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Offline panzerde

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2018, 03:56:10 PM »

SENT 1100, 12th October


To: Marshals Davout and Lannes
From: Marshal Murat (on the Moiningen-Eisenach road, vicinity of the crossroad leading to ORANGE pass)
 
I am in receipt of Marshal Davout's message (sent 0800, 12 October) wherein he requests guidance regarding my intentions and direction on how to proceed.
 
I have recently received word from General LaSalle (who is south of Ohrdruff with my light cavalry) that "a portion of the Prussian army is departing from Ohrdruf, headed north in haste." Whether that means that all or only part of Ruchel's Advance Guard division is still defending Ohrdruf or not, I am unable to say as LaSalle's report was vague.
 
Because I am not entirely confident of where either of you are currently located, I am thus somewhat reluctant to commit to offensive action until it becomes clear whether you are in close enough proximity to support an attack on Ohrdruff.
 
I have directed my detached cavalry (LaSalle and Sahuc's divisions -- some 9000 sabers) to maintain contact with the enemy at Orhdruf, but not engage. I do not believe that by themselves two divisions of cavalry, especially without a senior commander on hand to orchestrate their efforts, are adequate to overcome a strong enemy rear guard.
 
Based on Marshal Davout's personal assessment of the situation once he actually arrives on scene, he has my permission to launch an immediate attack against the withdrawing Prussian forces should he deem that action appropriate.
 
For my part, I intend continue north towards Eisenach. While I personally do not feel advancing on Eisenach is necessary, the Emperor has directed that we ensure no Prussian forces are in a position to infiltrate south and interfere with our lines of communication. Therefore, to conform to the Emperor's wishes, I will clear Eisenach and then march on Gotha (to presumably rendezvous with the two of you at that location). If I am delayed at Eisenach, I will notify you both and, depending on your situation, will provide additional direction.
 
As I pass by the crossroads leading towards the ORANGE pass, I will be detaching some additional cavalry to conduct a reconnaissance up that road. Once Marshal Lannes arrives at that pass he should take temporary control of that cavalry and then coordinate with Marshal Davout to conduct an attack in tandem to first clear Ohrdruf and then advance on Gotha. Whichever of the two of you who arrives on the scene first should assume the duties of overall commander of any attack along the Ohrdruf-Gotha road. However, once you reach Gotha you should both stop and rest your troops before continuing your advance (as indicated above, I expect to join you in Gotha via Eisenach).
 
Your comrade in arms,
- Murat

"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2018, 03:56:57 PM »
DISPATCH, Foucher to Lannes, 1700, 12th October

My Lord Marshal,


Beg leave to report that we have encountered a division of Marshal Murat's that I gather is, at this moment, seconded to Marshal Davout and is presently in pursuit of a Prussian force believed headed to Gotha.


We are presently at a point just Southwest of the Ohrdruf - Gotha crossroad.  Given current pace, it is unlikely that Marshal Murat's men will clear past this crossroad before nightfall.


S!


Foucher
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 03:59:24 PM by panzerde »
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2018, 03:57:16 PM »
DISPATCH Lannes to Foucher, d'Hautpol, 1700, 12th October

Gentlemen,


Press forward and maintain contact with the enemy! Cooperate with Marshal Murat's division to pursue the Prussians toward Gotha. Dispatches to me with details of enemy strength, location, and in the event of action.


Lannes
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 04:03:50 PM by panzerde »
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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2018, 04:04:51 PM »
DISPATCH, Lannes to Murat and Davout, 1700, 12th October

To: Marshal Murat (believed to be along the Meiningen-Eisenach road, headed north) and Marshal Davout (believed to be at pass YELLOW)
Colleagues,

My cavalry has encountered a cavalry division of Murat's just southwest of the Ohrdruf-Gotha crossroad. This division appears to be attached to Marshal Davout's corps and is in pursuit of a Prussian force withdrawing toward Gotha.

I have also only in the last hour received Marshall Murat's dispatch sent at 1100 this day, indicating his cavalry reporting that the Prussians were moving north from Ohrdruf. At about the time this dispatch was sent, my cavalry reported Prussian horse in Ohrdruf, so I am at this stage unsure as to the presence or absence of enemy troops in the village. I have also only in the past hour received Marshall Davout's dispatch of 1100 indicating that his cavalry had reached the southern part of YELLOW. From the above report, I can only assume that the main body of Davout's corps is at, or perhaps north of the pass.

I have dispatched my cavalry, including d'Hautpol's division seconded to me by Marshall Murat to join the pursuit and maintain contact with the Prussians. It would seem that despite my specific instructions to be informed if the Prussians were moving from the vicinity of Ohrdruf, I am forced to guess what is going on to my front. These hussars are little more than bandits on horseback!

