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    Default The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated May 14)

    Hello,This is my first NTW AAR. Ill be playing as the Russians, difficulty normal. I've already played ahead a bit so I only need to find time to write updates. This particular AAR's style is inspired by IneptCmdr and Alwyn whose AARs can be seen in the Empire section. Enjoy!

    Table of Contents Chapter 1: Russia, 1805
    Chapter 2: First Moves
    Chapter 3: Battle of Hanover
    Chapter 4: Death of a General
    Chapter 5: Czartorski"s Campaign
    Chapter 6: Diplomacy at Work
    Chapter 7: Battle of the Titans
    Chapter 8: Siege of Kassel
    Chapter 9: The Battle of the Titans I
    Chapter 10: The Battle of the Titans II
    Last edited by Scottish King; May 14, 2015 at 01:00 PM.
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign

    Chapter 1: Russia, 1805

    In 1805, Russia, led by Tsar Alexander I, signed a treaty with Britain with the goals of removing the French from the Batavian Republic and the Swiss Confederation, thus declaring war on France led by Napoleon. Alexander I immediately tasks Chancellor Adam Czartoryski and Lord Secretary of the Army Sergey Vyazmitinov with raising a military force strong enough to stop Napoleon’s conquest of Europe.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Vyazmitinov proposed for the creation of three armies with two, the 1st and 2nd Armies, to be dispatched to Western Europe and one, the 3rd Army, to remain in reserve on the border between Austria and Russia. Vyazmtinov appoints Fyodor Fyodorovich Buxhoewden to command the 1st Army, Levin August von Bennigsen the 2nd Army and Mikhail Kutusov the 3rd Army.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Vyazmitinov’s choices for generals are met with approval by the Czar and the 1st Army is dispatched on March 3rd, 1805 to meet up with Prussian forces in Berlin while forces for the 2nd and 3rd Armies are being assembled. The decision to let Fyodorovich lead the 1st Army is met with disapproval from Kutusov who believes he is the better choice for leading the campaign against the French but the Czar manages to convince Kutusov that his skills are best needed in defending Russia itself in case of a worst case scenario invasion by France and Kutusov reluctantly relents.

    The raising of the army goes smoothly for the next two weeks until an Ottoman diplomat walks into Chancellor Czartorski’s office and announces that Selim I of the Ottoman Empire has declared war on Russia.


    Czar Alexander I calls an emergency meeting of his cabinet and over the next couple of days they discuss the implications of Selim I’s actions. To their relief, most of their allies except England have promised support in the event of an Ottoman invasion and the Ottoman’s do not have France’s support. Emboldened by this, Czartorski advocates an invasion of Ottoman territory as soon as possible which is backed by the Lord Secretary of the Fleet Yuri Olevsky and Lord of the Treasury Alexsey Vasilyev who believe if Istanbul can be captured the resources of the Ottoman’s rich capital could be used to build a fleet to challenge Napoleon’s navy.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    However, Vyazmitinov argues for a defensive stance in which the 3rd Army would hold off the Ottomans until Napoleon could be dealt with in the west and sees the use of funds for a navy to be waste of resources. In the end, Czartorski, Olevsky and Vasilyev win the day and Vyazmitinov is ordered to organize a campaign against the Ottomans. Vyazmitinov is said to have been close to resigning his post but reasoned that in someone else’s hand the campaign, which he felt was a fool’s errand, could turn into something worse and decided to stay in the Czar’s cabinet.

    Fearing failure in the Ottoman campaign would mean an invasion by the Ottoman Empire, Vyazmitinov kept Kutusov and his 3rd Army in reserve and created the 4th Army under the command of Ivan Vasilievich Sabaneev for the campaign.


