Friday, 20 September 2019

Rosenheim Campaign – Day 4

Campaign Map on 6 October 1813
Oudinot has secured his position on the right bank of the river Isar
However 9th and 11th corps are about to run out of supplies
He orders four days supplies from Bad Tolz to Rosenheim

Schwartzenberg is in a desperate situation
His defeat at Traunreut and Rosenheim have left his army badly shaken
He must concentrate on holding his base at Traunstein
He orders 4th corps to abandon Kufstein and move to Traunstein

Campaign Notes
Oudinot has achieved the campaign objective of taking Rosenheim
But he must now hold on to it.

His victories at Traunreut and Rosenheim have removed the threat of another Austrian counter attack.   But in moving east of the river he has over extended his lines of supply.  

9th and 11th corps are down to one days supplies.  They must rests to regroup and resupply.  But there are insufficient supplies at hand.  

Oudinot has sufficient transport to move four days supplies three squares each day.  He orders four days supplies from Bad Tolz to Rosenheim.   This will not solve the supply problem, but it will ease it.

He must now establish his forward base at Rosenheim, build up supplies there and rest, resupply and reinforce his disordered corps.

12th corps at Tegensee are surprised when 4th Austrian corps abandon Kufstein.   They immediately cross the river and occupy the town.  

This pause by Oudinot to regroup his corps and move his supplies forward would normally be the time for Schwartzenberg to counter attack.  However his two defeats have left three of his four corps too weak to undertake such a move. 

He must abandon his objective of holding the line of the river Iser and concentrate  on holding his base at Traunstein.   If he is defeated there he will have to retreat east and accept defeat.

It looks like the Austrian long run of victories in the 1813 campaign are about to come to an end.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Rosenheim Campaign – Day 3

Campaign Map on 5 October 1813
Oudinot has established two bridgeheads over the river Isar.   In the north at Wassenburg and in the centre at Rosenheim.
Schwartzenberg was surprised by the occupation of Rosenheim.  However he immediately orders 1st and 3rd corps to concentrate at Traunstein in order to push the Bavarians back over the river.
Battle of Rosenheim
End of Move 3
Schwartzenberg was at a particular disadvantage in fighting this battle.   The city divided the battlefield into two, with a wide gap between them.   Rosenheim is much too strong to attack with the troops available, so the Austrians must attack with one corps either side of the city.

The battle went badly for the Austrians.   They needed to gain an initial advantage, and the only way was to do this with artillery or cavalry.   The artillery proved ineffective, so the cavalry were ordered forward.

1st hussars (on the left) were defeated and routed.   Worst still the Bavarian hussars failed their morale, pursued and inflicted even more casualties on the fleeing horsemen.  To add insult to injury the Bavarian cavalry returned to their own line without a single casualty   This was the end of 1st corps attack.

3rd corps were luckier.   They greatly outnumbered the small force deployed between the city and the river.   They also won the initial cavalry melee.  But their horsemen also failed to rally and charged the nearest enemy – a full strength Bavarian square.   They suffered 30% casualties and routed.

By nightfall the Austrians had failed to make much impression.   The Bavarians still held the city, and had suffered no casualties at all in 11th corps.   Schwartzenberg accepted defeat and withdrew.

Campaign Notes

Each side started the battle with seven infantry brigades, two cavalry brigades and two batteries of artillery.   So evenly balanced the Austrians could not hope to attack the city itself.   They would have to defeat the large number of Bavarian troops deployed either side of the city.

On the left 11th Bavarian corps was full strength, that is to say they has four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery.   1st Austrian corps had only three infantry brigades, plus one cavalry brigade and corps artillery.   The Austrians would have to cause damage to the defenders, either with artillery or cavalry, before they could hope to attack.   The artillery failed and the cavalry were defeated and routed.   That was the end of the attack on the left.

On the right 3rd Austrian corps had four infantry brigades, a cavalry brigade and corps artillery.   Deployed between the city and the river was a small Bavarian force of one infantry brigade, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery.   However there was very limited space for the larger Austrian corps to attack.

The Austrians defeated and routed both the infantry and cavalry.   The Bavarian gunners were forced to retreat into the city.   But the Austrians were unable to redeploy to attack the city.   And with the loss of 1st corps it was always possible that 11th Bavarian corps would move against them.

Marshal Oudinot took command of this small force on the Bavarian left early in the battle.   By doing so he effectively gave up control of the rest of his army.  But they were on Hold orders, so that did not appear a problem.

However at the height of the battle his cavalry were shaken in the first phase of a cavalry melee.   He took personal command of them to rally them.  But they lost the second phase of the melee and routed, taking him with them.

So at the critical moment when 11th corps desperately needed orders to either pursue the retreating 1st Austrian corps, or move against the disordered 3rd Austrian corps, there was no one to give them orders.  By the time Oudinot disengaged himself from the fleeing mass of cavalry it was too late to reach 11th corps and give them fresh orders.

It is always satisfying when a small and unexpected outcome like this happens.  It supports the strength of the wargame rules that misuse of a commander can have dire consequences.

Another interesting wargame, even if it was another defeat for my Austrians at the hands of Jan’s Bavarians.