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Subject: Day Two: Feb. 8, 1807 rss

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Jason Loftiss
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Day Two: February 8, 1807

Benningsen has deployed his forces and chosen to fight a defensive battle (the historic Russian victory conditions). He has received word that General Lestocq marches from the north with 5,500 Prussians, but it will be late in the day before they can arrive.
Napoleon, still frustrated with his subordinates handling of yesterday's affairs, has spent the night hours preparing for the annihilation of the Russian army. Marshal Davout's III Corps is expected to arrive on the French right some time soon, but Ney's whereabouts is a mystery. Where is Ney? Has Ney engaged the Prussians? Is he behind or preceding them? The Emperor ponders these questions briefly, then he turns his astute mind to that which lies before him; the destruction of the enemy.

0700: A snow squall breaks out southeast of Serpallen engulfing Murat and the 10th, 22nd Chasseurs and the 1st, 3rd Hussars. Murat's entire Corps, as a result of the storm, remains inactive. Napoleon's plan of attack begins. French guns open up with destructive power: 2 guard batteries blast 7th Division and 1 heavy battery with Docturov causing dreadful carnage (4 hits- battery destroyed and the 7th takes 2 losses). Augereau moves his divisions and Milhaud's Dragoons forward in preparation of assaulting the Russian right, attached guns slow them down. Soult's Corps advances against the center of the Russian line. St. Hilaire's 1st Division hits the weakened 7th Division led by Docturov; neither force is able to inflict losses as the French stop short intending on exchanging fire, but the wet powder fails to ignite. Legrand's 3rd Division moves to attack the Russian 3rd Division just east of Eylau on the rise supported by a lone battery. The Russian guns and muskets force Legrand's men to retreat, leaving about 1,500 dead and wounded in the snow. Soult leads Leval's 2/2 Brigade up a steep slope to engage an extended line of the Russian 3rd Division supported by 2 heavy batteries, a battalion of grenadiers, and 2 squads of Cossacks led by Platov. The Russians hold losing 1,500 men and forcing Soult back with equal losses. Leval's 2/1 brigade attacks the Russian 2nd Division, 1 heavy battery, and 1 battalion of grenadiers just west of Serpallen, and they are repulsed leaving over 1,000 bloody men behind with no damage given in return. An eerie lull hangs over the field as cries of agony reverberate all along the lines; then the roar of guns drown out all other sound. The Russian batteries wreck havoc among the French lines, causing over 4,000 casualties (3 hits). The Russian 5th, 7th, and 21st Jaegers move form HQ into Eylau. The Grenadiers of 8th Division move over to bolster the weakened 7th Division. The 5th Division reforms into line. The rest of the army stands as they are; ready to spill more French blood. The butcher's bill reads: French 9,000 men; Russians 4,500 men and 8 guns. The French should have softened up the Russian lines with their artillery and waited for Davout to arrive. With the loss of so many men, it will be difficult to break through. The frontal assaults not supported by cavalry and artillery yields no fruit.

0800: (No snow squalls) Murat leads a grand charge of his Cavalry Reserve, excluding Grouchy's attached 2nd Dragoons, against the Russian 2nd Division just west of Serpallen. The Russians gallantly form square as the horses gallop toward them. The Russians lose over 3,000 men as the French cavalry rides through the square. The 13th Hussars are killed to a man in the struggle (1 hit on French and 2 hits on the Russians). On the French left, Milhaud detects a weak area in the Russian line and orders his 3rd Dragoons to form up and charge. An extended line of the Russian 5th Division with 2 batteries is thinly manned (unable to form square due to artillery units outnumber the infantry). Defender's guns shred the lead elements of the attackers (8th Dragoons Regiment is eliminated 1 hit). The Dragoons swarm the outnumbered foe slashing left and right. As the Russians flee in panic, the horsemen slaughter them (both batteries and the extended line are all eliminated reducing the 5th Division to only one step). Over 7,000 men lie dying and the Russian line has been breached. In the center, Klein's 1st Dragoon Division charges the Russian 3rd Division just east of Eylau. The defenders form square and their initial fire cuts down over 400 dragoons (the 1st Dragoon Regiment is lost). The cavalry ride around the square and then return to where they started; cursing the Russians, they are satisfied that the enemy is now ripe for guns and infantry to exploit. French guns fire, but are ineffective. Augereau pushes his two divisions to engage on the French left; he desperately wants to widened the breach that Milhaud opened. Heudelet's VII/2 with 2 batteries attacks the decimated 5th Division and overruns their position eliminating the division (Tuchkov escapes). Heudelet wheels his troops to the left forming line to face the Russian Schloditten Detachment. Augereau, meanwhile, leads VII/1 with 2 attached batteries and d'Hautpol's heavy cavalry against the Russian 4th Division supported by the grenadiers of the 8th. 4Th Division loses over 1,300 men as they give ground and retreat back into Eylau with the grenadiers. Desjardin's troops take over 1,500 casualties, but the French advance. Legrand moves to attack Sacken's 3rd Division in square, but yields nothing. The French Guard move northwest to protect the left flank and in preparation for a strike against the Russian weakened line.
Benningsen's HQ is suddenly overwhelmed with reports of the crumbling Russian right. Benningsen contemplates ordering a full withdraw; no other orders are sent out (two failed activations). The Russian position is critical; the French are poised to turn their flank and destroy the Russian army. The French have suffered 10,500 infantry and 1,500 cavalry casualties, while the Russians have lost 16,500 infantry and 18 artillery casualties.