    The men and resources that were meant for the buildup of the 2nd and 3rd Armies were rerouted south to Odessa where the 4th Army was being created since the Czar wanted the Russian army to strike first and gain the initiative. This delayed the departure of the 2nd Army for some time and the Ottoman campaign gained the disapproval of General Bennigsen who wanted to go west as soon as possible. However, the campaign was kept on schedule and though Vyazmitinov wanted more time to gather men and supplies, on Czartorski’s advice the Czar ordered the campaign to begin on May 7, 1805. The campaign’s goal was to capture Istanbul while taking control of Moldova & Bessarabia and Wallachia along the way. With the capture of Istanbul, if the Ottomans did not capitulate the rest of their European territory was to be taken over by the 4th Army which would be reinforced by Kutusov’s 3rd Army.

    By May 23, General Sabneev and the 4th Army reached their first objective the city of Iasi which was critical to the control Moldova & Bessarabia and immediately ordered the attack to begin. The Russo-Ottoman War had begun.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign

    This looks promising! Hope to see more soon. I wish I could play NTW but the game keeps crashing my computer.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by IneptCmdr View Post
    This looks promising! Hope to see more soon. I wish I could play NTW but the game keeps crashing my computer.
    I had to wait till I got a new computer to play it myself . Thanks for your support!
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign

    Chapter 2: First Moves

    At 2pm on May 23, 1805, the 4th Imperial Army began its attack on the city of Iasi. The 4th Army under the command of General Sabneev consisted of the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th Imperial Musketeers and the 3rd Imperial 6-lber Artillery. It was said that General Sabneev believed the upcoming battle to be an assured victory.

    “Peasants,” he was reported to have said to his troops before the battle, “that is what the Ottomans are. Backward peasants. You are civilized imperial troops crush them today and every vile Ottoman peasant between here and Istanbul will quake with fear.”

    The Ottoman force consisted of two Beylik Jannisary regiments and about three hundred determined citizens. The 4th Army advanced in a battle line supported by their artillery which inflict slight causalities on the Ottoman force as they advanced to meet Sabneev before he reached the city. The Russians were only able to get off one volley before the Ottomans closed the distance and a desperate melee battle began.


    It wasn’t long, however, before the Ottomans broke and heavy casualties were inflicted upon the fleeing troops. By 6:15 pm, the city of Iasi was under Russian control. Sabneev and the Russian Empire had gained its first victory.


    When news of the victory arrived back in Moscow, Czartorski, Olevsky and Vasilyev seemed vindicated and with Czartorski’s advice, the Czar ordered Vyazmitinov to send reinforcements to Sabneev immediately so the campaign could continue. This greatly angered Vyazmitinov who argued that sending reinforcements would delay the departure of the 2nd Imperial for west to reinforce the 1st Imperial Army. But the Czar believe confidently in the cooperation of the Prussians and Vyazmitinov unwilling sent Sabneev the 16th Imperial Musketeers with the promise of more troops as soon as they were ready. “This is a most foolish endeavor,” Vyazmitinov wrote in his journal of June 12th, 1805. “We should be sending troops to fight in the threat of Napoleon not the nuisance of Selim.” General Bennigsen was also frustrated that his promised troops were being sent south: “I pray that the 1st Army does well for if our allies are slow to come to its aid or it is defeated then there will be no hope of saving them for the 2nd is deprived of troops for the Ottoman campaign. The Czar needs to get his priorities in line with reality.”

    Vyazmitinov sent messages west after the 1st Army to let them know that the 2nd would be delayed for an indefinite period. Vyazmitinov eagerly and anxiously awaited a reply which came towards the end of August. In late July, the 1st Army under General Fyodorovich arrived near Berlin. Upon finding that the Prussians were in no hurry to attack the French, Fyodorovich decided to move without them. His target was Hanover and its capital city which was defended by French general, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. Intelligence suggested that he had only a small garrison of troops. They did not, however, account for Hanover’s citizen miltia.

    Encouraged by this information, Fyodorovich led his troops from Berlin to Hanover which he besieged on August 2nd. Convinced of the small size of the garrison, Fyodorovich decided to attack on August 4th.


