Monday, December 28, 2015

Campaign Post Operations Report #11 - a diplomat emerges

Julius August Reinhold von Grawert
Count Haugwitz continued ...

May I respectfully suggest to your Majesty the following excellent fellow, Julius August Reinhold von Grawert (1746–1821), awarded the Pour le Merite, former governor of Silesia, General der Infanterie,and hardened on campaign but well-known to his French counterparts and only recently retired as a corps commander to his estates near Landeck in Lower Silesia-you may recall taking the waters at the Marienbad by Ober-Thalheim, your Majesty, as many have done in happier times, and the general lives nearby. As it is a truce we are talking about, we need the delegation to be headed up by a soldier, and I am sure that he will pass muster with the French, and as staff assistant I would nominate my own adviser the elder Steinmetz brother-no friend of the French he, like his younger sibling, but a tapfer Kerl who famously slipped through French lines at besieged Breslau, if he can do it once, he can do it again...

As political adviser, surely your Majesty could do no better than Hans, Graf von Buelow, at the moment your finance minister and at headquarters as he cannot get into Berlin at the moment on his way back from Liegnitz-this versatile man has actually met and negotiated with Napoleon in his time and also has good connections in the enemy camp, although he fell out with the preposterous Jerome of Westphalia when at that court some years ago, he has a realistic eye for what can be done in Germany. He will be in a position too to insist upon seeing the French Emperor and not being palmed off with a lackey in ostrich feathers and tight breeches.

The suggestion is being made that this all may go awry, however-surely your Majesty, we have a system of passwords agreed with the other side to ensure that nobody has to carry signed letters or risk getting entangled with minor functionaries? Do the French want to negotiate or not? A proper meeting of ambassadors can take place later, I should say, to sign off the deal.


(Historical note: Grawert headed the Prussian contingent in the Grande Armee and is a Francophile; the elder Steinmetz on the other hand was a fire-eater against the French and was killed at Leipzig, his younger brother being the famous Steinmetz who commanded in the 1866 and 1870 campaigns; Hans von Buelow was finance minister both of Westphalia and later of Prussia and a supple political character, just the party we need, eh?)


The players in charge of the Prussian issues happening now were unclear about the reality of communicating on the 1813 battlefield.  As the game master here explains:

> There is no way to get a message to the French Emperor *immediately*.
> This is 1813, you are crossing a FEBA (forward edge of the battle
> area) and the fastest communications is by horse.
> Your supreme command is coming out of the eastern Bohemian Mountains,
> with your troops out of Potsdam, some 200 miles away. Even with the
> fastest horses that is TWO DAYS before the message could reach them!
> I shall not reveal, at all, how far away Bonaparte is; let alone
> comment on the likelihood that Prussian Officers - whatever their
> mission - will be so easily permitted to travel in the territory
> controlled by France.
> The battles are happening,as you have summoned the messengers, and
> they are still to arrive at the Allied Monarchs Supreme Headquarters
> in the field near Zittau. You will have news of Bautzen before
> sending off the emissaries to communicate with Bonaparte.
 Further explanation was needed:

> The, troops in the north are under the overall command of Swedish
> Crown Prince Charles John. Generallieutenant Bülow commands the
> forces that have marched to victory south of Potsdam and are now
> attacking to force the French away from Potsdam completely.
> As Monarch, you have had little or no contact with Berlin or the
> Northern forces for at least two weeks.
> Since the 17th of August 1813 (the current game turn is 23 August) you
> have been in the Allied Monarchs HQ in Bohemia, now marching out.
> -- in game we have been stuck on the 23rd for more than a month, not
> what I wanted and we are dealing with it --
> This means that the game is *frozen* at the moment and there is
> nothing to do until after the battles are resolved.
 The challenges with the one player were (mostly) resolved and James had this commentary:

As I have said several times previously, I am really enjoying this campaign. I particularly like the way that the fog of war is playing out. Julian as Frederick is deep in that fog now...!
 To which the player responded with:

Want of a telegraph, I suspect...

There were whispers ...

 here is some news from "a source close to the Czar":
Alexander was bemused to hear rumours that Frederick William is considering treating with "the ogre".
"Why would Frederick consider dealing with Napoleon?" he asked.
 "What is he thinking?"
"I do not know sire, they are only rumours..."
"Surely he would not be so foolish as to do such a treacherous thing? It will cost him his crown!"
"Should he be so stupid he will regret his loss of reason when I burn Berlin!"

Tsar Alexander, looking over his shoulder at Prussian "Allies"