Sunday 25 September 2022

End of Kufstein Campaign

30 May 1813 – Southern Germany – Day 10

Schwarzenberg orders his army to retreat back into Salzburg District

1st army abandon Walchsee and take all supplies with them to Nussdorf

2nd army abandon Sankt Johann and take all supplies with them to Inzell

3rd army abandon Kitzbuhel and take all supplies with them to Schonau


Massena orders a cautious pursuit to occupy the three abandoned towns

7th army occupy, but do not advance beyond, Walchsee

8th army occupy, but do not advance beyond, Sankt Johann

9th army occupy, but do not advance beyond, Kitzbuhel

Location of battles fought during Campaign

There were seven battles fought and the French claimed four

This is because they held the town at the end of the battle

However in at least two of those battles the Austrians defeated them

But they then has to retreat due to supply problems


The three battles the Austrians won were the first three of the campaign

At this time they were close to their main supply depot at Salzburg

It was only when they advanced and lengthened their lines of supply that they ran into trouble

After seven battles both armies had suffered heavy casualties

The French/Bavarian army had suffered considerably more than the Austrians

But as they retreated they were reinforced by the garrisons of the rear area

They were also much closer to their main supply depot at Kufstein

Had Schwarzenberg fought a second day of battle at Kufstein he might well have won the campaign

But at that stage his corps were running out of supplies, and in danger of attrition casualties

When a corps no longer has any supplies it has to immediately retreat until it comes within one days march of supplies

This would have thrown the whole Austrian army into disorder and could easily have led to their complete destruction

To retreat was the right decision, and was surely what the cautious Schwarzenberg would have done in real life

Had it been the French, under command of the more determined Massena, I might well have fought one last battle.

Great campaign and one which would result in major amendments to future campaign phases.

Sunday 18 September 2022

Kufstein Campaign Day 9

29 May 1813 - Southern Germany - Day 9

Massena’s army has sufficient supplies, but also very heavy casualties

7th army resupply and reorganise at Oberaudorf

8th army rally, regroup and resupply at Kufstein

9th army resupply and reorganise at Worgl


Schwarzenberg has four of his six corps out of supply

1st army rally, resupply and regroup at Walchsee

2nd army retreat to Sankt Johann

3rd army resupply and regroup at Kitzbuhel



Schwarzenberg blinked first – but he really didn’t have any choice.


Both armies are shattered and in practical terms no longer operational.

The Bavarian/Baden army has lost more casualties, but are fully supplied

The Austrian army has suffered less, but still considerable, casualties

Most critical four of the six Austrian corps are now out of supply


1st and 2nd Austrian armies are completely out of supply

If they do not immediately rest and resupply they will start to lose casualties due to attrition

At that stage they must immediately retreat until they can resupply

3rd army is fully supplied, but being south of the river Inn is too far away to help


Today Schwarzenberg ordered 1st and 3rd armies to resupply and regroup

2nd army had to retreat to Sankt Johann due to attrition.

However this is only the start

He has accepted that to save his army he must retreat into Salzburg District to rest and regroup


This would be a perfect opportunity for Massena to pursue and smash the already broken Austrian army

However his own army have suffered so many casualties that they are no longer operational

A pursuit is out of the question until he can regroup and replenish his battle casualties


Schwarzenberg deserved to win this campaign.  

He has more operational brigades than Massena.

But no commander can ignore such a dire supply situation

If he does not retreat his army will disintergrate and he will lose everything


Sunday 11 September 2022

Kufstein Campaign Day 8

28 May 1813 - Southern Germany - Day 8

Massena is determined to hold the line Oberaudorf-Kufstein-Worgl

7th army hold Oberaudorf

8th army defend Kufstein

9th army hold Worgl


Schwarzenberg is running short of supplies, but orders the attack on Kufstein

1st army retreat to Walchsee

2nd army attack Kufstein

3rd army hold Kitzbuhel


Battle of Kufstein – Move 2

This photo is taken at the end of move two.

The Bavarian/Baden hold a very strong defensive position in front of the city of Kufstein

Half of 12th Baden corps started the game on the left bank of the river

However they have now crossed the river to join the rest of the corps

Apart from the field army, there are also two militia brigades in garrison in Kufstein


The Austrians have entered the table and are faced with a difficult choice.

An attack on the left will be outflanked by the Bavarian reserve on the pass

An attack on the right will have to take the strong hill

An attack in the centre will have to fight its way through the pass

All three options will be very time consuming

Schwarzenberg decided to pin the left and right and drive the centre back

He would then swing his reserve to their right to outflank the hill.


The photo shows the Austrian advance.

The reserve cavalry (centre) are charged by Bavarian cavalry

4th corps cavalry join the melee and rout the enemy cavalry.