    At 10am on the 4th, the 1st Army launched its assault on the city. Fyodorovich knew how important this battle would be. The night before he wrote, “Though the garrison small and victory most assuredly ours I am restless. This first battle against the forces of Napoleon will determine the rest of the war. Defeat will be a devastating blow to morale and reinforce the idea that Napoleon cannot be beaten. But a victory against even such a small French force will begin to break through the myth of an unbeatable French army.”

    The 1st Army consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Musketeers, the 1st Russian Jagers, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Imperial Cavalry and was supported by the 1st and 2nd 8-lber Artillery and the 1st 6-lber Artillery. The French only consisted of one regiment of Fusiliers-Chasseurs, one regiment of Chasseurs à Cheval and one unit of 6-lber artillery. However, they are joined by over 7000 citizen miltia eager to defend their homes. Upon seeing that he was outnumbered, Fyodorovich is quoted to have said “Dear God, I have destroyed us.” He pondered whether to retreat but his spies encouraged him that the bulk of Bernadotte’s forces were not professional troops and could be easily broken and that the French in there estimate only had a slight numerical advantage. Remembering the importance of the battle and encouraged by his spies’ reports Fyodorovich ordered the 1st army to attack.
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 25)

    I see you've taken the IneptCmdr route for this one, interesting. I shall be watching and +Rep to you.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 25)

    Quote Originally Posted by McScottish View Post
    I see you've taken the IneptCmdr route for this one, interesting. I shall be watching and +Rep to you.
    Yes but also of Alwyn another Empire AARist when it comes to using quotes within the AAR. I find both of their styles to be an agreeable alternative to the traditional and narrative AAR.
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 25)

    Chapter 3: Battle of Hanover

    Fyodorovich’s 7770 man army advanced to face the estimated 9200 man French army moving to meet them on the outskirts of Hanover as it began to rain making musket fire unpredictable. Fyodorovich ordered the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Imperial cavalry to outflank French with the intention of smashing into their rear and cause panic among their ranks. The French artillery and Russian artillery exchanged fire but a large grove of trees obscured both crews’ view so neither had the upper hand at the beginning of the battle. Fyodorovich had his men come to a halt at a distance from the tree line where Bernadotte’s men would have to clear the forest to engage the Russians. Once in range, both sides began to exchange fire.


    The rainy conditions took away whatever advantage the Russians had in superior training as muskets on both sides misfired. However, neither side ordered a melee assault which would have been to Fyodorovich’s advantage with his profession troops. The battle was instead swung in the Russians favor by the cavalry and the artillery.

    The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Imperial cavalry successfully outflanked Bernadotte’s right smashing into the rear of the militia regiments and quickly routing them. Meanwhile, the French forces were out in the open and to the delight of the 1st and 2nd 8-lber Artillery and the 1st 6-lber Artillery were easy targets.


    The Chasseurs à Cheval had no better luck and their suicidal charge on the Russian line ended in disaster. Soon the French left was also broken and Fyodorovich began to have his men roll up the line. With the French artillery also decimated by the Russian cavalry, Bernadotte tried to make a last stand with the remaining two regiments of Fusiliers-Chasseurs. However, under the combined fire of five regiments even they broke and in the ensuing chaos Bernadotte was killed. With the French army destroyed, Fyodorovich led his army into Hanover and by 4:35 pm the city was under Russian control. The battle cost the 1st army 2637 causalities and out of the 9200 French and Hanover men less than 250 survived and were taken prisoner.


    News of the first victory against Napoleon caused joyous celebrations back in Moscow and calmed Vyazmitinov’s fears on defeat in the west due to lack of reinforcement for the time being. However, he still was worried about Napoleon gathering his forces to attack the 1st Imperial Army before they could strengthen their position. Czartorski reminded Vyazmitinov that Napoleon would have to first obtain permission from Hessen or Frisia in order to march on Hanover and both states were keen on the point of their neutrality which Czartorski saw as a future problem when the 1st Imperial moved against the French again as both were adamant that Russians would be denied permission as well.

