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2012 - Number 18


Frederick Observes Deployment of His Hussars

Might and Reason Mega-Game:
Rossbach 1757

This month's Mega-Game featured a refight of the legenday battle of Rossbach, during the Seven Years War. In the original battle Frederick the Great’s Prussian army of 22,000 crushed 50,000 French, Austrian and Imperial troops in less than an hour an a half.

The two armies had been maneuvering for days with the Allies unwilling to give battle. Finally the opponents found themselves facing off across a stream near the village of Rossbach.

Allies Under Pressure from all Sides

Seydlitz Turns the Allied Flank

Prince Saxe-Hildburghausen, the allied commander decided to march his army south and then east in a flanking move aimed at cutting the Prussians off from their depots on the Saale River. Frederick saw this maneuver and swiftly marched his army east passing behind the Janus Hill. The Allies, thinking the enemy was retreating, turned to pursue and were hit by a devastatingly swift Prussian counterattack that swept over the hill lead by Seydlitz’s unstoppable cavalry.

Being aware of all that the Allied commanders in the re-fight decided to largely stay put behind the stream and fight it out in a battle of attrition where their superior numbers might take effect. Across the stream a force made up of largely cavalry was deployed to distract and harass the Prussian flank.

French Artillery Opening Up

The Armies Face Off Across the Stream

Greg, playing Frederick, sent Gary (Seydlitz) across the stream to deal with this threat before assaulting the allied position. Initially the allied cavalry gave a decent account of itself. Despite this being his first game, Karl did a credible job and held up the Prussian horse for a couple of turns before quality told and Soubise’s horsemen were swept from the field. Although the Allied regular horse were decisively beaten in the end, a small force of Hussars and Grenzers stole through the woods along the stream and emerged into the Prussian rear to cause all sorts of mischief and distraction.

This nuisance notwithstanding, once the cavalry action was won and Seydlitz’s horsemen were on position on the Allied flank, Frederick unleashed his bluecoats across the stream in a frontal assault. The combination of disciplined infantry volleys to the front and fierce cavalry charges to the flank were too much for the allies and on the final turn they broke and fled the field.

Allied Flank March Sets Off

Cavalry Closing for Action

Once again, as at Kolin, the game produced a historical result. We’re looking forward to see if Frederick’s last battle of 1757, Leuthen, goes the same way when we re-fight it later this year.

Prussians Move Up to the Stream

Soubise Leads Up the Allied Horse

The Cavalry Clashes

View from the Allied Right

Allied Reserves Moving Up

Prussian Infantry Goes In

Seydlitz Routs the Allied Cavalry

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