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 Post subject: #01H. The Action at Wertingen (HTH)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:19 am 
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#01H. The Action at Wertingen (HTH)
Having played this scenario with patch 1.03 and I have some ideas, suggestions and feedback for it. I have worked through some German sources and compiled the suggestion but add also my list of notes I made from the German sources.

Now I had also 2 English webpage sources that describe the battle but rather different from the German sources, I do not neglect what they list but overall their descriptions seems to raise some questions.
- If the battle really started as early as 10 and if the dragoons really charge the squares of Austrian repeatedly over hours, why are the French casualties so low?
- And does it really fit that one dragoons division arrived in the morning, but the second in the late afternoon? It sounds like Murats column would have been spread out a lot but I doubt, especially if the most forward dragoons really took some time to clear Hohenreichen the others behind would have caught up.
A very simple summary for the 2 webpages would be:
The French had a tough time with the Austrians and only got them running because they engaged them repeatedly over most of the day.
That's not what one can read from the German sources and to be honest I had expect the Austrians to get away better in them and not worse, that again makes me doubt the description of the battle on the 2 webpages.


In general:
- in the current layout there is the basic problem that the Austrians can bring enough distance between them and the French Infantry what forces the French player to use cavalry only, but that can't result in a victory as the dismounted dragoons & light cavalry are seriously hampered by having less fire effectiveness(75%) and are unable overcome the stacking in a hex because they count 3 times as much and so can't effectively conduct a melee. What they can do is charge like hell to make the Austrians route and try to smash them on the map edge, besides also yielding a lot French cavalry casualties it sounds like a rather strange way to play the scenario.
- The map should be enlarged to allow the French cavalry to stop the Austrian in the open instead of the map edge and the map edge should be taken out of the possibility to be a sort of flank cover. Overall the room is need to allow the Austrian player to make mistakes and to decide himself were to stand his ground, just like the French has to decide how to position his forces and what actions are to conduct with it.
- The scenario should run longer till night falls and not only till dusk starts. German source mentuions the closing of the chase at 7.00.
- Consider removing the stream section of the river as it is noted that the Zusam had steep banks that couldn't be crossed, that is why a dragoon division when over the bridge at Roggden to cross it.
- Overall the balance has to shift more in favor of French to allow a historical result especially under consideration of the low French and high Austrians casualties.


For the French:
- Dragoon regiments of 1st and 3rd Brigade of 3rd Dragoon Division look twice as big as they would normally be, expected are 700-750 but instead they are around 1400.
Here a bit info from Napoleonseries.org regarding dragoons:
"From George Nafziger:
The arrete of 1 Vendemaire An XII (24 September 1803) set a dragoon regiment at 8 companies, with a wartime strength of 88 mounted and 52 dismounted (total 140) men.
A letter from Napoleon to Berthier dated 24 May 1804 directed that the strength of the war squadrons be increased to 300 men each with a limited number of men being mounted. The rest were to remain on foot. The twenty dragoon regiments continued to stand with their 1st and 2nd squadrons dismounted and formed into foot formations while their significantly reduced 3rd and 4th squadrons remained in the depots.
This organization remained until 6 June 1805, when Napoleon again wrote Berthier. This letter directed that each regiment have two mounted and two dismounted squadrons. The dismounted companies were redesignated as the 3rd Squadron and were converted to form five foot regiments.
By the end of September most of the 1st Regiment had been mounted. At Ulm several Austrian hussar and uhlan regiments were captured and their horses turned over to the dismounted dragoons.
In 1806 the dismounted dragoons were put to use. Napoleon wrote to General Dejean on 13 September 1806 directing him to send General Dorsenne to the 25th Military Division and review the eight dragoon regiments in that military division. He was to form their dismounted men into foot battalions, each battalion having four companies. The battalion staff was to be a truncated infantry battalion staff by appearances, and was to be formed with those officers available. Each of the dismounted companies was to consist of 19 officers and NCOs, and 130 dragoons."
- Too few French artillery units? http://obscurebattles.blogspot.de list 4 units of each 3 guns(2 8lb & 1 howitzer) while in game we only have 3 units. In game we have 3 8lb per unit so we end up with even more 8lb than historically but the French still miss at least 3 guns, besides that another artillery unit would open more tactical possibilities, maybe a single howitzer unit could be added. A German source even mentions 21 French guns but that likely also counted artillery that was the the French cuirassiers and that did not see combat..
- German sources mention that Lannes had a chasseur brigade as his advance guard, these chasseurs are completely missing from the scenario. I was unable to find info of what unit it could have been.
This cavalry should also come in a bit earlier as Lannes infantry because Lannes started to march from Pfaffenhofen to Wertingen on 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
- German source mentions the approach over Hirschbach what is East of Possenried, so it has to be considered to let the Cavalry has to arrive on the Eastern map edge instead Northern.