    Needlessly to say, Czartorski was more worried about the Ottoman campaign. If successful it would cement his position in the Czar’s cabinet. He was the youngest member and felt that he had to prove himself in order to gain the respect of the other cabinet member especially Vyazmitinov. The Russian’s next target would be Bucharest which would allow them to gain control of Romania. However, representatives of the Romanian government had approached Czartorski with the offer to become a protectorate of the Empire while providing aid against the Ottomans if they were allowed to establish their own government. They argued that the Romanian people would be more likely to support the Russians if they were able to have their own government.

    Czartorski, agreed with them, and when he proposed it to the cabinet he surprisingly found support from Vyazmitinov. Vyazmitinov privately wanted Romania to act as a buffer state in case “the campaign ended in disaster.” The Czar gave his approval and General Sabneev was given the order to capture Bucharest and install a Romanian government. Sabneev had already taken the initiative and marched on Bucahrest with little resistance eager to kill more ‘peasants’. On August 23rd at 9 am, he launched his attack on the city.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 26)

    Chapter 4: Death of a General

    General Sabneev’s 4th Imperial Army was outnumbered 2:1 with his army only numbering 6,360 while the force he faced was estimated to be over 12,000 strong. But Sabneev was said to be confident in his troops and expected victory against “those undisciplined peasants.” This time the fighting would take place inside the city leaving the artillery crew useless as the city was to remain intact. Sabneev split his army into two groups. One group, the 12th, 13th and 14th would attack the city from the west while the 15th and 16th regiments under his direct supervision would attack the city from the right.


    What Sabneev did not know was that Bucharest was defended by one Isa Surn, an Ottoman general, who upon recognizing the division of Sabneev’s forces, had two regiments under his command attack the 12th, 13th and 14th while two more swung around and outflanked the group. The same principle was applied on the east side of the city where three regiments under his direct supervision hankered down the 15th and 16th while one went around its flank.

    The maneuver would have worked if General Surn would have had better quality troops. Instead, the 12th was able to hold its own against two regiments while the 13th and 14th broke the regiments that tried to outflank them. On the east side of the city, the 15th and 16th held their ground but were in desperate straits prompting Sabneev to request a regiment from the west side of the city to come to their aid. It is said that he shouted all types of insults at the Ottomans forces encouraging his men to fight on.

    General Surn believing the Russians were about to break, charged at the ranks of the 15th with his own bodyguard. Sabneev immediately came to the aid of the 15th with a countercharge which killed Surn causing his guard to flee. At the same time the 13th and 14th having broken the Ottomans in the west had come to the aid of the east group. The Ottomans’ forces seeing their general dead and their companions on the west side of the city broken began to flee. General Sabneev joined in the chase laughing as he cut down more Ottoman soldiers.


    However, a ball fired from a fleeing Ottoman hit him in the chest and he fell from his horse. “Dear God, I am killed by a peasant!” were reportedly his last words. In all, the Russians are estimated to have killed almost all of the 12,000 soldiers brought against them losing 2300 of their own men and their general.

    The Romanian leaders arrived in Bucharest the next day, along with the 17th and 18th Imperial Musketeers and reinstated the Romanian government. However, the joyous celebrations were cut short when the 4th Army decided it was best to return to Russian territory. The Romanians were horrified at the idea of being left to the mercy of the Ottomans but no imploring could change their minds and on September 5th the Russians arrived back in Moldova.

    This caused a diplomatic crisis between the two states. Czartorski managed to smooth things out by offering the Romanians trade rights and promised the return of the 4th to Romanian territory but reminded them that the 4th’s main goal was to wage war against the Ottomans not protect the Romanian state. Czartorski also berated the 4th leadership for their withdrawal from Romanian territory but they countered they wanted to see their general’s body back onto Russian soil themselves. “Such loyalty,” Czartorski told the Czar, “is extraordinary and I pray that our soldier continued to display it long after this war is finished.” General Sabneev was given a state funeral in Moscow on September 29th attended by Czar and cabinet. As the country mourned the loss of one of its generals, Vyazmitinov wrote: “I hope this is not the beginning of a string of bad luck…”
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 26)

    Chapter 5: Czartoski’s Campaign

    Czartorski convinced Vyazmitinov to appoint Paul Pahlen as the new general of the 4th Imperial Army. He was not Vyazmitinov’s choice, but a Pahlen was a friend of Czartorski’s who he trusted would prosecute the campaign at the speed and manner which he wanted.


