Battle Of Gitschin / Jicin - 29th June 1866

The Battle of Gitschin or Jicin occurred during the 1866 war between Prussia, Italy and their, mostly minor, German allies on the one side. While on the other were ranged the Austrian Empire, Saxony, Bavaria, Hanover and a variety of other German Allies. I do not intend to go into great detail about the conduct of the war. Instead I will briefly outline the events leading to this battle. At the start of the war Benedek, the commander of the Northern Austrian army, posted a Corps and a Cavalry Division near the border with Saxony. The plan was for the Saxon army (this was of Corps size) to abandon their homeland and link up with this force. This they successfully achieved at the beginning of the war, unfortunately this is when things started to go wrong for the allied army. Benedek originally planned to march to join with this detached force, but the intervention of the Prussian army forced delays. Therefore this detached force was ordered to fall back to Gitschin / Jicin, an important road junction, where they would be joined by the main Austrian army.

Over the next few days the Allied command fought 3 minor actions as it fell back to its positions around Gilschin / Jicin. Perhaps the most important of these was the last one at Munchengratz on the 28th of June. This was a delaying action by the Austrian 2nd Brigade to give the rest of the army time to withdraw. It not only led to the 2nd Brigade being badly 'chewed up', but also lead to the Saxon contingent taking a long diversion to the concentration area. Which in turn led to the minimal involvement of the Saxons in the forthcoming battle, as they were late in getting into position and very tired. Meanwhile what was happening on the other side of the fence? No fewer than 2 Prussian armies, the 1st and Elbe armies, were converging on the hapless allies. Unfortunately at this time the Prussian had no idea where the allies had withdraw to. Therefore they continued with their own concentration, which as chance would have it involved the 2 armies moving through Gitschin / Jicin. Thus for the forthcoming battle elements of the Prussian II Corps advanced from the west, while parts of the Prussian III Corps were coming from the north.

The scenario is for use with the adaptation to the excellent Fire and Fury rules for the mid Nineteenth century European wars at Fire and Furia Francese.

Note: The version for the update rules is here - Mit Blut und Eisen scenario

 

Orders of Battle

The Allies (1 in 6 'E' Austrian, not the Austrian 2nd Brigade. 1 in 3 'E' Saxon.)

Austrian 1st Corps: Count Clam - Gallas P. Ldr

Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries 1 Horse Battery

1st Brigade: Poschacher E. Ldr

  • 30th Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 3 A
  • 34th Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 3 A
  • 18th Jager Btn. 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 1 Foot or Rocket Bty.

2nd Brigade: Leiningen P. Ldr

  • 33rd Infantry Regt. 6 / 5 / 4 A
  • 34th Infantry Regt. 6 / 5 / 4 A
  • 32nd Jager Btn. 3 / 2 / - L
  • 1 Foot Bty.

3rd Brigade: Piret P. Ldr

  • 18th Infantry Regt. 8 / 7 / 5 A
  • 45th Infantry Regt. 8 / 7 / 6 A
  • 29th Jager Btn. 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 1 Foot Bty.

4th Brigade: Ringelsheim Ldr

  • 42nd Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 4 A
  • 73rd Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 4 A
  • 26th Jager Btn. 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 1 Foot Bty.

5th Brigade: Abele Ldr

  • 35th Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 4 A
  • 72nd Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 4 A
  • 22nd Jager Btn. 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 1 Foot Bty.

1st Light Cavalry Division: Edelsheim Ldr

  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery
  • 1st Brigade: 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade: 4 / 3 / 2
  • 3rd Brigade: 4 / 3 / 2

Saxon 2nd Division: Stieglitz P. Ldr

Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery

1st Brigade:

  • 1st Jager Btn 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 1st Saxon Regt. 6 / 5 / 3
  • 2nd Saxon Regt. 6 / 5 / 3

4th Brigade:

  • 4th Jager Btn. 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 1st Saxon Leib Regt. 6 / 4 / 2
  • 2nd Saxon Leib Regt. 6 / 4 / 2

Deployment:

Austrians:

All guns are limbered, all Jagers are in skirmish order. All infantry are in assault column.

