La Bataille de Montmirail

February 11, 1814, Château de Montmirail. At 10 A.M. the Emperor mounted his horse to reach Nansouty. He was in good company : the cavalry division of the Old Guard, commanded by General Guyot, the Old Guard division of General Friant division and the second brigade of the division Ricard’s division. Marshals Ney (without his troops) and Lefebvre were at his sides. A couple of hours before, in the middle of the night, General Nansouty’s cavalry dispersed the Cossacks left at Montmirail by the Russian General Sacken. Without stopping, the guardsmen grabbed the strategic road junction leading to Meaux and Château-Thierry. Reconnaissance went in all directions. The roads were in a pitiful state, the ground is completely soggy. The cavalrymen had travelled in very difficult conditions nearly 65 kilometres since the previous day.

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The evening before, upon learning of Olsufiev’s crushing defeat at Champaubert General Osten-Sacken's corps rushed back from La Ferté-sous-Jouarre toward Montmirail by a night march. At dawn his vanguard met the French vedettes near Viels-Maisons. The infantry was following. The Pskov, Vladimir, Tambov and Kostroma Regiments with two companies of the 11th jaegers easily took the village of Marchais. That was the first step of General Osten-Sacken's plan : pass on the back of the French before meeting Blücher.

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La Bataille de Montmirail is a meeting engagement. The French are outnumbered by the Russians and Prussians corps. But the coordination between allies is poor. Napoléon relies on a central position to insert his forces between the two allied armies. Moreover, he commands directly a small army made of the best force still available : the Guard.

La Bataille de Montmirail is a modest battle, the Emperor has less than 16,000 French against 19,000 Russians reinforced in the afternoon by about 9,000 Prussians. In game terms, the battle takes place on a single 34 "x 22" sheet and 200 units. Since no system counters are provided, ownership of another title in the series is required.

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