    The public was now beginning to call the Ottoman campaign Czartorski’s Campaign as it was known that Vyazmitinov was publicly against it even after the two victories that had been gained which increased Czartorski’s prestige with the people. Vyazmitinov, however, was being reprimanded by the Czar for his outspoken opposition of the campaign. It did not matter what cabinet members privately thought but to the public they were to all agree on policy.

    The next objective of Czartorski’s Campaign was the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul. The capture of the city would give the Russians a port with access to the Mediterranean Sea. As Vyazmitinov argued for patience, Czartorski stressed the creation of a Russian fleet and the possibility of an amphibious invasion of Corsica and southern France. Vyazmitinov could not deny that it would be faster to move troops by sea but he countered by the time that the sufficient ships could be built the 2nd Imperial Army could have already marched to France and they would not have to worry about losing the army at sea if the transport fleet was sunk. The Czar agreed that the movement of troops through the Mediterranean Sea was impractical but building a fleet to contest Napoleon’s fleet would surely help Great Britain.

    General Pahlen upon arrival in Bucharest with the 4th sent a spy named Oleg Trubachev south to determine the position of the Ottoman forces. Trubachev reported that within the immediate vicinity around Istanbul the only Ottoman army was within the city itself led by one Hafiz Hasan but was unable to get an accurate disposition of the Ottoman forces.


    Believing his battle hardened men to be a superior to the Ottoman force and under pressure quick results, Pahlen decided to attack Istanbul as soon as possible without waiting for more reinforcements. By October 6th, the 4th was besieging the settlement.

    Vyazmitinov was irritated by Pahlen’s decision to move forward without reinforcements but there was nothing he could do but wait for news of the upcoming battle. At first, there were only rumors but nothing concrete. Then a diplomat from Romania, in the first week of November, confirmed that the 4th army had been destroyed at the city of Burgas on October 23rd by the Ottomans and requested more Russian troops to be rushed to Romania so a possible Ottoman invasion might be countered. Panic swept throughout the palace. Vyazmitinov desperately wanted to confirm the diplomat’s message and the next day Trubachev, who had just arrived in Moscow, was brought to Vyazmitinov to report what had happened.

    According to Trubachev, while Istanbul was under siege, he caught wind of another Ottoman force coming from Bulgaria to relieve the capital.


    Already outnumbered, Pahlen decided to pull his forces back to Romania to avoid being caught between the two armies. However, once the Russians retreated, Hafiz Hasan had given chase and forced Pahlen into battle on the outskirts of Burgas. Pahlen tried to mount a desperate defense inside the city but the Ottomans overran the 4th and all the soldiers were killed or taken prisoner.


    Trubachev had barely escaped with his life and made his way to Moscow to deliver his report.

    Despite the government’s best efforts, news of the destruction of the 4th Imperial Army eventually got out and panic seized the capital. The southern border and the newly independent Romania was now unprotected. Czartorski’s Campaign had ended in disaster.
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 31)

    I look forward to seeing how this tense situation will be resolved, as Russia deals with the loss of the 4th Army and the vulnerable southern border. I like the authentic detail that it took time for the news of the defeat of the 4th Army to reach the government and then the public. The insights into the attitudes of the characters are intriguing and draw me into the story.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 31)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I look forward to seeing how this tense situation will be resolved, as Russia deals with the loss of the 4th Army and the vulnerable southern border. I like the authentic detail that it took time for the news of the defeat of the 4th Army to reach the government and then the public. The insights into the attitudes of the characters are intriguing and draw me into the story.
    Thanks Alwyn! I hope I present a reasonable solution to the southern border issue (I'm just glad the AI isn't so smart). The delay caused by distance will actually give my generals in the west a lot of freedom in what they do which I hope to reflect later in the story. Glad you like the characters as well. I hope to keep them as intriguing for the rest of the story.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated July 31)

