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Thread: The AARt of War: Prussia vs. Napoleon

  1. #1
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    The AARt of War: Prussia vs. Napoleon

    These were interesting times indeed. Europe was in a state of renewal. Old traditions were in the process of being overthrown, and new thoughts and philosophies, as well as modern technologies were developed. While this was the way it had to be, it scared the rulers of the European countries.

    What caused them to tremble was especially the slow awakening of the masses, which began to realize that there was no such thing as a divine right to rule. The examples of the United States of America, and, more important, the French Revolution had shown that the people could overthrow their masters. While it had to be proven yet that these ‘Governments of the people’ could survive, there was no doubt that they could cause great troubles.

    No one knew that better than the king of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm II., who had risen to the throne after the death of Friedrich II. in 1786. He was a nephew of Frederick the Great, and he was absolutely not his equal, whether on the battlefield or on the field of diplomacy. While ministers like Hardenberg tried to reform the Prussian state, he issued the so-called ‘Lusthaus-Reglement’, a law that concerned itself with brothrels. In a time when Kant, Herder, Fichte and Humboldt wrote great works, he had numerous affairs. However, he managed to divide Poland, together with Russia, and significantly enlarged the Prussian territory.

    But when a coalition of Austria and Prussia had tried to exploit the weakness of the fledgling French army, they were fought back at Valmy in September of 1792. Shortly thereafter, France became a Republic, and a constant threat to the crowned heads of Europe, for the king and his wife were put to the feared Guillotine.

    This threat proved to be enough to unite the great powers of Austria, Prussia, the United Kingdom and Spain against this new foe. The resulting war brought forth one of the most brilliant military minds history had ever seen, one that equalled Hannibal, Caesar and Frederick the Great. His name was Napoleon, and he was about to change the face of Europe…


    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  2. #2
    wannabe american Patric123's Avatar
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    like the start although wasnt spain allied to france? (it was the partisans who were allied to Britain after napoleon ousted the government)

  3. #3
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    Well, I finally found the time and courage to write an AAR of my own. After reading so many others, I decided that it was about time to give something back. Please forgive me if I'm not that perfect, English is not my first language, and I'm sometimes using sentences that make perfect sense in my head but are actually utter crap.

    So, something about my AAR:

    I'm playing Prussia in the Napoleon's Ambitions scenario (I've got the German version, so the scenario might have a different name). I'm no original man, so don't expect a brand new style. I rather try to copy some of my favourite authors here as good as I'm able (Remember: Plagiarism is the highest form of admiration!).

    And the technical details:

    EU2 1.05
    Very Hard/Agressive (as if that would make a difference in this scenario )

    Edit: Of course I get my first reply when I'm writing this.
    pds: Yes, I thought so also, but in the scenario you start with Spain as your ally, whereas the Netherlands are allies of France...
    I'm glad you like it so far.

    And now, to repay a little favour :
    Last edited by Sorcerer; 03-09-2002 at 20:10.
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  4. #4
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    Berlin, December 1794

    General von Blücher looked out of the window of his carriage and watched a squadron of soldiers marching down the alley. Despite the snow and the cold, they walked erect, and kept their cadence exactly. Yes, the Prussian army still was the pride of the nation, although it's great days seemed to have passed.

    “Herr General, why do you think the King ordered you to attend the meeting of the Council?”

    The greying General closed the curtains again, and turned to his aide.

    “Well, Christian, my guess is as good as yours in that matter.”

    “Perhaps he finally realized that he has to heed your advice if he wants to end this war honourably. It would be about time!”

    Von Blücher smiled at the vehemence with which his aide, Lt. von Stein, had said this. Since he had been assigned to him, the young man had developed a respect and adoration for his superior that almost embarrassed the older man. In fact, he wasn’t as sure of his abilities as his aide.

    “We will find out soon, I think.”
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  5. #5
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    When they arrived at the current residence of the King, they were led into the Council chamber. The curtains on the high windows were open to let in all of the scarce winter light. Gathered around the long wooden table in the middle of the room were already the most important ministers of the kingdom. Among them were Johann Rudolf Bischoffwerder and Johann Christoph von Woellner, two Council members that owned their influence to the spiritistic inclination of the king, which they used to their full advantage. However, these two didn’t look all too happy, something which Blücher took as a good sign. Also present was von Hardenberg, whom Blücher liked much more than the others, for he thought of him as a servant of the state like himself.

