Monday, January 11, 2016

Campaign Post Operations Report #15 - French Command disarray

Bonaparte was not a well man in 1813
Unknown to almost all players in the campaign at the time, indeed the GM was only aware that the Napoleon player was not responding to email contacts, the French high command was 'not well'.

Our Napoleon player, who has been doing Napoleonic games since the 1970's as was intrigued by the prospect of a intercontinental game, had been briefly hospitalized and was 'out of action' ~ while this made the communication gap with the Allied command easier to take time resolving, it did cause some concern ~ at least with the GM, where was our Napoleon player?  Was he alright?

Eventually we did hear from the player, then all went quiet again, still no orders, though not an issue as the front line commands knew what to do from earlier directives, it would become an issue in a few game days.

Then again, news came:

My apologies for lack of input this last week. I unfortunately had a relapse and was taken back into hospital.
I have been discharged, this morning, and my daughter has just brought me home. Although still feeling a little shaky I am positively loads better than this time last week.

Xxxxxx, bless her, wouldn't bring my computer/iPad into the hospital insisting I get complete rest. So I have a stack of mails to read and am tackling the latest first. (maybe not the best way)

I will get up to date with the progress of the campaign during today and get a set of orders etc off to you tonight/tomorrow am

Best regards

Once again we had a Napoleon player and the status of the French command was set.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Campaign Post Operations Report #14 - Allied Monarchs Orders

Allied Monarchs in 1813
Unable to find Schwartzenberg, the Allied Monarchs issued a directive to their field armies:

The Monarchs are unanimous; Berlin must be relieved!
We order Schwarzenberg to await the arrival of Gallitzin V's reserve cavalry, Raevsky's grenadiers and Yermolov's Russian Guard and then to take command of these troops plus the army of Bohemia (except for Klenau's IV Korps) and march to join FM Blucher near Lohsa. This combined force is then to proceed to Berlin via Grossraschen, Cottbus, Lubben and Teupitz.

Klenau is hold at Bautzen and await the arrival of Sacken and Scherbatov. This combined force, under the command of von Müssling, will proceed towards Dresden to join forces with Barclay de Tolly.

Francis I
per Alexander I and Frederich-William III

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Campaign Post Operations Report #13 - Allied Monarchs are roused

Driven by the messages of the 19th and 20th of August, that Berlin was now under siege and only the citadel was being defended by Russian troops under the command of Pozzo di Borgo, Count Haugwitz continued his tirade about the situation to King Frederick of Prussia:

Count Haugwitz
"Vorwaerts, immer vorwaerts, I always said it-on to the relief of Berlin, surely, Euerer Majestaet...
...unless for some reason, of course, our Habsburg allies and friends have some cause to delay the advance? Surely not, surely not-why they are our friends, and victory is theirs-ours, I should say, for all have played their part. If Vienna was in similar danger, I doubt not that we would all rush to the Danube, after all.
Some reason for delay, Euerer Majestaet/ Surely not, surely not!
Euerer hochtreueste Ergebener,
To which the King responded:

This splendid victory of which we have heard so much, meinen herren, can someone perhaps describe it to me? I shall be delighted to receive Metternich at the earliest juncture, except of course that Potsdam has not been relieved yet so I cannot even celebrate in my own palace, as far as I recall...

The discussion continued:

That is because it has not really happened, Euerer Majestaet, as I am sure that you perceive...
I predict that we shall see by and by that far from having routed the French at Bautzen, and sent the eagles flying in terror back over the Elbe, we shall learn that the results of this action are meagre, that the Emperor Francis himself does not think them worthy of any particular military movement in consequence, no swift pursuit, no daring combination, no strategic or even tactical advantage having accrued whatsoever, upon which we can depend. I think we will see the signs of this quite soon, even if the August Habsburger seeks to keep up as long as he can the pretence that his armies at long last won a victory, because he will not want to take any risks as a result of this, what shall we say, Begegnung, this encounter..
But none would be more delighted than your Majesty's truest Servant, to find that suddenly the way is clear to Berlin, that the shadow of war is lifted from the Kingdom, and our Habsburg allies, having depended on us to shield at great risk to ourselves their territories in Bohemia, are ready now to do their part and drive the enemy from the gates of our own capital. Why do we not put this to the test, eh?

Unknown to any of the Allied GHQ, Prince Charles John (formerly French Marshal Bernadotte) has deployed his forces in a more 'land grab' mode into Mecklenberg.

Allied Army of the North, Charles John, 19 August

 However by the 24th the situation had greatly changed ... and the Allied command knew nothing of this at the time:

Allied Army of the North, 24 August
So the North Commander had this message regarding the deployment of his forces:

If possible the Swedes will now head east to Pritzwalk, if not then Parchim.

Bulow and co appear to be engaged against the French so I don't think I can
do much there.
I would like the Swedes to meet up with Bulow if possible but they are to
try and prevent the French from getting past them. 

Clearly the situation in the north had deteriorated ... and now the Allied Monarchs were to meet formally for a detailed council of war.   

Meaning we were arranging a 5 continent, 22 time-zone conference call on Skype.

Campaign Post Operations Report #12 - News arrives at the Allied Supreme Headquarters - 24 Aug 1813

detail from the Leipzig Battle painting
Below are the messages and information received at Allied Monarchs Supreme Headquarters on 24 Aug 1813:

At about 0800:
Swedish Courier:
Messenger to Allied Monarchs
Siege of BERLIN

Message Dated: 19 August 1813

At about 1000
Prussian Liaison: Generalmajor Baron von Krusemark

Prince Charles John has abandoned BERLIN, retreating to Pomerania.  Only Russian forces are hoding the citadel.  Under command of Pozzo di Borgo.

Supplies will last until spring 1814.

Expect no further messages until siege is lifted.

Message Dated: 20 August 1813

Pozzo di Borgo
At about 1300:

BERLIN surrounded by French forces.

Demanding surrender.

Pozzo di Borgo

Dated: 20 August 1813

Feldmarschall Fürst Carl zu Schwarzenberg has still not been seen in the Headquarters and is assumed to be touring the recent battlefield at Bautzen.

Are there any directives/orders from the monarch(s) forthcoming?