near the bridge receive casualties and become less effective
Russian cavalry in the south move towards the river to recce for a ford


Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
In the south Russian artillery open fire on Polish lancers but do not cause any casualties
Cossacks start to recce the river
Infantry move south in anticipation of a ford

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
In the north the guard move forward level with the Poles
This causes 4th division to abandon their move south in order to defend the ford
Russian gunners north of the bridge receive more casualties and rout
4th Russian division now has to hold the area from the northern ford to the bridge without artillery support.

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Russian CinC arrives with 6th division on the hills top right
He takes command of 2nd Russian corps as soon as he arrives
He sends orders to 4th division to hold the river from the northern ford to the bridge
He sends orders for 5th division to cross the river if there is a ford
The Cossacks continue to search for a ford
Friant has joined the Polish lancers, who confirm that there is a ford

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
Friant takes personal command of the lancer brigade
He orders them to retire out of artillery range.
Sacken moves south to join 5th division and find out whether there is a ford or not
6th division continue through the hills towards the river

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
Friant orders 13th division to extend their left to cover both the bridge and the southern ford
Cossacks continue to recce ford
French artillery open fire on Russian gunners but fail to cause any casualties
With the arrival of 6th division, 4th division are able to move south to bridge

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
Cossacks confirm that there is a ford
Cuirassiers cross ford and deploy into line
Polish gunners open fire on cuirassiers but miss
French guard extend their right towards bridge
Guard gunners move south to cover bridge

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
Polish lancers charge cuirassiers, melee is a draw
Cossacks cross river and deploy to support cuirassiers
Infantry start to cross the southern ford
Artillery prevent Polish infantry moving forward to support lancers

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
6th division deploy cavalry and artillery by the ford
French guard cavalry retire west out of artillery range
4th division is in position to attack across the bridge
5th division are crossing the southern ford
The Polish lancers have fallen back to join the rest of the division

Move 11 – 1800 to 1900

In the south Russian cavalry charge Polish lancers
The Russians win the melee and the Poles fall back
This allows the rest of 5th division to cross the river 

Move 12 – 1900 to 2000
Russian cuirassiers again charge Polish lancers and rout them
5th division has now secured their bridge head on the west bank
The French have retired west to the road
As night falls 6th division moves up to the northern ford.

2nd Russian corps was only able to cross the river Saale because of the arrival of 6th division.   It took most of the day for them to move south and cross the undefended southern ford.   The French cavalry put up a spirited defence but had to withdraw and were finally routed.

5th French corps have abandoned the river and withdrawn to the road.

French casualties: 300 cavalry and 300 infantry
Russian casualties: 100 cavalry, 100 infantry and 200 gunners

We used our own wargame rules to fight the battle
They can be found here

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