Monday, November 10, 2008

Notes for an 1809 Kriegspiel

(culled mostly from Arnold's Thunder on the Danube and Rothenberg's Napoleon's Great Adversary)

- Austrians have shifted to a Corps structure, but they have not gained the full benefits due to institutional factors.

- Austrian Corps rest seven days out of twenty and cover approximately ten to fifteen kilometres per day.

- Berthier remains in command until Napoleon arrives.

- The Austrians have strategic surprise and inteligence superiority.

- Austrian cavalry are excellant, but lack a suitable large unit doctrine. Consequently they are more likely to succeed in small fights than large ones.

- The French Intelligence machine has only recently been mobilised and is therefore less likely to achieve results.

- The French possess a very accurate picture of the Austrian order of battle.

- Bavarian public opinion is anti-Austrian and they will fight invasion.

- Napoleon has beaten the Austrians three times before and is therefore likely to underestimate them.

- The terrain of the Eckmuhl-Abensberg-Ratisbon triangle is very close, limiting visibility and movement.

- The Austrians use converged battalions of grenadiers rather than distributing this elite throughout the army. This is unlikely significantly effect events at this scale.

- Secondary roads were routinely made impassable by adverse weather conditions.

- Davout's III Corps is an elite formation made up of veterans.

- Austrian commanders are considerably older than their French counterparts and as a rule, lead from the rear.

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