006. The Battle of GroÃŸbeeren - JTS Campaign Leipzig
006. The Battle of GroÃŸbeerenBy Bill Peters
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|First Side:||French (Nap)|
|Second Side:||Allies (Nap)|
23 August 1813 - Historical - Intended to be played Head to Head - The initial drive on Berlin after the Armistace was entrusted to Marechal Oudinot, a man who while humble and loyal, neither trusted himself nor those under his command. With this mindset in the heart of the French commander the campaign was probably doomed from the start. As it was the plan that Oudinot adopted was guarenteed to fail. With three separate columns (his XII Corps on the left, Reynier's VII Corps in the center and Bertrand's IV Corps on the right) lunging towards Berlin no account was taken for keeping open lines of communication. The terrain was such that lateral communications between the columns was almost impossible to maintain. Bertrand's 15th Division found Tauentzien's Prussian 4th Corps near Blankenfelde. Although composed mainly of Landwehr his forces outnumbered the Italians and after several hours of combat were able to hold them at bay. Bertrand for whatever reason did not commit the 12th Division to the combat. Reynier in the center arrived near Großbeeren at about 3pm and found only a few Prussians holding the town. After a spirited attack by his Saxons they were cleared out and the VII Corps went into bivouack for the day. Bülow had other ideas and around 5pm he gathered up his 3rd Corps and attacked Reynier. A furious artillery duel took place amidst the falling rain. The Prussians' attack on the town was pressed back but eventually with Borstell's brigade attacking the Saxon flank they were able to take the place. Reynier attempted to stablize his position but to no avail. His Saxons fell back onto his French division and a retreat to the south ensued. And what of Oudinot? His forces finally arrived at Ahrensdorf around 6pm after being strung out on the road all day. It was apparent that Oudinot's forces were not looking for a fight but no attempt was made after the day's fighting to unite their forces and renew the advance. After a day's patrolling Oudinot fell back from Berlin and never again would the French be able to get as close to the Prussian capital.