    “Eure Hoheit, I report as ordered.”

    The king, seated at the far end of the table, rose his arm to greet the officer.

    “General von Blücher, it’s a pleasure to see you. How was the trip?”

    “As pleasant as it can be during this time of the year. How may I be of service?”

    “We were just discussing the course of the war against France and how to proceed in the future. And you play a big role in our plans.” That sentence caused an exchange of glances between Bischoffwerder and Woellner. Blücher could tell that this decision had not met their approval.

    “And what exactly is my role, Eure Hoheit?”

    “You shall assume the command of the Prussian army. You are hereby appointed Field Marshal, and from now on you report only to me.”

    “Does that include the right to influence the decision about the strategy we will follow in this war?” While Blücher was aware of the honour the king had just granted him, he also knew that it was nearly without effect if he was only to follow the orders of the council.

    “Of course. In fact, that is the reason you were ordered here. We want to hear your assessment of the situation and your recommendations regarding our next steps.”

    After a short bow, Blücher strode with great pride to the map that hung on one wall of the room:



    “As you can see, we are in a difficult position. We have only one province that neighbours France, Kleves, and while it’s capital Düsseldorf has a strong fortress, it is in a great danger to fall to the French forces. That is because we can’t move our troops there directly, for the way is blocked by the territory of the United Kingdom and Hessen. The only way to reinforce Kleves would be to send troops through British owned Hannover, if King George allows this, and then through the Netherlands, which is enemy territory. While our troops would suffer from attrition in any case, they are also vulnerable. An attempt to try to assume control of these provinces would take too much time and men, for their big cities are heavily fortified.
    However, the French cities surrounding Kleves , Köln and Heidelberg, have only small fortresses, and could be seized much more easily, if we are able to get the troops there and, much more important, if we can defeat the French armies there.
    Rumour has it that Napoleon is in the south, preparing to throw the Austrians out of Italy. If he stays there with his troops, we stand a real chance to achieve victory in the North.”

    There it was, the already famous and somewhat feared name. The young General had risen through the ranks of the artillery, and had been recognized for capture of Toulon. His military genius was the subject of many discussions, and he was seen as the most brilliant mind the French had to offer.

    “There are a lot of ifs in your plan, General.” Woellner started.

    “That would be Field Marshal, if I might remind you.” Von Hardenbergs reply caused Woellner to blush fiercely.

    “I apologize. There are a lot of ifs in your plan, Field Marshal. I doubt that we should risk Prussian troops in such an operation. Napoleon will undoubtedly be defeated in Northern Italy after some time, so why should we wake sleeping dogs and draw his attention to the North? If he decides to cut his campaign short and attacks us instead, there is little we or our allies could do.”

    “With all respect, Your Excellence, we would at least be in a much better position then. I don’t share your optimism regarding the defeat of Bounaparte by the Austrians. If we wait until Napoleon has finished his business in the South, and do nothing in the meantime, there is even less we could do, and we would have sacrificed our ally.”

    “So let me get this right: we could make progress against France if we find a safe way to bring our troops to Kleves?”, von Hardenberg asked.

    “That about sums it up.”

    “In this case, I have another proposition to make.” Von Hardenberg stood up to join Blücher at the map. “While the shortest route to Kleves would lead through Hannover and Hessen, as our Field Marshal has described, there is an alternative: through the province of Anhalt.” That caused some hisses from the gathered nobles.

    “But Friedrich August will never allow our troops to cross his country! We might have some troops there at the moment, but they are to be withdrawn as soon as possible. Our relations are not so good that we will sign a Military access treaty.”

    “Which is why I propose to take Anhalt by force.”

    “What?”

    “You want us to declare war on Saxony?”

    “And on Hessen as well, if I might add.”

    “Never! Franz would want your head for the idea alone! You don’t think that Austria would approve such a move. It would be political suicide!”