By nightfall nine Bavarian and Baden brigades are in rout

Remainder are all shaken, including the garrison of Kufstein

The Austrians have defeated the Bavarian army, but it has taken too long

The Bavarians still hold the town, and can claim a victory


The French have lost 14 infantry, 5 cavalry and 2 artillery casualties (6300 men)

The Austrians have lost 9 infantry.3 cavalry and 2 artillery casualties (4100 men)



This game was a perfect example of a delaying battle.   The Bavarians could decide whether to hold the town itself, and engage the Austrians as they approached.   Or they could opt to try to hold the major high ground in the centre of the table.  

They decided on the latter.   The weak point is the pass in the centre.   The CinC created a reserve of two infantry and one cavalry brigades to hold this area.  But he had to hold the southern end of the pass, and he had to hold the high ground on both sides of the road.

The Austrians created a similar reserve, but could choose which side of the road to concentrate their attack.  The Bavarian cavalry tried to slow down this attack, and also did so.  However the support of 4th corps cavalry turned the tide and they were routed.

The Austrian reserve now moved right and supported 3rd corps attack on the hill.    It was now just a matter of time before 11th Bavarian corps was defeated.   Too late in the day they tried to retreat, but were surrounded and crushed.

On the opposite flank it was a more even battle between 12th Baden and 4th Austrian corps.   The Austrians eventually won, but not until very late in the day.   The outcome here was less important, providing that the Baden corps were not allowed to move to support Kufstein.

The final attack on Kufstein started on move 10, against 43 brigade in the right hand section of the city.   The Bavarian reserve of two infantry brigades had redeployed between the town and the pass.   3rd Austrian corps were the only troops available to attack, and they had already lost their artillery and cavalry.  So it was down to an infantry melee just outside the city.

The Austrians won, and two brigades attacked the town on move 12, just as night fell.   The garrison was shaken, but managed to hold (even though only poor class militia).   The attackers were also shaken, and could not launch another attack that night.  It would take too long to replace them with fresh troops, so the Bavarians remained in control of all of Kufstein at the end of the battle.   They could, and did, claim a victory.

At the end of the battle there were five Austrian infantry brigades and one battery who were not shaken or in rout.   Every single Bavarian and Baden brigade were either in rout or shaken. 

It would be pretty well impossible for the Bavarian/Baden army to hold the city for a second day of fighting.  But that had also seemed the case at Obersdorf, and they actually won the second day of battle there.

But now the Austrian army was desperately short of supplies.   All six armies had suffered heavy casualties, though not as much as the Bavarian/Baden army.   If Schwarzenberg risked a second attempt to take Kufstein, and failed, his whole army might well be destroyed.  

Overnight both commanders would study the strength returns and supply reports and decide who would blink first!

Sunday 4 September 2022

Kufstein Campaign Day 7

27 May 1813 - Southern Germany - Day 7

Massena fights second day at Obersdorf

7th army fight to defend Obersdorf

8th army regroup and resupply at Kufstein

9th army regroup and resupply at Worgl


Schwarzenberg orders continued attack on Obersdorf

1st army attack Obersdorf

2nd army regroup and resupply at Sankt Johann

3rd army regroup and resupply at Kitzbuhel

Battle of Obersdorf – Second Day – Move 6

7th Bavarian army retreat to join the garrison of Obersdorf

1st Austrian army continue the attack for a second day


This photo was taken half way through the game.  

On the right 1st Austrian corps have defeated and routed 9th Bavarian corps.

On the left 10th Bavarian corps have defeated and routed 2nd Austrian corps

The Bavaians are swinging left to support the garrison of Obersdorf

In the centre the Austrian reserve and 1st corps artillery are bombarding the town


Over the next four moves the Austrians would take the right hand section of the town

9th Bavarian corps counter attack would rout the Austrian reserve including those in the town.


Casualties were very high on both sides

Bavarians have lost 15 infantry, 3 cavalry and 2 artillery casualties (6500 men)

Austrians have lost 10 infantry and 5 cavalry casualties (4500 men)



Against all the odds, and my forecast at the end of the last post, the Bavarians have won!


It is quite hard to explain why without going into massive, and probably boring, detail.

It was mainly because both sides had suffered heavy casualties in earlier battles

It would only take one casualty for a brigade to rout, often taking others with them

And this would largely depend on who “moved” first .


In our wargame rules each commander has a poker chip

They are placed in a bag at the end of each move

Next move the first chip drawn determines which corps will move first

This allows them to fire on the enemy, possibly cause a casualty often resulting in a rout

They can also initiate a cavalry or infantry melee, allowing them an “impact” bonus

This can be enough to swing the melee in their favour


This, and the influence of dice, is what makes our games so interesting – at least for us

It also makes them very unpredictable.   The game can often be won or lost in the last move.


It is rather boring to say that this was yet another very interesting wargame.

It often surprises me that even after 52 years married and gaming together Jan and I can still surprise each other.

At least on the wargame table.