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"Battle of Kaltenbach. Fictional 1815 encounter" Topic

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677 hits since 22 May 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Cathusac1 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 May 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

So it was that I placed Hohenzollern-Hechingen's Austrian II Corps and Archduke Ferdinand's Reserve Corps into two columns with Divisions mixed up. The column on the Left, under Archduke Ferdinand was Infantry Division Schaeffer of II Corps, that small 2nd Light Division of the Reserve Corps whose commander's name I forget again, small Austrian Grenadier Division Archduke Ludwig and Reserve Cavalry Division Hessen-Homburg. The Centre was to be commanded by Hohenzollern-Hechingen, with supervision of Field Marshal Schwarzenberg himself. Hohenzollern-Hechingen commanded his own Corps Light Division, Infantry Division Mazzuchelli, Baden contingent under Prince Emil? Grenadier Division Archduke Maximilian and that mixed Light Cavalry/Cuirassier Reserve Cavalry Division that might have been Nostitz own. Bavarian Field Marshal Wrede, the junior of Field Marshals contributed his 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions and 1st Cavalry Division. The rest of the Bavarian force withdrew into the interior to link up with Colleredo, another Austrian Corps Commander, his Corps guarding forward depot along with a detachment from the Blockade Corps; Saxons and Austrian Landwehr.

Cathusac1 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 May 2017 1:50 p.m. PST

Against this force of about 76,000 Bavarians and Austrians struggled Marshal Ney with 38,000 French. His full II Corps under Reillé and 10,000 men from d'Erlon's I Corps, and the III Cavalry Corps under Kellermann. Well, the French took for their three columns; Reillé commanded the Left with 2nd Cavalry Division Hubert, 5th Infantry Division Bachelu and 9th Infantry Division Foy. In the Centre stood the 6th Infantry Division Jerome, with Kellermann in charge overall of this and his Cavalry Corps here. On the Right stands Ney with d'Erlon, d'Erlon's most complete Divisions 3rd and 4th with that cavalry brigade of lancers from Cavalry Division Jacquinot.

Cathusac1 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 May 2017 2:16 p.m. PST

A Scharnhorst Southern Germany Campaign for Blucher war game rules caused the setting to be arrived at. Columns were organised unscrambled. French coming from the north along two valley passes separated by mountainous terrain, whilst the Coalition army advanced to meet them. Some sideways movement by the French at the first opportunity caused them to abandon one of their lines of communication in order to link up to face what the French commander expected to be a varied but similar-sized, if not smaller force in Blucher terms. Not so! Worse the Austrian commander chose to match the French sideslip whilst advancing causing the six columns to meet with the Kalten Bach river dividing them and its feeding river protecting the French Right Flank, conveniently where the Kaltenbach village also provided a small fortification. The lightly held French Centre gained a complex of walled livestock fields to occupy but the French Left had little before it but the Kalten Bach river. The Austrian force deployed askew of the French, their Right Flank hanging with but a hedged field complex belonging to the nearby town of Neuenstein that would not be part of the battle. Towards the left of the AustrIan Centre stood a copse of woods then beside that giving little deployment space is the feeder river for the Kalten Bach. The French have found themselves in a bit of a predicament. Their weak Right Flank is threatened by the much larger Austrian Centre and Left. Both sides have their lines of communication reaching from their opposing corners, French Left/Austrian Left but tragically perhaps, directly behind the French, runs yet another river and mountain slopes so this battle may define Napoleon's campaign despite him not yet bringing his full weight of force on any part of the Austrian Army of the Upper Rhine, or the Russian First Army which gathers around the defences of Rapp's Strasbourg fortress along with Crown-Prince of Wurttemberg. He stalls assaulting for fear of loss to his costly army. A blockade has been mounted and the force will soon approach 100,000 men if Ney can't win the Battle of Kaltenbach, Napoleon may lose one quarter of his army having already lost that many in battle and under siege so far!

Cathusac1 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 May 2017 2:36 p.m. PST

It sounds tragic, to me, anyway but I'm told I must play it solo, by the Austrian-Bavarian commander.

Cathusac1 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member26 May 2017 7:41 a.m. PST

I was going to play it with a pal, but he dropped out, after spending a bit of time sorting out the situation and deployments of an army. So I switched from playing Blucher to playing Age of Eagles. The French Flank attack couldn't achieve anything and as dusk approached, withdrew as the Austrian and Bavarian contingent went on a general advance on the rest of the French army.

The French Centre didn't achieve anything significant. Terrain was against them, forcing them to stay the defensive.

The French Right got overwhelmed, and driven into the French Centre. Kaltenbach village was captured by a co-ordinated Austrian Grenadier assault on front and flank.

The French commander fell whilst leading Gobrecht's Lancer cavalry into two columns of Austrian cavalry that were struggling to cross a river on the eastern flank. The first regiment; Chevauleger, fled, but the second regiment, that had been crossing further up, happened to be cuirassiers.

Score 14-8. The Austrians lost more troops and formations to the French, but the French had to keep withdrawing in the last three turns of the game, heading Westwards towards the only line of communication open to them.

For Schwarzenberg, this is only a small, temporary victory though. The French main army is coming, and his army is in three pieces.

The Rest of the Bavarian Corps; the force involved this battle; then the Austrian I Corps, and two divisions from his Reserve Army Corps.

It is imperative he withdraws to consolidate a defensive position that hopefully allows him to engage and destroy a French body of troops, without the hindrance of so much terrain as that around the Kaltenbach.

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