Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Battle of Leuthen Begins


Prussian Advance Guard commander Hans Joachim von Zeiten issues orders before the battle starts. Minden Miniatures from the collection of Der Alte Fritz. Click on all pix to enlarge.

Zieten is given his game dice.

I was able to power through eight turns in total, yesterday through today, and ended up with the Prussians pressing their advantage and pushing the Austrians back towards Leuthen.

Prussian Army at Leuthen
The Prussian army was organized into two cavalry brigades and three infantry brigades:

Zieten's right wing cavalry - 7 squadrons (2 x Hussars, 2 x Dragoons, 3 x Cuirassiers)

Prinz Moritz's brigade of the right wing - 4 x Battalions Musketeers, 2 x 12-pound cannon and 2 x 3-pound regimental guns.

Ferdinand of Brunswick's centre brigade - 4 battalions (2 x Grenadiers, 2 x Guard and 2 x 3-pound regimental guns.

Forcade's Refused left wing - 4 battalions (2 x musketeers 2 x fusiliers), 3 x 12-pound Brummers, and 2 squadrons of Black Hussars.

Driessen's leftt wing cavalry - 8 squadrons (2 x Dragoons, 4 x Cuirassiers, and 2 x Hussars)

The Prussian attack was led by Zieten's cavalry brigade near Sagschutz, followed by Prinz Moritz's brigade of infantry. Next, en echelon, were the brigades of Ferdinand and then Forcade. Driessen's cavalry covered the Prussian left flank and was concealed behind the Sophienberg.

Prussian deployment showing Zieten's cavalry and three infantry brigades, en echelon. 

Driessen's left wing cavalry hidden behind the Sophienberg



Austrian Army at Leuthen

The Austrian army was organized into 5 brigades of infantry and 2 brigades of cavalry:

Nadasty's Left Wing Cavalry  -  8 squadrons (4 x Dragoons, 2 x Saxon Cheveaulegers, 2 x Cuirassiers) - deployed behind and to the left of Sagschutz.

Wurttemberg Brigade - 3 battalions plus 1 battalion of Croats and 1 x 6-pounder - deployed in and around Sagschutz on the far left wing of the Austrian army.

Colloredo's Brigade (centre) - 4 battalions of infantry and 2 x 3-pounders; deployed perpendicular to Sagschutz facing east.

Forgach's Brigade (centre) - 4 battalions of Hungarian infantry, 2 x 6-pounders and 2 x 3-pounders; deployed to the right of Colloredo's brigade, also facing east.

Leuthen Churchyard Garrison - 2 battalions of Rot Wurzberg infantry deployed inside the churchyard. No artillery.

Ahrenberg's Reserve Brigade - 4 battalions including 2 x musketeers and 2 x grenadiers plus 2 x 12-pounders. Deployed off table behind Leuthen

Lucchesi's Right Wing Cavalry 8 squadrons (6 x Cuirassiers and 2 x Dragoons) - deployed off table. behind Leuthen.

Overview of the battlefield on the centre table. To the left is the village of Sagschutz. Off in the distance are Lobetinz (left) and Radaxdorf (right). Austrian infantry brigades in the centre are facing east towards the expected direction of the Prussian army. Nadasty's cavalry brigade is deployed at the bottom right corner in the picture. The Leuthen churchyard is to the right, off picture.

Nadasty's cavalry of the left wing.

The battle begins at Sagschutz

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Wurtemberg battalions defend Sagschutz

Prinz Moritz attacks Sogschutz, leading with the Itzenplitz Regiment (IR13).
Prussian dragoons draw first blood, over running the Croats.

The Prussian dragoons (left)  have at with with Austrian cuirassiers (right).

The remaining Croats get run down by the Zieten Hussars in the wooded area around Sagschutz.


Next in line: Ferdinand of Brunswick's brigade follow Moritz's brigade and crash into the other side of Sagschutz, routing the Truchsess regiment.

Ferdinand's brigade advances in the center.

Prinz Moritz's brigade.

Ferdinand's brigade pushes through the Austrian centre.

The large cavalry melee behind Sagschutz draws in more and more horsemen.


Austrian Deutschmeister Regiment demonstrates how to change formation from column into line.

Another view of the column to line maneuvers.

The maneuver into line is completed.

Austrian battery of 6-pounders guards the far right flank of Forgach's brigade.

But danger lurks on the horizon as the Black Hussars approach from the flank...

...and they over run the Austrian battery with ease.


Prussian Brummer battery advances to a new position on the Galgenberg.

An earlier rendition of the huge cavalry melee. After awhile, they all start to look the same.

The relative positions of the two armies at the end of Turn 8. You can see how the Austrian lines (center and right hand side of the picture) are bending back on each end. It is not a good sign when your battle line bends at any point in the line, much less at two different points in the line.

So the brief summary of the first 8 turns of Leuthen are that a huge cavalry scrum took place throughout the whole game. At first the Austrians had the edge, but gradually the Prussian cavalry gained the upper hand as the Austrians made the mistake of not committing their last two squadrons of reserve dragoons until it was too late. The Austrian cavalry commander was afraid that the Austrian infantry flanks would be uncovered if he lost the flank. He was correct.

Prinz Moritz pushed the Wurttembergers out of Sagschutz with relative ease, save for the Prinz Ludwig regiment which refused to rout out of town - they died to the last man in Sagschutz (died for Sagschutz????!!!!). The next brigade in echelon was that of Ferdinand of Brunswick and consisted of the elite regiments in the army - grenadiers and guards. They pushed forward in the center and seemed to be taking on the entire Austrian army, but pushing them back.

The third brigade in echelon, Forcade, held back as the refused wing and reserve of the army. Eventually they formed column and started marching around the right flank of the Austrian army. They will make a juicy target for Lucchesi's Austrian cavalry reserve, should it ever decide to show up for the battle (it will).

I am up to Turn 9 now, and I expect that the Austrian center will start to cave in or retreat back into the town of Leuthen, where the fight for the churchyard will begin. Ahrenberg's Austrian reserve infantry should arrive on the next turn.

More tomorrow evening.

12 comments:

  1. What a wonderful start to the game Jim. The snow terrain looks just like Lambeau Field on the weekend!!

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  2. Most impressive pictures, atmospheric and beautiful start...

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  3. Very impressive game and report. Looking forward to its continuation.
    Graham

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  4. Yep, on an equal footing with the 'old' Wargames Holiday Centre.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  5. great battle Jim looking forward to the next instalment the Austrians have a bit to do

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  6. This game is absolutely superb eye candy, some of the very best I have ever seen. I can hardly wait to watch the game evolve. Bravo, Der Alte!

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  7. Brilliant! Simply brilliant! The photos are excellent and the narration really does them justice.

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