Given the situation and my uncertainty as to your exact locations, despite the lateness of the hour I intend to move my troops to Ohrdruf in support of the advancing cavalry. On arriving at the village, if there are no Prussians to be found, I will leave the infantry to rest and ride to join my cavalry and seek to locate the Prussians.

Marshall Davout, please join me in moving toward Gotha yet this evening. If you are already advancing, please inform me of your intentions and directions.

Lannes
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2018, 04:29:40 PM »
ATTENTION TO ORDERS!

Sender: Lannes Ė 1700, October 12

Time Sent: (UMPIRE)

Recipient: Suchet, Gazan

Time Received: (UMPIRE)

Unit Marching: Suchetís Division, Gazanís Divsion

Order of march to be Suchet, Gazan

Route of March: By road from north from current encampment to the Ohrdruf Ė Gotha crossroads, north or Ohrdruf but south of Gotha. I will ride with Suchetís division.

Time to Spend Marching: Until destination objective is reached

Expected Objective: Ohrdruf-Gotha Crossroads

On reaching the objecting, establish defensive positions in and around the crossroads if it is not occupied by the enemy. If no enemy is present, bivouac in here. Once the crossroads is in our hands I will ride on to join General Foucher.

Rules of Engagement: My intent is to seize the Ohrdruf-Gotha crossroads and support our cavalry. Suchetís division will deploy in line with light infantry out as skirmishers. Gazan will form the reserve. Attack the enemy and continue forward until the crossroads are ours.

Dispatches: Dispatches to me on arrival at the crossroads, or when the enemy is encountered.

"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2018, 04:30:35 PM »
DISPATCH, Lannes to Murat and Davout, October 12, 1700

To: Marshal Murat (believed to be along the Meiningen-Eisenach road, headed north) and Marshal Davout (believed to be at pass YELLOW)
Colleagues,


After consideration, I believe it will be of more use for me to march on the crossroads north of Ohrdruf and south of Gotha. If and enemy remain in Ohrdruf doing so will cut their line of communication with the rest of Ruchel's corps, and will place my corps in an advantageous position to support Davout in an advance on Gotha tomorrow. Marshall Davout, I will leave it to your troops to clear Ohrdruf if they have not done so already.


Lannes
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2018, 04:31:41 PM »
DISPATCH -- D'Hautpol to Lannes, 1900, 12th October

SENT 1800, 12th October

My Lord Marshal,

Beg leave to report that we hav e reached the stream just North of the pass designated ORANGE.  We have encamped for the evening.

I embrace you.

D'Hautpol
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2018, 04:32:20 PM »
DISPATCH -- Davout to Lannes, 2030, 12th October

SENT 1500, 12th October

TO: Marshals Lannes and Murat

Fellow Marshals,

General LaSalle reports that as of 1000, Ruchel's cavalry in Ohrdruf
was "departing to the North in some haste"; he will remain in contact.

- Marshal Davout
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2018, 04:33:09 PM »
DISPATCH -- Davout to Lannes, 2200, 12th October

SENT 1700, 12th October

To: Marshals Murat and Lannes
From: Marshal Davout

Marshals,

I have a note from Bernadotte, noting that there were no Prussians at
Saalfeld as of 0800 on 12 October.  I am led to wonder if the
Prussians are fighting a delay, trading space for time and
information.

If so, then moving quickly to destroy General Ruchel would be highly
advantageous.  Even if not, if he is isolated, destroying him is still
to our advantage.  Moving quickly will also make it more difficult for
him to be reinforced or withdraw via the Gotha-Erfurt-Weimar road that
presumably leads to the Prussian main body.

Therefore, I intend to launch my corps northwards tomorrow morning,
driving one infantry division and LaSalle's cavalry up the road to
Gotha in order to pin Ruchel, and swinging the rest of the cavalry and
the other two divisions eastwards to take the Arnstadt-Gotha road in
order to cut that road and attack Gotha from the rear.

If I hear before tomorrow morning that Marshal Lannes will be
advancing on Ohrdruf & Gotha directly tomorrow then I will swing my
entire corps eastwards, leaving LaSalle's cavalry to maintain pressure
and shape the situation for Marshal Lannes.  This should see us
eventually converging on Erfurt from three directions with our three
forces.

Please advise me as soon as you are able if this plan does not meet
your approval - I recognize that it is a change from your plan as
specified in your most recent message.

Hopefully Erfurt will have something more drinkable than goat piss.

