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Subject: 1802 Campaign Game with 5 players rss

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Konstantin Lubsky
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1802 Campaign Game with 5 players

April 1802

In 1802 whole Europe was expecting that the turmoil caused by the French Revolution would finally settle down and peace and order would prevail, but sadly, it proved a total misconception. In April 1802 the new First Consul of the French Reublic David unprovokedly declared war on the Austrian Empire and ordered the French Army to invade the Austrian province of Venice:



Battle Report:
The battle itself wasn't very exciting from the tactical point of view: The French rushed forward and crushed a surprised Austrian infantry division which was trying to form a square. But then the French cavalry came under heavy fire from the bulk of the Austrian infantry and was eliminated without getting any support from the rest of the French army. At this point the Austrian commander decided to break off the battle and the Austrians retreated being covered by their cavalry safely to their homeland leaving the province to the French.

Conclusion:
The French won a clear, though costly, victory and secured whole Northern Italy under their control. But the French main forces were still far away in France and the decisive battles were still lying ahead.


First Battle of Venice (Apr 1802):

Result: French victory

Belligerents
France vs Austria

Strength
France: Austria:
30.000 infantry 30.000 infantry
1.000 cavalry 1.000 cavalry
100 canons

casualties:
France: Austria:
1.000 cavalry 10.000 infantry


The news about the war stirred up whole Europe and the bad news for Austria from Italy were totally overshadowed by what happened on the political front: The cousin of the Austrian Emperor, the Prussian King Douglas I, proved real fraternity by declaring war on France immediately upon receiving the news that the German sister nation of Austria was under attack. Without any hesitation Douglas ordered his troops to march to the Prussian province of Hannover from where they could threaten the French province of Holland.

What will happen next? Will the Austrians be able to assemble their troops to repel the French invasion? What effect will the new front in the north have on the course of the war? And what are the intentions of the remaining European powers, Great Britain and Russia?

All these questions will be answered in the next edition of the "Imperial Review", stay with us!






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Scott Randolph
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Cool!...keep it up guys!
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Sean Conroy
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Really excellent to know people are still playing this. These were a great series of games from EG, too bad they couldn't keep it going.
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Konstantin Lubsky
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May 1802

Troubled by the outbreak of the war, all European powers fully mobilized their forces by May 1802 and set them in motion: France moved its main forces to Switzerland; Great Britain sent her mighty fleet to the Mediterranean; Prussia, which had just decalred war on France, occuppied the French controlled Holland; and Russia sent an expeditionary corps to Galicia to - as it had promised - support Austria's fight against France while the main Russian army invaded the Swedish province of Finland.

But the most significant event was the first Austrian victory of the war in the 2nd Battle of Venice. The Austrians managed to encircle the French Italian army by occuppying the neighbouring provinces of Milan and the Papal State thus cutting all possible retreat routs for the French:




The Second Battle of Venice was almost exclusively an artillery face off which resulted in a complete disaster for the French Army of Italy. It proved fatally that it had lost its entire cavalry force in the previous battle, which gave the Austrians an invaluable advantage in the pre-battle reconnaissance. The French infantrymen blindly ran directly in the muzzle flashes of the Austrian canons. After having suffered heavy casualties by the superior Austrian artillery, which had been placed in an excellent position and also had a bit of luck, the French tried to retreat. But to their surprise, they found themselves in a couldron from which there was no escape. The remaining French forces either capitulated or were smashed by the opposing artillery fire while trying to break through.

2nd Battle of Venice (May 1802):

Result: Austrian Victory; Liberation of Venice

Belligerents: Austria vs France

Strength:


France:
30.000 infantry
100 canons

Austria:
3.000 cavalry
60.000 infantry
200 canons

casualties:


France:


ca. 10.000 dead or wounded
over 20.000 captured
58 canons captured

Austria:

513 dead or wounded

Conclusion:

Though most of them didn't face the enemy directly, this first victory gave the Austrians what they needed to face the French main army: the necessary confidence that they could beat it. Frace's army of Italy had ceased to exist and with it the danger of an invasion of the Austrian homeland form the south. But there was still French main army at the Austrian border in Switzerland and a huge clash in the summer seemed very likely.










