Sunday, 20 March 2022

Gera Campaign – Day 6

6 May 1813 – Central Germany – Day 6

The campaign is going badly for the French

By now they should be in position to attack Gera

But they are still west of the border

In the centre and south they have finally forced the Russians to retreat

However to move into Gera district they must take Naumburg


In the north French army attack Russians west of Naumburg

In the centre French regroup, Russians retreat behind Jena

In the south French army advance to make contact with Russians at Sulza

Second Battle of Naumburg

Both armies start the battle with considerable casualties from previous battles.

Lefebvre is aware that his army is not strong enough to launch a frontal attack

He orders both corps to move to the centre and support the main attack.

This is spearheaded by the reserve of two infantry brigades and one corps artillery


The reserve artillery is routed by the Russian gunners

This causes the central attack to stall until the redeployment is complete


Constantine reacts to the French redeployment by retiring his right and centre

The right retreat into the woods, the centre to the valley between the two hills

On his left 4th corps move down from the hill and join the centre


The Russian gunners concentrate on the French cavalry, and rout both

This spreads to two infantry brigades, and 5th corps artillery


Without cavalry or artillery support the French infantry must withdraw


French lost 1 infantry, 1 cavalry and 2 gunners (700 men)

Russians lost 1 infantry (400 men)


After four battles both armies have suffered considerable casualties.

Even with reinforcements most brigades have at least 10% casualties

This would have a significant effect on this battle.


It would have more effect on the French, who would have to attack

They would have to accept some artillery casualties as they approached the Russian position

The French commander was aware that they could not risk a frontal attack

He ordered a redeployment towards the centre, where the reserve would spearhead the attack.


Obviously the Russians reacted with their own redeployment

They withdrew to a strong position in the centre at the entrance to the valley

Their left wing retreated to the woods, their right moved down from the southern hill to extend the centre


The battle was decided with relatively few French casualties

The Russian gunners were lucky with their dice, and hit the Westphalian artillery and French cavalry

Both failed their morale due to battle casualties, both broke and routed

Both routs spread to nearby brigades, who already had battle casualties


Only one infantry melee took place, when the Russian infantry stormed the inn in the centre

They won, but it had little effect on the outcome of the battle


This battle could have gone either way, the Russians were luckier on the day


The French really needed to win this battle, and the outlook is now bleak for them


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    An interesting battle!

    The Russian gunners have lived up to their reputation of being the elite of the army! It reads as if they were the main reason for the French failure to win this battle, especially as the French forces were already weakened. One has the feeling that the French will grind on as best they can, but unless they can win an outstanding victory soon, it looks as if their campaign will fizzle out before it has achieved its aims.

    I look forward to reading the next instalment.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Nice to hear from you again.

    Both armies have already suffered considereable battle casualties
    Most are replaced by reinforcements, but 10% on each brigade remain
    So by this stage of the campaign both usually start the battle with brittle morale
    When one brigade routs all supports (within 4") have to test their morale
    This often results in more than one brigade breaking and running away
    And that first casualty is often caused by the artillery
    But it really is just a matter of luck which side takes the hit




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