donderdag 30 juni 2011

Resumption of Hostilities - Silesia, August 1757

Our wargame projects and activities have taken us full circle to were we left our conflict between Prussia and Austria anno 1757.

Last year, we launched our Prussian Invasion of Bohemia and focused our campaign on one of the four columns; that of General Bevern and Austria's Konigseck. Within days of crossing the mountain pass, the first engagement at Reichenberg, Konigseck's goal was to delay as long as possible Bevern's column without being trapped between other encircling Prussian columns. The game ended before the walls of Prague.

Our next campaign, looked at the smaller operations in the period between the siege of Prague and the Battle of Kolin (June 18, 1757). Here, Austrian light troops harrassed Prussian supply lines and clashed with searching columns, while 10,000 plus survivors of the Battle at Prague made their way south to join Daun's relief column.

Part three.
We abondoned the idea of a third part centered on the Prussian retreat after Kolin as the Invasion of Silesia offered more challenges.

The primary challenge were the numbers involved. Gathered under Prince Charles were 95,000 troops encamped in Lusatia. Against this, Frederick assembled nearly 50,000 covering Lusatia but also to guard against Austrian raids. Our first two campaigns involved smaller forces, such that we could easily record regimental movement per day; hour of departure, encampment and rest periods. This proved very useful and we wanted to continue using it.

Larger numbers.
For administrative purposes, most SYW armies grouped regiments into "divisions" or "wings" and so we too we would move divisions/wings in place of individual regiments. Looking at the strengths from Nafziger's Order of Battle for 1757, the Prussian force would organized as such:

Commanding Officer: King Fredrick II of Prussia
2nd in Command: Feldmarschall Keith

lst Line:
Cavalry Left Wing: Generallieutenant von Penavaire, 25 sqns
Infantry Left Wing: Generallieutenant Prinz Heinrich v.Preussen, 9 bns
Infantry Center: Generallieutenant von Forcade, 7 bns
Infantry Right Wing: Generallieutenant Prinz Ferdinand v. Braunschweig, 8 bns
Cavalry Right Wing: Generallieutenant Seydlitz, 28 sqns

2nd Line: Generallieutenant Herzog von Braunschweig-Bevern
Cavalry Left Wing: Generalmajor von Normann, 20 sqns
Infantry Left Wing: Generallieutenant von Winterfeldt, 6 bns
Infantry Center: Generallieutenant von Brandes, 5 bns
Infantry Right Wing: Generallieutenant von Leftwitz, 12 bns
Cavalry Right Wing: Generalmajor von Stuchow, 20 sqns

Reserve: Generallieutenant von Zieten
Cavalry reserve, 40 sqns
Infantry reserve, 3 bns

Total strength:
133 sqns = 15,960
50 bns = 37,500

Setting the campaign.

On August 25, after a number of futile attempts to prod the Austrains lose from their entrenchments, Frederick leaves for Thuringia taking with him 15 bns and 23 sqns. Bevern and Winterfeld have now been given the task of watching Charles while guarding Silesia.

Austria drums are stirring again.

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