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040. The Battle of Bautzen - JTS Campaign Bautzen

040. The Battle of Bautzen Image
Black Powder Ladder

040. The Battle of Bautzen

By Bill Peters
French (Nap) 1 - 1 - 3 Allies (Nap)
Rating: 5.98 (8)
Games Played: 5
SM: 8
Turns: 157
Type: Custom
First Side: French (Nap)
Second Side: Allies (Nap)
20-21 May 1813 - Historical - Intended to be played Head to Head - This is the full two day battle. The French had been following after the Allies after the Battle of Lutzen but because of a lack of cavalry had not been able to launch a pursuit. The Allies kept retreating until they reached the town of Bautzen where some natural features made a defense possible. Several council of war were held where several strategies were discussed but the usual Allied command structure and national pride reared its head and no sound strategy was developed. The Tsar continued to poke his head into military matters further muddying the waters. The French were slow to arrive and on the 18th the Allies pondered an attack but let the opportunity slip away. Meanwhile, one of Napoleon's Italian divisions received a drubbing along the way to the battlefield and would not take part in the battle. Bertrand was slow to come up as well. Finally on the 20th with word that Ney's wing would arrive by that evening Napoleon launched his attack. Oudinot's corps formed up on the right while the center and left were held by the rest of his forces. The Allies were slow to give any ground and in fact launched a series of counter attacks that stopped the French cold. The rest of the day was spent in thrust-counter thrust maneuvers. No real ground was gained by the French. Napoelon would bank on Ney's arrival to tip the balance. On the 21st he issued orders for Ney to turn the Allied right flank and attack their rear. Ney's troops were slow to get up and at one point he launched an attack in piecemeal fashion on the town of ... which then changed hands several times after the Allies brought up more troops. A crisis was reached on the right where Oudinot was being harried by the Allies. His position was untenable and he sent couriers requesting more troops. MacDonald in the center near the town was tied up with the main assault and Napoleon would send no troops to help out the XII Corps. With the battle at its height for this day Ney misunderstood Napoleon's orders and attacked the heights near Klein Bautzen which was the front of the Allied right flank. His legions rolled up to the hill meeting up with the forces from the French center. Gone was the opportunity to turn the Allied right as they were now in retreat pulling back towards Gorlitz and safety. The lack of cavalry was felt once more as the Allies were able to screen the French advance and the battle was a Pyrhic victory. Napoleon had lost over 20,000 men while the Allies lost much less. Only a few scattered engagement remained before the armistace was concluded. Perhaps historians have been too harsh on Ney as Napoleon probably should have sent guides with maps to help him along the flank attack march route that he had envisioned. The terrain was wooded and probably aided the Allies in the battle. While the decrepit Allied command structure had given Napoleon a great opportunity his own lack of operational leadership failed the French at this battle.
Player Voting Stats
Member Balance Enjoyment
jim pfleck's Profilejim pfleck Well Balanced 6
yvan0123's Profileyvan0123 Well Balanced 8
Saddlesore's ProfileSaddlesore Moderately Pro French (Nap) 7
agmoss99's Profileagmoss99 Slightly Pro French (Nap) 7
agmoss99's Profileagmoss99 Slightly Pro French (Nap) 7
jim pfleck
1st Lieutenant
jim pfleck Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:07 pm
Quality vs Quantity....both sides must be very careful or they can find themselves getting slaughtered very quickly (as I did at the end when I did not displace quickly enough)
Master Sergeant
yvan0123 Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:57 am
Lack of cavalry and heavy artillery for french side but huge infantry
Saddlesore Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:08 am
Much of the French Cavalry is high quality A++ and should have a higher point cost for their loss.
Lieutenant General
agmoss99 Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:09 am
The allies have a long front line and fairly large gaps between formations. The French went around the flanks and through the formations, picking them off. Allied forces have better artillery the placement is a problem. The French were on a minor defeat at the end of day 1 but would certainly have had a major victory by day 2 - they could spend all night swallowing unguarded objectives and surrounding various forces.
Lieutenant General
agmoss99 Frid Jul 17, 2020 1:42 pm
The plan for the French should be to await reinforcements before attacking. I went straight in. The allies abandoned defensive positions and attacked me en masse. D grade troops routed en masse and it was a shambles after 24 turns. Allies have a lot of artillery......
Cpt Courageous
Cpt Courageous Frid Jul 17, 2020 3:07 pm
Defending allies out number attacking French. As allies, I have never commanded so much artillery
Lieutenant General
agmoss99 Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:44 pm
The French attacked and got slaughtered well before Ney ever arrived.
Cpt Courageous
Cpt Courageous Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:10 pm
French forces are too weak and can't win the fight.