    Chapter 6: Diplomacy at Work

    With the failure of the Ottoman campaign with which his name was associated, Czartorski believed his political career finished. “I am the most unlucky man in the world. His Majesty, the Czar, will never trust me again and the public calls for my head.” Olevsky and Vasilyev having also supported the campaign believed their careers at an end as well and all three handed in their resignations to the Czar. To their surprise it was Vyazmitinov who persuaded the Czar to not accept them. “Let them fix the mess they’ve made,” he is reported to have said. Privately in his journal he wrote, “I convinced the Czar with much difficulty to keep Czartoski, Olevsky and Vasilyev in their post. I did not do it out of pity. Now that they are in my debt I should have no resistance to my plans that I might have encountered had three new candidates taken their place. I can now wage war the way it should have been done in the first place.”

    Czartorski was immediately given the task of finding some diplomatic way to secure Russia’s border. “If I am not successful in my task,” he wrote, “I shall surely be run out of the country.” The 3rd Imperial Army was not up to task to push back an Ottoman invasion. However, Czartorski along with Vyazmitinov began a misinformation campaign to convince the Ottomans that not only the 3rd but a nonexistent 5th Imperial Army was ready to meet any Ottoman invasion.

    Czartorski also went in person to Vienna to convince the Emperor to also extend his promise of support in case of an invasion of Romania. He hoped that with a guarantee of Austrian support for Romania would deter the Ottomans. This he secured on December 12th in return for Russian support if the French managed to take Austrians lands. Czatorski’s negotiations did have an effect on Ottoman policy. Hafiz Hasan had been preparing for an invasion of Romania but upon hearing of the 5th Imperial Army and the Austrian’s guarantee of support he convinced Selim I that the invasion be postponed until Napoleon’s forces had inflicted heavy losses on the Austrians and Russians. Thus, Czartorski’s actions helped secure Romania’s continued sovereignty and kept Russia’s southern border safe. This, however, was not fully evident at the time and Czartorski was under immense stress over whether or not his actions would deter the Ottomans.

    While still negotiating with the Austrians, Czartorski had also received a message from Vyazmitinov about affairs in the West. General Fyodorovich of the 1st Imperial Army had been approached by the Prussians for a joint attack on the state of Hessen.


    Hessen maintained that she was neutral in the war with Napoleon and was prepared to defend her neutrality. In return for Russia’s help in the war with Hessen, the Prussians were offering to send experts in the field of public schooling to Moscow to help the Czar’s education reforms and 1.5 million* in rubles. Vyazmitinov wanted Czartorski’s advice before taking the offer to the Czar. “I say take the offer,” he replied, “but if possible advocate to the Czar to let General Fyodorovich, if he can, to either take Hessen for Russia or install a puppet government with a preference for the latter as it is easier to control foreigners through intermediaries than through direct control. Prussia may be our allies but if would be prudent not to let them gain too much power in the region.”

    The Czar was hesitant to agree to the deal. Russia’s prestige had already suffered. If another disaster was to occur it could have profound political consequences. However, Vyazmitinov pointed out that the only way to launch another attack at the French was through Hessen territory which they could only gain access through by force.


    The Czar finally relented and authorized an ultimatum to be sent to the Hessen government to let Russian troops through or a state of war would exist. Now on both the western and southern front all that could be done now was to wait and see how things would unfold.

    (*Increased the amount of money offered to a more realistic amount that might have been offered)
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Aug 2)

    Chapter 7: Battle of the Titans

    In Hanover, the 1st Imperial Army awaited word from Moscow on how to proceed. The Prussian army led by one Friedrich Wilhelm von Bulow camped outside of Hanover impatiently as the weather turned cold But as 1805 gave way to 1806, Bulow got fed up with waiting and marched on Kassel alone with the Prussian army. The Hessen government had heard about the proposed Prussian-Russian agreement and had readied their army in response. The siege and subsequent battle did not go well for the Prussians and not only were they forced to retreat back to Hanover but Bulow was killed in the course of the battle. The message containing the orders for the Russians to assault Kassel came the day after the defeat.

