Sunday, 6 September 2020

Day Eight – A French Victory?

8 March 1813 – North Germany - Day 8

Blucher won the battle of Cremlingen, but it was a hollow victory.

He delayed the French attack, he did not defeat it.
Without cavalry, he had to keep his infantry behind the crest of the hill
His artillery were on the forward slope, and did damage to the advancing French.
But in doing so they also suffered heavy casualties.

1st Prussian corps arrived during the night
But they were low on supplies and had serious battle casualties
So they were placed in reserve behind the battle line

Three of the four Prussian cavalry brigades had 30% casualties or more
They could not deploy and would need reinforcements before they could do so
Without cavalry he could not pursue the French

Napoleon had not retreated.  
He rallied his three corps at Brunswick, their start positions for the battle
All three corps were weak, but all were operational
His cavalry had minor battle casualties and could provide a security screen
But they were in urgent need of resupply.
3rd corps, who lost the battle of Weyhausen, was ordered to join them
They were out of supply, and would suffer attrition casualties
But to avoid retreat he had to concentrate all four corps at Brunswick.

Both armies had fought themselves to a standstill
It would take many days to reorganise and resupply them

Napoleon achieved the campaign objective, he took and held Brunswick
He did not crush the Prussian army, but he did fight it to a standstill


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    I’m put in mind of Kenneth Wolstenholme’s famous ‘they think it’s all over ...’!

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comment

    We enjoyed he campaign, and in particular the unexpected end.

    I am often surprised that despite the similarity in map, orders of battle and tactical options each campaign brings new surprises.

    best regards



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