the battle of kalisz (february 13, 1813)
A "divisional" napoleon's battles scenario
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This battle is the last of the ill-fated 1812 Russian Campaign or the start of the 1813 Spring Campaign.
The pursuing Russian forces, leaded by Winzigerode, caught up the retiring Reynier's VII Corps. That Corps was relatively intact, after forming part of the French-Austrian right-flanking column under Schwarzenberg, and was a multinational force composed from Saxons, French and Wurzburgers formed in three divisions. At the time of the battle, it was reduced to around 9,000 infantrymen, 800 Saxon horse and 36 guns (not including some low-calibre regimental pieces). In addition, around Kalisz were 3,000 Polish infantry levies and 300 Krakus cavalry.
The pursuing Russians, under Winzigerode, included the 2nd Infantry Corps of Eugene of Wurtemberg, the ad-hoc Bachmetiev’s Infantry Reserve corps and a large cavalry force under Trubezskoi and Lanskoi. The total force amounted to 6,000 infantry and 6,500 cavalry (mainly Cossacks) with 70 guns. All units were under-strength after heavy campaigning.
The OB’s are taken from Nafziger's (G. Nafziger, 'Lutzen & Bautzen. Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813’. The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1992) and Smith's books (D. Smith, 'The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book', Greenhill Books, London, 1998). The real numbers are mainly based on the series of three articles by Pierre Juhel in the issues 196, 199 and 201 of the French magazine Tradition. The books of Charras and Sauzey were also used. (See Bibliography) .
The Scenario is loosely based upon this action and is intended for Divisional Napoleon’s Battles (NBd).
Last, but not least, I want to acknowledge the efforts of my Argentinean friend Armand d'Arc, which caught my attention on this battle and provided me with the necessary encouragement to further researching. This scenario is for him, sine qua non .
NBd Scenario for Kalisz
(taken from Sauzey)
|French and Saxons forces covering the northern approaches||Kalisz occupied by the French and Polish|
All units on the table are deployed as desired. The Reserve Artillery (Art/VII) is on the road to Kalisz in march column formation.
|Gablenz (R/VII)||J-K-L||(30-40-30)||13.00 hours|
Apply the OR 13.8.2 rule for Varying Time Arrivals starting two turns before the arrival turn. If
Russian units were present in the arrival terrain square,
Gablenz (R/VII) must try other adjacent terrain square starting
three turns later.
The initial orders are to maintain Kalisz and its bridge in order to ensure the retreat of all units of the VII Corps.
All forces will appear deployed in column formation in some point within the “E-L” zone.
|Unit/Commander||Entry area||Percentage||Arrival turn|
|Padarowki 1/AG||E-F||(80-20)||12.00 hours|
|Witte 1/CC||E-F||(20-80)||12.00 hours|
|Lanskoi (20JG/AG and AG)||E-F-G||(30-40-30)||12.30 hours|
|Allenine 2/CC||I-J-K||(30-40-30)||13.00 hours|
|Knorrig 3/CC||J-K-L||(20-40-40)||13.00 hours|
|Trubezskoi (and CC)||(50-50)||30 min. after Allenine or Knorrig|
|Davidov and/or (*/2/AG)||H-I-J-K-L||(20 % each)||13.30 hours|
|Schachafskoy 1/II||E-F||(30-70)||14.00 hours|
|Pischnitzsky 2/II||F-G||(70-30)||14.00 hours|
|Wurttemberg and Winzingerode||A2 end road||14.00 hours|
|Tallisin 1/R||E-F||(30-70)||15.00 hours|
|Zapolsky 2/R||F-G||(70-30)||15.00 hours|
|Bachmetiev||A2 end road||15.00 hours|
Apply the OR 13.8.2 rule for Varying Time Arrivals starting two turns before the
When the arrival point of a regular unit (i.e not Cossack) is occupied by a friend, the last arriving unit can not enter until the former clears the zone. No Cossack unit can enter in the table if its arrival square is occupied by the enemy. The Cossacks will enter using an adjacent square instead.
Until the arrival of Winzingerode there is not Russian C-i-C so each unit must to dice independently for initiative.
The initial orders are to take Kalisz and its bridge in order to cut the retreat way of the VII Corps, as well as to cause the maximum damage to enemy.
From the book ”Programmed Wargames Scenarios”: The criteria for victory in this scenario are complex and a draw or more precisely failure by both sides is possible. The first point is "what is maximum delay"? A time limit must be set after which Blue (the Prussians) will have caused that delay. He may of course achieve the delay but lose unacceptable casualties. In this case Red (the French) will not have broken through, Blue (the Prussians) will have sacrificed too much for the delay and will not have won. On the other hand Red (the French)may have broken through but with little of his army left to continue or he may have taken too long to achieve his breakthrough. In short the balance between victory and defeat is a fine one and it must be left to the player, players or umpire to be the final arbiter when all the factors are considered.
The Saxon losses were General Nostitz, 3 colonels, 36 officers, 1,500 killed and wounded, 2,000 prisoners, 2 flags, and 8 cannon. The Russian infantry withdrew at dusk reporting the loss of 400 or 500 casualties, Lanskoi' s cavalry reported a similar loss. The reports of Russian figures are probably understated, as they surrendered the field to the Saxons. At midnight, Reynier evacuated Kalisz and forced marched his troops, leaving baggage and the enfeebled in his wake. He reached Glogau on 18 February without further contact with Winzingerode. As a result of his victory over Reynier, Winzingerode had succeeded in separating him from Poniatowski.
Charras J.B.A., Histoire de la Guerre de 1813 en Allemagne, Paris, 1869
Juhel P., “Kalisch, la dernière bataille de la retraite de Russie. Tradition, Nos. 196, 199 and 201
Nafziger G., ‘''Lutzen & Bautzen. Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813”, The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1992
Sauzey R., Les Allemands sous les aigles françaises. Vol III, Paris, 1907
Smith, D., “The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book”, Greenhill Books, London, 1998
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