    Prussia was thoroughly embarrassed by the defeat. Napoleon himself was said to have laughed and said: “If the Prussians allow themselves to be defeated by such a small nation then they will surely be crushed before the grand armies of France along with the meddling Russians.” Czartorski was able to extract an agreement from the Prussians that if Russian troops took Kassel then it would fall under Russian control as a protectorate, to which they reluctantly agreed to after Bulow’s blunder.

    Meanwhile, back east, a French army led by Napoleon had captured Moravia forcing the Austrians on the defensive. Upon hearing the news, Vyazmitinov, eager for more information and to reinforce the 1st Imperial Army ordered General Kutusov to take his army east to Hanover. He was also to send back information regarding Napoleon’s army in Moravia but not to engage unless he had overwhelming superiority. On March 4, 1806, Kutusov’s scouts found Napoleon with a small force near the Moravia-Poland border. Hearing he could only have no more than 3,000 men, Kutusov immediately moved the 3rd Imperial Army around to Napoleon’s rear to cut off his escape route. By the time Napoleon realized what had happened it was too late to retreat back to his headquarters so he fled further into Poland.

    Kutusov gave chase and finally forced Napoleon into battle.




    Kutusov’s 3rd Imperial Army consisted of the 5th and 6th Musketeers, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grenadiers, 4th and 5th Imperial Cavalry and the 4th and 5th 8-lber Artillery totaling some 6,200 men. Napoleon’s force only contained two regiments of Fusiliers-Chasseurs and one regiment of 8-lber artillery. Kutusov laughed as his looked at Napoleon’s small force. “Today,” Kutusov said speech to his men before the battle began, “you see a legend before you that will fall to the reality of the Russian musket!” Kutusov’s men surged forward. Both sides exchanged artillery fire with the Russians having the advantage of having more cannons. Kutusov waited till his men were near the French lines then he personally led his cavalry to outflank the French and take out their cannons. Kutusov recognized Napoleon had no answer for the Russian cavalry and the French artillery was put out of action just as the two sides began exchanging musket fire.


    Napoleon was now trapped with Russian soldiers in front and behind him. Kutusov ordered his men into melee combat and the mass of Russians swarmed the Fusiliers-Chasseurs. Seeing defeat was inevitable, Napoleon and his staff abandoned their forces and tried to break out which was unfortunately successful. However, Napoleon received a grievous wound which required him to return to Paris for treatment. The rest of the French force was crushed between the Russian infantry and cavalry.


    It was huge success for the Russian army only tempered by the fact that Napoleon had managed to get away. Kutusov later wrote in his journal: “The victory of yesterday has shown all of Europe that Napoleon can be beaten and that it will be the Russians that do it. This, I believe, will be the first of many encounters with Napoleon…”
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  15. #15
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Aug 15)

    I like the way that you make use of Napoleon in this chapter - both in his reaction to the Prussian defeat and his presence on the battlefield.

    The way that you report the orders (e.g. not to engage Napoleon without overwhelming superiority in numbers) and the movement of the armies (e.g. trying to cut of Napoleon's escape route) help to make the story feel authentic. Your chapter made me wonder why Napoleon had such a small force with him. Maybe that is something which could be used to develop the story in forthcoming chapters? (Perhaps the Emperor was over-confident after hearing of the Prussian defeat or were his large armies engaged elsewhere - or did Napoleon deliberately march with a small force to encourage the Russians to march their armies to a particular location, so that French forces could attack somewhere else?).

    There are some epic screenshots - I especially like the images of your cavalry charging the French cannon and the final shot, showing the French infantry trapped in between Russian forces.
    Last edited by Alwyn; August 22, 2014 at 04:57 AM.

