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Comrade Chernov's Battle Threads #2: Battle of Leipzig

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Comrade Chernov's Battle Threads #2: Battle of Leipzig

Post by Comrade Chernov on 2nd February 2012, 8:36 am

Called the "Battle of Nations", Leipzig was the largest battle in the war by far, and with over 100,000 Casualties - high numbers likely caused by Conscription - was a grim precursor for the bloody debacles of the Great War just over a century later.

Opposing Forces

France - 195,000 Men, 700 Guns
Coalition - 430,000 Men, 1,500 Guns

INTRODUCTION
Spoiler:
As the Napoleonic Wars began to turn against the French emperor, his German "allies" - truth be told, puppets - began to revolt against him; German Nationalism was just starting to become a major power, and as such decided it more proper to side with their German bretheren over their faux-Emperor. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Napoleon's disastrous Invasion of Russia, the Coalition strikes back with a vengeance. British and Portugese troops invade Spain while Russian, Austrian, Prussian, and Swedish forces amass in Germany to push the weakened French back even further.

Napoleon was able to win two quick victories at Lützen and Bautzen at the beginning, which led to a short Armistice; He used this time to conscript and train more troops to assist his beleaguered army. He then won a decisive victory at Dresden, which allowed him breathing space and time to prepare an offensive. It was at this time that the Allies developed a strategy of not attacking *him*, but attacking his Marshals, who were relatively lacking in their own command prowess. This strategy led to victories at Grossbeeren, Kulm, Katzbach, and Dennewitz. In particular, Grossbeeren was an important one; French Marshal Oudinot failed to capture Berlin with his 60,000 men, and as such Napoleon was forced to pull back to Leipzig to protect his supply lines and flanks.

Napoleon deployed his forces around the city on the eve of October 15, with most of his troops facing South, where the main attack would be. The battle began with 78,000 Allied troops attacking the Southern portion of his army and 54,000 attacking his weaker Northern flank.


Last edited by Comrade Chernov on 7th February 2012, 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Comrade Chernov's Battle Threads #2: Battle of Leipzig

Post by Comrade Chernov on 7th February 2012, 8:50 am

DÖLITZ, MARKKLEEBERG, WACHAU
Spoiler:
The battle began with the Austrian II Corps, under the command of Gen. von Merveldt, attempted to attack the village of Connewitz. However, their attack went into a Forest filled with French troops, and, discovering that he could not place his Artillery to effectively support the maneuver, Merveldt decided to instead launch an assault on the nearby village of Dölitz, a small plantation-like settlement across a small creek, spanned by two foot bridges, comprised of a large Manor house and a Mill. A vanguard of 2 Companies from the Austrian 24th Regiment was sent across and quickly forced out a small Polish-French Garrison, but the French received Reinforcements and then threw the Austrians out. The balance continued to sway back and forth until the Austrians brought up an Artillery battery and blew the Poles out. The Poles left bodies by the scores and set fire to both the Manor AND the Mill on their way out.

At Markkleeberg, the Prussian II Corps of Gen. von Kleist attacked Marshals Poniatowski and Augereau, crossing over a river and taking a School building and another Manor. The French counterattacked, throwing the Prussians back across the river. However, the position in the Manor stood, and the French took heavy loss trying to dislodge the stubborn defenders. The Russian 14th Division, meanwhile, flanked the village and routed the Poles; Poniatowski rallied his countrymen and stemmed the tide of the Russian advance. He caught 4 Battalions of the Prussian 12th Brigade in the open and mercilessly hammered away at them with Cannons and Cavalry until Russian Hussars forced his men back. Poniatowski retook the town, but two battalions of Prussians supported by Austrian Grenadiers threw him out again.

Meanwhile, further down the line, the Russian II Corps, with support from the Prussian 9th Brigade, advanced towards the village of Wachau. However, the Russians were taken in the flank by a surprise French assault and mauled. The Prussians, meanwhile, went into the town and began fighting house-to-house, gaining ground little by little; However, the French brought up guns and blew them out, the Allies having suffered heavy casualties for nothing.

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