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Napoleon at Leipzig (fifth edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Wachau – Möckern: the main course rss

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Andrew Hobley
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On 16 October, two days after Liebertwolkwitz, we have the first day of the Battle of Leipzig; a three part affair with the fight between Blücher and Marmont to the north of the city around Möckern, the Austrian attempt to cut the French line of communication at Lindenau to the west and to the south the clash the Battle of the Four Emperors, as the Austrians, Prussians, Russians and French clash on the line Markkleeberg – Wachau – Liebertwolkwitz – Grosspösna. As usual played solo.

As set up the Allies are planning to make a major attack between the rivers Elbe Elster and Pleisse. Given this would involve assaults across bridges into chateaux hexes the change of success is very slight. So instead the Allied plan was the Austrian II Corps threatened a crossing, while the powerful Reserve Corp switched back to the east bank and pushed towards Dolitz, the Prussian and Russian Guard attacked Wachau while the other Allied units held and engaged the French. In the north Blücher was to push the French as far south as he could while Gyulay cut off the French retreat at Lindenau.

The day began with rain all commanders otherwise engaged [‘sleeping’ or inexcusably not paying attention], Victor’s II Corps scattered around Wachau and in the north Souham’s III Corps in march order.

The set up – yes, it’s a big battle!

I shall take the battle in its three parts. In the south Schwarzenberg uncharacteristically spring into action, ordered the Reserve back across the river and then woke Barclay and began assembling the Allied attack. Napoleon took longer to pay attention; he then diverted MacDonald’s corps to assemble at Seifestshain them to sweep round Grosspösna and start rolling up the Allied line (MacDonald was originally ordered to Kleinpossna much further north). The morning was taken up with both sides preparing and it was not until noon the French began with an attack by V Corps on Grosspösna.

As the rain stopped the Russians and Prussians attacked to the west of the University Wood, towards Liebertwolkwitz. The French attacks on Grosspösna went badly, with V Corps becoming demoralised. As the Allies pushed north they exposed their right flank. Fierce attacks saw the Imperial Guard cavalry push back the Allied cavalry, the Prussians drove back the Young Guard, who in turn pushed back the Russian Guard. MacDonald’s attack on Grosspösna forced the Austrians back into the wood.

Wachau - 3pm. Clash of the Guards.

The Allies came on, the French Imperial Guard cavalry being routed, and the Russian and Prussian Guard pushing into Liebertwolkwitz and the Galgenberg, driving back the Old and Young Guard and II Corps. The Austrians in the University Wood took advantage of the French line being stretched, sallied and retook Grosspösnaa at the end of the day. The French managed to hold Liebertwolkwitz, but night saw the Russian Guard camped on the end of the Galgenberg, with the Young Guard and the Guard Cavalry having been badly weakened.

Wachau – end of the day.

To the north Blücher was engaged in writing to Bernadotte, trying to persuade him to support him and so the Prussian I Corps manoeuvred slowly, pushing back the French cavalry screen. Langeron’s Russian Corps was ordered towards Lindenthal, to the north of Marmont’s line.

Blücher’s efforts must have worked for at 10am Bülow’s III Corps appeared, heading towards Seehausen. Souham III French Corps was ordered there, while Marmont’s VI Corps held the line of redoubts. It was not until 11 am Blücher stirred and did so with a vengeance, driving the French from the redoubts and capturing Marmont! This finally made Ney pay attention and he sent Bertrand’s IV Corps towards Lindenthal.

But the Prussian stream flowed on. Blücher pushed back the French towards Möckern, then becoming held up in assaults on the church. Bülow evicted Souham from Seehausen and was then delayed dealing with the French Cavalry to his flank. The French commander Sebastiani was wounded and although the Prussian corps cavalry was destroyed the French fall back beyond the river. Möckern finally fell to the Prussians at 5pm and the remnants of French VI and II Corps fell back towards the river.

Möckern – end of the day.

Finally to the west the Austrians had made their way towards Lindenau. Napoleon ordered the Leipzig Corps of Observation and the II Young Guard there, but both were very slow to move and were still mostly on the way when the Austrians stormed the town, which they held at the end of the day.

The disparity in losses was striking – the French lost 134 SP, the Allies 40. With the key locations in Allied hands and five French Corps demoralised it was a Coalition Strategic Victory by 77 VP to 32 VP.

In retrospect holding the redoubts in the north was a mistake, the French should have pulled back. The arrival of Bülow made things difficult, but a defence closer to Leipzig would have been easier. The French could have been more aggressive in the south, but the Allied Guard is a difficult beast to stop, once it arrived. And in the west Ney should have been sent to make sure the troops actually moved and drove the Austrians off. Ah well, next game. Meanwhile in this series it is a matter of traffic management – the Leipzig 18 October scenario.
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Tankboy
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Too many spaces in your images
 
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Nick Wade
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No space between medium and ].
 
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Andrew Hobley
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Spaces - I know, I know, and spotted it just after I pressed submit!. Now corrected.
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Tankboy
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That's some pretty aggressive counter clipping. Your not by chance using the C4 Counter Clipper, are you?
 
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Andrew Hobley
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Yup, the C4. Seemed the cheapest and easiest option when I began researching clipping. Now, of course, planning for any new game (or replay of an old unclipped game) has to have 'clipping time' built into it.
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Tankboy
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Yup, same here. I used the C4 on my copy of SPQR (Deluxe Edition) and quite a few of my OCS games in the beginning of my wargaming hobby (2009). It is quick, but noticed the top counters of the stack had more clipped off than the bottom counters. I since went to the CD jewel case and fingernail clippers.

Just recently started using the Oregon clipper. Wasn't impressed with it the first time, but decided to give it another go with my copy of ASLSK#1. Getting used to it, but not prepared to ditch my CD jig and clippers just yet.
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Andreas E. Gebhardt
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Andrew H wrote:
On 16 October, two days after Liebertwolkwitz, we have the first day of the Battle of Leipzig; ... As set up the Allies are planning to make a major attack between the rivers Elbe and Pleisse...
Well Andrew, even though I really liked your AAR I was wondering where you get the information about the river Elbe from??? The river Elbe runs about 30 miles North of the map edge from East to West..whistle

Andy
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Andrew Hobley
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Elster /Elbe - small difference blush

Thats what happens when you do the write up a few weeks after the maps have gone back in the box - and don't check on Wikipedia, or even in Petre.
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Björn Engqvist
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Thank you, good read and informative.
 
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