- Marshal Davout
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2018, 04:34:02 PM »
DISPATCH -- Davout to Lannes, 2300, 12th October

12 Oct. 1800 at YELLOW

Recipient:

III Corps Divisions

  1st, 2nd, & 3rd  Infantry Divisions, Cavalry Division;

LaSalleís and Sahucís cavalry divisions

Murat and Lannes

Time Received: (UMPIRE)


Unit Marching:

III Corps will move to engage General Ruchel from the south and east;
1st division and LaSalle will pin at Ohrdruf while the rest move to
Arnstadt to set up a flanking movement.


Cavalry Division: Move to Arnstadt

1st Division and LaSalle: Move to Gotha.  Coordinate contact with
General LaSalleís cavalry.  Contact is expected between Ohrdruf and
Gotha.  Contact is expected with Marshal Lannesí forces coming up the
road from ORANGE.  On Lannesí arrival you will fall under his tactical
control.

2nd and 3rd Divisions: Move to Arnstadt.

Sahuc: Move to the river bridges between Gotha and Arnstadt, seizing
them in order to enable the divisions at Arnstadt to move across them
on the 14th.

My HQ will move to Arnstadt.

Time to Spend Marching:

10 hours/20km to Arsnstadt.

 ROE:

1st Division is a pinning movement; maintain contact but decisive
engagement is not desired.

Dispatches:



Upon arrival at evening camp, send a dispatch to indicating position.

All units should be prepared for the possibility of contact with the Prussians.
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2018, 04:35:10 PM »
DISPATCH -- From Foucher to Lannes, 2300, 12th October

My Lord Marshal,

A rider in the service of LaSalle's division encountered us on a mission to report to Marshal Davout.  He was in great haste, but informed us that Gen. LaSalle has arrived in Gotha and found it devoid of Prussians.  His piquets, however, have indicated the presence of at least two Prussian divisions defending a river line at the Gotha-Erfurt crossroads.

S!

Foucher
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2018, 04:35:45 PM »
DISPATCH -- Murat to Lannes, - 0330, 13th October

SENT 2200, 12th October


Comrades!
Since it now appears that the enemy are evacuating Ohrdruf in some haste, please occupy the town as soon as may be practical in the morning, and from there continue your advance on Gotha. If you find Prussian forces still in Gotha, deploy for battle and, once you are ready, drive the enemy from that city. For my part, I will be marching eastwards from Eisenach to Gotha at sunrise.
 
Allow me emphasize that it is essential we keep the Prussians under pressure. If they withdraw from Gotha, have your cavalry maintain contact -- do not permit the enemy to disengage!
 
- Murat
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #57 on: May 16, 2018, 04:36:57 PM »
DISPATCH -- 0530, 13th October

SENT 0000, 13 October

To: Marshals Lannes, Murat, and Bernadotte;
*and*
To: all III Corps divisions, Generals Sahuc and LaSalle

Marshals!

Incredibly, we found a supply of Turkish coffee at an mountain inn.
How was not consumed before our arrival is a mystery, but the outcome
is most welcome.  Perhaps the Germans' beer has addled their livers to
the point that they don't comprehend any of the finer things in life?

Moving to business....

General LaSalle reports that as of 1900 on 12 October, his forces had
entered Gotha and found it to have been recently vacated by the
Prussians.  However, two divisions of Prussian infantry, thought to be
from Ruchel's corps, were "defending the river line to the east of
Gotha at the Gotha-Erfurt crossroads".

By the way, Marshal Murat, Generals LaSalle and Sahuc have been doing
exemplary work in reconnoitering the enemy.

As a result, combining reports:

There are no Prussians in Arnstadt, Saalfeld, or Gotha; and we have
forces in all three, though Arnstadt and Gotha are held by cavalry.

General Ruchel has been steadily withdrawing in the direction of
Erfurt and Weimar.

It is not clear to me if "the river line east of Gotha at the
Gotha-Erfurt crossroads" means he intends to defend the Arnstadt road,
or not.

It is not clear if he intends to defend there - perhaps using the
ridgeline?; or to continue withdrawing towards Weimar; or to withdraw
northwards towards Tennstadt.

It is therefore my intention to alter my prior orders in the following
manner (followed by a complete rendition of the orders), with the
intent of arraying forces to pin General Ruchel from the west and
south if he holds at the crossroads, and, if he should withdraw again,
of reuniting the III Corps at the crossroads between Gotha and Erfurt
in order to continue operations against him.  One cavalry division
will move to reconnoiter east of Erfurt, both to discern possible
Prussian positions there and perhaps to place fear in his withdrawal
if he moves that direction.

Note that while it is very tempting to instead attempt to continue
harder eastwards, trying to get forces in place to attack Ruchel on
the Erfurt-Weimar road - or, failing that, to use that maneuver to
come at him from Erfurt to support Lannes' expected move through Gotha
- I am doubtful that I can march quickly enough to accomplish this
without marching them beyond reasonable endurance.  Arnstadt or the
river crossings are a 10 hour overland march, and pushing past
Arnstadt to Erfurt tomorrow would require another 6 to 8 hours'
marching - yet even so, Ruchel could easily outmarch me down the road
to Weimar.


