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Tabletop Gaming, Models, and Minis => Forum-Based Games => Six Days in October Archives => Topic started by: Barthheart on October 07, 2016, 06:49:13 PM

Title: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on October 07, 2016, 06:49:13 PM
The campaign is afoot!

The Corsican has dared to threaten the realm of Prussia and her allies! This little monster must be stopped.

Here follows the personal account of General Ruchel during this most august campaign. Please read at your pleasure but do not disclose any information herein to the enemy.
It is most unsporting.

All other must depart now! (http://grogheads.com/forums/Smileys//Brantz%20Smilies/knuppel2.gif)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on October 07, 2016, 06:56:35 PM
Oct. 10, 1806

The French are once again on the move under the command of that little upstart Napoleon. With my troops currently position on the frontier at Eisenach we await our orders for the coming campaign.

The men are anxious and are of good spirits. Let us hope that their commanders are up to the task ahead.

 (http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b613/barthheart/1806%20-%20START_initial_Ruchel_zpsi2sxtaad.jpg)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on October 07, 2016, 07:06:20 PM
Oct. 10, 1806

I have received my marching orders after much discussion with our good commander the Duke of Brunswick.

We are to leave our western most outpost and march towards the other concentrations of the Prussian Army to better meet the French aggression.

As such, I have ordered my divisions to march as indicated. This small maneuver will take a couple of days but will provide vital information if the French decide to attempt to cross into our territory through the forbidding terrain of the Forest de Thuringe.

I have ordered a staggered start to the march so as to not bunch up and cause undo entanglement of the divisions.
The Advanced Guard is to leave first as they have the furthest to travel.
Then Weimar, then Saxe.

We'll setup the main camp at Gotha and the AG will setup near Ohrdruf. Their cavalry will scout to the south looking for signs of the enemy approaching.

(http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b613/barthheart/1806%20-%20Sept10_12_zpsvi3qsjpy.jpg)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Cyrano on October 17, 2016, 10:09:01 PM
If there is a price we umpires exact for our labors, it is giggling as we see the totality of the field.

 ;D ;D ;D

Thanks for this!

Jim


Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on October 18, 2016, 06:34:30 PM
Oct. 11, 1806

We have arrived at Gotha and have set about establishing camp. Saxe Division will camp on the east side of town and patrol the road heading towards Erfurt, while Weimar Division shall establish a camp south of Gotha and patrol the road south.
The Advanced Guard has been sent ahead to Ohrdruf to establish a forward camp and shall look further south for signs of the enemy.

We await further orders from the Duke of Brunswick as to our further deployment.

(http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b613/barthheart/1806_Oct_11_zpsdkptyse8.jpg)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on November 01, 2016, 08:42:30 PM
Oct. 11, 1806

1000 hrs.

I have received word that the Advanced Guard has reached Ohrdruf without incident.

1300 hrs.

Possible enemy cavalry spotted south of Ohrdruf. I've ordered the Advanced Guard to delay enemy there.
Weirmar division ordered to march south to reinforce AG. Hopefully Weimar can reach Ohrdruf in time to relieve AG...
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on November 02, 2016, 06:09:56 PM
Oct. 11, 1806

1400 hrs.

Where the hell is that rider? What's going on in Ohrdruf??
I'd give my right hand for a device that could transmit my voice across tens of kilometers instantaneously....  :tickedoff:
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on November 07, 2016, 05:11:15 PM
Oct. 11, 1806

1700 hrs.

Ok reports that Weimar has reached Ohrdruf without incident.
Piquets still report seeing enemy cavalry in the distance but no move has been made to engage.

Tomorrow I shall order AG's cavalry to advance to contact to determine what the composition of the enemy is... maybe draw them into battle with our set forces....

(http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b613/barthheart/1806_Oct_11_1700s_zpsq7wp3oxj.jpg)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on November 15, 2016, 05:43:47 PM
Oct. 11, 1806

2300 hrs.