    “That might be the case if we were at peace. Gentleman, look at the facts. Austria, as well as the United Kingdom, needs us in the war against France. They can’t afford to lose us as an ally, so they will be a little bit upset, but there is nothing they can do. Face it, this is the perfect time to take on Saxony and Hessen. Many Prussian rulers have set their eye on Saxony, and now the opportunity to grab it has come. It might be sufficient to vassalize Hessen, but Anhalt is of utmost importance if we want to expand into Central Germany later. We already have gained too many Polish subjects in the east, let’s compensate this as long as there is time.”

    The part about achieving what many rulers could not was aimed at the king, and it showed it’s effect.

    “Your plan sounds interesting, Freiherr. I must say, I like it very much.”

    “Thank you, Eure Hoheit.”

    “Feldmarschall, what do you think?”

    “Well, a campaign versus Saxony would prove to be quite easy, since we already have some troops there. I would advise to take on Hessen only after we have defeated Saxony. They won’t be a greater obstacle than the Saxons. However, these actions would give the French the time they need to break the walls of Düsseldorf. But we would definitely be in a good position to retake it, if the plan succeeds.”

    “Then see to it that it does.” The king looked around the table, where he saw mostly nodding heads. He chose to ignore the somewhat sullen looking others and went on: “That is settled then. However, one point remains: Poland.”

    Prussia was also at war with the pitiful remains of the once mighty Poland, as well as Russia. Both countries had agreed to divide the last provinces, with Russia gaining the lion’s share.

    “I don’t think we should take any action as long as the Tzarina hasn’t brought in her harvest. We only have the right to take Warschau and the surrounding province according to the Partition treaty, and we can’t get it as long as there is something else left of Poland. The threat of Polish troops crossing our border is nil, I’d say, so I wouldn’t waste troops to guard it more than usual.”

    “Well, well, I think we have a plan. Let’s begin with the preparations.”
    Last edited by Sorcerer; 04-09-2002 at 13:34.
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  6. #6
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    It's about time Sorcerer! It's a good start and about a scenario that isn't done very often. Good luck and I'll be reading.

    Joe
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  7. #7
    Prodigal Son Craig Ashley's Avatar

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    Nice start. Can't wait to see when you take on Napoleon himself! I'll be reading.
    Slipping into maddness is good for the sake of comparison

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  8. #8
    Admiral of the Kings Fleet Warspite's Avatar
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    OH-Ho Yet another aart thread. I cant wait to see where this one goes and how you wrap the story or history around your paintings. Will you have more detailed art in this one or will it be abstract or both?
    What a Game!

  9. #9
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    Wow, I hadn't expected so many responses so quickly.

    Storey: Thanks! 'It's about time' was one of my thoughts while planning this. After all that time I've lurked around in your AARs .

    Craig Ashley: Napoleon has been lucky so far. But I guess one day I'll get him. Thanks for reading!

    Warspite: Ahem! The thread title is perhaps a bit misleading. I had it already planned when Apebe wrote his visually stunning AART AAR. Art was actually my weakest subject. No, the title is in honour of Sunzi's great work, The Art of War.
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  10. #10
    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Finding this thread here on the forum my first thought was, "FINALLY!!!"

    You do good writing, and I am not sure why you were shy of contributing to this forum?

    Anyways, I remember that the Napoleon scenario was an offset for me to keep returning here, and I hope that more AARs will follow.

    For now, however, I am looking forward to reading this one.

    I ntoiced, though, that the HoI influence on me becomes greater, because when I read the sentence
    The king, seated at the far end of the table, rose his arm to greet the officer
    I had a most peculiar picture in mind and had to laugh at that one for quite a while.
    One strikeout is a tragedy; a million strikeouts a statistic.

  11. #11
    Admiral of the Kings Fleet Warspite's Avatar
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    gotcha sorc, I understand. I am still liking what I see so far and I look forward to what you have in store for us next
    What a Game!

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    Great start, Sorcerer. I love strategic analysis the way you do them. It's also nice to see someone with the Bavarian colours writing about Prussia ... as "Prussian" is still some sort of insult in Munich&area.

    great map. Maybe for next map you could draw the way your Armies march into enemy's land, as this is for shure going to be a pure military AAR.

