Sunday, 19 April 2020

Halle Campaign – Day 1

Campaign Map on 2 November 1813

Davout opened the campaign by ordering 2nd and 14th corps to advance on the west side of the river Saale.   His aim is to outflank the concentration of Russian corps in and around Halle.
2nd French corps is leading the advance, and clash with 2nd Russian corps just south of Eisleben.   14th Westphalian corps is moving in support of them, but will not arrive on the battlefield until midday
Battle of Eisleben – End of Wargame

2nd Russian corps have orders to hold Eisleben.   They are aware of the approach of 2nd French corps, but not that they are supported by 14th Westphalian corps.    They will not be aware until they see them enter the table.

2nd French corps immediately attack, in order to pin the Russians until the Westphalians arrive.   They move into contact just before the Westphalians arrive

French Guard Grenadiers charge and rout the Russian gunners.  

Westphalian lancers charge and rout Russian dragoons.  

The Russian corps is broken and withdraw with five of their six brigades in rout.

Campaign Notes
The French plan is to advance two corps to the west of the river Saale, and destroy the single Russian corps before they can be reinforced.

The French are unaware of the location of the four French corps, and will only be able to react when they make contact.   By then it should be too late to save 2nd Russian corps.

For this plan to work they must inflict heavy casualties on 2nd Russian corps before they can either join the main army, or receive support from them. 

This battle is their best chance to do so, however they only inflict 700 casualties, and lose 200 of their own.  

They have won the first battle, but it is not a convincing victory

Now that the Wittgenstein is aware that there are two French corps on the west bank of the river Saale, he is also aware that there are only two more available to face him on the east bank.

Not a great start for the French  


  1. Paul,

    An interesting opening battle. I found it a little surprising that the Russian corps collapsed (5 brigades out of 6 in rout) after suffering such relatively low losses. I assume that this was due to poor morale and French aggressiveness.

    Perhaps the French should have waited for the Westphalians to get into action to ensure that the Russian corps was destroyed.

    It looks like being another interesting campaign,

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments

    The rout of the Russian corps was a mixture of too few cavalry and poor dice.

    They were always going to lose, as the French outnumbered them 2 to 1. However it happened sooner than expected when their single cavalry brigade lost their first melee, this coincided with the arrival of the Westphalian lancer brigade.

    The French now had two cavalry brigades in action, and the Russians had lost their only one. In addition the nearby Russian infantry also broke when their cavalry did.

    Mind it would have been worse if the Russians had won. That would have been the end of the campaign before it really began

    keep safe



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