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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

6th March 1814 - Battle of Atkirch

Atkirch Campaign Area

This battle will involve all four corps of Fourth French and the Bavarian Armies.

12th French corps will arrive at the start of move 1
3rd Bavarian corps will arrive at the start of move 5
2nd Bavarian corps will arrive at the start of move 9

French                                     Bavarian
64000 infantry                         64000 infantry                       
4000 cavalry                           4000 cavalry              
120 guns                                 120 guns

Both armies are at full strength

Table at start of wargame
Atkirch is town centre right
Unnamed village centre bottom
Unnamed farm centre top

Top left – 24th French corps
Centre left – 6th French corps
Bottom left – 16th French corps
Centre right – 1st Bavarian corps
Bottom right – 4th Baden corps

12th French corps will enter bottom left at the start of move 1
3rd Bavarian corps will enter bottom right at the start of move 5
2nd Bavarian corps will enter bottom right at the start of move 9

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
24th corps ordered to engage farm centre top
6th corps ordered to engage Atkirch north of main road
16th corps ordered to engage Atkirch south of main road
12th corps ordered to engage hill bottom right
1st Bavarian corps extends to occupy farm top centre and cover northern flank from road
12th Baden corps extends to cover southern flank from road

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
French start to deploy in centre squares
Bavarian and Baden infantry form square against superior numbers of French cavalry

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
French continue to deploy in centre squares

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
1st corps moves north of main road
4th corps moves towards road and garrisons town
Bavarian gunners shaken by French artillery fire

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
24th corps combined infantry and artillery attack on farm rout garrison
12th corps deployed and ready to advance
3rd Bavarian corps (bottom right) start to arrive

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
All four French corps now in position
Artillery fire in preparation for general attack
24th corps (top) enter farm
12th corps (bottom) lancers charge Bavarian horse, result a draw
3rd corps (bottom right) move towards hill

Extend table to the east
The French have all advanced east and cleared the three left hand squares.
The table has been extended to the east by adding three squares on the right
The French objective, the town of Atkirch, is now in the middle of the table

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
28th corps (top) have secured the farm and are advancing
6th corps (above road) advance in support
16th corps (below road) now ready to advance
12th corps (bottom) advance disrupted by cavalry melee, still a draw
1st corps (above road) are badly shaken and have one brigade in rout
3rd and 4th corps (below road) prepare to counter attack

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
French infantry advance and block their own artillery
Bavarian artillery take toll on advancing infantry
Bavarian cavalry have won melee and routed French lancers
Nearest infantry square join rout, second square is shaken

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
Top – French cavalry charge, and rout Bavarian gunners.
Centre – French infantry skirmish with town garrison who lose 20% casualties but hold
Bottom Left– Bavarian cavalry and infantry attack, half of 12th corps in rout
Bottom Right - 2nd corps arrive and march towards town

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
Very complicated move with three Bavarian and four French corps all involved in combat.
The French are winning north of the cross roads
The Bavarians are winning south of the cross roads
The French have taken Atkirch, but the Bavarians are counter attacking
2nd Bavarian corps (bottom right) are moving towards the cross roads

Move 11 – 1800 to 1900
6th and 24th corps (top) have broken 1st corps and routed town garrison
3rd and 4th corps (bottom) have routed 12th corps and are turning north against 16th corps
2nd corps are still advancing towards the cross roads

Move 12 – 1900 to 2000
The battle is still undecided.
The Bavarian’s have the advantage, but will not reach the cross roads in time
The French have taken the area north of the main road, and are still fighting in the town
All will depend on who wins the fighting for Atkirch.

Move 13 – 2000 to 2100
French infantry win the battle for the town
24th corps have routed 1st corps and are moving to support the town
6th corps have taken heavy casualties and request permission to retreat
16th and 12th corps are broken and in rout

1st corps are broken and in rout
2nd corps are ready to attack the town at first light
4th corps have reached the main Montebelliard road
3rd corps are moving to support 4th corps

Game Casualties
French suffer 12400 infantry, 300 cavalry and 200 gunner casualties
They also have two cavalry and ten infantry brigades in rout
Bavarians suffer 8800 infantry, 500 cavalry and 300 gunner casualties
They also have one cavalry and six infantry brigades in rout

Game Summary
The French had almost won the battle when 3rd Bavarian corps arrived.
The Bavarians launched a counter attack and won south of the main road
The French won north of the main road and took the town
2nd Bavarian corps arrived too late to take part in the battle
At nightfall the French held the town and north of the road
However the Bavarians now had three corps to two French
And they were well placed to attack at first light and drive the French north
This would drive them away from their lines of supply and communications

Marshal Marmont ordered Fourth French Army to retreat west under cover of darkness.

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