  13. #13
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback! I have one question, though: Is it ok when I use the German ranks and titles? Or is it just too confusing?

    Sytass: Yeah, I know. I thought about writing 'left arm', but that would have provoked even more pictures ('Why his left arm? Oh, I see...'). So now it's just weird for us HoI betas...
    Thank you, I'm glad you like my writing. I hope I won't disappoint you...

    Warspite: Thank you for your faithfulness. Btw, I have never said there won't be any pictures, they have just been painted by others.

    Apebe: Thanks, oh great painter. I'm actually a Franconian, but this avatar isn't available here. So I take the next best thing...

    I like your suggestion concerning the map. Let's see what I can do with Photoshop. Oh, and there will be a little bit of diplomacy, too, as you will see shortly.
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  14. #14
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    Dresden, May 6th 1795

    Graf Zitzewitz, entered the Audience hall of the Residenzschloss through the main door that had been opened for him by two servants.
    The master of ceremonies proclaimed: “Herrmann Graf von Zitzewitz, His Majesty’s King of Prussia envoy to Saxony”. Crossing the big room, the Count went mentally through his speech, as he had done several times since he had received the orders from his king. Finally he reached the stairs that led to the throne. Bowing deeply, he greeted Friedrich August III., whom they called ‘the Just’.


    Friedrich August III. ‘the Just’

    “Good morning, Euer Gnaden.”

    “Ah, Herrmann, good morning. What important issue brings you here this time? Your request for an audience seemed a bit formal to me. Do I finally get the message that the Prussian troops will leave my country?” the Kurfürst replied with a big smile. He and von Zitzewitz liked each other well, and had there not been the distance forced upon them by their respective positions, they could even have been called friends. Therefore the little tease was more like a joke, since the Prussian regiments had stayed on Saxon territory for quite a while now, without any justification. As long as they held discipline and paid for their food, this was no big problem.

    “I’m afraid this is not the case, Euer Gnaden. I am here to deliver a message from my ruler, King Friedrich Wilhelm II. of Prussia.”

    The formal speech showed Friedrich August that something was not as usual here. Straightening up on his throne and assuming a somewhat more regal bearing, he gestured von Zitzewitz to continue: “What is this message then?”

    This was the part the Count detested most. He knew that this was probably the most shameful thing he had to do in his life, and the fact that he was so close to the Elector didn’t make it any better. But he knew that he had no choice.

    “I am ordered to let you know that your passive stance in the great war against France has forced the King to secure that Saxony can pose no threat to Prussian territory. To guarantee this, he demands that you hand over your ruling power to a governor that will be appointed by Friedrich Wilhelm. If you decide to oppose our rightful claims, I regretfully inform you that our nations are at war.”

    During the silence that followed his statement von Zitzewitz thought that he had to die from embarrassment. Friedrich August stared at him as if he couldn’t believe the words he had just heard. Finally, after seconds that seemed to stretch endlessly, the Elector said flatly:
    “Very well. If your king thinks that it is a honourable thing to attack a defenceless country, he may do so. I don’t think he has done himself any favour by that. You may leave now, Graf.”

    “I am very sor…”the Count started, but was cut short by Friedrich August.

    “I said you could leave.”

    Wordless, von Zitzewitz bowed again, his face red with shame. Then he turned around and left the room to prepare his leave from Dresden.
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
    Arthur C. Clarke

    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
    Gregory Benford

  15. #15
    Archchancellor U.U. Sorcerer's Avatar
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    Province of Sachsen, the same day

    The day was warm and sunny, so the officers of the regiment ‘Geheimschütz Sachsen’ held their situation review outside the command tent of General Hohenlohe. After the usual reports about supplies and troop training, the discussion soon digressed to other topics. To be exact, there was only one subject of interest.

    “What are the French up to? Since Moreau has left our border southwards, no Frenchman has been seen in the North. The siege of Turin can’t demand so many men.”, Oberst von Teschemburg voiced his opinion.

    “Perhaps they prepare for an invasion of Spain.”, Hauptmann Aschleben contributed. “Or they hold back their reserves for a major campaign into Austria after Turin has fallen.”