Received a dispatch rider from our commander Brunswick very late in the evening. Seems the rider left Brunswick camp sometime around 1400 hrs... ah the speed of modern communications!
Seems we are to retreat... err.. maybe form up to the rear is a better turn of phrase, to catch the French in more open ground.. by surprise...?
So I guess I am not going to draw the enemy into combat as early as hoped.

I will be ordering a sideways advance to Erfurt in attempt to "close that gap between our forces"... Brunswicks troops are in (were) in Naumbourg...
This is all with an eye to further "advance" back towards, ultimately, Eisleben... Perhaps we are to fight at the gates of Magdebourg in front of a home town crowd....

It is late and I have written enough insubordination for one evening. Tomorrow is a long day of marching.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on December 01, 2016, 08:07:11 AM
Oct. 12, 1806

0500 hrs.

Gah! What a ghastly hour at which to start the day.

Orders are sent out to Weimar Division to set out immediately from Ohrdruf to Gotha and then on to a fork in the road, that leads south to Arnstadt. This will cover both roads.
My Advance Group is ordered to leave Ohrdruf around noon so as to not become entangled with Weimar's march. They are to march to Gotha and see if the enemy follows.

I, in the mean time, with Saxe Division will march to Erfurt. This is to be our hub for the march north... if that plan remains intact.

Let us hope the day holds no surprises....

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on December 01, 2016, 08:13:38 AM
Oct. 12 1806

1230 hrs.

An exhausted rider arrived at our marching column bearing a hastily scrawled note from the Advance Guard. At 0900 they had broken camp in some haste as they sighted enemy movements to the north and west in the direction of Gotha! As ordered they have not engaged and are beating a swift retreat to Gotha.

Hope they make it and don't get too enmeshed with Weimar's march north.

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on December 01, 2016, 08:16:21 AM
Oct. 12, 1806

1430 hrs.

Received a rider from Weimar Division stating they have reached the fork in good order and are setting up camp. No sightings of the enemy.
No word on the Advance Guard's location or disposition.... worrisome...


Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on December 01, 2016, 08:22:06 AM
Oct. 12, 1806

1500 hrs.

We have reached Erfurt and found it already occupied by our fine colleague General Blucher!  Hail and well met!
The two of us have set about trying to determine our next course of action.

Another rider from AG has also found us and brings news that they are currently at Gotha without incident, as of 1300. I have order the rider to return immediately and tell AG command to travel to where Weimar is encamped. Hopefully that will be by days end and the enemy will stop in Gotha for the evening.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on December 10, 2016, 02:13:32 PM
Oct. 12, 1806

2100 hrs.

Final dispatch riders are in and our troops are all safe this night. AG division has made it to Weimar's camp. This is good news. They also report that French cavalry are riding through Gotha! That might be bad news.
Also heard from our Command Brunswick. My command is to march north from Erfurt, after we are all here.

To sleep, perchance to dream.... that's as far as I'd like to take that quote... for this night anyway...
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on December 10, 2016, 02:19:48 PM
Oct. 13, 1806

0600 hrs.

Next war, we must all agree not to begins things before 1000 hrs... earliest!

My command's disposition is shown below along with our current orders from above.
So orders have gone out for all to make haste and march to Erfurt without delay.... except AG division's cavalry. They are to stay behind and harass and delay the French coming from Gotha. Maybe they can get lucky and ascertain the colours of the unit and or command of the French close on our heels. That would certainly be welcome information farther upon the command chain.

And so now I sit... and wait... for news from the west....

(http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17976.0;attach=9171;image)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on January 07, 2017, 05:30:32 AM
Oct. 13, 1806

0900 hrs.

A rider from my Advance Guard division, dispatched at 0800, has arrived telling of their orderly withdrawal from Gotha. Good news.

Also contained in this missive is the report that French cavalry are approaching north from the direction of Arnstadt! This is very bad news. They could drive right into the side of Weimar division as the withdraw towards Erfurt as ordered.

A rider is sent to find out what Weimar is up to....
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on January 07, 2017, 05:35:01 AM
Oct. 13, 1806

0930 hrs.

