No battle to report on this week as we spent the whole of wednesday evening carrying out campaign map moves. We did however eventually generate one definite battle and the likelihood of another.
The general area of action, Berlin and upper Saxony.
Following their defeat at Leipzig the Allies retired to the east, splitting their force, with the Saxons and Von Arnims corps heading towards Dresden and the divisions of Brunswick and von Ruchel heading northeast towards Torgau. The French after spending the morning reorganising followed up behind the northeastern column and were able to catch and destroy the Prussian division acting as rearguard covering the crossing of the Elbe river. In the meantime Soults' IV Corps having already crossed the Elbe moved through Dessau and continued to advance on Berlin via Weisenburg and Trebbin.
In an attempt to cut off Soult the Prussians abandoned Torgau to its garrison and moved north to Dennewitz, but they were too late and Berlin fell to Soult without a shot being fired. The Royal family had long since fled along with their government to an as yet unknown refuge in the east but the fall of Berlin was a hammer blow to Prussian morale. Torgau fell after a short but spirited fight to Marmonts II Corps while Davouts' III Corps continued to follow the Prussians who now headed east from Dennewitz to Leuben.
Two of the many command figures painted by Justin, new ones appear almost every week. These are Austrian divisional commanders, Elite Miniatures on the right and I think Front Rank on the left. Addendum: both are Elite miniatures.
At this stage the French received information that a Russian column of around 25,000 men was advancing westward with what looked like the intention of joining up with the Prussian army. Therefore Napoleon decided to try and knock out the Prussians before the Russians could arrive and began to move on Leuben expecting the Prussians to cross the river Spree. Surprisingly they decided to follow the southern bank of the Spree, shadowed about a days march behind by the Russians who it was discovered were accompanied by the Tsar himself. They then continued their march and against all expectations decided to launch an opposed river crossing against Soults IV Corps ensconced in Berlin.
More of Justins divisional commanders, this time French infantry and carabinnier both by Front Rank.
Not to be outdone by their Prussian allies the Russians despite having knowledge that the remainder of the French army was hot on their heels followed along behind and have joined in the attack on Soult. So the situation as it stands at dawn is that Soults IV Corps is defending the river Spree against Brunswick and Von Ruchel with the Russians beginning to appear behind them. Napoleon with Marmont and Davout are following closely behind the Russians and should start to appear on the table before last light.
More of Justins Front Rank French, I particularly like the basing on the infantry General and his mud splashed cloak.
So it appears we have a must win situation for the Allies with their river crossing or they face the prospect of being caught by a superior force with their backs to a river, the other bank of which is held by the enemy. In practical terms this means that we have to produce some river terrain before we can fight the battle and as we have very few river boards for the table it's come down to strips of roofing felt painted and laid on to the existing terrain boards. Not ideal but with a bit of work they could be made to look presentable.
Carabinnier trumpeteer and Cuirassier commander, again both Front Rank.
I thought it would be a good idea to showcase some of Justin Daveys' command figures which he brings along to the garage with amazing regularity, something in the order of two each week. We use a system whereby divisional commanders and staff officers are represented by a single figure, Corps commanders by two figures and Army commanders by three or more. So the command base in the picture above would be used for a cavalry Corps. Justin has produced the vast majority of these figures and is, I believe currently painting a group of Russian commanders.
Front Rank French Divisonal commanders.
Attendance at the garage is likely to be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks as we head into what is laughingly known as summer in this part of the world so it's unlikely that there'll be a battle report next week either. However I'll try to keep posting photos and talking rubbish at least once a week so as always, stay tuned.