Jackson Gamers' 1870 battle in 15mm
Using Larry Brom's Chassepot and Needlegun rules.

The battlefield looking North, before the carnage begins. The French will enter from the left, the Prussians the right. The river Sauerbach runs down the center of the field

Battle of Froeschwiller
(Alternative title: "The Frenchmen were Idiots!")

This game took place on February 5, 2005 at HOBBYTOWN in North Jackson. This was a meeting engagement, set up and game-mastered by Larry Reeves. His set-up comments were:

On the evening of the 5th of August, 1870, Prussian patrols arrived on the river of Sauerbach at Worth and opened fire on French patrols on the other side. The following morning, both Prussian and French Reinforcements arrived. This is where our battle begins

The Idiot Frenchmen were Jay Stribling (French Commander), John Murdaugh, and Ed Sansing. The evil Prussians, who shot the French to ribbons, were Jim Pitts (Prussian Commander), John Stangle, Phil Young, and Sean Pitts.

The nicely painted 15mm figures were provided by Larry Reeves and John Stangle. Larry also provided the terrain and devised the scenario, while Ed Sansing and John Murdaugh took the photos.

There is a great deal more to come on this battle report. So far all the photos and the commentary on the images is based on that sent by Ed Sansing.

The initial French position. We started with 3 of 8 infantry regiments and 2 of 4 artillery batteries. All French units were massed on the left (east) edge of the field in an effort to get infantry within rifle range of the hill in the Prussian rear.

The French Corps commander and his staff. They rode around the battlefield screaming: "Shoot 'zem, you must get closer and shoot 'zem all." His division and brigade commanders were thinking: "He must be crazy, I didn't bring the correct outfit for close assault." or "Paris is looking better all the time."

Commentary by Jay Stribling - French CinC. "I had a bad feeling about this battle from the start. By the beginning of the second turn, my subordinates were shocked to hear me talk about conceding the field to the enemy. At the end of the game, I had my carriage waiting, prudenly stocked with my mistress and a few well chosen cases of wine. Not for me the German gaols, no waiting for the Uhlans to cut the road to the rear. I am headed for my villa on the Southern coast. Let someone else fight these German pigs..."

The initial French brigade has moved forward and is trading rifle fire with the Prussians. The command structure for the game is shown in this picture. The Division commander and his staff is represented by the 3 figure stand next to the battalion in the foreground (it took a few casualties and fell back, as only Frenchmen can do so well). In the center is the Brigade commander represented by the 2 figure stand. And behind each of the 3 battalion regiments are their regimental commanders.

The middle of the battlefield. The French and brought on more troops but Prussian Jagers, who have no terrain penalties, have occupied the woods around the stream.

A little left of center the French have been pushed back (so what else is new?)

The Prussians continue to push more troops across the table . The Prussians started with 12 battalions on the field and 1 battery. Thier reinforcements (some of them shown here) which arrived on turn 2, were 12 lined regiments (36 battalions) and 8 batteries of artillery.

A letter from one of the Participants

"The Prussian order of battle for Froeschwiller, as reported in the British press, was significantly less than the 15 regiments reported by the French.

According to the British reporters, embedded with the Prussian units, the Prussian OB was as follows...

Von Stangel - 2 regiments infantry, 2 6lb batteries
Alt Pitts - 3 regiments infantry, 3 6lb batteries
Neu Pitts - 2 regiments infantry, 1 regiment Jagers, 2 6lb batteries
Von Young - 2 regiments infantry, 2 6lb batteries

For a total of 10 regiments (30 Battalions) and 9 batteries.

Of course since the British are known to lie from birth they could be mistaken...

I of course can speak with authority that I had but a single brigade of two regiments under my command at the battle.

Humbly yours - (signed) Major General Von Stangel (John Stangel)

As the French approach, the Jagers fire and fall back into the woods. These scoundrels popped in and out of the woods. Our Sailors were classed as guard, but we were out-shot and out fought with the bayonet when we closed!

Reinforcements for the Jagers move forward (so what else is new?)

After a stiff fight the Jagers, now sporting gold morale rings, push forward again. They would eventually be pushed back but the time they gained (and casualties they inflicted) would allow the Prussians to hold the woods.

The French center units keep the bridge covered by fire. They could not advance towards it any further or they would have been in range of the Prussian Infantry. Eventually the Prussian artillery began to register on these Frenchmen and that was the end of the French presence in the center of the field.

SO - Who won this battle?

You could not tell from my comments above? The Prussians won l'affaire. When we counted the numbers after the game, they had 15 regiments (45 battalions) and 9 batteries. The French had 9 regiments (27 battalions) and 4 batteries. The French plan was to move the advance-guard on quickly and get far enough forward to shoot up the Prussian batteries as they deployed. It just did not work. The French could not move fast enough.

The Prussian plan was apparently to shoot the French up with the superior Prussian artillery and only then to contest the objectives with infantry. They executed this plan very well. In the north, where dese woods prevented a good field of fire, the Prussian infantry contested the woods and wore down the Frenchmen. In the south, the Prussian Jagers were absolute masters of the woods.

We are not accusing the game-master of taking a bribe - oh no. But for the next game in this series, speaking for the French forces, we will certainly increase our payment to him!

The images taken by John Murdaugh are are not yet loaded.

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