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Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Scenarios and AAR's. Truth is the first casualty of war...

Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby ashby » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:43 am

Greetings. I was hoping to enlist some help creating a game to recreate the battle of Loubino 1812, which occurred immediately after the battle of Smolensk. The challenge has been described by others on the "net": trying to find arrival times for units. The battle was much more of a meeting engagement then most other Napoleonic battles. I have grabbed some information from sources on the internet as well as Nafzinger, Riehn, and Austin. The bottom line is that English sources can tell you about the beginning and end, but not much about the middle.
Here is what I know i quick summary.
At about 2 pm the battle starts when Razout ran into the Russian advance guard under Tutshkovs III. Razout had the 4th and 18th Ligne deployed to the south of the road.
At 3pm a battalion of the converged grenadiers from the 3rd division took up position behind the Stragan to reinforce the blocking force.
At 4 pm Barclay sent a 12lb battery, a battalion of Volhynie IR, and the Elisabethgrad and Isoum Hussar Regiments, to support Tutshovs III line behind the Stragan.
At about 5 pm, the whole available French III Corps had just launched its full weight upon the Russian line.

The Russian march order was the advanced guard under Tutshkov III, 1 Cavalry Corps, 3rd Infantry Corps, 4th Infantry Corps, 2nd Intanry Corps, and then the rearguard of Korff II. The rear most part of 4 and all of 2nd corps apparently got held up as the 2nd infantry corps got held up at Gorbunovo fighting Nansouty's cavalry that hit them as the Russian column went west to east just north of Smolensk.
Does anyone else have other knowlege, sources or ideas as to how to find anymore credible descriptions of events. I certainly have a bit more then I pasted, but didnt want to make you read to much! All help is apprecitated. Jeff.
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Re: Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby Schrumpfkopf » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:27 pm

We were talking about that particular battle not to long ago. Someone was even stating that there was an article in tradition on it. Problem even here in Germany is that nearly all sources are in Kyrillic. I will ask the next time, but I don't have high hopes for anything but russian and french sources.
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Re: Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby ashby » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:02 am

I am not familiar with traditions. From the context it sounds like a magazine. Thank you for the lead, I will see what more I can learn.
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Re: Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby ashby » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:53 am

I tracked down the available index online for Tradition Magazine. I wasn't able to find an article on that source. I grant you that it may not be comprehensive, but looking at Russia, the battle names, and napoleonic wars, all did not seem to have articles I would interpret as being related. I will await your inquiry. Thank you. Jeff
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Re: Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby Schrumpfkopf » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:27 pm

Hello Jeff,

I really took a deep dive and was even getting lost in reading through certain books, but I've only found statements that are rather vague.
I might repost your question to a more dedicated board as it interests me too. Obviously I'd be happy if you'd share new finds too.

Best,

Kawe
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Re: Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby ashby » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:15 pm

I have had the good fortune to recently have had time to burn. I believe that I read most of the big English & French books (with the help of translating programs) that describe the battle. I also had access to a russian account of the 2nd Corps delaying action. My blog has a more complete discussion of the lead up to the battle, and I suspect I will put out my bibliography when I get bored. I do have a post on TMP, but it seems to have been buried in the scenario section. Check out Shamanswargames.blogspot.com as I continue to build my case for the most historical OOB with confident arrival times of reinforcements.

Mark Conrad's, as well as Alex M.'s, orders of battle describing the Russian Corps composition are in agreement as to how the Russian battalions are regimented. However the descriptions of the arrival of the Russians to the fighting line by the writers describing the action seems to suggest a different command structure immediately after Smolensk. I do not believe the units were shuffled, but some units seem to be arriving "out of order" as the russian march order is described. Hence why I wonder.....I recognize that some countermarching went on around and after Loubino as the Russian commanders tried to support the line of battle with troops as they were available. A very specific example of the odd arrival times described for the battalions is of a 2nd Corp battalion described as arriving on the battlefield before the 4th Corp arrived. This happens even though the 2nd Corp was supposedly marching and fighting a rearguard action after the 4th Corp got a head start.

Amongst the books I was able to read, there is no description of which of Neys units were engaged with the 2nd Corps adhoc rear guard. The middle of the Russian march column got seperated and lost. In the morning, as the Russians (with Barclay in tow), were marching in the wrong direction, they suddenly heard French horns and drums sounding out "march". Prince Eugene was tasked with holding off the French as the tail of the column retreated north and east-toward Loubino. This French command was Neys infantry that had struck up its musicians as they tried to leave the northern suburbs of Smolensk. These commands engaged Eugene in a nice fire fight for 2 or so hours. If I can figure out who was in this fight, then I can figure out who was available to swing to the French right and try to march down the Smolensk/Moscow highway. I "believe" it was the 18th and the 4th Ligne, who were able to swing out to the southeast, but I don't have confirmation. I can infer confirmation as the Wurttemburgers and the Portugese were the troops engaging Eugene, but that is all. One of the books talked about the Portugese and the Wurttemburgers going thru the Dneiper the night before and having contact with Russian jaegars. It seems unlikely the Portugese and Wurtemburgers would have been pulled off the line, replaced, and then given orders to do a "flank" march. Additionally the Illarians were described as arriving late to Loubino, so I suspect that the "non" French commands were what was given the task of attacking northeast out of the suburbs and the French commands were what made the march down the Smolensk/Moscow highway.

One book also describes Copans' command joining the rest of Davouts Corp in the attack...I dont' believe that one.

If you read all the books, one other "amazing feat" occurs. The Elizathbethgard Hussars fight everywhere! I suspect they were divided into squadrons and these squadrons were what is being commented upon, but supposedly this command was all along the route of march protecting the convoy. I think Tuckov III will need all the help he can get so the whole Hussar command will be with him.
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Re: Loubino or Valutina-Gora. Help needed.

Postby Schrumpfkopf » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:55 pm

Interesting to have the Anglosaxon perspective on the events. I shall follow your blog with interest.
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