18 March 1813 - Central Europe - Day 5
Both armies prepare for the anticipated decisive battles.
In the north the French move their depot to Wiessensee and prepare to attack Sommerda.
In the centre the Russians concentrate at Weimar
The French establish a depot at Erfurt and prepare to attack Weimar
In the south 14th Westphalian corps attack Saalfeld to prevent 4th Russian corps joining the main army at Weimar
Battle of Saalfeld move 10
The battle opens with a cavalry melee, resulting in both brigades routing
The Russian artillery concentrate on one enemy brigade, causing 30% casualties. But the infantry continue to pass their morale test and hold until the end
The Russian infantry then attack, but the leading brigade is routed
This causes the supporting brigade to rout and leaves the gunners shaken
As the Westphalian infantry advance the Russian corps breaks and retreats
Both corps started the battle with casualties
But the Russians had more than the Westphalians.
This would play a critical role in the defeat of the Russians
The Westphalian lancers charged and routed the Russian cuirassiers
The lancers then charged the nearby gunners, but were routed in turn
The Russian gunners concentrated on the left hand Westphalian brigade
The infantry received 30% casualties over three moves
But managed to pass their morale test each time
The Russians now had the advantage, and should have remained on the defensive
But their infantry charged the right hand infantry brigade
They won the first round of melee, but lost the second and routed
This caused the supporting brigade (who started with 20% casualties) to rout
And left the nearby gunners shaken
Without Russian artillery, the Westphalian infantry now advanced
They broke the Russian centre and sent one half left, the other half right
The Russians lost 3900 casualties, the Westphalians 2300
But more important 3 Russians brigades were routed, only 1 Westphalian
This game could have gone either way, particularly as both sides has weak morale due to earlier battle casualties.
The Russian heavy cavalry should have beaten the lighter lancer brigade, but didn’t
The Westphalian infantry should have broken after 30% artillery casualties (3 hits).
But each time they rolled high, and each time passed their morale
Despite this they were a liability, and a rout could easily have spread
Finally the Russian infantry should have just held their ground
The Russian gunners had already dominated the battle
The Westphalian infantry would not advance into short range of them
But the Russian infantry attacked, lost the melee then broke and ran
And the panic spread amongst the rest of the Russian corps
Interesting game, and very enjoyable to play