0900: The weather is holding as no snow squalls develop. Davout's cavalry regiments arrive along the main road to Eylau, just south of Serpallen (1st and 12th Chasseurs). Napoleon orders the Guard to assist Augereau in exploiting the weakened Russian right. Milhaud directs his 3rd Dragoon Division to charge the rear of Tuchkov and the Schloditten Brigade and its support. The defenders are unable to form square (artillery and cavalry units outnumber the infantry units). They hope the swampy terrain will deter the horses (guns and long counter useless in defense). The Russian Kasan Dragoon squads counter-charge and are able to engage the French 9th Dragoons eliminating that contingent, but the remaining French cavalry hack and slash among the defenders causing over 1,200 infantry loses and close to 400 casualties to the Kasan Dragoons (2 hits). Somehow, the Russians stand their ground and repulse the invading Frenchmen. The French Guard batteries open up on the town of Eylau and it's staunch defenders: the guns fail to tally any hits (town takes 1 hit for the defenders). Augereau directs the assault into Eylau with Desjardin's Division with 2 batteries guns and d'Hautpol's Heavy Cavalry Division. The French press hard their advance causing the Russians to retreat north out of Eylau with 1,500 loses to Essen's Division, 6 guns deserted and Major Kotlyarov killed (artillery commander). The small victory was costly as the French lost 1,500 infantry, 3 guns, and 400 cavalry.
Further on the French left, Lefebvre and Bessieres move their guard units up to coordinate an assault with Heudelet's Division and guns against Tuchkov, Schloditten Brigade, Kasan Dragoons, Markov's remaining battalion and 2 batteries. The Russians direct their fire frontally into the French Guards inflicting over 2,000 dead and wounded (3 hits reduced to 2 due to defender retreating and attacker not advancing); the Guard bleeds red just like other mortals. Tuchkov and his defenders retreat taking 1,500 casualties and the loss of 12 guns (4 hits reduced to 2 due to retreat, but the lone artillery can't retreat and is captured). Heudelet's soldiers capture the guns and the ground and wheel into line to face the retreating Russians. Two horse batteries are released from the Artillery Reserve and move to join 7th Division on guarding HQ right flank. Benningsen orders Sacken to hold the front. 2 heavy Russian batteries blast holes in Legrand's Division, sending 1,500 souls to the hereafter. Sacken's 3rd Division reforms from square to line. Prince Golitsyn gallops over to support 8th Division with three squads of cavalry and four squads move up to support 3rd Division. On the French right, Soult and Murat have orders to break through the Russian position. The Grand Duke of Berg, Murat, throws caution to the wind and commands his horsemen to defy death once more. The Cavalry Reserve, excluding Grouchy's Dragoons, hurl themselves against the Russian defenders east of Serpallen (4 jaeger units and 2 batteries). The jaegers form square in face of the thundering horde descending upon them. Hearts racing and unsteady nerves result in inaccurate fire. The cavalry swarm like angry bees stinging with the slash of their swords, but the valiant jaegers throw back the horsemen. Over 1,000 Russians litter the field and the French lose over 400. Marshal Soult instructs St. Hilaire's and Legrand's divisions to move toward the right. Guns are moved up to prepare bombardment of key areas. Soult personally leads Leval's 2nd Brigade with Klein's Dragoons into the breach against the Russian 2nd Division in square. Leval's 1st Brigade joins in the assault. The Pavlovski grenadiers and the heavy guns halt the attacking wave losing 6 guns; the 2nd Division, however, retreated (failed morale check to stand). The French lose was very light (no hits). Benningsen's orders reach the right and left wings. Tuchkov moves the right wing formation back north along the marsh toward Althof. On the left, Count Pahlen III and 3 brigades of cavalry charge Leval's 1 brigade south of Serpallen. The French form square, but are unsuccessful in downing any enemy riders on approach. As the Russian cavalry swirl around the prickly square, the Polish lancers breach the human wall and the merciless slaughter of Frenchmen drowns the frozen ground deep, dark red (Leval's 1st Brigade ceases to exist taking 5 hits and having only 3 to give). Frenzy blood-lust rages among the riding death-dealers. The 14th Division, watching from Serpallen, cheers loudly for their comrades. The Left Wing's batteries fire, but just waste ammunition. The other Left Wing cavalry units fall back to guard the exposed flank. The jaeger units east of Serpallen reform from square back to line, and 2nd Division rejoins the heroic Pavlovski grenadiers. The 1st and 12th Chasseurs of III Corps moves eastward around the woods to their north, scouting for the Russian flank. Napoleon moves his HQ toward Grunhofohen and the French left. The Emperor desires a better view of the Russian right. It is there that he believes the victorious blow will be struck.

