Command Con IV 2002


Confederation Forces Forced to Withdraw Despite Breaching Austrian Lines
Mark Johnson Moderated a Napoleonics Scenario that ran most of two days. The Following is Mark's After Action Report.

Mark Received the Award for Best Referee at the Convention. It was well deserved.

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Day 1 (Saturday 9 am to 8 pm real time)
French and Confederation of the Rhine forces crossed the Danube north of Vienna, hoping to continue their pursuit and destruction of the Austrian Army. Instead, the Austrians launched a violent assault on Napoleon's German Allies while most of the Confederation units were still trying to cross the river.

The Austrians had cobbled together units from various weakened Korps, and mustered all of the troops from militias and insurrections throughout their Empire. Huge regiments of recently assembled and hastily trained troops marched stoically through a steady Confederation artillery barrage, braved storms of musketry, and assaulted the troop-lined walls of Aspern village. On the southern flank, closest to the Danube, the Sondermannland Regiment and the Siebenwalden Foresters hald the walls for several hours, before being forced back and overwhelmed by hoards of white-coated Austrians. The Regiment of the Princes and Nassau Regiment covered the withdrawing Sondermannland and Siebenwalden Regiments, and the ferocious melee spilled into the streets and buildings of Aspern.

Meanwhile, further north, Austrian assaults on the Bavarian Brigade were bloodily repulsed by a combination of close range cannister fire and devastating concentrated musketry. But the resilient Austrian infantry, Jagers and Grenzers held the line, and traded thunderous volleys with the Bavarian line and light infantry.

To the northeast, a wild series of cavalry melees surged back and forth across the clear open expanse of the Marschfeld. The Austrian 1st Kaiser Kurassier engaged the Nassau Chasseurs, and took advantage of their superior weight and armor to grind down the lighter Chasseurs. When the Galinthian Uhlans tried to charge to the aid of the Nassau Chasseurs, the Austrian 7th Leichtenstein Hussars slammed into the lancer's flank, and scattered the uhlans. Then, the Bavarian 3rd Konig Cuirassier and Saxon Kaltz Kurassier swarmed over the high, broad dike that likks the towns of Aspern and Essling. After a brief melee, the Bavarian Cuirassier forced the Austrian 1st Kaiser Kurassier from the field. The Saxon Kaltz Kurassier endured long range cannister fire from the Austrian Army Reserve Artillery, before charging two regiments of Austrian Hussars and Cheveau-Legere. Although initially successful, the Kaltz Kurassier were inundated, surrounded and overwhelmed by the Austrian light horsemen. Unable to hack their way out of the mob of Austrian cavalry, the Saxon cavalry were forced to surrender. The Austrian 7th Leichtenstein Hussars, 8th Kienmayer Hussars, and the 4th Vincent Cheveau-Leger triumphantly disarmed the Kaltz Kurassier, and sent them back to Confederation lines on foot. Once again, the Kaltz Kurassier were rudely embarrassed on the field of battle. They are truly a hard-luck outfit.

The rallied Nassau Chasseurs, and Bavarian 3rd Konig Cuirassier in the lead, and the fresh German Brigade in support, the Confederation troops advanced across the Marschfeld, capturing the Austrian Leiningen Grenadiers. They then scattered the Austrian 7th Leichtenstein Hussars, 8th Kienmayer Hussars, and the 4th Vincent Cheveau-Leger, capturing the guns of the Austrian Army Reserve Artillery, and routing the Austrian 11th Erzherzog Rainer Infantry Regiment.

Day two (Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm real time)
After a brief re-organization, the German Brigade attacked up a marshy, congested valley. Austrian infantry and cavalry protected the Army command position atop a dominating hill. However, despite some initial successes in the early cavalry melees, the Austrians could not prevent the German Brigade from overrunning the Austrian rear area. Cooks, cobblers, camp followers, blacksmiths and farriers were scattered. Tents, baggage and supplies were destroyed and burned. Horses, mules and cattle were stampeded. Emperor Charles' personal wine wagon was captured, and its contents of outstanding vintages were consumed by the victorious men of the Hannover and Wurzburg Infantry Regiments, and the Nassau Chasseurs, Galinthian Uhlans, and Bavarian 3rd Konig Cuirassier.

Subsequently, due to the Austrian occupation of Aspern, and the threat to the French and Confederation bridgehead, Napoleon's troops evacuated the north bank of the Danube. Unfortunately for the Austrians, they could do little to interfere with the Franco-Allied withdrawal, due to the chaos and disruption in their rear areas.