    “Isn’t it possible that Bounaparte plans to invade England and gathers his troops in Northern France? Perhaps he just needs more ships!” Leutnant Patricks question drew a round of chuckles from the senior officers.

    “Young man, the British Admiralty would careen you for this if it had heard it. They’re a proud bunch, and they have every right to be. The Royal Navy rules the Channel! Napoleon would have to dig a tunnel if he ever wanted to set foot on English soil.” Major Stohr stated this with a very confident voice. Indeed, the might of the Royal Navy was nearly legendary, it was the pride of the United Kingdom.

    “I once knew the Captain of the HMS Warspite. His name was Appleby, I think. He showed me around his ship when it made a courtesy visit to Danzig. Those Brits sure know how to build mighty ships! Sometimes I’m a little bit disappointed that we don’t have a navy.”

    “Well, Oberst, what the British are at sea, we are on the land!”, Hohenlohe said with pride. Von Teschemburg didn’t share the opinion of the General wholeheartedly. Most of the senior officers thought that the French troops were inferior because of their rugged looks (they even wore their hair open, whereas the Prussian army had an order to wear them in a small pigtail, and they couldn’t march properly), and because their Generals were no nobles. But the Oberst paid more attention to their morale, equipment and tactics. And there the French definitely had a huge advantage over the Prussian Army.

    At this moment a messenger approached the General, and handed him a notice after saluting him. Hohenlohe read the message and, when he had finished, stood up and smiled.

    “Gentleman, our waiting time is at an end. It seems our king has declared war on Saxony. While I don’t know what the reasons for this are, I am glad that we are in the perfect position to fight this war. Since we lack the men to start an effective siege to Dresden, we are ordered to secure control of the province while our reinforcements are on the way. Generalleutnant von Bülow will march to Anhalt with more troops, and will assume command of the regiment already stationed at Anhalt.”

    After more specific orders had been issued, the officers returned to their respective units. Half an hour later the camp was bustling with activity. Soldiers packed their belongings very quick, and the tents were dismantled shortly after. While the infantry companies lined up to receive their marching orders, the cavalry already left to secure the most important objects around the capital. They would later be relieved by infantry detachments, and continue to secure a route to Brandenburg.

    On July 6th the reinforcements to the account of 11,000 men finally arrived, and the siege of Dresden could begin in earnest.


    General Fürst Friedrich Ludwig von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen
    'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'
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    'Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.'
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  16. #16
    Deserter kongu3's Avatar
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    Herr Sorcerer,
    Thanks for the feedback! I have one question, though: Is it ok when I use the German ranks and titles? Or is it just too confusing?
    I have no problems with deutch terms. In some ways it is actually better than to mess up by trying to find equavalent English terms, IMO. Then I can ask if a confusing term does come up.

    Still, expecting a Bayer avatar to do justice to a Prussian AAR !! hmm..

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    Franconian he is ... Oberfranken vielleicht ? Rothenburg ob der Tauber ?
    anyway, your installment is very pleasant to read, like the way you bring up the History, it makes me think the real action when it comes is going to be even better, you "Preis".


  18. #18
    ChancellAAR Bismarck's Avatar
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    This looks to be very, very interesting Sorcerer... and I wish you all the luck in the world on this....

    I'll be reading

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  19. #19
    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Very good installment once again.

    I like how you turn one big post into two with seperate headers. Makes it look very clean.

    However, I suggest you don't overdo it - if you do it for every paragraph, I'd begin to think you just want that custom avatar so badly.
    One strikeout is a tragedy; a million strikeouts a statistic.

  20. #20
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    EU3 Collectors Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    York PA
    Posts
    4,042
    Just wanted to pop up and tell you how much I'm enjoying your story so far. Nice "what if" solution to Prussia's strategic problem.

    Your English is fine, and I'm having no problems with spelling or grammar. I admire you for tackling this in a language other than your own.

    Write on, illustrious one - and keep the portraits coming, those are a nice touch.
    "That which does not kill me, has made a grave tactical error." - Jerry Pournelle

    Seven AARs and a picture, too: Director's Inkwell

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