1000: Davout marches up the main southeast of Eylau with 1st and 2nd Divisions of III Corps with 2 batteries. Snow squalls engulf Eylau and the areas north and east (Russian HQ is caught in the same squall). The area south of the swamps west of Eylau also are covered by snow squalls (French Guard and Heudelet's Division are swarmed by the winter storm). With the storms around Eylau and on the French left, Napoleon directs his attention to the center and right. French horse artillery fires into Pahlen's cavalry formation and destroy over 400 men and horses. IV guns move to join St. Hilaire's Division. Morand moves his division west to prepare a push north against the Russian left. Grouchy maintains his defense of the French right. Murat moves his cavalry east to setup for a later charge. Davout moves Friant's Division north to join attack Pahlen's cavalry. Davout recalls his cavalry to assist in hemming up the Russian riders (Pahlen's cavalry can't retreat before assault because Davout has his Corps cavalry with him). Pahlen's cavalry disordered from their recent charge, are surprised by Davout and take heavy losses (French have combined arms and score 5 hits, but retreat and reduce the hits to 3). The Russians retreat into Serpallen, leaving over 1,000 of their comrades dying in the snow. French take no losses and advance. Tuchkov moves his separated right wing toward Schloditten, attempting to reform the Russian line. The Guard artillery crew drag their guns up a rise west of Eylau. Russian guns fire in the center, outside of the squalls, and on the left; but fail to deal any spades (7 dice and no hits). The jaeger battalions reform into line. Pahlen moves his cavalry eastward to join the other squads on the flank.

1100: Gudin's 3rd Division arrives with 2 batteries. The snow squall at Eylau drifts to the southeast and blankets the area just west of Serpallen (Soult, Davout, and Russian 2nd Division). The squall out west vanishes. The storms disrupt operations for both armies. The hour passes with very little activity (both commanders fail their activations).

1200: The Dorsen Chasseurs, guarding the far west flank are called to march to HQ (I forgot to place them on the board at start of the scenario). The Snow squall near Serpallen builds and shrouds the area around the village (Soult, Davout, 2nd Division, Osterman-Tolstoi, Rothenen). Another squall erupts over the French HQ. In Eylau, VI guns (detached from infantry) fire into the Russian 8th Division's ranks causing over 1,000 casualties and killing General Sacken. Milhaud's cavalry move into Eylau as d'Hautpol's troopers move to join the Guard units on the left. Two batteries of Guard artillery roll into town and unlimber. Lefebvre moves the Guard grenadiers up to prepare for a future assault and are joined by Heudelet's Division. Benningsen quickly sends Bagration to replace Sacken in the center. Tuchkov rejoins his wing to the Russian line, stretching his units out toward Althof. The Russians guns in the center fire: St. Hilaire's Division loses over 1,200 men. Murat leads his Reserve Cavalry on another charge, this time into Pahlen's cavalry on the Russian left. The clash sounds like a mighty storm intermingled with cries from horse and man. Over 4,000 total killed and wounded lie mangled about (Russians receive 8 hits and the French 3). The French cavalry leader, Murat, is knocked from his saddle and killed. Pahlen's cavalry is decimated; only 3 squads survive. IV guns blast the Russian 3rd Division just southeast of Eylau inflicting over 1,200 casualties.

