Monday, 11 June 2012

Russian Victory at Domburg

Battle of Domburg - nightfall

The first battle of the Gera campaign has ended in a convincing Russian victory. 

That is not too surprising, given that the French were attacked as they were crossing the river Spree.  

The battle started at midday, so there were only eight game moves to nightfall instead of the usual twelve.   If the French could hold out until nightfall they would have three divisions against the three Russian divisions at the start of the second day.

The French almost pulled it off.    They pushed their leading division forward to delay the Russian advance and deployment, and then pulled it back before the Russians could attack it.   This delayed the Russian attack by about four moves.   And the tactic almost worked.

However the French had to hold the eastern approach to the bridge over the river  Spree, and this allowed the Russians to attack them with just two hours (to game moves) tonight.   Right up to the last move it appeared the French would hold out, but they fell apart on the last move.

There are four French corps moving east against four Russian corps, with the river Spree between them.   This battle was fought by the centre corps, and was on the ground most favourable to the French.   A bend in the river to the north allows the Russians to deploy before the French can cross.   Woods and hills to the south allow the Russians to deploy east of the difficult terrain and attack the French as they attempt to clear the difficult terrain.

Here in the centre the river is nearest to the French, and they had time to cross before the Russians could reach them.   They would then have had favourable terrain to cover the crossing of the remainder of the French army, and open ground ahead to engage the enemy.   The French were not aware of the location of the Russians, and crossed the river slowly.  This allowed the Russians to attack them as they crossed.

The next battle, fought at the same time, will be to the south.   If the French lose this battle as well they will have to withdraw west of the river and face a Russian army deployed along the eastern bank.   Their campaign objective, the town of Gera, is east of the river!

We are still on the first day of the campaign, and there is a real possibility that the French will have lost by nightfall.  

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