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The Musings of 'Ole Man Brunswick: A reflection on a lost campaign Prussia 1806

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Hatricvs:
From: Ruchel
To: Prussian Command
 
Either is fine with me. I do think we need to leave token forces along the routes of advance to act as early warning tripwires. Not sure if we can break down divisions or they have to maneuver as a whole force?

Hatricvs:
From: Brunswick
To: All Prussian Commanders

Agreed, we need to know where the enemy is and in what strength. If we can guesstimate his probable line of advance this would help. The obvious is up via Hof as it is the easier and most direct route.   If the French get to Naumbourg or Altenbourg we will have significant problems. However the French may go for the less obvious and approach from the south west or even west. We have to look for places where the French can converge and concentrate overwhelming force against us.
 
I have it in mind to deny the French the luxury of dealing with us in small packets and by a policy of orderly withdrawal make room for our forces to more effectively converge whilst limiting what the French can bring to bear.
 
I see a potential withdrawal route for Ruchel's forces as being from Eisenach via Gotha and then north either via Erfurt on the road heading toward Eisleben or north via the road to Musshausen and onward to the high ground around Sondershausen/Nordhausen with a view to holding the high ground or defending the north bank of the river crossing at Nordhausen.
 
Blucher and myself could utilise in a similar fashion the route north-East from Weimar toward Naumbourg and onward to Halle or Lepizig as we see fit and once some indication of the enemy's main effort is being employed.
 
Hohenlohe's forces could fall back northward toward Gera and then either join with me in the area of Naumbourg or head towards Altenbourg depending again on what we know of the French effort.
 
I think key to our survival will be ensuring we stick to the roads as best we can and ensuring that our locations are well connected by road so that we can converge at need. We have to protect our supply from Magdebourg from being cut ...so a direction of fall back needs to keep in mind both preventing ease of access for the enemy toward Berlin and maintaining close proximity of our forces in a northerly and easterly direction.
 
Is this too defeatist in thought?
 
Brunswick

Hatricvs:
From: Brunswick
To: All Prussian Commanders
 
Ok we are getting close to the deadline for orders are we all ok and understand where we are at...I have not really heard back from you all re possible plans and strategy. Blucher are you happy with the allocated force I have given you...in addition take 70 guns in artillery from our pool. Can you indicate your initial dispositions please so I can get a view of where you are. Currently my 3 divisions with 97 guns are all in Weimer. I have assumed that you will be located in Goth...is that correct or are you planning on being elsewhere? I am happy with the other dispositions . Do we know what we intend for our first orders or are we playing a wait and see?
 
Brunswick

Note: This was my first indication that I was unclear about Blucher and what he intended to do. Hohenlohe and Ruchel had already intimated their proposed locations but I was really in the dark with the proposed start location of Blucher.

Hatricvs:
From: Ruchel
To: Prussian Command
 
The more I think about this the more concerns I have. If we are moving away from the French then our tails might get caught by them. Which means we'd need to have troops or cav at the tail end and the wagon trains in the middle or the front.... which would slow us down making it a surety that our tails get caught...
 
Still need to look at a map but maybe we don't want to backup or at least not too far...

Any thoughts?

Hatricvs:
From: Brunswick
To: Umpire
 
Initial deployment of Brunswick forces:
Brunswick at Weimar
1st Res Kuhneim at Weimar
1st Div Orange at Weimar
2nd Div Wartens at Weimar
 
Blucher has the following:
AG Blucher
3rd Div Scharnhorst's
2nd Res Arnim
 
Currently I do not know their position but expect it to be Gotha...Blucher will confirm.
 
Corps commanders have a strategic orderly withdrawal order that has been suggested but as yet not fully confirmed...I sense there could be a little chaos early on!
 
Brunswick

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