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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Aug 15)

    Thank you for your support Alwyn. Seeing Napoleon with a such a small army was a surprise for me too. It may be explained in further chapters.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Aug 15)

    A thoroughly entertaining read SK - the Napoleon thing was a bit bizarre but I look forward to how that pans out!
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Aug 15)

    Thanks Robin. I'm going to have to put all my works on hold for the moment as uni is unrelenting with the work.
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Aug 15)

    Chapter 8: Siege of Kassel

    General Buxhoewden and 1st Imperial Army had been besieging the city of Kassel since late August of 1806 when they were given permission to go ahead with the campaign. The army was eager to fight and wanted to assault the city. However, Buxhoewden wanted to keep causalities to a minimum. “To lose precious manpower in an attempt to take Kassel in a glorious victory,” wrote Buxhoewden, “may prove disastrous as reinforcements are not guaranteed from home thousands of miles away. The French, on the other hand, have a nation of millions of men ready to die for Napoleon a stone’s throw away.”

    There was some worry that the French would march to relieve the Hessens. However, the Hessen’s were confident in their ability to repel the Russians even without French help. Their head of state was quoted as saying: “The Russians are mere peasants with guns who have lost their way. If the Ottomans can beat them, then how much more can an enlightened nation of Europe.” However, they soon discovered that the Russians had double the size of the Hessen army and the French did not have enough troops in the area to relieve the siege. Desperate to break the siege, on September 24, 1806, Hessen general, Carl Dobritzhoffer, gathered together an army of 9000 men. However, the same day, Kutusov’s 3rd Army was reported to be arriving later in the afternoon. It looked bleak for the Hessens.

    Buxhoewden had his army position themselves behind recently built defensive positions with his cannons in the middle of the line loaded with grapeshot. His plan was wait for the Hessen forces to come to him and let his men kill as many as possible from the safety of their defensive positions. Once Dobritzhoffer realized he could not win he would have no choice but to withdraw after which Buxhoewden hoped to force Hessen’s surrender. By 1:30 that afternoon the battle began and as Buxhoewden hoped Dobritzhoffer marched against his lines. His men dealt heavy causalities to the Hessen army with the cannon’s grapeshot inflicting horrific damage.


    With the Russian cavalry taking out his cannon and his men not able to even breach the Russian positions Dobritzhoffer ordered his force’s retreat at 4:00 pm. The battle was a victory for the Russians. Of the Hessen’s army of 9000 only 300 returned with Buxhoewden losing only 200 men. Buxhoewden had his men maintain their positions in preparation to storm the city and sent another offer of surrender to the Hessens. The Hessian leadership, defeated decided to accept the surrender. However, Dobritzhoffer, enraged with the leadership’s decision and with the loyalty of his remaining 300 men had the leadership shot as traitors. A witness to the event wrote: “Dobritzhoffer has gone mad. He has murdered our leaders and now prepares to march against the Russian army with 300 men claiming that he is Leonidas and his men are the reincarnated 300 Spartans and that their final stand will save Hessen from the barbarity of the Russians as the Spartans saved Greece from the barbarity of the Persians. His men are smitten with their mad leader and even though their sons, daughters and wives plead with them to stay, they have marched undeniably to their slaughter.”

    At about 5:15 pm, a Russian scout sounded the alarm as the Hessian army appeared coming out of Kassel’s gates. Buxhoewden later recorded in his journal: “Imagine my surprise when Dobritzhoffer came out in battle order with a mere 300 men. My men were ready, however…and as they rode singing towards our lines, our cannon and guns ripped them to shreds.”


    Dobritzhoffer was later killed in a Russian countercharge by cavalry and thus ended “The Crazed Charge of the 300” as it came to be called and the siege of Kassel.

    Buxhoewden and Kutusov, who had arrived with 3rd Army but taken no part in the siege, went about setting up a puppet government in Hessian loyal to Russia and immediately began planning for a foray into French territory.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Third Coalition: Russian Campaign (Updated Jan 8)

    When the AI does something surprising (or simply something that would be unlikely in real life) it can present a real challenge for an AAR writer. I like the way that you weave the story of the 'Crazed Charge of the 300', explaining to the reader how this surprising event could have happened.

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