The aim of the campaign was to play test a set of rules which would allow me to convert my solo 1813 campaign to a PBEM campaign. The first draft of the rules had to be amended to give the corps commanders more influence on the campaign, but despite that the campaign worked very well. It also convinced me that it was well worth while to play the next phase of my 1813 campaign in PBEM.
1 April 1813
The campaign opened with the French holding the west bank of the river Elbe. XIII corps held Domnitz in the north, including the main road to Hamburg. IV corps held Magdeburg in the south. V and VI corps were in reserve further west waiting to see what the Prussians would do.
The Prussian army was closed up just east of the river, ready to cross between Domnitz and Magdeburg.2 April 1813
IV corps moved north to close the gap between them and XIII corps. In doing so they also prevented 4th corps crossing at Parey. However the remaining three Prussian corps crossed the river unopposed.
V and VI corps marched east on the main Hanover to Magdeburg road, expecting the main Prussian advance to be in this open area, rather than through the mountains to the north.3 April 1813
The Prussians continued to advance west into the mountains. In doing so they cut communications between XIII corps at Domnitz and the remainder of the French army.
The French continued to concentrate just north of Magdeburg, unaware of the Prussian thrust in the centre4 April 1815
Two battles were fought today, one at Salzwedel and the second at Colbitz.
XIII moved south in an attempt to reopen communications with the remainder of the French army. 3rd corps blocked their path at Salzwedel. The Prussians held their ground, and XIII corps was forced to withdraw to Domnitz
The second was a larger, but more confused battle. As the Prussians attempted to expand their bridgehead their leading 1st corps clashed with IV corps who were holding Colbitz. 4th corps were unable to cross the river to support 1st corps. However the arrival of 2nd corps late in the afternoon forced IV corps to abandon Colbitz and fall back on Magdeburg.5 April 1813
The Prussians were now in a strong central position. They spent the day moving their army into position ready for a final push westwards.
The French had three corps in a strong position in the open ground south of the hills and north of Magdeburg.6 April 1813
The French delivered a three corps attack on Colbitz, hoping to catch the Prussians unprepared. They had a partial success, as 1st corps had been moved into reserve to recover from the first battle of Colbitz.
The battle developed into a bitter struggle as both sides fought over Colbitz. The French took advantage of their better commanders to launch a three pronged attack. The Prussians struggled with their less gifted corps commanders, and experienced many delays getting their troops in position. Despite this they held their ground all day, and as darkness fell still held Colbitz.7 April 1813
Under cover of darkness the French broke contact. V and VI corps withdrew west towards Hanover, IV corps south to Magdeburg.
The Prussian army rested throughout the day, in preparation for a further advance westwards on 8 April 1813. They now held a very strong central position and were well placed to scatter the disordered French.1813 Hanover Campaign
The test campaign was ended at this stage. I wanted to put the lessons learnt to the test with a new campaign.
That campaign will be phase six of my 1813 campaign, and can be followed here