Not long after my rider left to find Weimar division, a rider from them arrives in quite a lather. At 0800 they report that some 3000 horses are bearing down on them from Gotha!
So it appears that Weimar might get caught in a pincer... and yet my orders are to not get drawn into a major fight....

So I wait some more for news from the, now, front.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on January 07, 2017, 06:27:49 AM
Oct. 13, 1806

1200 hrs.

Still no news from Weimar or my riders. But there is now the distinct sound of guns coming from the west.... Weimar must have turned to fight!

Now I find myself stuck on the horns of a dilemma....
Ignore orders and ride out with all troops to defend Weimar and possibly get caught in a major conflagration?
Or continue to sit here and prepare to move north as ordered while Weimar valiantly fights for it's existence?

I must think of the larger picture. There is no other force near enough to come to our aid if this is the main French force and we would then be wasted on the field.

This is extremely hard but I must hold my position, wait for AG to arrive and then move north.... hopefully some of Weimar can follow on...

Only history will be able to judge my actions.....
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Cyrano on March 27, 2017, 09:19:40 PM
So, uh, hey, Gen. Ruchel...

What's up?

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on March 28, 2017, 04:28:45 AM
Lost my diary in all the excitement ... will resume presently.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 09:47:03 AM
(Historian's note: It is here that Ruchel's diary falls silent. Given the events of that day it is not surprising. The diary was found tucked in the stone wall of a house, in Erfurt, being renovated in 1962. We shall try to pick up and complete the story of Ruchel's campaign in Oct. 1086 through various other sources.)

(Historian's note: The first of such sources are dispatches that survive from those events between Ruchel's command and various others in the Prussian army, such as below.)

SENT 0600, 13th October (Received at 1400 13th Oct.)

Dispatch to Ruchel from Brunswick

Re the information you have sent me as of 1300 October 12th.

Do not move to Weimar.

Extricate yourself and forces north from Erfurt along the road which eventually leads to Eisleben. Keep to the road. If followed by the French then try and hold them in the valley's and passes around Weissensee area or if needed around the river crossings at near Tennstadt. It is imperative that the enemy do not get a free run up that road or it could compromise our line of supply from Magdebourg. I aim to have Blucher withdraw via the road running from Weimar-Auerstadt-Naumbourg. The majority of the army is in this sector defining a defensive circuit in the vicinity of Halle-Naumborg-Altenbourg. To aid in this your presence in the vicinity of Eisleben would be advantageous.

Stay in contact and keep me informed of any advance of the French in your vicinity.

Brunswick

(Followed closely at 1410 13th Oct.)

SENT 0600, 13th October

I have re-considered our positions and now wish to ensure that we defend as far as possible the line of hills south of Nordhausen. There is a line of hills running east-west to the south of Nordhausen with a river on either side of the central ridge. If we can occupy that ridge line and site our guns and troops so that the road crossing to Nordhausen can be contested, then I think we could hold the French at bay. Therefore I now ask that you extract your forces using the same route as previously mentioned. If feasible deny the enemy any room for advance by blocking the road north from Weissensee on the north bank of the river routes there. Do not get stuck behind the river if a quick exit needs to be made. Also is there anyway that you can concoct a way to withdraw some force toward Muhchausen along that road. A small force just to again hold up any potential enemy advance? We need to withdraw and at the same time contest and bottleneck any French developments along your line of withdrawal wherever practicable. I think holding the ridge would be beneficial if practicable. The crossroads at Nordhausen is key to our position so ensure it is covered at all costs.

Brunswick
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:03:02 AM
Dispatch from Blucher to Ruchel

SENT 1200, 13th October (Recieved at 1430 13th Oct.)

Ruchel, Arnim's Division is just east of Erfurt.  I have ordered him to move immediately back to Erfurt and place himself under your command until the engagement is over and your force and mine are reunited.  Scharnhorst sits east on the road, acting as a blocking force if things go badly and you need a road to retreat on.  I have instructed him to accept an order to join you if you should issue it, but, I do not think this is the place for a major engagement.  Rout the cheese eaters and get thee to Weimar forthwith!

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:04:44 AM
Dispatch from Arnim to Ruchel (Received at 1500 13th Oct.)

