An overview of Turn 5. The French have won the initiative again (the Prussians won the first couple of turns but then ran out of luck!) giving them the advantage in the firefights.
Napoleon sends one of his ADC’s to take command of the 3 Middle Guard Grenadier battalions and thus forming a new Brigade for Command and Control purposes. It is the intention that they will form one of the attack columns with one of Grissburg’s bridges being the target.
In the middle of the photo, the Prussian 5th Brigade 6pdr foot artillery battery had been rallied and was in the process of moving back to its original position when it came under a devastating blast of canister from a French horse artillery battery (bottom middle) scything down many of the limbered horses and riders. With the loss of another gun the battery failed a morale test and will retreat in the next turn.
The Prussians do not stand idle and the squadron of 11th Hussars attached to the 5th Brigade move forward with instructions to clear the bridge of French skirmishers.
Both sides suffer badly in the centre with heavy losses to both artillery crews and skirmishers.
A reinforcing Prussian battalion had conducted a full move to position itself in line with its neighbour so could not fire this turn. They absorbed a volley from a French battalion opposite as they prepared to fire.
A Prussian battery on their right flank suffers badly at the hands of French skirmishers falling below half strength and will be retreating in the next turn.
The routing 14th Brigade reaches the Prussian lines. There is a danger of a bottleneck forming and therefore a battalion lining the earthworks pulls several companies back to widen the gap.
Sydow moves his cavalry brigade towards the north eastern perimeter vacating room in which it is planned the 14th Brigade will rally.
Prussian commanders are alarmed at the number of casualties suffering from artillery and skirmisher fire. Several battalions are pulled back from the earthworks with instructions to occupy the surrounding buildings to offer both better protection and placing them beyond the range of many skirmishers. There is a risk though that this will reduce firepower on any columns assaulting across the bridge.
French skirmishers had a particularly successful turn with one company of Chasseurs rolling a double ‘6’, as a result of which the Prussian battalion manning the earthworks faltered. With most of the Prussian screening skirmishers now killed or driven away, the French were now able to fire on the redoubt. The defending Prussian artillery battery suffered its first casualty.
The 11th Hussars conducts its charge and the Chasseurs promptly evaded contact leaving the Prussian cavalry in command of the bridge.
The Prussian 1/7th Infantry battalion (middle left) suffered at the hands of two French artillery batteries; the 12th Cav Division horse artillery battery to the right of the bridge who rolled a double ‘6’, and the 2nd Corps reserve 12pdr battery (slightly out of focus on the left) who rolled ’11’. They sustained 6 casualties and will be retreating in the next turn. Their commander, Seydlitz, received a light wound.
The French left flank as their artillery begins to deploy. The Prussians struggle to maintain a decent defensive position as supporting units fail to respond to orders to advance and the retreating battery failed to rally from retreat and dispersed. They did receive some consolation when one of their battalions in line to the right of the photo rolled a double ‘6’. The French battalion on the receiving end were not fazed and stood firm but Jerome Napoleon was not so lucky. He was wounded by flying lead. He will continue to command and would normally be downgraded in quality. But as he was already rated ‘poor’ he will merely retain this rating.
Routing troops of the 14th Brigade desperately scramble into the safety of Grissburg knowing that the pursuing French are not far behind.
The Old Guard receive orders to move and form column of march.
Reille determines that now is the time to launch the assault on the Industrial suburbs of Grissburg. The 6th Division are tasked with crossing the nearest bridge with the 9th Division the western most bridge.
Assault orders have been issued with the lead brigades launching their battalions across the bridges. Two views of the 6th Division’s attack. The 3/2nd light battalion of Bauduin’s brigade leads the assault with 2 companies of skirmishers ranging out ahead of them.
For the 9th Division, the veteran 1/92nd Line battalion of Gauthier’s brigade leads their attack. Due to the close proximity of Prussian troops there is no room to deploy skirmishers.
An overview of the Prussian target. The horse artillery that had been firing on the building in the bottom of the photo ran low on ammo. That, combined with heavy casualties lead to its order to withdraw (middle of photo). The 3 Landwehr battalions with Friccius in command (middle of photo) for the 2nd time failed to obey orders to move.
