|Maréchal Ney, Prince of Moscow at the head of III Corps|
Charles John, Crown Prince of Sweden (formerly French Marshal Bernadotte) commanded Russian Corps of Voronsov, Cossacks under Czernichev and elements of 12 Corps, the 21st Division of Laptiev. With the limited forces available, mostly cavalry, Prince Charles John used the low lands and natural water drainage issues in the south of Berlin region to his advantage. Also the Russians placed a redoubt proximate to the two easiest crossings of the flooded ground so as to support their horsemen in driving off the French attackers.
Ney must have been somewhat confounded on the morning of Aug 19, 1813 (simulated game date) as the day before his cavalry probes had been driven off by artillery fire, they had not reported the ground to be particularly wet, let alone flooded, as it was found to be on the morning of the battle. Ney set about to find the fastest way across this obstacle and directed his engineers to determine the cause. Within hours the two dams had been spotted, one of them was at the north end of a dike system, blocking up the bridge crossing over the stream in the area, which caused a flood of water to wash over the east half of the field. To the west another confluence of little streams to he south of the city wall had also been dammed up, there was a huge pair of earthwork forts that were manned by townsmen from Berlin that would threaten any who attempted to cross the flat flooded ground to the west, this dam also caused the streams in the center of the field to flood over their banks and turn the normally marshy ground into a deep bog.
|The field and defenders positions at start|
|Russian positions outside Berlin, redoubt in the center|
These plans and adjustments must have taken some time, for the die roll to start the day came up a "5", meaning it was not until 17h00 that Ney was able to start the battle proper.
|III Corps formed up and marching with Ney in the lead|
|Zagriajski's Uhlans engaged French Lancers at the narrow point of the bridge on the north end of the dike road|
|III Corps in the deployment process at the swollen creek banks before the south gate of Berlin|
|Cossacks did not move at the first urging of Czernichev|
|Gobrecht's lancers drive off the Uhlans and move out across the bridge barricades (my new engineering works)|
|The tabletop battlefiled, III Corps is at the top left, while the cavalry is on the dike road bottom left|
In the east, the dike road had been taken by the Russians, while more of I Cavalry Corps pushed forward led by the 3rd Light Cavalry Chasseurs. Over near the south gates of Berlin, the French guns of III Corps and all the Divisions were forming into firing positions.
|Dike bridge slaughter began|
|III Corps and Division artillery began firing|
|Whole field as seen from the western edge|
|Russians were thrown off the dike bridge by the next brigade of Chassuers|
|Ney grows impatient at the delay on the south bridge|
|Even point blank fire was innefective against the Cossacks|
Infuriated by the lack of action at the south bridge, Ney moved his headquarters to within 3" of the point of action - with the intent of personally intervening ...
|Ney moved his headquarters into the near front of the battle area.|
|bodies piled up on the dike road|
|more of 1 Cavalry Corps were pushing on the dike road|
|Balk's Dragoons deliver a killing blow to French Chasseur that had smashed the Horse Artillery of Orurk's Cavalry Division|
Sensing that the Russians could no longer hold back the dike road, nor that the Cossacks could hold off Ney any longer, Prince Charles John Bernadotte gave the order for a covered withdraw to the north for the horse and any guns or foot outside the city walls and into the citadel for the foot troops. Harpe was to open the south gates of the city to allow his horse guns and what Cossacks could to withdraw from the battle zone.
Ney sensed his moment had come! Dashing forward to command companies of Grenadier and Voltigeur at the south bridge in person, Ney was determined to rush the city gates and take Berlin!
|The table at the last moments of battle, two bridgeheads of blood|
|The last charge of Orurk|
In the failing light, Ney was last seen over-run by a swarm of Cossacks that were covering the retreat of their fellows and the access into Berlin of a Russian Horse Battery.
Later, that night in Berlin's Citadel, Prince Charles John was hearing from an angry Generallieutenant Count Voronsov about the lackluster performance of the Cossacks and how Orurk had chosen to throw himself and his horse one last time at the French rather than withdraw as ordered. The interruption came as Cossack Corps commander Generalmajor Czernichev burst into the hall leading a blood soaked horse with the saddle of a Marshal on it, in his hand was Marshal Ney's hat. Beaming with a smile from ear to ear, he announced, "We have killed Marshal Ney this day!"
While the Citadel could easily hold and support the Russian foot troops and artillery, the question of what to do about the horse and Cossacks remains ...
|I Cavalry Corps survivors, 3rd Light Cavalry Division was mauled|
|III Corps, virtually intact - only Ney is missing in action|
|Russian survivors that have fled to the Citadel in Berlin|
Note to players and readers, the battle was run on Sunday 20 April, I have had some internet connection issues this past week that prevented me from posting before now.