My Lord,

At the direction of General Blucher, we have established defensive positions to the West of Erfurt and have placed ourselves directly under your command.

I await your patience.

GL A.W. von Arnim

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:08:23 AM
(Historian's note: a series of dispatches left Ruchel's command at about 1500 on 13th Oct.)

Dispatch from Ruchel to Blucher

Sir! My thanks in your transfer of troops to my command. I believe
they might be needed.... or not. I agree this is not the place to make
a stand
I have not yet received word from my Weimar Division and fear that
they have been set upon by the vile French. My Advance Guard is
making its way here to Erfurt. When they arrive we shall make a
defence of the town.
I have again received instruction, from on high, to make my way
north from Erfurt and not to travel to Weimar. So, to that end, I will
depart Erfurt tomorrow morning, Oct. 14, and travel north as
instructed. At that time I shall instruct Arnim to travel East and
rejoin with your forces at Weimar.

So do not wait for us as we will not come your way. We shall meet
again my friend.

Dispatch from Ruchel to Arnim

Welcome to Erfurt General Arnim. Your troops are
welcome and hopefully unneeded. Maintain your location until
further notice. Send a rider at once if the enemy comes within sight
of your camp.

Dispatch from Ruchel to Brunswick

Sir! My Weimar Division has still not turned up at our rendezvous
here at Erfurt. My Advance Guard should be making an appearance
soon.
Gen. Blucher has lent me use of Arnim Division. We will use them
only if necessary to extricate ourselves from Erfurt.
Current plan is to with withdraw North at first light tomorrow, Oct.
14.
Awaiting further orders.
Sir!

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:11:13 AM
(Historian's note: there is an entry in Ruchel's AG division logs entered at around 1600 13th Oct.)

(Dispatch form Control)

General Ruchel,

Your AG Division has arrived at Erfurt and is awaiting your orders.

They are clearly concerned regarding the fate of their comrades in Arnim's division, having lost contact with them some hours before.

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:13:39 AM
(Historian's note: Sometime after that, exact time was not recorded, another log entry was made on 13th Oct.)

(Dispatch from Control) (Historian's note: who is "Control"?)

General Ruchel --

Weimar's division has begun to stumble into Erfurt through the defenses Arnim has set to the West.

They are a shattered bunch and have sustained significant losses.

There is no sign of the General himself.

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:17:34 AM
(Historian's note: the next set of dispatches leave Ruchel's command post at about 0600 on 14th Oct.)

Dispatch from Ruchel to Saxe Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Saxe Division Command

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Saxe Division

Route of March: North on main road to Weissensee.

Time to Spend Marching: Until reaching the first fork in the Unstrut
River.

Expected Objective: The first fork in the Unstrut River.

Rules of Engagement: Only engage in battle if set upon by enemy
forces.

Dispatches: March with all due haste to the first fork in the Unstrut
River. Once there set up camp.
----------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Weimar Division (remnants)

Dissolve what remains of your former command into
the Advance Guard. You will henceforth become one with this
division and obey all commands given by their commander.
-----------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to AG Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Advance Guard Division Command

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Advance Guard Division

Route of March: North on main road to Weissensee.

Time to Spend Marching: Until reaching the first fork in the Unstrut
River.

Expected Objective: The first fork in the Unstrut River.

Rules of Engagement: Only engage in battle if set upon by enemy
forces.

Dispatches: First take in the stragglers of the Weimar Division,
combining both commands under your flag. Henceforth the
Weimar Division is no more.

Then march with all due haste to the first fork in the Unstrut River.
Once there set up camp.
------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Arnim Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Arnim

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Arnim Division

Route of March: East to Weimar.

Time to Spend: Until reconnected with Blucherís command.

Expected Objective: Blucherís command

Rules of Engagement: Engage enemy only if set upon.

Dispatches: General Arnim, you are to take you command and
make all haste East to re-join with Blucherís main force at or near
Weimar.