For the Austrians:
- It is notes in the German sources that artillery mobilized in great disorder and it's unclear if the infantry units got their guns. The low artillery casualties, the Austrians admitted the loss of 6 while the French say the captured 10, together with the fact that the majority of infantry seem to have escaped through wooded terrain near Bliensbach, makes it likely that the Austrians did not nearly have 18 guns. In the light of all this a lowering of the full complement that the Austrians now got is recommended. Also it is questionable if the grenadier battalions, who were formed from companies of other regiments, did get any guns from the parent regiment.
- Also Mack had changed the artillery so that it was now at regimental level, a single artillery unit for the single infantry regiment seems OK but what about the grenadiers battalion, shouldn't they get at best the typical 2 battalion guns?
- Austrians marched all night, they should have a lot fatigue at start. This is confirmed as Auffenberg ordered a 24 hours rest although he had gotten orders in the morning to march off to Zusmarshausen.
- In 1805 ten regiments (9th, 20th, 24th, 30th, 38th, 41st, 44th, 55th, 58th, 63rd) were recruited of Galician, Poles and Ukrainians. Galicia was Polish territory for several centuries before the Austrians occupied it. The Poles often deserted to the French or Polish troops fighting for Napoleon. They hoped to liberate Poland and Galicia from foreign yoke. All these Polish units were dressed like 'German' infantry.
So the basic quality of the battalions of the Austrian 38th & 55th regiments should be lowered one level.
- The adaption of Macks new structure(less & smaller companies, more battalions) might justify lowered the quality level of all Austrians again. The changes through a lot around as the men didn't even know their officers anymore. But not for now, the quality would already be lowered if Austrians get the proper fatigue level to depict their night march and if the battalions of the 38th & 55th regiments are adjusted to depict the lower quality of the foreign Austrians regiments, I would first want to see how it plays out before lowering the quality even more.
- Macks constant changes in the composition of certain formation also justifies the lowering of the quality. Auffenberg had gotten new units at Günzburg on the 6th or 7th, in place of the regiments Spork and Württemberg he had gained 7 Grenadier bat. and in place of the cavalry regiment Latour he gain 4.5 squadrons of Albert cuirassiers. These changes just disconnect the leading general from his units and lowers their performance.
- Austrian should start in/at Wertingen and be fixed in it, on unlock they can decide themselves where to go or what to defend. Layout of unit positions in the notes
- The unlock of the Austrian forces at Wertingen should at earliest be when the French can make contact with the Austrian detachment that is bound for Paffenhofen.
- Some Austrians should be placed to the north on the road to Pfaffenhofen. One German source mentions that 2 squadrons, 2 companies of Reuß-Greitz and 2 Grenadier companies under GM. Dienersberg are send in the direction of Pfaffenhofen to drive the French away that showed up there at noon. That opens another interesting spot as the Austrian player may march off without them, or wait for them to come back, or even decide to send some reinforcements ahead to make sure this detachment gets back. Overall it opens the need for additional decisions and would make the scenario more interesting.


