Saturday, 27 May 2017

Waterloo: the Corsican ogre is here!

Charleroi, 11.45 in the morning, 16 June 1815

'Nice weather for a big battle, eh, mon frere?'

Battle has been well and truly joined. However, I fear things are not going well for my Prussian army this morning. Firstly, the damned French have severed my supply lines at Liege and at Huy. The French cavalry are across the Meuse in numbers and in the Prussian rear. This is a problem - at some point my troops will run out of supplies unless I can restore this situation. I have detached a brigade of light cavalry from III Corps to go to Huy and try to sort the situation out, plus possibly provide me with some decent intelligence on the situation there. If nothing else, they will force the French to allocate troops to cover their flank. One can only hope.

And now Napoleon has been spotted at Yvoir. Battle has been joined there and at Namur, and at Charleroi. We are defending a U-shaped position defined by the rivers Sambre, Heure and Lesse. Zeithen with I Corps and II Corps is holding off Ney at Charleroi, and seems quietly confident, as is his manner. I will consult with him further before I move to assume command of III Corps at Namur.

Our best course of action now is to extricate our forces from Yvoir and seek to focus them around Namur as quickly as possible, and to make the most of our internal lines of communication. The bigger question is whether we concede Namur and Charleroi and seek to concentrate our forces in the open country around Ligny.

The situation around Charleroi, Prussians in black, French in blue.

The British are at Quatre Bras, although I am not sure in what numbers. I have sent news to Wellington to inform him that Napoleon is at Yvoir, along with the Young Guard and the Guard cavalry. I have asked him to reinforce us as soon as possible.

My biggest question remains my supply lines, and the best means of re-establishing communications with Germany. But this must not be allowed to distract me from defeating the Corsican Ogre now, and speedily.

Gebhardt Leberecht von Blucher

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