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Battle of Möckern AAR

The other week we finally got to give the Battle of Möckern another try. Before I start with the AAR I shall show you the force compositions, so know which forces faced one another:

French OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

French OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules
[EDIT: Please note there is a typo in the name of Maréchal Marmont]

Prussian OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

Prussian OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules

Deployment was quiet straight forward. The French Troops under Lagrange were deployed inside the village of Möckern, with the Légère being deployed behind it as reserves. They could only be released after the first Prussian assault on the village itself. The troops under Buquet were deployed on the fields east of the village. The French artillery was positioned in between these two formations.

The Prussians under Klüx were deployed opposite the village, with the Leibgrenadierbattalion being kept back as reserves. They could only be released after the first unsuccessful assault on Möckern. The Second Detachment was deployed on the fields east of Möckern opposite the French lines. The Prussian 6pdr. batteries were deployed between the two formations with the cavalry behind them. Th horsemen would stay in reserve until von Yorck saw the moment fit to unleash them. At the earliest this could happen on the fourth round (they would be released on a roll of 6+ on a D10 with each previous attempt giving them a +1). The 12pdrs. were not deployed on table but off table and would start firing on the fourth round.

Möckern (French side)

Möckern (French side)

The Prussians won the first initiative (they would actually did so each round) and began a general advance. On their right the Gardejäger had deployed the whole unit as skirmishers and it was behind them that the Landwehr advanced, with the Ostpreußisches Infanterieregiment to their left, both in line. On the fields Two regular and the reserve battalions were at the front deployed in Collums of Attack with the Landwehr battalions advanced behind them in line. The artillery opened up on the closest French infantry on the fields, without doing much damage.

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Initiative passed over to the French. While the troops inside Möckern naturally stayed put and those in the fields advanced slowly in line. The two French batteries split their fire between the Westpreußisches Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern. They too only inflicted moderate damage.

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

Now it was the Prussians turn once more. The troops opposite Möckern continued their advance with the Gardejäger opening fire at the defenders doing the first damage. On the fields there was a further advance with the 12te Reserveinfanterie preparing to charge. But before they could do so it was the artilleries turn. The left battery had to shift its fire to the French artillery on account that part of the Prussian lines now obscured the French and managed to put the crew for two of the French guns out of action, while their companions still created more damage for the infantry. Now the reservists charged the French to their front. The French fired a defensive volley at point blank range, but still they went on. Both sides already inflicted heavy casualties on the other, but not enough to send one running. But after continued heavy hand to hand combat the French broke and ran, never to return. But at a heavy price with the reservists having lost more than half their number. But still they stood fast.

First contact

First contact

On their next turn the French in Möckern still just held their ground. The troops on the fields contented with just firing at the Prussians to their front without doing much damage or with sending some infantry to re-crew the French guns. Only the French battalions from the second line (now front) opposite the 12th Reserveinfanterie charged them. The Prussians were still disordered from their own attack and while they managed to get some defensive fire off they were unable to break the French impetus and after short combat broke themselves. They would still be retiring at the end of the game. Again the French artillery fired at both the Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern inflicting more damage, having found their range.

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Back to the Prussians the action went. Near Möckern they advanced further, but the Ostpreußen now decided to deploy as skirmishers to lessen the effects of the incoming artillery, which would work out, but at the same time meant they would be less effective assaulting the village.

On the fields the 14te Schlesische Landwehr got into position to charge the French who had just broken the reservists, but faild to get their morale up for the charge. Unfortunately the same happened to the Brandenburgisches Infanterieregiment. The Grenadierbattalion decided to fire at the regiment to their front, since the second artillery battery could now longer fire at the french infantry either. And their fire proved effective enough. With the second Prussin artillery battery now shifting its fire to the French artillery as well, they caused impressive damage, killing all the infantry replacements for the crew plus the crews for another 4 guns!

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Now the French defender inside Möckern remembered that they could fire back, which they did causing minimal damage ion the Gardejäger.

On the fields most of the French proved happy firing at the Prussians with moderate effect and sending yet more infantry to help redrew the French guns. The French who had previously dispatched the reservists now decided to charge the Landwehr in position to charge them. Their superior numbers and quality proved decisive and after heavy losses of both sides the Landwehr pulled back.. The French artillery virtually did nothing this turn. One battery was in no state to cause much damage and the other failed to make an impression on the dispersed skirmishers of the Ostpreußen.

Advance on Möckern

Advance on Möckern

On their next turn the Prussians did extremely well. Both the line Regiments on the fields charged their French opposites causing both to break and run. Together with the previous losses and those troops send to help the artillery this only left a nucleus of French on the fields. While the Gardejäger caused some further damage on the French defenders of Möckern the real star was the artillery. One of the Prussian batteries shifted their fire to the next French battery taking out the crew for one gun. But the other one annihilated the mauled French battery taking out the remaining crew and damaging the guns before the French infantry even got a chance to redrew them. To make matters worse for the French the next round would also see the Prussian cavalry released. At this point the French player decided to call it a day.

Opposing lines crash

Opposing lines crash

All in all one very entreating game and we more than happy to pal it out this time without too much discussing of rules. Having read them again before the game really helped there! 😉

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4tes Battalion, 15te Schlesische Landwehr

4tes Battalion, 15te Schlesische Landwehr

Silesian Landwehr

Silesian Landwehr
[although these men are from a 2nd battalion as denoted by their red shoulderboards]

So this is the last Landwehr (Infantry) unit for my Völkerschlacht von Leipzig (Battle of Nations) project, the 4th Btln. 14th Silesian Landwehr. As usual, the minis are all Calpe Miniatures either in charging or trail arms positions. Now this might seem strange, but in the Prussian Army Trail arms was the standard pose while advancing towards the enemy, since it kept the left hand free to control the infantry sabre / hatchet hanging from their left hip. Only just before reaching the enemy did the men actually take their muskets in both hands and I wanted to depict that very moment with most men leveling their muskets, while the slower were still at trail arms.

