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Six Days in October- battle report (No Kriegspielers allowed....)

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Pinetree:
For those of you wondering what the hell is going on, (I'm wondering that myself half the time, fog of war is total in this game) I've attached a report my character, Marshal Soult, sent to Napoloeon of a battle his corps fought a few days ago in game time. This will give you guys a taste of what it's been like so far. I took a lot of the descriptions from Cyrano's dispatches to me and added them into a narrative, so any of the bits that are any good are most likely his words. 

: showIV Corps Headquarters,
Altenbourg
Thuringia

This Being A Report of IV Corps Activities During the Action at Altenbourg On The Sixteenth Day of October In The Year Of Our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Six.

My Lord Emperor,

I beg to report the actions of IV Corps during the battle that happened today.

At Noon yesterday, the 15th, General Goyot's Cavalry reported Two Divisions of Prussian Infantry entrenching in front of Altenbourg. We knew these men to be part of Hohenlohe's Corps. I sent a dispatch to Marshal Ney, as I surmised he was at Gera, explaining that I intended to engage and requested if would attack from the Enemy's Flank. I then ordered the Corps to Deploy in front of Altenbourg. 

The cavalry would form a screen facing the enemy's direction. The rest of the Corps , would stay behind the cavalry. Leval would form line on the left, St. Hillaire would form line on the right. Legrand would stay in the centre and form in column. Once the Infantry had formed up, Guyot would pull the cavalry back behind Legrand.  He then send scouts out both east and west to find the enemy's flanks. My orders were to engage but not heavily, feint attacks only.  If we drew them out of their entrenchments, then we'd attack. Alas, they stayed entrenched.

At 4pm, I received word that Colbert's division were seen approaching Altenbourg from the West.

By 7pm I was in direct contact with Marshal Ney, he agreed to a Flanking attack, He would attack with Marchand's Division, Colbert's Cavalry amd the Imperial Guard. Gardanne's Division was at Neustadt. He intended to recall it directly to march toward us on the 16th. We then settled in for the night. Enemy activity was minimal.

At 4am I gave orders to the Corps for the coming battle. We would attack at 7am sharp and destroy the enemy.

Laval's and Legrand's Divisions would attack in column at the centre of the enemy's line. St. Hillaire's Division would be in reserve behind them with Guyot's Cavalry formed in two wings on either flank of him.

Marshal Ney's Corps would attack the enemy's right flank with Marchand's Division and the Guard following in reserve, he would also attempt to get into the Prussians right-rear. His Cavalry would move to the left, looking for the other Prussian Divisions, and try to cut the enemy's line of communication to Leipzig. He reported that Gardanne's Division should be in supporting distance by the evening, ready to support us on the 17th.

If IV Corps attacks were successful, St. Hillaire was to punch a hole in the enemy's line and send the cavalry through the hole with each wing going left and right. They were to carve the enemy up from their rear.

If the attacks were struggling, St. Hillaire would attack anyway to force the enemy to hold his positions there and hopefully draw in his reserves so Marshal Ney could press his attack.

At 7am we attacked. The Enemy had continued to prepare their positions overnight so were well entrenched. The men of IV Corps were magnificent! They pressed the attack and made slight gains under heavy resistance. However, by 10am, Laval and Legrand requested that St. Hillaire's Division be released as their men were working prodigies of valour, but were struggling now against the defenses and the apparent intention of the Foe to remain on the battlefield. I agreed to their request and 
St. Hillaire's Division advanced into the maelstrom.

By 12pm the arrival of the men of St. Hilaire's Division had steadied our lines in the assault.  The Prussians however, proved most resilient  and their entrenchments were better than we thought. Some of the men seemed to be wavering in the attack.  Not St. Hillaire, of course, but the others who had been committed were casting an occasional eye rearward. I implored Laval and Legrand to exhort their men keep pressing the attack so that the Enemy would be tied to their defences so Marshal Ney could effect a breakthrough. I ordered Guyot to send a detachment east and try and find the enemy's flank. I sent word to Marshal Ney that my men were showing some signs of wavering and I recieved word back that he had driven the Enemy division before him, and was now marching to my aid. He was hoping to be ready by 2pm. It was then he told me that Gardanne's Division had been detached from his command and would not be assisting us.

At 2pm, men of Legrand's Division could take no more. They began withdrawing from the fight. In their wake, the men of both Laval's Division and Guyot's Cavalry, though their generals belted them with the flats of their swords, had also taken to flight. This was despite inflicting grievous wounds on the Enemy during the previous two hours.  Were it not for their defensive positions, they would have surely fled. Only the men of St. Hilaire continued the attack. A courier from my piquets indicated that Marshal Ney wass advancing to my aid and was prepared to engage with the whole of his corps. I ordered General's Laval and Legrand to rally their men as fast as they could behind St. Hillaire in case of an Enemy counterattack.

By 4pm the battle was won. With the intervention of Marshal Ney's men, and with St. Hilaire's men cheered at the sight, the Divisions of Taunzien and Zechwitz had been put to flight -- along with the Prussian artillery reserve. Our casualties had been heavy, however, nearly 9,000 casualties in the day's fight, having inflicted only a bit more than half that on the Prussians. However, we held the battlefield and the Prussian's morale was judged to be a difficult-to-restore ruin. Marshal Ney and I then agreed that he would pursue the enemy with St. Hillaire and Guyot attached to his Corps while the remainder of IV Corps would stay and recover.

Thus ends this Report.

I Remain Your Most Loyal Subject,

Soult,
Marshal of France

Dated This, The Sixteenth Day of October In The Year Of Our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Six.

Appendix.

IV Corps casualties were:

St. Hillaire      1000
Leval              2000
Legrand         1629
Guyot             1071
---------------------------
Total               5700

Enemy losses were estimated at 3000-4000 men, guns, and horse.

Iconoclast:
Absolutely fantastic write-up- Thank you very much @Pinetree!

Cheers,

A

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