Thursday, 20 December 2007

A bridge too far. Kösen (Saxony) october 1813

Napoleon has been defeated at Leipzig and the Grande Armee is retiring westwards.
"On 21 October Napoleon sent General Bertrand with a strong force to attack and destroy the bridge by Kösen [on the Saale River], in an effort to cover the French withdrawal from attack by the allies via that avenue. On the left bank, where Neu-Kösen lay, the road crossed a nearly unclimbable ridge, an important tactical position to seize as to stop the allies, who were advancing through Naumburg in their pursuit of the French” (G. Nafziger, 'Napoleon at Leipzig. The Battle of Nations 1813’. The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1996).
This combat was fought between elements of the Austrian 3rd Armeeabteilung under FZM Gyulai (Light and Line divisions) and the rests of the Bertrand’s polyglot IV Corps (comprising French, Wurttemberg and Italian units). The orders of battle are modified and adapted from the Nafziger's book cited above as well as from “The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book” (Greenhill Books, London, 1998) of Digby Smith. The Napoleon Series web-site (Allied OOB at Leipzig and French OOB at Leipzig) provided the names of the brigadiers. I have also added a division of French Young Guard Cavalry under Lefebvre-Desnoettes to add some color to the French units.
This scenario is an adaptation of the C.S. Grant’s Crossing Point’ scenario of his book ‘Programmed Wargames Scenarios'. I hesitated whether to run this Scenario or to run the Tabletop Teaser No.1 "The Bridge Demolition" (from the same author) but the 'Programmed Scenario' is best adapted to the real situation..

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