------------Orders for 13 October, replacing the prior set------------
III Corps will move to engage General Ruchel from the west and south,
moving to converge on the road intersection between Gotha and Erfurt.

 Cavalry Division: Move to Arnstadt; prepare to move to Erfurt (on the
eastern side of the river) and the Erfurt-Weimar road river crossing
on the next day.

1st Division and LaSalle: Move to Gotha, then move toward Erfurt.
Contact is expected between Gotha and Erfurt.  Contact is expected
with Marshal Lannesí forces coming up the road from ORANGE.  On
Lannesí arrival you will fall under his tactical control until we
reunite and he releases you back to my control.

2nd and 3rd Divisions: Move to the northern of the two river crossings
between Gotha and Arnstadt.  2nd Division should cross the river.
Expected follow-on mission is to attack the Prussians between Erfurt
and Gotha, or link up with the 1st Division at the Gotha-Erfurt
crossroads.  Alternate follow-on mission is to march via Arnstadt to
outflank Prussian positions at Erfurt.

Sahuc: Seize the river bridges between Gotha and Arnstadt.
Reconnoiter northwards to discover Prussian forcesí locations.  No
limit of advance north or east, but do not march more than 10 hours.

My HQ will move to the northern Arnstadt-Gotha river crossing.
-------------------------

If you wish me to act otherwise, please advise me soonest; we will
begin marching with the dawn.
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #58 on: May 16, 2018, 04:40:42 PM »
Dispatch - Lannes to V Corps, D'Hautpol, Davout and Murat 0600, 13th October

To: Marshals Murat and Davout, and all V Corps Divisions, General D'Hautpol

Marshals!

This morning my orderly brought me something called "beer soup" to break my fast. Germany is truely a barbarous land, fit only for these swamp-dwelling Prussians.

My forces moved last night  toward the Ohrdruf-Gotha crossroads in pursuit of Prussians, and are strung out between there and the stream just north of ORANGE. I am going to consolidate V Corps and attachments in the vicinity of Gotha before moving further east toward the river line and crossroads.

I have received the reports from Marshal Davout and my cavalry that Gotha is empty of enemy troops, and General Ruchel is running away eastwards as fast as his carriage can carry him. With Marshal Davout in contact and holding Arnstadt and Gotha, I think it prudent to reassemble my corps. I will then move east from Gotha, collecting the trrops left by Marshal Davout, and make to join him along the road to Erfurt.

Orders for 13 October
V Corps and attachments will move from present positions along the Orhdruf-Gotha road to Gotha, there to meet up with the two divisions currently in possession of the town. Once the entirety of V Corp is assembled in the vicinity of Gotha, along with general D'Hautpol's division, we will proceed according to the following plan.

D"Hautpol, V Corps 2nd Division (Gazan) and III Corps 1st Division and LaSalle: Advance east along the Gotha-Erfurt road to the juncture with the road to Arnstadt, making contact with III Corp advancing from the south. If the Prussians are encountered here and attempt to hold this position, join with III Corps in attacking them. Otherwise, tactical control of III Corps 1st Division and LaSalle's division return to Marshal Davout. 2nd Division and D"Hautpol's division are then to move north of the road juncture and take up a position between the road and the ridgeline to the north, facing east.

V Corps 1st Division and Cavalry Division: After the concentration at Gotha, move northeast from Gotha to seize the high ground of the ridge line the the north of the Gotha-Erfurt-Arnstadt road junction and northwest of Erfurt. If 2nd Division and Marshal Davout appear to be engaged at the road junction. based on the sound of the guns, move southeast toward the Gotha-Erfurt road to cut the road to the rear of the Prussian position, trapping them against Davout. If there is no engagement, 2nd Division is to hold the ridge line and establish contact with 1st Division as it move north of the road junction. Foucher's cavalry division will advance to the road leading north from Erfurt, scouting to determine the location of Prussian forces.

I will move my HQ first to Gotha, and then with 2nd Division to the Gotha-Erfurt-Arnstadt road junction, and finally with 2nd Division north of the road junction.

Lannes

"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

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Re: Six Days in October - The Consolidated Dispatches of Marshal Lannes
« Reply #59 on: May 16, 2018, 04:43:29 PM »
DISPATCH -- From Control, 1200, 13th October

Marshal Lannes,

Beg leave to report that you can now hear the rumble of battle -- the "sound of the guns" -- in the distance to your Northeast.
"This damned Bonaparte is going to get us all killed" - Jean Lannes, 1809

Castellan -  La Fraternite des Boutons Carres