Thank you for your service and you are hereby transferred back to
Blucherís command.
--------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Blucher

Sir! With this dispatch I am return to your command and control
the Arnim Division. I have sent them East in search of your main
force.
We are making all haste North towards Weissensee this day.
May God be with your in your travels.
Ruchel.
--------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Brunswick

(Historian's note: It appears there as a planned dispatch but no record of what it contains remains)
(Idiot player's note: It appears I forgot to attach the actual dispatch to the email to Control! DOH!)
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:32:39 AM
(Historian's note: Around 0700 14th Oct. things start to get hairy for Ruchel.)

(Dispatch from Control)

My Lord,

Marching North with Division Saxe en route to Weissensee, your piquets report the presence of French cavalry, in at least division strength, astride the road North.

S!
-----------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Saxe Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Saxe Division Command

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Saxe Division

Route of March: North on main road to Weissensee.

Time to Spend Marching: Until reaching the first fork in the Unstrut
River.

Expected Objective: The first fork in the Unstrut River.

Rules of Engagement: Engage enemy forces.

Dispatches: Immediately deploy for battle! We shall advance north
along our current route and give battle to any who stand in our path
or who would keep us from our destination!

To battle!
---------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to AG Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Advance Guard Division Command

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Advance Guard Division

Route of March: North on main road to Weissensee.

Time to Spend Marching: Until reaching the first fork in the Unstrut
River.

Expected Objective: The first fork in the Unstrut River.

Rules of Engagement: Engage enemy forces.

Dispatches: Make haste at once for my position with the Saxe Division
on the road north! Once arrived, you are to deploy for battle and
join is what will surely be a great conflagration by the time you
arrive.
---------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Brunswick

Sir! Our way North is blocked by unknown enemy troops! With other
enemy formations approaching Erfurt I have no choice but to fight!
I shall endeavour to prevail in this combat and continue our march
north.
We shall prevail!
As always, your servant.
Sir!


Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:35:16 AM
(Historian's note: During all this a rider from Brunswick shows up at about 0930 14th. Oct.)

Dispatch from Brunswick to Ruchel

SENT 0100, 14th October

To: Ruchel @ Erfurt
From: Brunswick
Time: 0100
Date: October 14th 1806

My Dear Ruchel,

The activity in your area is of concern as is the fate of your lost unit. In terms of orders I still think our best policy is to fall back. I am still in the vicinity of Naumbourg adjacent to a small town on the river Saale.

Continue with the extraction of your forces to Eisleben if practicable. You really ought to have been much further on towards that goal as I think it is becoming less likely that we will have the luxury of putting together the line that I aimed to hold now due to enemy movements.

Please convey to Blucher my displeasure that he singularly seems to not only fail to make good his orders but, also fails to keep his commander up to date with either his actions or his whereabouts! Our forces are now scattered due to his lack of alacrity in moving his forces north!

I also have to inform you that I have also had ominous silence form Hohenlohe's sector too. I have to assume that the enemy has also been involved in his area although I have no direct knowledge of that being the case.

Given the situation and proximity of Blucher's force to yours it may well be that you will have to work in tandem especially if the enemy force you face is significant. As previously stated my desire is for your forces and Blucher's force to extricate themselves and for you to effect a link up with my forces further north. If this is no longer feasible then so be it but be aware that I am too far away from you to assist or aid you.

Yours Brunswick

Stay in contact and keep me informed of any advance of the French in your vicinity.

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:37:18 AM
(Historian's note: By 1100 14th Oct. Ruchel's command notes that the battle is going well but....)

(Dispatch from Control)

General Ruchel --

For the last two hours, your men have been stoutly engaged with  with a division of cavalry under the command of General Grouchy.  It is rumored -- although not verified -- that Marshal Murat was present with them in person.  You did not witness him on the battlefield.

The French forces gave fight but did not engage fiercely -- in your considered judgment trading space for time.  You nonetheless held overwhelming numbers and did inflict a bloody nose on them during this time.

Two of your divisions -- Division AG and Saxe -- remain in this fight.

I must advise you, however, that two if not three other divisions of French cavalry are coming onto line and have begun to skirmish with your forces.  Of greatest concern, one is emerging from the West and marching in haste towards your position.  It does appear, however, that numbers remain in your favor.

