Sunday, 13 March 2022

Gera Campaign – Day 5

5 May 1813 – Central Germany – Day 5

The campaign is not going well for the French

They had anticipated that by now they would have taken the three border towns of Naumburg, Jena and Sulza.  

All three are still held by the Russians.


In the north both armies regroup and resupply

In the centre 4th French army attack Jena

In the south the Russians retreat to Sulza.

Battle of Jena

The battle is fought to the west of Jena.

The French advance in three columns

In the north 2nd (Young Guard) corps

In the centre a reserve of three infantry brigades and corps artillery

In the south 6th French corps


The battle opens with an exchange of artillery fire, which causes little damage

2nd corps occupy the northern hill, but do not attack

6th corps attack in the south, but are unable to break 1st Russian corps

The battle is decided by the fight in the centre between the two reserves


The French 12pdr guns dominate the 6pdr Russian guns

At midday the French infantry advance, and rout the shaken Russian gunners


Having broken the Russian centre the French artillery redeploy to support 2nd corps. 

Before they can attack the Russian army retreats.


The French claim victory, but the Russians are not defeated

At nightfall they still hold Jena and both corps are in good order


The French have lost 2 infantry and 1 cavalry casualties (900 men)

The Russians have lost 3 infantry, 1 cavalry and 2 artillery casualties (1500 men)



Marshal Davout is well aware how critical this battle would be.

Each army has won one battle so far in the campaign

However the French have failed to drive the Russians back from the border

If they lose this battle and retreat they have failed in their campaign objective


With both armies on the table at the start of the game no time was lost in deployment

By move two the French artillery were in range of the Russian gunners

After four rounds of artillery fire little damage had been done


In the north Davout did not want to risk heavy casualties to his elite 2nd Young Guard corps

He advanced his infantry on the high ground, out of sight of the Russian guns

Their cavalry advanced in the valley to cover their flank

But were careful not to approach too close to the Russian guns or heavy cavalry

They were waiting for the French reserve to come to their support


In the centre both armies had created a reserve of three infantry brigade and corps artillery

The winner here would be able to support either the northern or southern wing


In the south 6th French and 1st Russian corps were evenly matched

Neither had managed to gain artillery superiority

Finally the French  had to advance and move into Russian artillery range

Their cavalry charged the Russian Cossacks, expecting a quick victory

However they lost the cavalry melee and had to retreat shaken

The unsupported French infantry quickly retired


The battle in the centre was decided by the French 12pdr artillery

They outranged the smaller 6pdr Russian guns

They were able to move into close range of the Russian guns and pound them

As soon as the Russian gunners were shaken the infantry advanced and routed them


Although the Russians retired, they did so in good order and still holding Jena


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    The Russians certainly seem to be holding their own against the French. One wonders what the latter might do to achieve a breakthrough … but I suspect that they’ll try something!

    Looking forward to the next instalment!

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comment

    It is not going well for the French. Both sides are starting to run out of steam, and are taking casualties in each battle. It is starting to look like the French will be lucky to hold the border, let alone take Gera which is their campaign objective.

    Good to see the Russians doing well for once. Out of 11 campaign phases (since it started in 2009) they have only won two!




I have set the settings for comments to come to me before posting so that I will not miss any