1300: Lasalle and his Light Cavalry Division arrive on the right, coming from scouting eastward (another group I forgot to place at beginning of the scenario). Lasalle has received news of Murat's death and has been ordered to take command of the Reserve Cavalry; however, he gets caught in a snow squall. On the French right, Bessieres leads his Guard Cavalry on a charge into the Russian 7th with 2 batteries of guns. The swampy terrain benefits the defenders. Russian guns and muskets unhorse the riders up front (1 hit), bring down over 400. Choosing to rely on the swamp to aid them, the Russians stay deployed in line. The gamble pays off and the cavalry are forced back. The French guns in Eylau (2 guard batteries and 1 VII battery) bombard Bagration, 8th Division, several jaeger battalions, and 4 squads of Golitsyn's cavalry causing horrendous carnage (4 hits). Over 3,000 infantry and 400 cavalry are lost to the barrage. Lefebvre orders the Guard grenadiers with the support of d'Hautpol's heavy cavalry to assault the Russian 7th. The Russians give ground losing both gun batteries and over 1,000 men (four hits reduced to 2 due to retreat, but guns lost). Napoleon sends the Guard Chasseurs to join Lefebvre. Augereau has his divisions hold their positions. Benningsen orders the Center's jaegar battalions and Golitsyn's cavalry to move to protect HQ and the Reserve artillery. On the French right, Davout leads Friant's Division with 1 battery and the Corps cavalry attack on the Russian defenders in Serpallen. Osterman-Tolstoi and the 14th Division stand firm and stop the French. The Russians lose over 3,000 men and 3 guns. The attackers lose over 1,300. Morand and the III/3 Division with 1 battery assault jaegers and 2 batteries east of Serpallen. The Russian guns blow huge gaps into the French columns forcing the attackers to retreat (3 hits reduced to 2 due to attacker retreat). The Russians lose a battalion of jaegers. Soult, once again, leads Leval's IV/2/2 and Klein's Dragoons against the Russian 2nd supported by grenadiers and 1 heavy battery. The stalemate continues between Soult and the Russian 2nd with no losses on either side.

1400: The snow squalls have dispersed. On the far right, Lasalle and his Light Cavalry Division charge the Russian Cossacks protecting the Russian left. The Cossacks are overwhelmed (6 hits) and destroyed completely; the French lose about 500 dragoons. Morand's 1st Division with 1 battery and supported by Grouchy's Dragoons assaults the jaegers east of Serpallen. The Russians lose both batteries and over 1,000 men, but hold the ground. Morand's force lose 1 battery, 400 cavalry, and over 1,200 infantry. Friant's Division with 1 battery and the 2 squads of Corps cavalry directed by Davout in their attack on the defenders in Serpallen (Osterman-Tolstoi and 14th with 1 battery commanded by Rezoi). Davout captures Serpallen as the Russians retreat leaving over 1,300 dying soldiers and 3 guns behind. French report no casualties. Soult orders Leval's 2nd Brigade and Klein's Dragoons to assault the Russian 2nd Division with the heavy guns and gritty grenadiers. Leval's Brigade takes the brunt of the defender's fire losing over 1,400 men, but the Russians are forced to give ground; losing 3 heavy guns and over 1,200 infantry. The Russian left bent, exposing the center's flank. The Russian HQ, threatened by French cavalry, fail to send out any of Benningsen's orders (failed activation roll). Napoleon, troubled by the lack of news concerning Ney and the Prussians, spends precious time scanning available maps (failed activation) and fails to press his attacks on the Russian center and right.

The casualties to both armies are staggering: French- 28,500 infantry, 4,400 cavalry, and 6 guns; Russians- 45,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 54 guns. The Russian left has been turn and their position is critical. Benningsen withdraws his army, taking heavy losses. Napoleon's cavalry pursue savagely capturing many prisoners, guns, and supplies.
Solo play using the newest series rules v3.1 available on Compass Games website. The new rules tidies things up and makes for a very enjoyable game. I have recently purchased the two newest volumes in the series: Medina de Rioseco and Spanish Eagles. So few games available on the Peninsular War.
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Peter Garnett
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Thanks for the time & effort posting your reports Jason. I enjoyed them very much.
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Jason Loftiss
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Peter,
I'm glad you enjoyed the reports. Thanks for your comments.
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