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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

7th March 1814 - Battle of Oppenheim

Oppenheim Campaign Area

10th French corps has orders to attack Oppenheim
1st Russian corps has orders to hold Oppenheim
Russian HQ has orders to move to Oppenheim
4th Russian corps has orders to move to F05

French                                     Russian          
16000 infantry                         31600 infantry                       
1000 cavalry                           2000 cavalry              
30 guns                                   60 guns

Special Rules
The French are not aware that 4th Russian will arrive on move 5
They must continue to attack until 4th corps enters the table
They may then order a retreat if they wish.

The two Russian corps taking part were 3rd and 4th. 
Due to a typing error I used 1st and 4th in the battle report
The order of battle for 1st and 3rd corps are identical

Table at start of wargame
Elsdorf is the town bottom left
10th French corps will arrive top left at the start of move 1
4th Russian corps will arrive bottom right at the start of move 5

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Sacken has joined 1st corps and ordered them to allow the French to advance
French start to arrive between the village and the river Rhine

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
French continue to deploy

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
Both armies out of artillery range
French continue to advance and deploy

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
Sacken orders 1st corps to advance to pin the French
French have deployed and are ready to advance
Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Sacken joins 4th corps and orders them to make for the furthest bridge
His intention is to cut the French line of retreat and force them to fight
1st Corps continues to advance to engage the French
Brayer orders 10th corps to retreat

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
10th French send two infantry brigades to hold the third (top) bridge
Remainder of corps start to edge back
1st corps advance to pin the French
4th corps march towards third bridge to cut off French retreat

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
10th have suffered infantry and gunner casualties
They continue to retreat to area between village and top bridge
1st corps suffers heave casualties as they try to pin French
4th corps press advance towards the top bridge

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
French infantry have reached the bridge before the Russian cavalry
They have also rallied their gunners
1st corps have two brigades in rout and are pinned by French cavalry
4th corps continue to advance, but will reach the bridge too late

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
French infantry form square to secure the top bridge
Remainder of the corps withdraw behind an infantry and cavalry rear guard
1st corps limber artillery to chase French
4th corps near bridge, but probably too late.

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
French brigade breaks, nearby gunners fail morale and join them
Cavalry charge 1 corps gunners, who seek safety in the nearest square
1st Russian advance delayed by enemy cavalry charge
4th Russian artillery unlimber, infantry move towards bridge

Move 11 – 1800 to 1900
Another French brigade breaks, nearby brigade shaken
Cavalry received 20% casualties and rout from field
Just two formed brigades left to cover the retreat
One hold the vital bridge
1st Russian now too far to catch retreating French
4th Russian routs nearest infantry and infantry approach bridge

Move 12 – 1900 to 2000
Nightfall has arrived just in time for the French
Just one brigade in square retreats from bridge
1st Russian limber and advance
4th Russian also limber and infantry in position to storm bridge

Nightfall from French position

Game Casualties
French suffer 800 infantry and 200 cavalry casualties
They also have two infantry and one cavalry brigade in rout
Russians suffer 400 infantry and 100 cavalry casualties
They also have one infantry brigade in rout

Game Summary

A clear Russian victory, but only light casualties on each side

Total casualties at the end of this battle
French 1000 casualties and three brigades in rout
Russian 500 casualties and one brigade in rout

The French were lucky to escape with such light casualties
The failure of 1st Russian corps to pin them saved the French from destruction.

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