All the action this turn occurred on the French left flank. They had now begun their assault on the industrial suburbs in earnest. Here the 1/92nd Line battalion charges into a battalion of the Prussian 29th Infantry. They win, but only just. The Prussians are pushed back with the French battalion becoming unformed.
The attack of the 6th Division does not start well. The 3/2nd Light battalion successfully charges into the much smaller 2/7th Infantry of Seydlitz’ brigade. Despite being outnumbered by almost 2:1, the Prussians defeat the French pushing them back. They also remain formed.
The view from the rear of the 6th Division advancing across the bridge.
An overview of the situation on the French left. The Prussian Hymmen now orders his regiment to retire (middle right).
A battery on the south-west redoubt manages to bring its guns to bear on the bridge being crossed by the 6th Division. Although at long range, they are firing into a packed dense target and begin to inflict casualties. In the foreground, one of the Prussian skirmishing companies rolls a double ‘6’ when firing on the last cannon of the 11th Cav Division 6pdr battery. They are virtually wiped out and what is left disperses following a morale test.
An overview of the current situation.
The French steadily bring more artillery to bear on Grissburg. The earthworks have now been virtually abandoned with Prussian troops seeking greater safety of the buildings.
The 9th Division begins to struggle with a follow up battalion charging the Prussian battalion in the middle of the photo. A volley from the Prussians brought down 2 of the French battalion who subsequently failed the charge home morale test. They are now retreating back across the bridge.
The situation was rather better for the 6th Division who mounted another charge against the brave Prussian 2/7th Infantry. This was too much for the heavily outnumbered Prussians who routed following defeat in the melee. This caused a morale test for the 1/7th immediately behind them who retreated. Both of these battalions were in Seydlitz’ brigade who now had to conduct a Brigade morale test. It failed with the Brigade breaking. This meant the loss of the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 7th Infantry who routed from the field. Only the remnants of the Fusilier battalion remained.
An overview of the French left. Friccius finally orders his Westphalian Landwehr regiment to assault the advancing French. His 3 battalions move forward to counter the French threat (middle of photo). On the left, Groben’s 4th Westphalian Landwehr of the 4th Brigade are ordered to engage the French and 2 of their battalions approach through the wood and along the road.
The first two divisions of the French 3rd Corps arrive to the north of Grissburg.
The routing 14th Brigade is now safely in Grissburg and begins the process of rallying its troops.
The 3rd Corps approach Grissburg.
To be met with a rolling thunder of fire from the Great Redoubt. Shot lands among the French columns leaving a bloody swathe through their densely packed ranks.
The North West redoubt also opens fire but its shots fall wide of the mark.
The build up of French artillery continues to the south of Grissburg. Most Prussian troops have been pulled back into the better protected town. They are still suffering casualties though as more and more French cannon bombard Grissburg.
The French 2/2nd Light infantry charge a battalion of Friccius’ 3rd Westphalia Landwehr who routs before contact is made (middle of photo). The French battalion continues its charge into another of Friccius’ Landwehr battalions who fire off a volley killing one of the French. This does not stop them though but Friccius, having joined the Landwehr, steadies their nerves who stand to receive the charge. The French are heavily outnumbered but their impetus and training wins the day, but only just. The Prussians are pushed back leaving the French battalion in good order.
The French 6th Division are now making good progress with more battalions pouring across the bridge.
The French 9th Division are struggling to make any headway. A battalion of the 92nd Line is isolated with several Landwehr columns approaching them. The bridge is blocked by a reforming battalion. A deployed artillery battery together with skirmishers (left of photo) do what they can to disrupt the Prussians.
Schwerin’s cavalry brigade about face to counter the increasing threat from the arrival of the French 3rd Corps.
In the distance the French 3rd Corps deploy their artillery with the infantry deploying into line to reduce casualties from the massed Prussian artillery.
A closer view with French skirmishers moving into range. One limbered artillery battery (lower middle right) gets caught by concentrated fire from the great redoubt. They lose 3 crew with a falter result in the subsequent morale test phase. Another infantry division and a cavalry brigade have yet to enter the board.
To be Continued
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