NOTES:
"Geschichte der Kriege in Europa seit dem Jahre 1792 06. Teil - 2. Band"
- Murats Reserve Cavalry was massed at the Lech crossing near Rain on the 7th and was order to march to Burgau on the 8th, that would explain the approach of the cavalry units from a more Eastern direction.
- Auffenberg reaches Wertingen in the morning and although he gets orders at that time to march to Zusmarshausen he orders a 24 hours rest.
- French cavalry of 7000 from the division Klein, Walther and Nansouty.
- At noon French cavalry at Pfaffenhof, Auffenberg orders 4 companies and 2 squadrons in that direction but they are thrown and pursued so quickly that almost no time is left to prepare the defense.
- 1.5 bat. march to assist the fleeing, 2.5 hold Wertingen, 1 covers road from Augsburg, 4. bat & 2.5 squadrons developed on the high to the left.
- As the battle begins 2 squadrons come up from Günzburg.
- Murat sends 1 column over Bliensbach, the other over Geratshofen, that is even before Auffenberg orders the retreat to Zusmarshausen
- The Austrians west of Wertingen took up a position between Wertingen and Roggten, those 3 Austrian bat. that were caught close to the Wertingen suburb were scattered what delayed the retreat. And it was soon clear that the foot troops could not make it to Zusmarshausen.
- From the hill under constant attacks, to which some bat. fell victim, the foot troops turned towards the near woodlot were they left most of their guns behind and arrived in the morning at Burgau. The cavalry broke through on the road to Zusmarshausen.
- Austrian casualties 334 dead/wounded, 1469 prisoners, 3 flags, 6 guns.

"Der Feldzug des Jahres 1805 und seine Folgen für Österreich überhaupt und Tirol insbesonders"
- Text almost identical to the above source.
- Strength of Auffenberg, 10 bat. and 4.5 squadrons. These are 6 bat. Grenadiers & Reuß-Greitz infantry from Auffenberg, the other 4 bat. and 4.5 squadrons are of Division Kerpen and Hohenzollern.

