Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 2 Battle of Jena – Day Two

Campaign Map at start of battle

2nd Russian corps is attacking Jena
6th division have orders to attack across the northern ford
4th division have orders to attack across the centre bridge
5th division have orders to attack across the southern brigade
12t division belongs to the Russian Reserve and has orders to support 2nd corps

4th French corps has orders to hold Jena
1st division has orders to hold the northern ford
13th division has orders to hold Jena
7th division has orders to deploy south of Jena
16th division has orders to march to Jena

Table at start of battle

Jena is the town in the centre at the cross roads
Road north to Weimar and south to Saalfeld
Road east to Domburg and west to Erfurt

Top left – 1st French division has 100 casualties
Centre left – 13th Polish division has 500 casualties
Left – 7th French division has 1400 casualties
Off table left – 16th Italian division has 600 casualties and no artillery

Top right – 6th Russian division has 400 casualties
Centre right – 4th Russian division has 300 casualties
Bottom right – 5th Russian division has 300 casualties
Off table right – 12th Russian division is full strength

4th French corps

Army commander (centre rear) is Emperor Napoleon (Gifted)
Commander 1st French division (right) is General Curial (Gifted)
Commander 13th Polish division (left) is General Kaminiecki (Average)
Commander 7th French division (left rear) is General Morand (Average)
Commander 16th Italian division (off table left) is General Fontaneli (Poor)

2nd Russian corps

Army commander is General Wittgenstein (Average)
Commander 5th Russian division (nearest camera) is General Bistrom (Average)
Commander 4th Russian division (centre) is General Potemkin (Average)
Commander 6th Russian division (top) is General Galitzin (Poor)
Commander 12th Russian division (off table centre) is General Olsufiew (Average

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
The three Russian divisions are all on Engage orders, and have crossed the river Saale.
Wittgenstein has joined 5th division (nearest camera) and changed their orders to Hold.
1st and 13th French divisions are both on Hold orders
7th and 16th French divisions arrive on the left, both are on Move orders
Napoleon orders 13th and 7th divisions to Engage.

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
Napoleon has decided to hold the road (left) and wait for his reinforcements to arrive
This allows the three Russian divisions to cross the river (right) and deploy

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
12th Russian division arrives centre right
The Guard artillery (top left) have caused heavy casualties to Russian heavy cavalry
Cossacks (bottom) have lost melee with French hussars and withdrawn shaken
The French right is now in position and the reserve deploying west of Jena

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
The French artillery continue to batter the Russians
Guard artillery (top) force Russian cavalry to retreat to river bank
Two regiments (bottom) shaken by artillery fire and then routed by cavalry charge
Russian artillery have caused very few French casualties
12th Russian division (far right) moving towards southern ford

 Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Napoleon has ordered the Garde (top left) to advance
16th French (centre left) is ordered to support them
7th French (bottom left) is ordered to attack the battered 5th Russian
12th Russian (bottom right) is crossing the ford to support 5th Russian

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
As the Garde advance they come under intense fire from the Russian artillery
1st grenadiers suffer heavy casualties and are shaken
The Russian cuirassiers advance to charge the Garde
They are counter charged by the supporting French dragoons.
The cuirassiers win the melee, but the grenadiers have time to form square
The Garde are now without cavalry support and Napoleon calls off the entire attack.

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
6th Russian division (top) continue to withstand heavy artillery casualties
4th Russian division (centre) attack Jena and drive the garrison back into the town
5th and 12th Russian divisions (bottom) deploy left of the river

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
Russian right wing move towards the bridge to escape the deadly artillery fire
Russian infantry take Jena and rout the Polish garrison
Russian left wing advance towards the French held village
The Garde hold the left wing but the centre is in danger of collapse

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
With the fall of Jena the initiative has passed to the Russian army
North of the town the Garde still hold, but are now faced by two divisions
The Poles have lost Jena and most of the division is in rout
The Italians still hold the southern farm, but are also under attack by two divisions

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
Russian cavalry charge the Italian and Polish artillery between Jena and the village.
The gunners are cut down and the guns abandoned.
Only one Polish infantry regiment is left to cover the rout of the division
The Italian cavalry lose their melee and fall back
The French situation is now desperate and Napoleon orders a general retreat

Table at end of battle

This was Napoleon’s last attempt to save the campaign.
He combined two battered corps, and the Imperial Garde, to fight this vital battle
In the early stages it looked like he would pull it off
4th corps arrived in time to extend his right flank, and provide a reserve
The Guard artillery caused heavy casualties amongst 6th Russian division

By lunch time the Russian’s were established on the west bank of the river Saale
Soon after 12th division arrived and joined the left flank
Wittgenstein was lucky to hold his right flank, and in doing so pin the French Garde
He attacked with two strong divisions in the left flank, and swept the Poles and Italians away

This was the hardest fought battle of the campaign, and resulted in the heaviest battle casualties.

The French lost 3400 infantry, 1100 cavalry, 800 gunners and two thirds of their guns
The Russians lost 2100 infantry, 1100 cavalry and 200 gunners

At Jena Napoleon lost both a battle and a campaign.

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

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