wartenburg (october 3, 1813)
A scenario for one-half napoleon's battles


Whereas Bernadotte hesitated to cross the Elbe River, Blucher and his Army of Silesia crossed at Elster in front of Wartenburg. The zone was defended by the Bertrand’s multinational IV corps (severely mauled at Dennewitz) and formed a sort of natural fortress, being a flat alluvial plain intersected by dikes, ditches and marshes. The attacking force was the Yorck’s Prussian I Corps. Bertrand was unaware that he was facing all the Army of Silesian with his under-strength force whereas Yorck had no idea of the poor terrain conditions and anticipated an easy and unopposed crossing.
The Scenario is designed for divisional Napoleon’s Battles but using one half scale: 1 in/50 yd, 1 figure/60 men and one turn/15 minutes. The orders of battle are taken from the Nafziger's and Smith’s books and from the magazine First Empire with some merging up to obtain units of manageable size. The Wartenburg Scenario of The inofficial German “Napoleon´s Battles” has been also very useful (See Bibliography)


 NBd Scenario for Wartenburg
Wartenburg today
(Google Earth)
Old map
Table map
Bleddin with Wartenburg in the background The main road to Wartenburg Bleddin and the Elbe left bank


French All the French forces are on the table.
Prussians (all appear at D5 in march column formation)
2 (2nd Prussian Brigade) 7.00 h
Yorck 9.00 h
1 (1st Prussian Brigade) 9.15 h. Apply the OR 13.8.2 rule for Varying Time Arrivals considering that turn as two turns before the normal arrival turn.
The rest of the Prussian Brigades will arrive in the order 7 8 (7th and 8th Prussian Brigades).
Each arriving brigade must vacate completely the arrival point before to apply the OR 13.8.2 rule for Varying Time Arrivals. Consider the first time that point is available as two turns before the normal arrival turn.
The order of march of each arriving Prussian Brigade must be diced out. To be able to enter, Yorck must be also in command. Failing that command test, only the first base of the first unit of the Brigade will shown on the table to indicate that the Brigade is waiting orders.
The initial orders for 2 (2nd Prussian Brigade) are: "advance down the main road to take Wartenburg". These orders can be only changed by Yorck (he must be in contact with Mecklenburg and in command).

Historically, Yorck used some 12 lbs guns sited at the Elbe’s right bank to bombard the French rearguard. To use the 12 lbs Prussian battery at A5, Yorck must be in command to dispatch a messenger. The battery will start to fire 2D4 turns after.

The Prussian objective is to occupy a bridgehead to allow the Elbe crossing whereas the French want to prevent that crossing. The key points and the percentage of victory points allotted are Wartenburg (30%) and Bledding (30%) both conforming the main line of resistance, and Globin (40%) what was the exit of the bridgehead. The opposing forces are almost identical in points: French 307 vs. Prussians 312. The multiplier for the weaker side (French) is 1.10 in both NB1 and NB2 (115 and 62 victory points respectively).

After suffering many losses, Bertrand retired without further molestation because of the lack of a sufficient Prussian cavalry force. However, Blucher and Bernadotte were allowed to cross the Elbe River to start the encirclement of the Grande Armée culminating in the battle of Leipzig.

- Nafziger G. 'Napoleon at Leipizg. The Battles of Nations 1813', The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1996
- Parté, L., 'Wartenburg, 3rd October 1813', First Empire, 1, 17-22 (1991)
- Smith, D., 'The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book', Green-Hill Books, London, 1998
- The German inofficial "Napoleon's Battles" site. The Battle of Wartenburg http://www.pantoffelhelden.de/Napoleonics/Napoleonics/Wartenburg/wartenburg.html



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