"1805 - Der Feldzug von Ulm" + Beilagen
- Strength of Auffenberg, 7 grenadier bat.(6 of Brigade Hohenfeld(that brigade is mentioned as Grenadierbrigade), 7th from Brigade Hohenzollern), 3 bat. Reuß-Greiz and 4.5 squadrons Albert cuirassiers.
- Auffenberg marched off on 7th October at 8 in the evening from Günzburg and reached Wertigen on the 8th at 7 in the morning.
- New disposition from the 8th changes the composition of Auffenberg drastically, it should now be composed of 4 grenadier bat., 3 bat. Reuß-Greiz, 4 bat. Spork & 8 squadrons of Latour-Chevauxleger, this loadout explains the different composition of Auffenberg from other sources but obviously these changes order on the 8th were not in place when the action at Wertingen occurred.
- It is complained about the constant changes in the composition of all higher formations, what forces unnecessarily marches and that made the Generals disinterested in their troops. This overall loosens the structure of the army and makes ordering harder and only benefits disarray.
- March direction of Murats forces from Mertingen(where the 2 Husar reg. of 5th corps join) over Druisheim, Holzen, Hirschbach against Wertingen.
- Lannes starts march from Pfaffenhofen to Wertingen on 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
- Auffenbergs column marched 11 hours in the night.
- Arrived at Wertingen 1 grenadier bat. occupies each of the 3 gates of the city, the cavalry rested outside the city.
- After 12 o'clock Auffenberg receives message of French at Pfaffenhofen. He sends 2 squadrons, 2 companies of Reuß-Greitz and 2 Grenadier companies under GM. Dienersberg to Pfaffenhofen to drive them away.
- The enemy is reported to approach and so GM. Graf Hohenfeld, commander of the grenadier brigade, puts 3 bat. north of the road Wertingen - Binswangen facing North-East, 1 bat. right of them that leans onto the city, 2 bat. in front of the gate leading to Pfaffenhofen and 1 bat. in front of the Augsburger gate facing east. The regiment Reuß-Greitz stays in the city. Auffenberg does not give any disposition in case the enemy shows up.
- French light cavalry reports at 2.30 in the afternoon that troops of all kind are in Wertignen and on the heights of the left bank of the Zusam river with posts at Gottmannshofen.
- Murat marches with his divisions to Wertingen and around 4 in the afternoon positions himself north of Bliensbach. The husars, supported by artillery, drive off the pickets at Gottmannshofen that fall back to Wertingen. Some dragoons dismount and approach Wertingen. After heavy fighting they take the suburb on the right bank of the river and take the Zusam bridge
- The hussars cross the Zusam north of Wertingen and go against the Austrian bats. near the Pfaffenhofen gate. The division Klein circles around Wertingen in the south. Because the Zusam has steep banks that can't be crossed the division has to go to Roggden to cross it by bridge. The division is fired upon by artillery but stays without considerable casualties.
- In the meantime the French grenadiers at Pfaffenhofen heard the canon fire(maybe around 4 in the afternoon), and Lannes directs them over Ober-Thürheim and advances to orientate himself. He sends his Chasseur brigade ahead. The Chasseurs meat 2 squadrons of cuirassiers, likely from the detachment of Dienersberg, and drive them off. The french infantry pushed the 4 companies of Dienersberg back off the ridge along the woods edge with the intention to go around the enemies left flank to cut him off from the road to Günzburg.
- The dragoons in Wertingen made it through the city because Auffenberg moved his troops out to the heights south-west of Wertingen because of Oudinots threatening of his flank.
- By that time the division of Klein had reached Roggden and was about to gain the heights north of it. Because of this Murats ordered the 3rd dragoon division to attack through Wertingen.
- The Austrians were now attacked from Wertingen and from Roggden. Klein threw 2 cuirassier squadrons, who had simply awaited the French attack, back onto their infantry. Some attacks by te French were repelled. Beaumont division west of Wertingen broke an infantry square and threw the remnants back onto the other infantry. As the grenadiers of Oudinot marched to Binswangen the Austrians were threatened to be cut off completely because of the constant attacks that slowed them down. That's why the fell back onto the wood of Binswangen. But General Klein moved a part of his cavalry through and around the wood onto the road Binswangen - Eppisburg so that a considerable amount of infantry was cut off.
- The dissolution of the Austrian force in its retreat continued. Chased and attacked without pause till night fell the Austrian forces dissolved completely and only debris escaped.
- Auffenberg says that the reg. Reuß-Greitz, that retreated last out of Wertingen, was almost completely destroyed like 2 grenadier bat., the other 5 had casualties of 850 men, 6 guns were lost.
The French listed 2200 prisoners, 10 canons and 6 flags as captured.
- French casualties were minor, Murat lost 100 men and 90 horses, Oudinot about 30 men.
- The Austrian force strength, based on 6th October numbers, is at 5000 men infantry and 400 cavalry. Austrian reported 6 guns lost while the French say they captured 10 but after the organization the Austrians forces should have had 18 guns(2 with each grenadier bat. and 4 with the 3 bat regiment). But it's know that the artillery mobilized in great disorder and many regiments did not yet have artillery, overall it is unknown how many artillery pieces the Austrians really had.
- The strength of the French force was about 8000 men infantry and 6000 cavalry with 21 guns. But of those just a part participated in the battle, just the 2 dragoon divisions and the light cavalry of Lanes corps about 4000 cavalry, and from Oudinots division only the advance battalions could have participated in combat because the advance guard because it attacked after 5.30 in the afternoon. The Austrians were already on the retreat to the heights by that time. Just about 6.30 the battle was over. The chase was just short to 7.00. The minimal casualties also confirm that very few of Oudinots participated in combat.
- So the French superior numbers aren't significant. The main cause of the defeat was moral not material.
- On the evening of the 5th Auffenberg was near Zusmarshausen - Wertingen or was marching there. On the 6th he had to march to Günzburg. On the 7th Auffenberg, who had received new troops for his division(In place of the regiments Spork and Württemberg he had gained 7 Grenadier bat. and in place of the cavalry regiment Latour he gain 4.5 squadrons of Albert cuirassiers), again match to Wertingen so that he had to march all night long.
- The orders of what to do at Wertingen are not available but surely were in the same style as the other orders of mack, meaning they were unclear and Auffenberg did not know what to do once he reached Wertingen or why he was there, he only seems to have waited for corps Werneck. That becomes clear as he didn't do anything even when getting note of French forces approaching and didn't even set up a proper battle position for his forces and stayed passive.
- The leadership of mack, that was without a target or a plan, shacked not only is subordinates but their troops too and had a bad impact on their moral.
A total opposite of the French were even the normal soldier new that Napoleon wanted to separate the Austrians and Russians and that they had to bring the marching performance to achieve that.
- The main reason for the defeat Auffenbergs is the leadership of mack, that was without a target or a plan, that brought Auffenberg in contact with superior French forces and that was the reason for Auffenbergs bad combat performance just like that of his troops.
- Simply summed that constant "fooling around" of Mack with he army shacked it to the core.

