Our invasion of East Prussia is under way. The Germans have launched fierce attacks on our French allies (by way of Belguim). War Plan 19 is two two-pronged. Rennenkampf's First Army, of 200,000 men, entered East Prussia from the north while General Samsonov's Second Army invaded from the south.
III Corps has already fought and driven back the Germans. XX Corps marches to it’s north and IV Corps to the south. Before you lies a flat plain punctuated by Gumbinnen (some 20 Versts to the west of the frontier).
German forces are reported as second line, reserve troops and are of course, hugely outnumbered by the Russian steamroller.
Clear the area of German troops.
Secure the towns of Gumbinnen and Goldap.
Control the railway lines.
All forces begin on table and may be in deployed mode.
Begin up to 4 hexes from the eastern edge, no further south than Gumbinnen.
2 Divisions, each 2 brigades
1 artillery brigade (4)
1 howitzer brigade (2) – only if a red card is drawn
Begin up to 3 hexes in from the east, south of the Gumbinnen to Stalluponen (due east) railway.
Orbat as above but no Howitzer Brigade.
One division begins within 2 hexes of Goldap, the other within 2 hexes of the appropriately-named Klauten (the village to the north of Goldap).
Orbat as per XX Corps.
Cavalry regiment (1 stand)
Begins the anywhere on the northern edge of the table. Comes under the orders of XX Corps.
Russia's planned invasion of East Prussia - which comprised a major component of their pre-war strategy, Plan 19 - is two-pronged. Rennenkampf's First Army, of 200,000 men, has entered East Prussia from the north while General Samsonov's Second Army invaded from the south. The town on Gumbinnen is 30km west of the frontier. Your three corps are in and to the south of Gumbinnen.
You have been ordered to attack the advancing Russians in order to defeat Rennenkampf before the arrival of Samsonov from the south. The enemy is (inevitably) thought to vastly outnumber the Fatherland’s available forces but a determined and swift attack will achieve local superiority.
Destroy or force the withdrawal of at least 2 enemy Corps.
Secure and hold Gumbinnen and it’s railway to the west.
Elements, 8th Armee (all begin in march column)
Start in or north of (within 2 hexes) Gumbinnen.
2 Divisions each of 2 brigades
2 artillery brigades (2)
1 howitzer brigade (3)
Enter on turn 4 at point A.
Orbat as I Corps
I (Reserve) Corps
Enter turn 7 at point B.
Orbat as I Corps but no Howitzer Brigade.
Enter turn 2 on northern edge of table, D6 hexes from western corner.
3rd (Reserve) Division
Roll D6 needing a 6 for arrival on turn 6. Roll until arrival – score required decreases by 1 each turn. Enters anywhere on the western edge (decide before start of game).
It may be possible to call upon aviators to assist in locating the enemy.
On wednesday night Martin Rapier chose to drive the Russian steamroller while I commanded the Germans.
In the 'photo Gumbinnen can be seen centre left. Goldap is just off-camera to the right.
The German position begins to deteriorate as the second Russian Corps closes for action. All photos were taken from the German side of the table - I couldn't be bothered getting up.
The Germans are reduced to a single brigade west of Gumbinnen while only the artillery occupies the town. Meanwhile the second division sent on a cunning flank march (left) dithers. The dashing Von F has retired to have his shrapnel wounds dressed...
Below: The Russian noose tightens around Gumbinnem