Author Topic: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary  (Read 8496 times)

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Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #15 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....

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #16 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.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #17 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.....

Offline Cyrano

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2017, 09:19:40 PM »
So, uh, hey, Gen. Ruchel...

What's up?

Sergeant at Arms of La Fraternite des Boutons Carres

One mustachioed, cigar-chomping, bespectacled deity, entirely at your service.

You didn't know? My Corps has already sailed to Berlin. We got there 3 days ago and we've been in the Tiergarten on the piss ever since. -- Marshal Soult, October 1806

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2017, 04:28:45 AM »
Lost my diary in all the excitement ... will resume presently.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #20 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

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #21 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!


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #22 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


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #23 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!


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #24 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.


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #25 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.


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #26 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!)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:26:03 AM by Barthheart »

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #27 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!


« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:37:33 AM by Barthheart »

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #28 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.


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Six Days in October - General Ruchel's personal diary
« Reply #29 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!

« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:40:31 AM by Barthheart »