Anyway back to the unit itself. This unit was  408 man strong at Möckern. At the 1:20 ratio for R2E this translates into 20 minis. They were part of Major von Klüx detachment of the advanced guard, which means that my units for his detachment are nearly complete. Only the Guard Grenadiers are missing (but they were only attached to his detachment for the 2nd assault anyway, so I am fine in painting them a little later as well ;-)) and some Austrian Jäger that were attached to this unit, more by accident then anything else, but more on them in a later post.

I have not been entirely happy with the looks of my flags lately. Not with the flags themselves (I really love those GMB flags), but the way they curl. So far I have always cut them, glued them together with a glue stick, attached them to the staff and shaped them. But lately they always seemed to unfurl while drying and ended up somewhat flat for my taste. So this time I brushed some diluted white glue on the inside and shaped it this way. This time it kept its shape. One thing I did though was make a copy of the flag first. To my knowledge GMB flags are inkjet prints and the diluted white glue would make the colours runny. So I made a copy with a laser printer and used that, which worked fine.

But now without much further ado here are some pictures of them:

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 1st stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 1st stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 2nd stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 2nd stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 3rd stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 3rd stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 4th stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr 4th stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr command stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr command stand

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr command stand [side view]

4-15te Schlesische Landwehr command stand
[side view]

While these were painted last year and I already showed them in an earlier post, here are the skirmishers for this unit:

Skirmishers for the upcoming 4tes Battalion, 15te Schlesische Landwehr

Skirmishers for the 4tes Battalion, 15te Schlesische Landwehr

 

2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

This week everything finally came together. The weather turned good enough to for me to varnish my minis and I had the time to finish the basing and take some pictures. This will lead to a number of posts over the next couple of days, but I felt that I should post pictures of my 2nd Btln. 12th Silesian Landwehr first, since they had been finished (or at least painted) for a couple of weeks now.

As usual, the minis are all Calpe Miniatures. This might sound like a cheap line, but the more I paint them, the more I am in love with these minis. They are full of detail, nicely defined and just a joy to paint. I am really looking forward to painting the next unit of them, although right now I have a unit of Perry Artillery on my painting table.

Anyway back to the unit itself. This is the smallest of the three Landwehr units I will need for Möckern and the second I have painted. They went into battle with 299 men. At the 1:20 ratio for R2E this means 14,95 minis. Now that I am writing this, I am not sure why I rounded that down to 14 minis. I must have thought that this gave me a nice even number of minis, but as you will realise… 14 does not divide by 4. Since I am usually basing my minis 4 to a base I either had to do a two-mini-base or a six-mini-base. In the end I went for six minis on the command base, since I felt that a two-mini-base would either look strange with the unit in line or in column. But realising now that I could just as well done a 15 minis unit which would have translated into three four-mini-bases plus one three-mini-base (possibly with a mounted officer), I feel that this should have been the way to go. Well I will keep that in mind in case I have some time left in 2013. In that case I can simply paint a 15 mini unit and turn this into a different unit of Landwehr for another battle (Ligny or Waterloo for example).

After all this rambling, there is not much more to do, but to show you some pictures of them.

2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

But as I mentioned in a previous post, I also painted the skirmishers for this unit and the other two Landwehr units while I had these on my table. So here they are:

Skirmishers for the 2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

Skirmishers for the 2tes Battalion, 14te Schlesische Landwehr

Skirmishers for the 3tes Battalion, 13te Schlesische Landwehr

Skirmishers for the 3tes Battalion, 13te Schlesische Landwehr

Skirmishers for the upcoming 4tes Battalion, 15te Schlesische Landwehr

Skirmishers for the upcoming 4tes Battalion, 15te Schlesische Landwehr

 

 

 

GMB Flags & what happened to this place in WWII

Today my packages were in the post. One of them was by GMB flags. Now I have been using his flags for almost a decade now. All my ACW units have them and when I started doing Napoleonics they were the first choice as well. Now about a month ago someone complained on TMP that he had received bad service, which came as quite a surprise, since I never got anything but exceptional service all those years, including a custom flag at request. Actually Grahame would be on my top 5 prefered retailer / manufacturer list. All this happened at about the time, when I realised, that I had bought half his Prussian range, but none of the flags I needed for Möckern (honestly… not a single one). So I ordered what I needed through his new webstore. Got a personal message back within the day, an automated message that everything had been shipped within 48 hrs. and everything arrived in perfect order. Not sure why someone seemed unhappy on TMP, but I can only give my complete endorsement for GMB Flags.

My GMB order

My GMB order

Regarding WWII. The area I live in has the highest ration of unexploded ordnance from WWII in the whole of Germany (and no I am living nowhere near Dresden. Now this means that whenever someone wants to build anything on their land, it needs to be checked for bombs, shells, grenades and ammo. First step is to look at aerial reconnaissance pictures or plans for German defences. If these show hits without telltale crater, have too many shadows or show a position step two is to have everything probed. If that comes up positive step three is bomb disposal. I have seen my share of the later when I was still an officer on active duty in civil defence. Now we are planing to add some sun roofs to the house, so a check was due. Yesterday I got a call from magistrates saying that we got the all clear after step one. We were only subject to intermediate artillery shelling. So now I know what happened here 66 years ago.

There will be another post in a couple of minutes.