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Konstantin Lubsky
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June 1802

In June 1802 Europe witnessed two battles which decisively affected the course of the war. The month began with the French main army advancing into the Austrian-held Italian province of Milano, where it easily routed the only one Austrian division in the area. But the most significant effect of this action was that now the two adversary armies faced each other at striking distance.

Meanwhile in the north, the Prussian army took the initiative and invaded the French controlled province of Belgium, which resulted in a skirmish in the outskirts of Brussels. Though Prussia had declared war on France already two months ago, this offensive totally surprised the French leadership, which obviously wasn't expecting any actions by Prussia, at least not so quickly. Now this would change.


[Battle of Brussels

Taking advantage of their superior numbers, the Prussian infantry stormed forward and eliminated or routed the French in an old-fashioned bayonett charge. The surviving French forces managed to retreat only thanks to the valiant rearguard covering actions of their cavalry. It was almost completely eliminated, but this sacrifice allowed at least parts of the French army to escape.


Prussians

50.000 Infantry
2.000 cavalry
200 cannons

French


40.000 Infantry
1.000 Cavalry

Casualties


Prussians
ca. 600 dead or wounded

French

ca. 20.000 Infantry and 1.000 Cavalry dead or wounded; over 2.000 captured

Conclusion
The swift Prussian advance and their catching out of the French garrison totally changed the whole strategic situation. Now France had to fight a war on two fronts and it faced an imminent invasion from the north, while Paris being just a few day's marches away from the Prussian cavalry.

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Konstantin Lubsky
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[June 1802 continued]

While war was raging in the center of Europe, the Russian Czar almost unnoticedly sent his army to the north and annexed the rich nation of Sweden-Finland, which also delivered its navy to him.

Simultaneously with the Prussians in Belgium, the Austrians launched their offensive against the French army in Milan, hoping to deal the final blow and finish the war. The French commander found an excellent defending position, a hill in the center which was covered by villages on the flanks. But would it be enough to counter the vast numerical superiority of the Austrians?


Second Battle of Milan, starting deployment

The battle began with the attempt by the Austrian heavy cavalry to outflank the French on their right flank. But the village there was bravely defended by French cavalrymen who routed their attacking better-armed counterparts. So there was no other choice for the Austrians: they had to advance and face the enemy. Unwilling to be drawn in tedious house-to-house fightings, the Austrian command decided to deal the main blow in the center by storming the heavily defended hill. After having exchanged several artillery volleys, the main forces of the Austrians advanced. But the main charge was carreid out by the Austrian cavalry, which simultaneously attacked in the center and again the village on the French right flank.


Austrian cavalry charge

The French infantry defending the hill decided not to form squares but to fight in open formation, which allowed the Austrian cavalry to eliminate or to rout them. Even left without infantry cover, the French artillery continued to fire from all barrels, inflicting heavy casualties on the Austrians, but it was too late and the odds were too uneven to change the tide in the center. Meanwhile, on the right flank, the French cavalry also repelled the second attack of the Austrian cavalry against the village, thus creating a critical situation for the Austrians in this sector and leaving a slim chance for a French victiory. Under pressure to act, the Austrian infantry now also advanced against the French-held village on their left. Having concentrated their superior fire power agianst the village, the Austrians were lucky enough to rout the single one French infantry which was defending it.


end of the battle

This breakthrough in the French left ended the battle and caused the French to retreat. Like in Belgium, the French cavalry again showed shining examples of bravery, sacrificing itself to enable the remaining forces to retreat.



This month turned out a total disaster for the French army: it lost two battles and now the war theatre would move to the French homeland itself. But luckily, France was still the richest nation in Europe and new regiments were about to be formed. But would it be enough to stop the steamroller on both fronts? And how would the other major powers react to an invasion of France? All these questions will be answered in the next editions of the "Imperial Review"!
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