Sunday, October 14, 2012

Campaign Move 18

1600 to 2000 19 August 1813
 Campaign Map at 2000 19th August 1813

Battle of Jena – Day Two

The Polish division lost one third of their division in the fight for the town of Jena.   As the survivors fled from the town the reserve brigade joined them in rout.   They had already lost half of their cavalry, and just one regiment of infantry and one of cavalry were left to support the artillery and hold the centre.

The Italian division formed Napoleon’s reserve.  They had suffered heavy casualties earlier in the campaign, and had no artillery.  

The Imperial Garde held their ground to the end.   Heavily outnumbered in infantry and cavalry they refused to give an inch.   The Russian cavalry forced the infantry to form square, and the heavy 12 pounder guns took their toll.

7th French division held the right flank, and fought hard to hold the village.   But the loss of Jena isolated them from the Garde, the Poles had broken and run and the Italians were too weak to fill the gap in the centre

At 1600 Napoleon ordered a general retreat.   The battered French army fell back in good order and kept the Russian horde at bay.   But it was clear to all that Napoleon had suffered a crushing defeat.  

French casualties were 5300 and they lost two thirds of their artillery
Russian casualties were 3400,  almost half of which were cavalry.

This was the second decisive French defeat within two days.  There were no reserves, and he had lost one third of his artillery.  The Russians outnumbered him in infantry, cavalry and artillery.   Napoleon lost more than a battle at Jena – he also lost the campaign!

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