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Napoleon's Last Gamble» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Wavre– a triumph of French arms rss

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Andrew Hobley
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Andover
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Marching on through the scenarios we come to Warve. There are two options here. One is the NLB version, where the French rush across the Dyle at Limal and try and stop the Prussians exiting. The other is more historical; the Prussian Corps still exit, but score no VP for this. Instead the goal is to take/hold Wavre and the river line. If Grouchy had know he needed to stop the Prussians reaching Waterloo I am sure he would have acted differently; but he was ignorant of this and followed his orders from Napoleon. I chose the historical version, which carries on into the 19th.

Noon NLB

Set up NLG

Once again a comparison of the NLB and NLG setups. It does make you wonder where Grouchy thought he was marching his troops, given how far east III and IV Corps are.

As the Prussian I and II Corps marched off (IV Corps is assumed to have left already) Exelmans’ II Cavalry crossed the Dyle at Ottignies and headed north to attack the Prussians Stegnal group (detached from I Corps) at Limal, to where Gerard and IV Corp had been ordered. Lützow’s cavalry held up the French, 19th Infantry attacked one cavalry division from the rear eliminating it, and Chastel’s weakened division did not survive contact with Lützow’s men [Shock result, both lost a step but as Chastel was already flipped over he was eliminated]. The French cavalry threat on the right was reduced to the horse artillery. IV Corps drove over the river at Limal. 14th Division was caught by Prussian cavalry and eliminated, but by nightfall, although disrupted, IV Corps were mostly across the river and ready to move north.

To the east a Prussian brigade of II Corps was caught south of Wavre by Pajol’s cavalry and routed, but the rest of the Prussian II Corps crossed safely and Thielmann’s III Corps moved to defend the river. Vandamme’s III Corps moved up and on the right Gengoult’s brigade crossed the river and took the Prieuré. The rest of 10th Division crossed, along with Pajol’s I Cavalry. But attacking into the word the French were driven back over the bridge and destroyed; the Prussian’s reoccupied the Prieuré and the French right flank cavalry was no more.

Vandamme’s attacks on Wavre itself met with no success, a crossing at the mill to the south was driven back and the brigade destroyed. Nightfall saw the Prussians still in control of the town, but with French across the river to the south, and of course Prussian I and II Corps long since marched off to the west.

Wavre– 8pm on June 18

The 19th saw the French start with a bang as Exelmans’ horse artillery and IV Corps eliminated the Prussian I Corps detachment, rolled up the Prussian cavalry line and then swept up the Dyle bank, encircling the Prussians as they went. Thielmann did not have enough unengaged units to form a new flank, a Grand Battery of French guns bombarded the Prussian 9 Brigade from the south of the river, routing it.

Wavre– 9 am on June 19 French breakout

The Prussians were overwhelmed; by 11 am none were left on the field save the dead and prisoners. The French losses were surprisingly heavy (38 SP to the Prussian loss of 44 SP), a lot of their units start reduced and are vulnerable to an exchange result. Both cavalry and one infantry Corp were disrupted. But with all Prussian positions carried and on Thielmann’s Corps eliminated it was a strategic French victory.

But see that courier on his lathered horse, bringing dispatches from the west; does he bring news of another triumph for the Emperor?
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