S!
-------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to Saxe Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Saxe Division Command

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Saxe Division

Route of March: N/A.

Time to Spend Marching: N/A.

Expected Objective: Defeat of enemy forces.

Rules of Engagement: Engage enemy forces.

Dispatches: Stand fast! You are to halt forward movement and give
fight where you are. We shall defeat the enemy as they are fed to us.

The Advance Guard shall guard against the enemy advance from the
West.

To Victory!
--------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to AG Division

ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: General Ruchel

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Advance Guard Division Command

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Advance Guard Division

Route of March: N/A.

Time to Spend Marching: N/A.

Expected Objective: Defeat of the enemy.

Rules of Engagement: Engage enemy forces.

Dispatches: Prepare for enemy troops approaching from the West.
Give battle and prevent them from turning our flank. Once they are
defeated turn north again.

Keep demoralized troops out of the front lines. They are to be used
only if your lines are broken through.

To Victory!
--------------------------------

Dispatch from Ruchl to Brunswick

Sir! We are in battle! Reports are the cavalry are under the command of
General Grouchy, Marshal Murat is rumoured to be in the area as well. So
far we are doing well, though the enemy is not fully engaging. My guess
is they are waiting for reinforcements to arrive. Three more divisions of
cavalry are starting to join the battle. Numbers are still on our side and
we are giving much worse than we are receiving.
My plan is to press on and break through to the North.
We shall prevail!
Hoping this message actually finds you.
As always, your servant.
Sir!

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:43:52 AM
(Historian's note: Around 1300 14th Oct. Ruchel and Blucher exchange dispatches.)

Dispatch from Blucher to Ruchel

SENT 1000, 14th October

I have no intelligence on the battle you have engaged in.  In light of no information, I am ordering Scharnhorst to march immediately to join me at Weimar, unless you have already given him the order to join you.  I beg you, sir, please send word of your situation IMMEDIATELY!

GL von Blucher
----------------

Dispatch from Ruchel to BLucher

Friend! We are engaged in battle with French cavalry of Marshal
Murat. So far we are holding the field but more enemy are showing
upÖ
You should make your way North to Brunswick as he has ordered. In
a dispatch from him, he seems to have no idea where you are or
what you are up to.
We shall endeavour to move North again once we have dispatched
these filthy Frenchmen. If not, then we shall have at least extracted
large number of their forces form the overall battle.

Please forward this info to Brunswick in case my own riders are
being waylaid!
Good fortune to you!
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:48:37 AM
(Historian's note: About 1400 14th Oct. with the battle still going strong and no clear victor, there are several reports of Ruchel pushing his men to greater feats of courage.)

(Conversation with control)

Control:

General Ruchel,

Your forces remain hotly engaged Northwest of Erfurt.

While additional forces joined the fight, your men did not waver, though they took rather the worst of the last two hours' fighting -- although not by a great margin.

You have heard reports that the men of General Foucher's cavalry division -- numbering some 2,000 -- now approach the battlefield.

S!

Ruchel

General Dispatch to my troops. I heap high praise on them for their efforts so far and extoll upon the virtues of their heritage and combat skills and generally whip them into a frenzy of high spirited fighting.

Is there a thing for raising morale?

Control

There is and you have.

S!
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 10:53:36 AM
(Historian's note: The battle continues to rage through 1600 14th. Oct.)

(Conversation with Control)

Control

General Ruchel,

The troops under your command continued their affray from 1400 through the present time.

The fight was very closely matched in both numbers and spirit.  Your exhortations seem to have worked a good effect on your men.

Two definite sections of the battle have begun to evolve.  Each side seemed victorious in a sector during this recent round, but neither was able to land a decisive blow.

With night drawing on, your commanders are urging their men to greater exertions in the name of glorious victory.

An additional note, a sizeable contingent of troops -- perhaps a division of infantry -- can be seen in the distance approaching through Erfurt from the South. You fear they are French, but the men of Weimar's division are so skittish it's impossible to get a certain report at this time.

They will likely join the next battle.

S!

