Sunday, 26 April 2020

Halle Campaign – Day 3

Campaign Map on 4 November 1813
On the east bank Davout takes command of 5th and 6th corps and moves to threaten Halle and Landsberg

On the west bank Schraplau has insufficient supplies to support 2nd and 14th corps
2nd corps take control of the abandoned Russian depot, and can resupply
However 14th corps must retreat to be within supply range of Schraplau and Merseburg.

Wittgenstein also has considerable supply problems

Eisleben was his only depot on the west bank.   
He orders 2nd corps to retreat to Gerbstedt and set up a depot there
But this is not enough to resupply both 1st  and 2nd corps
He moves supplies from Halle to Konnern and Landsberg to Radegast

The French advance towards Halle and Landsberg threatens the depots there
He takes command of 3rd and 4th corps and moves them between the two depots
He must hold both depots until he can remove the supplies there.

Campaign Notes

It normally takes much longer for the supply system to become so disordered.   However in this campaign the river Saale adds a large extra problem.

The French need to take Halle and the bridge to Eisleben.   They can then move their depots forward, and communicate with the two wings of their army via that bridge.

Until they can do so, they must ensure that all corps remain within three days march of a depot with sufficient supplies.   This is not a problem on the east bank.  But on the west they only have one established depot, that is at Schraplau.   This is sufficient to supply one corps, but not two. 

They have established a new depot at Eisleben, but it will take a few days to bring sufficient supplies forward from Merseburg (the main French depot).   In the meantime 14th corps has to retreat so that it is within supply range of Schraplau and Merseburg.

The Russians have an even greater problem.   Their main supply depot is at Landsberg.    They started the campaign with only one depot west of the river, that was Eisleben, which they have now lost.   They have established a new depot at Gerbstedt, but that is three days march from Landsberg.   Worst still, they are now in danger of losing both Halle and Landsberg.  
Wittgenstein has sufficient vehicles to move four days supplies up to three squares each day.   He is trying to move as much as possible to Kommern, from where he can resupply both sides of the river.  

It seems likely that the French will attack between Halle and Landsberg.   This will force Wittgenstein to choose between fighting to save the depots at both towns, or retreat to concentrate his whole army Gerbstedt-Kommern-Radegast.


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    A very different start to this campaign when compared with the previous two. This looks like it could be concluded by a single victory that assures one side has supply and the other doesn’t. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few moves.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments

    You could well be right. The river makes resupply very difficult. Supplies can only cross via a bridge. If one side is forced to retreat its supply line may suddenly become very long if it has to be re routed over a bridge well behind them.

    At first sight it appears that there are too many bridges, but quite often there is never one in the right place when you need it most.

    Hope you enjoy the campaign

    best regards


  3. Very interesting Paul, I too wonder if this campaign will be entirely dominated by supplies and bridges!

  4. Hi JWH

    Thanks for your comment.

    I would be surprised if the bridges and supplies do not dominate this campaign!

    I do not normally have a river running right down the length of the map. It is more usual to have a bend which takes the straight section to the right and left, and thus makes it easier to cross the river where it runs more to your side then the enemy

    But, as always, I have no idea how the campaign will develop. That is all down to the luck of the dice in each of the wargames.

    take care and keep safe



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