Monday, 12 April 2010

August 1914 - The Battle of Stalluponen

This was the first battle to be fought between the German and Russian armies on the Eastern Front during the Great War. As the Russians crossed the border into East Prussia General von Francois the commander of the German I Corps launched an unauthorised attack intended to drive the Russians back into Poland. 

After some success and the capture of 3,000 prisoners, von Prittwitz (the commander of VIII Army) feared that Francois's corps could be encircled and ordered him to fall back on Gumbinnen.
Below: the town of Stalluponen (from the Irregular 2mm terrain range)

Below: The armies deploy.  Stalluponen and most of German I Corps is towards the bottom of the table.
I Corps ready to march out to meet the Russians.

Russian III Corps crosses the border.

Turn 1: both sides advance, while the German detached brigade (right) is recalled.

Turn 3: The Russians have begun to deploy (in turn 2).  On Turn 3, the German detached brigade draws a club so is unable to move.  The stationary Russian brigade (second from right) begins to take root (indicated by the placing of the MG stand).

German artillery.  Field guns on the left (with 2 gunnery points) and howitzers on the right.

Still in turn 3, the Russians concentrate 2 brigades against a single German brigade but roll appalling dice (low rolls are good).  Meanwhile the Germans inflict a Rusian casualty.

Turn 4: The German detached brigade draws another club (no graduates of the staff college here!).  The Russian main force launched an ill advised and costly assault on the German line.  The Germans then roll round the Russian flank and their assault is shot in by all of the corps artillery.  The Russians pass their first exhaustion test.  Meanwhile the central Russian brigade has dug in.

The dug in Russian brigade.
The Germans are now able to concentrate against the exposed Russian flank.
Finally, as their line disintegrates the Russians fail their exhaustion test and pull back across the border.

All in all a broadly historical outcome.  A rerun of Gumbinnen will (hopefully) follow in a couple of weeks.

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