Ruchel

"They will likely join the next battle"......? Is that today before dark or tomorrow?

Control

In the last two-hour turn before dusk, i.e. 1600-1800.

Ruchel

Hmmmm... I'm confident that they are actually Prussians coming to save my bacon... err... bratwurst... so we stand and fight!

More moral raising talks with commanders and fighting men! Especially the Weimar troops trying to get them back to fighting form.

Huzza!

(Idiot player's note: DOH!  #:-) )

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 11:00:13 AM
(Historian's note: With darkness coming on about 1800 14th Oct. Ruchel has some touch decisions to make...)

(Conversation with Control)

Control

My Lord General,

The battle kept up its grim rhythm during the past two hours.

The news was best in the area where Saxe has been fighting.  They were able to gain ground against their foes but, again, only barely, and this despite your threatening to whip those who turned their eyes backwards.

In the area where AG Ruchel has kept up a brave struggle, however, the men of Friant's division arrived to the rear, shattering Weimar's division utterly.  It is now in full rout to the Northeast with Friant;s 8,000 men in pursuit.  Night, however, is falling, and the French force's lack of cavalry is preventing greater losses.

As for AG Ruchel, your men have seen this retreat and seem to be barely holding their ground.  Matters here are dire as night falls.

S!

Ruchel

Now the limitations of my lack of knowledge of this eras combat/conflicts comes into play.

Can we withdraw from the enemy in any kind of order, or even disorder, or will I have to surrender to them?
Which directions are currently available for withdrawal? Towards Erfurt?
Withdrawing at night, I'm guessing, is a bad idea?

Basically I think we have bloodied the French enough and would like to somehow extricate my forces with minimum losses.....

Thanks,
Ruchel

Control

Here's the thing.  Saxe isn't in the worst shape, but Ruchel can't hold out much longer.

You're surrounded on three sides with only the overland route to the NE left to you.

If your divisions collapse, they will surrender on their own and you'll have to make your escape.

All this, however, depends on whether or not Murat comes again over the next two hours.  Fighting at night is dodgy and it's no secret that he's NOT actually pushing at you.  He's just trying to keep you here long enough for more of them to show up.

And, of course, there's the idea that if YOU come for HIM, you might actually win a round (my wife couldn't roll well for you if our marriage depended on it) and, in an admittedly unlikely circumstance, punch a route North.  It's not like his boys are unfatigued.

This is the Napoleonic equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru, I will grant you...

Ruchel

Right. So I gather all my remaining forces with Saxe leading the way and drive hard north, trying to break out.

( :idiot2: )
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 11:06:43 AM
(Historian's note: Around 2000 14th Oct. AG Division surrenders to the French. All that remains of Ruchel's command is Saxe division....)

(Conversation with Control)

Control

AG Ruchel to Ruchel

My Lord General,

It is with a broken heart that I must report that I can demand no more of these, his Prussian Majesty's men.

We must surrender.

The time will come when we will stand again and fight this ignoble, usurping Corsican ogre.

I embrace you, good General!

Ruchel

And how goes the fight with Saxe? Are we making any headway?

Control

As has been the case for the better part of 10 hours, your men in the sector with Saxe have been fighting bravely.  They even won the last two hour cycle, but, again, the battle was too closely fought to be decisive.  Neither side is in good shape now -- both incredibly tired -- but as a matter of morale, the French would appear to have an advantage.

Ruchel

Well... we cease our assault to try and get some rest for the night. Almost 12 hours of combat is enough for any man.
Extra food and grog rations for everyone. I ride around talking with and congratulating the men for their valiant efforts this day.

Not sure of the chances of a message getting out of this pocket but I'll try to get one to Brunswick anyway.

Dispatch to Brunswick

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 Weirmar 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.
As always, your servant,
General Ruchel.

Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Iconoclast on May 17, 2018, 12:58:34 PM
This is a very intense read.  The dispatches really give this a certain semi-historical spin and pull you into the drama.

It might be a bit too early in the process of reviewing the action over the many different threads, but I wonder if there are things in hindsight you say you could have done better, even with the limited knowledge of the situation back then?

