Spicheren - 6th August 1870

This scenario was prepared by Martin Soilleux-Cardwell

Order of Battle:

French II Corps. General Frossard AC

Corps Troops

  • 1st Field Arty Btn              M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • 1st Heavy Arty Btn              M5 [ ] [ ] rml-h
  • 1st Horse Arty Btn              M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • 2nd Horse Arty Btn              M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • Engineers                       M5 [ ] sk

1st Division. Gen de Div Vergé DC, Ex = 9

  • 32eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 55eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 76eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 77eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 3eme Chasseurs                  M5 [ ] ss
  • 1st Divn Field Arty Btn         M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • 1st Divn Mitrailleuse Bty       M5 [ ] mg

2nd Division. Gen de Div Bataille DC, Ex = 9

  • 8eme Ligne                      M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 23eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 66eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 67eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 12eme Chasseurs                 M5 [ ] ss
  • 2nd Divn Field Arty Btn         M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • 2nd Divn Mitrailleuse Bty       M5 [ ] mg

3rd Division. Gen de Div Laveaucoupet DC, Ex = 9

  • 2eme Ligne                      M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 63eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 24eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 40eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 10eme Chasseurs                 M5 [ ] ss
  • 3rd Divn Field Arty Btn         M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • 3rd Divn Mitrailleuse Bty       M5 [ ] mg

Cavalry Division. Genl Lichtlin DC, Ex = 2

  • 4eme & 5eme Chasseurs a Cheval  M6 [s] [s] lt
  • 7eme & 12eme Dragoons           M6 [ ] [ ] md

French Army, III Corps (part)

Arrives on the Forbach road in march column, from 15:00 onwards, on any French turn, provided a 6 is rolled. Frossard may command and ally any units of this division.*

2nd Division. Genl de Castagny DC, Ex = 9

  • 19eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 41eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 69eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 90eme Ligne                     M5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 15eme Chasseurs                 M5 [ ] ss
  • 2nd Divn Field Arty Btn         M5 [ ] [ ] rml-f
  • 2nd Divn Mitrailleuse Bty       M5 [ ] mg

 

Prussian Army

1). 12:00 turn. 39th & 74th in Saarbrucken, 53rd & 77th on N end of railway bridge W of Saarbrucken. Remainder of divn N of Saarbrucken:

14th Division, VII Corps, First Army. Genl v.Kamecke DC, Ex = 11

  • Fus Regt 39                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • Inf Regt 74                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • Inf Regt 53 (part)              M6 [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • Inf Regt 77                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 11th Hussars                    M5 [s] lt
  • 15th Hussars                    M5 [s] lt
  • 14th Divn Heavy Arty Btn        M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-h
  • 14th Divn 1st Field Arty Btn    M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-f
  • 14th Divn 2nd Field Arty Btn    M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-f

2). 14:00 turn in Saarbrucken:

III Corps, Second Army (part) Genl v.Alvensleben CC (AC).

5th Division, Genl v.Stulpnagel DC Ex = 14

  • Gren Regt 8                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • Inf Regt 48                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • Gren Regt 12                    M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • Inf Regt 52                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 12th Dragoons                   M5 [s] md
  • 3rd Jager Btn                   M6 [ ] [ ] ss
  • 5th Divn Heavy Arty Btn         M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-h
  • 5th Divn Field Arty Btn         M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-f

3). 15:00 turn in Saarbrucken:

VIII Corps, First Army (part) Genl v.Goeben CC.

16th Division (part), Genl v.Barnekow DC, Ex = 4

  • Fus Regt 40                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 9th Hussars                     M5 [s] lt
  • 14th Divn Heavy Arty Btn        M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-h
  • 14th Divn Field Arty Btn        M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-f

4). 17:00 turn south of Saarbrucken:

VII Corps, Second Army (part) Genl v.Zastrow CC.

5). 19:00 turn north west of Forbach:

13th Division(part), VII Corps, First Army.

Genl v.der Osten-Sacken DC, Ex = 5

  • Inf Regt 55                     M6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
  • 8th Hussars                     M6 [s] lt
  • 7th Jager Btn                   M6 [ ] [ ] ss
  • 13th Divn Heavy Arty Btn        M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-h
  • 13th Divn Field Arty Btn        M6 [ ] [ ] rbl-f

Notes.

1). I have rated the Prussian infantry as M6 asthey were particularly gung-ho in this battle. Playtesting has shown that with a M5 rating the Prussians cannot pull the attack off.

2). The French division of Castagny is a ‘what if’. Castagny is from Bazaine’s III Corps a few miles south of the battlefield at St Avold. He was actually marching to the battle when he stopped and turned around, apparently on the advice of civilians who told him that the French were winning. At one point his division was within 4 miles of the battlefield. My playtessts have shown that Castagny’s arrival pretty much makes it impossible for the Prussians to win.

3). The battle begins at 12:00 noon. It ends at the end of the 20:00 turn. The Prussians are the attackers.

 

The Maps and Terrain notes:

There are two maps for this scenario the first is the main terrain and entry point map. While the second has all the wood graphics and annotations deleted for clarity. It shows only the wood boundaries and defines which are open and which are dense.

The battle notes with the scenario identify where the French deploy and where the optional 2nd Division of III Corps enters. Point F is the French Line of Communications to Metz, which must be kept open.

The notes also identify all the Prussian entry points and times. The main attack develops across the River Saar from A and B. The flank move from Volklingen comes in at C, D or E (historically E via Great Rossel). For the game I suggest allowing the Prussian player to bring on 13th Division(part), VII Corps, First Army at point C at 16:00, at point D at 17:00 and at point
E at 19:00. It will arrive in march column.

Stiring Ironworks: I have shown this as a town. It was a small but strongly-built group of buildings east of the railway and north of Stiring Wendel and would normally be represented in V&B scale as a village block located where the bottom right corner of the town block is. However there was an exchange siding complex just west of it for the shunting of coal trains with a small
locomotive yard and an open coal pit on the flank of the hill north west of the railway. On the map the coal pit would be about where the Schoneck road starts uphill. It was around here that some of the fiercest fighting occured and a town block shows the proper strength of the position.

The Simbach Stream is marshy banked along it's whole length. Basically it's impossible to turn the left flank of the French position unless you want to spend all day doing it.

Not surprisingly, I strongly recommend a purpose built terrain for this battlefield. By the way, on this as on all my maps, one grid square is a foot (2/3rds of a mile, V&B scale).

I have played the game 3 times and it is a challenge for the Prussians. It's easy for them to screw up badly, hard for them to win but it can be done with M6 troops. I think that does not show that the Prussians were good generals, rather that Frossard was an indifferent one. Modern wargamers can make a better job of the defence than Frossard did, I think.

 

Spichern.bmp (864654 bytes)

 

SpicWood.bmp (861818 bytes)

 


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