Saturday, November 28, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #10 - the political maneuvers continue

the campaign map as seen by Prussian ministers
The machinations of Count Haugwitz continued:


And the re-groupment of the Prussian armies to the north, mein Herr General, this is of the very essence. It is so essential for the Prussian forces isolated and imperilled at Marienberg to be recalled at once-sofort!-by way of Komotau and Leitmeritz on Zittau, however, that this force can only make its northwards movement after it is clear of the Austrian rear. After that it can turn north and the army should really concentrate at a suitable point in the Mark Brandenburg.

Nach Norden, immer nach Norden!

We do not want the Habsburgers to understand that we are offering full neutrality if the French pull back from Berlin and then evacuate the Kingdom, of course, but that is what our envoys must be saying to the envoys of the French commander-in-chief. Only that will, I am sure, offer him the security that he needs to prolong his campaign in Saxony and be assured that his left flank will not be in constant danger (not that he will be able to neglect it entirely, under the circumstances, ho ho!).

The truce, and the regroupment, then.

Wo ist Bluecher?


while the player had these comments:

The other interesting point is that it is not only the Prussians,
befuddled by the neutralist advice in their camp and notoriously misled
by their weak-minded monarch, who have gone wrong, despite the
equivocal advantages of hindsight. In some ways they are doing right by
pulling back from an isolated position: was not the key to the success
of the historical 1813 campaign the firm resolution amongst all the
Allied commanders that they would never fight the Beast as a national
contingent by themselves, only when the entire Allied Army was
assembled? And look what Francis is doing now! How does he know the
Emperor will not appear?

I shall look forward to each post with great
anticipation, do I hear the thud of the despatch-rider's hooves on the
Lobauer Landstrasse even now?


 Thinking 'privacy of his own tent' meant anything:

Alles immer schlechter, Euerer Majestaet...
The normally restrained Minister von Haugwitz is going to deliver an immoderate tirade in the privacy of his own tent, at this latest blow. How did all this come about? I was given to understand that Bluecher was coming up out of Silesia, I had hoped with a significant force, I had fondly imagined that he would save the day-now we discover him immersed in the great Lausitzer Bog, at the remotest corner of the theatre, as far as our army at Marienberg is concerned, in the land of the barbarous Sorbs, who speak a Slavonic dialect and still worship the Sun and Moon. We discover indeed that the Prussian Army, quite in contrast to the Habsburg one, and no doubt we shall discover to the Russian one as well, is actually deployed on a front of 200 miles, from the western Bohemian mountains on the left to Rothenburg on the middle Bober on the right, and that to reunite with Bluecher our corps from Marienberg must march the whole length of the fighting front, our flank to the enemy, to reach him. And all the while your Majesty's capital is under close siege by the French!

Oh, now we see the plans of our enemies made plain! Ganz sicher! Had we the most charitable view of our Habsburg cousins, we should have to conclude that they have contrived to consign the army of your great uncle to the role of flank-guard, outpost-provider, convoyer and garrison-keeper: with any more realistic appraisal of the situation we should have to say that they have set out deliberately and entirely to destroy the fighting capacity of the Prussian State, and to remake your Majesty as a vassal of the Habsburg empire. We have not been outmanoeuvred by the French, Euerer Majestaet, but we have been utterly bamboozled by our so-called Allies!

I cannot tell what is to be done by the generals, who are just as blame-worthy in this situation, a gaggle of hens presenting their necks for the farmer's chop. Would that Scharnhorst were still with us! It seems to me that Bluecher cannot move away north towards Cottbus or even Stettin until the corps from Marienberg is close at hand, but if this is any longer delayed-and what will Bonaparte be doing in the meantime, eh? Apart from defeating the arrogant Francis at Bautzen, of course-then it may be that the Marienberg corps (what is it called? Who commands it? I cannot keep calling it after the place it long ago departed) will have to remain detached, and march on into Upper Silesia by way of Jungbunzlau, Koeniggraetz and Nachod, where I presume it will find the fortress of Glatz in our hands, at least. We must look now to save the Army at all costs, it is yet the rock upon which the machinations of the enemies of Prussia will break.

I should suppose, Euerer Majestaet, that you should wish to depart the camp of the faithless Verbuendeten as soon as possible and make your way to join Bluecher, for under these circumstances, I deign to say that I fear for your Majesty's personal safety, I really do...


To which the Prussian King responded:

Yet again you are absolutely right - I shall await a reply from the Beast, and assuming it is favourable, this will give me even more reason to take off for Berlin immediately - pausing only perhaps to discover if, against all the odds, our Hapsburg cousins do succeed in giving the French a bloody nose, which I think most unlikely under the circumstances.


Count Haugwitz responded:
As I thought, Euerer Majestaet, answer comes there none. Your generals hang their heads in shame, if they are capable of it. They have presided over the extinguishing of their own prestige. The Army of the Great Frederick!
 then a few days passed (in the real world, nothing in-game had yet happened) and Haugwitz continued his verbal work on the Prussian King:

I presume the French besieging Berlin are growing weary of waiting for
their opponents to assemble sufficient forces to offer them a real
fight or even to defend the capital, and want to make an end of it.
Perhaps your Majesty needs to consider the Royal Castle at Posen, as
his first resort, and send ahead some staff and court officials to make
it ready. It is the twilight of Great Prussia...

Francis, meanwhile,
cannot wait to be beaten by the French at Bautzen, indeed he seems to
want to arrange it so that he may be beaten several times over on the
same field-unlike the Beast himself at Marengo, he will be able to say
that he had lost the battle in the afternoon, and lost it all over
again by nightfall!


The Prussian King appeared to be more concerned than ever:

We must avoid an encounter at Potsdam at all costs! What is the news from our emissary to the French Emperor?

 It was at this point that the Battle of Second Bautzen took place in our Campaign of Nations.