Showing posts with label King Frederick. Prussian Army. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King Frederick. Prussian Army. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 March 2020

The Battle of Mollwitz Silesia; 10th April 1741.

On the death of her father, Maria Theresa became Empress of Austria.Prior to his death, Charles the 6th had tried to get the heads of Europe to sign up to the Pragmatic Sanction. This was an agreement whereby they would honour his eldest daughter as heir to the throne of Austria.

Of course no sooner had Maria Theresa been crowned than the storm clouds gathered. Chief amongst the potential protagonists was Frederick 2nd of Prussia.

His father had also recently passed away and in ascending the throne decided he wanted to transform Prussia into a major Political power.

First he made political overtures to the new Empress expressing his desire to became protector of her domain. Having spent time on assurances, he then sent his army into Silesia itself, all the time reasurring the young Empress of his best intentions, and to protect her interests.

However, the young Empress was not to be fooled and understood the Prussian troop movements for what they were. An invasion by stealth.

To Maria Theresa and the members of the Hofkreigsrath  ( the military council ) there was no alternative but to declare war thus starting the War of the Austrian Succession. Silesia was the " Jewell in the Crown " of the Hapsberg family inheritance, and could not be lost.

April 1741 found the Prussian army scattered in cantonments across Silesia. The snow was still on the ground and Frederick and his Generals were not expecting any movement from the Austrian forces.

Therefore the abnormally fast advance by 18,000 Austrians under General Neipperg caught the Prussians by surprise. However having moved so rapidly Neipperg then encamped his army near Mollwitz giving Frederick chance to react.

On the 10th of April 1741, having successfully united 20,000 of his troops. Frederick marched his Army toward the Austrian positions. The King caught the Austrians napping and could have attacked while the Austrian army was unprepared.

However, this was the Kings first battle and gave orders for his army to be arraigned  into a formal battle line. This gave Neipperg time to hastily assemble his forces into position.

The Prussian Army.

General Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin = 2 points.
General Count Adolph Friedrich von Der Schulenberg. = 1 point.
Colonel von Posadowsky = 1 point.

16,000 Infantry ( 16 points x 3 = 48 points ).

4,000 Cavalry ( 4 points x 3 = 12 points ).

30 guns = 3 gun models

Infantry;
2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points =8 points.
11 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 33 points.

Cavalry;
6 stands of Line Cavalry @ 2 points = 12 points.

3 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 3 points.

Austrian Army;

Field Marshall  Neipperg =1 point.
General Carl Romer = 2 points.
General Berlichingen = 1 point.

10,000 Infantry ( 10 points x 3 = 30 points.)

8,000 Cavalry ( 8 points x 3 = 24 points )

20 guns = 2 gun models.

Infantry ;
2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points = 8 points.
9 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 18 points.

Cavalry ;
1 stand of Heavy Cavalry = 4 points.
6 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points = 18 points.

2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

This is the map ;




The Austrian General Neipperg had spent time in a military prison. He was held responsible for losing a previous battle against the Turks. Therefore, having been given the chance to redeem himself he wanted to attack.

Fredericks army was a new force and the King felt ready to test his troops and himself under fire. The Infantry were drilled to perfection. However, the Cavalry has always played second fiddle to the Infantry. Neither Frederick nor his father had any indepth knowledge of cavalry manoeuvres and used  the Cavalry for decoration rather than any practical use. Some of his troopers were so untrained that they were frightened of their horses.

General Carl Romer knew the Prussian Horse were sub standard so launched a cavalry advance. This was how the battle started.

This is how the table looks before the battle commences;




Notes;

● The Austrians move first on the first Game-turn, after which all subsequent Game-turns are diced for as normal.

● The Kleiner Bach can be crossed in normal movement as it had no effect on the movement of troops.






At one stage of this battle the Prussian infantry were struggling and thinking defeat was imminent, General von Schwerin urged the young King to quit the field. Frederick rode away thinking the worst. However Schwerin managed to rally the Prussian Infantry who eventually overcame the Austrian cavalry then the Infantry.

This is why Frederick is not represented on the table as it was Schwerin who controlled the infantry and instructed the young King.

Frederick never forgave Schwerin for sending him away, and vowed never to leave the battleground again.

In fact it was observed that the Austrian infantry seemed to wilt under the disciplined fire of the Prussian troops.

Also,one of the best Generals of his time, General Romer of the Austrian Army lost his life leading the Cavalry in the attack.

Well, the rest is history. The figures in the photos are mainly Miniature Figurines with some Peter Pig figures. All 15mm.

I used to have a massive collection for this era. I now have small groups of stands assigned to various states. Thus the Prussian army is composed of Prussian, Brunswick and Wuttemberg troops.

The Austrians are helped by Saxon, Reichsarmee and Bavarian troops.

This is a set-piece battle and when played out could go either way. As always the table is 3 feet by 2 feet. The buildings representing the village's are scratch built with cardboard.

As always, this is my interpretation of the actual battle.