+++
I have attached a map from "1805 - Der Feldzug von Ulm" that looked interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: #01H. The Action at Wertingen (HTH)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:47 pm 
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I was Christian's recent opponent and I want to offer a few rejoinders/points of discussion. Currently, if the Austrians do not run for the map edge and form a laager there is no way for them to win. They will be surrounded and pounded to dust. If the map is expanded, then the Austrians have more room to run, even if they are fixed for longer and/or relocated.

In our game, Christian made some mistakes (as did I by not forming a tighter laager)-specifically, he rushed into trying to reduce my squares. The French dragoons have high morale and even with less firepower, when dismounted can disorder and eventually rout the Austrian squares, especially with well placed artillery. Christian, who is normally very patient, was too impatient. Once a few of my squares routed his cavalry in reserve shredded me, but he had lost too many cavalry men by that point and had taken too long to break my line for him to make up the points.

The numbers disparity in this battle makes it hard to make a balanced scenario that is challenging and fun for both sides. Once the French infantry show up the Austrians have no chance (the French infantry and cavalry forces are each the same size as the whole Austrian force). The French cavalry can break down in to squadrons and surround the Austrians if the Austrians do not run to the map edge...

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 Post subject: Re: #01H. The Action at Wertingen (HTH)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:14 am 
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Guys - I think I can safely expand the south map edge so that you have more room for a running engagement. How about 40-50 hexes of additional space? Would that be enough?

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 Post subject: Re: #01H. The Action at Wertingen (HTH)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:24 pm 
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I just have loaded the Ulm Campaign map and if you want to extend the map south you might could add some hexes more south to hex 599,334 as it would be nice to have a road that crosses the forest & higher ground to the west into the Zusam river valley, that gives a parallel rout to the Zusam valley what could be interesting for French cavalry trying to overtake the Austrians if they go down the Zusam valley.
Now as Auffenberg was ordered to march to Zusmarshausen how about also adding some hexes(50-60) to the west too, by that the Austrians could march South-West down the Zusam river valley?
I imaging the lower left border of the map to be then at 546,334 near Altmünster.

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 Post subject: Re: #01H. The Action at Wertingen (HTH)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:41 pm 
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I took a closer look at the victory conditions and I think they should be reconsidered.
If the map gets extend Southward & Westward the French have time to inflict more casualties to the Austrians by the way of maneuvering. Still the French can, if taking all objectives and annihilating the Austrians without any own losses, at best achieve 1019,76(numbers not rounded). For a major victory 700 are needed what might be OK if the extended map comes and the French can play out his cavalry strength, but that already 400 points are needed to get the French out of a major defeat seems rather high, especially when the objectives only give 275 points so that considerably higher Austrian casualties are needed to get the French out of a major defeat.

I think abandoning the position at Wertingen should already shift the victory level to just about a draw, either objectives could be raised or victory levels adjusted. By casualties the French can then shift to a minor or even major victory. That the objectives give a drawn might also reconsider the Austrian if he instantly wants to abandon is positions as the high ground near Wertingen is the best for many kilometers to defend on.

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