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Monday, July 31, 2017

1 July 1813 – Central Germany – Erfurt Campaign

All Europe
The five campaign areas are shown, plus the campaign phases fought in each area.
All Germany
The three campaign areas in Germany are shown, plus the campaign phases fought in each area and which side won.
Central Germany with battles fought
At the start of February1813 Napoleon believed that the Russian Army was held on the eastern bank of the river Oder by his allies the Prussians.   He was unaware of the secret treaty signed by the allies on 1 January 1813 which agreed that Prussia, Russia, Austria, England and Spain would all declare war on France.   Or that the Russians had crossed the river Oder on 20 January 1813

On 15 February he received reports that the Russians had not only crossed the river Oder, but had entered Dresden a week earlier.

He immediately ordered Marshal Davout to form Second French Army at Dusseldorf and prepare to march east to confront the Russians.   On 28 February Davout confirmed that his Army was operational and ready to advance.

5 March 1813 – Kassel Campaign.  The Russians advanced west and defeated the French at the battles of Kassel and Warburg.   The French recovered and beat the Russians at Second Kassel, but lost four days later again at Kassel.   The Russians again won at Friedland.   However the French fought back and won at the third battle of Kassel.   The Russians were forced to retreat east.

19 March 1813 – Gotha Campaign.   The Russians again attacked and beat the French at Suhl.  However the French quickly recovered and won at both Gotha and Suhl.   Once more the Russians retreated east.

5 April 1813 – Armistice.   The Russians accepted the seven day truce offered by Napoleon.   Second French Army would concentrate at Kassel.  The Russian Army would retreat to Gotha.

12 April 1813 – Second Gotha Campaign.   The French opened the campaign and won at First Meiningen.  However the Russians recovered and defeated them at Second Meiningen and again at Barchfeld.   The French retreated to Kassel.

12 May 1813 – Eisenbach Campaign.   The Russians win the first battle at Eisenbach, but lost the next day at Meiningen.   The following day the Russians won at Friedland and the French at Eisenbach.   The French went on to win again at Gotha and Dolstadt.  The final battle at Meiningen was a draw.   The Russians retreated to Erfurt.

Erfurt Tactical Map
Each square on the map is 21 miles, one days march or the area covered by the wargames table.   The French main supply base is at Horsel and the Russian at Weimar.   This map is for information only, it is not used for map movement.
Erfurt Wargame Map
This is the campaign map for movement and transferring battles to the wargames table.   Each square is 7 miles or one 2x2 foot scenic square on the wargames table.   There is one scenic square showing the same detail as each square on the map.   Nine of these squares (3x3) are used to create the wargames table.   When a battle is declared the point of impact (the centre square) is the same on the map and on the table. 

Background to the Erfurt Campaign
Davout and Wittgenstein have already fought four campaigns.   The French won three, and the Russians only one.   The Russians lost the last campaign and have retreated to Erfurt.   Both armies have rested, regrouped and are now fully operational.

Wittgenstein is determined to hold Erfurt and stop the French advance in central Germany.

Second French Army
Marshal Davout
2nd Young Guard corps
5th French corps
6th French corps
14th Westphalian corps
Each corps has four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery
There is also a reserve corps of four infantry brigades for garrison duty

Russian Army
General Wittgenstein
1st Russian corps
2nd Russian corps
3rd Russian corps
4th Russian corps
Each corps has four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery
There is also a reserve corps of four infantry brigades for garrison duty