Coming Generations of prussians will remember the sacrifice of RŁchel and his men.

Cheers
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 01:12:52 PM
Up to this point, the largest mistake I made was trying to push North. There is enough info there for me to make the correct decision early on to move quickly East to Weimar.
Instead I tried to follow Brunswick's orders to move North. His orders are not at fault, just my adherence to them.
If, after my Weimar Division had been defeated West of Erfurt, I had pulled up stakes and moved East fast I could have joined with Blucher in Weimar and been a much stronger force.

C'est la guerre.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: JasonPratt on May 17, 2018, 01:34:18 PM
I should think your other big mistake was expecting fellow Prussians from the south of your position coming to help, and so choosing to stand and fight. (Although maybe you were grimly joking about that...?)


If the French won after all, I plan to travel back down this route and visit this fight, to erect a monument in Rachel's honor. ...and also yours!  ^-^


I will allow myself the verrrrrrrrrrry tiniest bit of credit for throwing that Murat curveball in your direction. All credit goes to my marvelous marshals otherwise, as it should be from the first citizen.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Iconoclast on May 17, 2018, 02:43:38 PM
Your task seems to have been incredibly difficult. I doubt anyone could have handled the situation much better.

A
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: James Sterrett on May 17, 2018, 04:59:20 PM
Up to this point, the largest mistake I made was trying to push North. There is enough info there for me to make the correct decision early on to move quickly East to Weimar.
Instead I tried to follow Brunswick's orders to move North. His orders are not at fault, just my adherence to them.
If, after my Weimar Division had been defeated West of Erfurt, I had pulled up stakes and moved East fast I could have joined with Blucher in Weimar and been a much stronger force.

For the overall plan, though, moving north was arguably necessary to secure the Prussian Army's lines - and perhaps a more rapid movement north - overnight? - to break past the cavalry might have helped.

My division coming into your rear (east) was the result of what felt, to me, like a high risk maneuver, so I can understand the confusion.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Barthheart on May 17, 2018, 05:06:39 PM
Up to this point, the largest mistake I made was trying to push North. There is enough info there for me to make the correct decision early on to move quickly East to Weimar.
Instead I tried to follow Brunswick's orders to move North. His orders are not at fault, just my adherence to them.
If, after my Weimar Division had been defeated West of Erfurt, I had pulled up stakes and moved East fast I could have joined with Blucher in Weimar and been a much stronger force.

For the overall plan, though, moving north was arguably necessary to secure the Prussian Army's lines - and perhaps a more rapid movement north - overnight? - to break past the cavalry might have helped.

My division coming into your rear (east) was the result of what felt, to me, like a high risk maneuver, so I can understand the confusion.

What really caught me out was finding French already on the road north out of Erfurt. I was convinced that it had to be a small advanced scouting party, that there was no way for the French to be that far in force....
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: James Sterrett on May 17, 2018, 05:13:41 PM
In effect, that was us gaining the advantage of our cavalry corps' mobility - it did not have to wait for the infantry.

The downside of the cavalry corps was that we generally had a lot less cavalry in our normal corps and divisions!
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: Cyrano on May 17, 2018, 06:09:21 PM
^^^^ THIS

The French were repeatedly disadvantaged because their cavalry was not integral.  This affected the fights themselves and pursuits after combat.
Title: Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
Post by: JasonPratt on May 18, 2018, 08:00:04 AM
Extra mobility and tactical/strategic flexibility, comes at a price.


Honestly, going back to the breakout attempt, I fully understand and agree with the choice to punch through Murat, based on the information at hand. If he hadn't had a whole short corps there, you might have succeeded. Standing there was going to get you slaughtered, so punching through the only people who could seriously harry you in pursuit, taking them temporarily out of the equation... regardless of the crappy odds, it was better than being nibbled to death by ducks for certain. Or corkscrewed maybe (I see from the dispatches my marshals were desperate for wine and annoyed at the Prussians for their local goat-pee.)

So, in conclusion but with haiku:

Punch the horses out!
Better to run away than
be corkscrewed by ducks.  :bd: