Author Topic: The Musings of 'Ole Man Brunswick: A reflection on a lost campaign Prussia 1806  (Read 16911 times)

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Offline Hatricvs

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14th October 1806 (continued)


20.00 Hrs:
 
From: Wurtemburg
To: Brunswick
 
My Lord of Brunswick,
Only a note to your grace that we are assembled here at Halle.
We await your patience.
S!

Offline Hatricvs

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22.00 Hrs:

Sent: 18.00 Hrs 14th October
Received: 22.00 Hrs

From: Louis
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,
My men have arrived at the "T" intersection just East of Leipzig.  We have marked throughout the day and must needs rest until dawn.
We await your patience.
S!

Offline Hatricvs

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22.30 Hrs

Sent: 15.00 Hrs 14th October
Received: 22.30 Hrs

From: Zechwitz
To: Brunswick

My Lord of Brunswick,
We have arrived at Altenbourg after a very long march.  We will encamp here and rest awaiting your further orders.

Zechwitz

Offline Hatricvs

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These last three missives were my first real evidence towards what was going on on my eastern flank and I asked for additional information from Control so that I could get a grasp of the situation and give out some new orders for the units concerned. There follows a sitrep from Control for each of these forces and then a new order for immediate dissemination to each force. This gets a little confused but I think it can still be followed.

From Control:
3.  Hohenlohe, Zechwitz, and Tauntzien are now gathered around Altenbourg.  The former two are in fair shape, but the latter, as will be shortly revealed to you, was the one most harassed by the French during his withdrawal to this position.

From: Brunswick
To: Umpire recHohenlohe's forces at Altenbourg

Sent: 23.00 Hrs 14th October 1806

Conduct defensive operations to secure Altenbourg for the Prussian forces. Rest and recoup where possible. Report back immediately there is any continued French advance against our position. Dig in and hold position until a better sense of where our enemy lies. Choose good ground and defend with breastworks and keep communication lines open at all times with Leipzig and my current location. If in need due to continued harassment by the French, and practicable,  fall back on Leipzig where other Prussian forces await you. Unite with them and inform me immediately of any withdrawal.

Brunswick



Offline Hatricvs

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From: Control
To: Brunswick

1.  Kunheim, Wartens, Orange, and the Artillery reserve as very much where they've been resting, at the unnamed village South of Mersebourg.  It harms nothing when I tell you that your cavalry reconnoitre would have returned later this evening and reported no contacts with the French.  This group is reasonably well rested.

From: Brunswick
To: Umpire

Sent: 23.30 Hrs 14th October

All of the above forces to maintain their position and continue to ready themselves for potential action, either in the defensive role as assigned or , indeed, have the flexibility to be on the move in the short term. Key is still to hold the northern crossing of the bridge against any French advance that may develop.

Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Control
To Brunswick

2.  Louis, Grawert, and Pritwitz are either at (Louis) or approaching Leipzig.  They've put in quite a bit of marching.

From: Brunswick
To: Umpire

Sent: 23.30 Hrs 14th October

Once arrived at Leipzig, stop, rest, gather forces and report back to me on status and readiness to march in the short term. Otherwise conduct defensive operations to secure position until the arrival of other Prussian forces.

Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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From: Control
To: Brunswick

The remainder are commanded and under arms.  I will go so far as to say that they are all in the rough area surrounding Erfurt - Weimar.

From: Brunswick
To Umpire:

Sent 23.30 Hrs 14th October
 
Will those forces ever get out of that area....they should be miles and miles North of this position....I blame Blucher....Gott und Himmel!

Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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15th October 1806

October 15th 1806
 
01.00 Hrs


From: Tauntzien
To: Brunswick

Sent:  16.00 Hrs 14th October
Received: 01.00 Hrs 15th October

(FORWARDED)
My Lord,
The French seem to have called off their pursuit of my forces.  We will march until we reach Altenbourg or until nightfall arrives, whichever comes first.
Your Servant,
Tauntzien

Offline Hatricvs

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06.00 Hrs:

From: Ruchel
To: Brunswick

Sent: 20.00 Hrs, 14th October
Received: 06.00 Hrs 15th October
 
Sir!

We have been in battle for almost 12 hours straight. It has been a very hard day and yet our spirits are still high.

Unfortunately the remains of Weimar Division have been driven from the field and our Advanced Guard Division has surrendered to the French after fighting valiantly for most of the day.

Our Saxe Division is still in fighting form and have held their own against overwhelming numbers of French.
We are breaking off combat for the evening to get some well deserved rest and shall try again in the morning to break away to the North.

Over the course of the day we have identified elements of the French III Corp, V Corp and Muratís Reserve Cavalry. Hopefully we have reduced their numbers and delayed them enough for the rest of your forces to gather and consolidate.

Hoping this message actually finds you.
 
Your Servant,
 
Ruchel

Offline Hatricvs

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06.00 Hrs:

From: Brunswick
To: Ruchel

My Dear Ruchel,
 
There is little that I can do or assist with given my location. If practicable then continue toward your previous ordered location with all that you can. I will say no more here due the distinct possibility that this communique may be intercepted. If you can no longer achieve your previous instructions then make your way northward by any possible means and route!
 
Yours Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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06.00 Hrs

From: Brunswick
To: Blucher

DISPATCH -06.00 Hrs 15th October in response to his dispatch to me on the 14th.

My Dear Blucher,

Good, March, quickly and get to Naumbourg. If followed by French then delay them as best you can but ensure that your main force re-unites with the Prussian army. I am still awaiting your force in the location that your courier found me. Ruchel has orders and will have to see to his own defence, I do not wish to have several fragmentary battles all on -going at the same time and on ground favourable to the French.

Yours Brunswick

Offline Hatricvs

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At this point I was very concerned for my whole western flank and I feared that it was all too late for Ruchel and that he was almost definitely lost to me. I also feared that Blucher would go the same way especially if he interceded in the action and became embroiled in it. The time delay between our forces was really beginning to bite now as in reality it was taking almost ten hours to relay information to eachother, so I thought that in all possibility the western flank may well have been lost at this point!

Offline Hatricvs

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16.00 Hrs:

From: Pritwitz
To Brunswick

Sent: 13.00 Hrs 15th October
Received: 16.00 Hrs

My Lord of Brunswick,
The men of Grawert's, Louis', and my own division have arrived at Leipzig without incident or sight of the foe.
We await your pleasure.
S!
Pritwitz

Offline Hatricvs

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18.00 Hrs

From: Tauntzien
To: Brunswick

Sent: 10.00 hrs 15th October
Received: 18.00 Hrs

My Lord Brunswick,

We have entrenched as ordered, having arrived in good order. A division of cavalry has been detected advancing from the south. I fear it may well be the same forces that have harried us these many days.

Tauntzien

Note: I don't appear to actually have this email any more and this is just a transcript I made at the time. Hopefully I have got the timing correct and the content accurate.

Offline Hatricvs

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21.30 Hrs:

From: Tauntzein
To Brunswick

Sent: 14.00 Hrs, 15th October
Received: 21.30 Hrs

My Lord of Brunswick,

We may soon have to remove ourselves from our present positions around Altenbourg.
We can see to both our West and South French troops approaching.
Those to the West appear to be those of Colbert's division.
Those to the South are certainly those of Guyot's cavalry.
We have made preparation as directed, however.
Yours in His Majesty's Service!!

Tauntzein