  • 1st Brigade - Within 6" of Brada on the Privysin.
  • 2nd Brigade - Within 6" of point marked 2nd.
  • 3rd Brigade - Within 6" of Eisenstadtl and to the west of the Cidlina River.
  • 4th Brigade - Within 6" of point marked 4th.
  • 5th Brigade - Within 6" of point marked 5th.
  • Corps Artillery - Within 6" of point marked CA.
  • 1st Light Cavalry Division - Within 6" of point marked 1LC.

Saxons: Arrive within 6" of Gitschin / Jicin as reinforcements. They enter in march column or limbered as appropriate, according to the schedule below.

  • Saxon 1st Brigade - 18:00 Allied phase.
  • Saxon 4th Brigade, Divisional Command and Artillery - 20:00 Allied phase.

The Prussians  (50% 'E' units)

3rd Infantry Division: Von Werder Ldr

  • Advanced Guard 4 / 3 / 2 E
  • 2nd Grenadier Regt. 9 / 6 / 4
  • 14th Infantry Regt. 8 / 6 / 4
  • 42nd Infantry Regt. 6 / 5 / 3
  • 54th Infantry Regt. 9 / 7 / 5
  • 2nd Jager Btn. 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • 2 Foot Batteries

5th Infantry Division: Von Tumpling E. Ldr

  • Advanced Guard 9 / 6 / 4 E
  • 8th Grenadier Regt. 6 / 4 / 2
  • 12th Grenadier Regt. 6 / 4 / 2
  • 18th Infantry Regt. 9 / 7 / 5
  • 48th Infantry Regt. 6 / 5 / 3
  • Cavalry Brigade: 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2 Foot Batteries

Prussian:

5th Division: Deployed in any desired formation, 6" into the table and within 6" of Kriznic and the Cidlina.

The Cavalry Brigade arrives as reinforcements on the 17:00 Prussian phase. It arrives on the road north of Kriznic, in any desired formation.

3rd Division: Reinforcement on the 17:00 Prussian phase. Enters the table in any desired formation, within 6" of the road exiting to the west.

Timetable:

The game starts on the 15:00 Prussian Phase, there is no 15:00 Allied Phase.

The game ends on the 23:00 Allied Phase, there is no Prussian Phase.

On the Allied 20:00 Phase the Allies receive the order to retreat.

Visibility:

As the battle progressed night fell and visibility was increasingly restricted. The following is the maximum visibility on the indicated turns.

  • 19:00 Maximum 24"
  • 19:30 Maximum 18"
  • 20:00 Maximum 12"
  • 20:30 Maximum 8"
  • 21:00 onwards Maximum 4"

Terrain:

The Cidlina River is a 2" wide stream, while the green area in the South West corner is a normal wood.

The Privysin is a steep, wooded hill. It therefore counts as difficult terrain for non light infantry (move ½ speed). Cavalry and artillery may not enter it at all. Artillery may deploy on it at the start of the game, but if it leaves it may not re-enter.

Gitschin / Jicin gives a -2 defensive bonus against firing and a +2 bonus in close combat.

While all other villages give -1 / +1 bonuses.

Special Rules:

Austrian 2nd Brigade:

This brigade had suffered greatly in the previous battle and was completely exhausted from this and the retreat. Therefore the allies were reluctant to commit them to the battle. If the Allies decide to move or fire with any units from this Brigade they must pay a victory points penalty. The exception to this is if any Prussian unit approaches within 12" of any unit of the Brigade, in which case they may be used without penalty. Also this rule is ignored once the order to retreat is received

18th Jaeger Btn:

Poschacher, in charge of the Austrian 1st Brigade, ordered his line infantry to load rifles for the Jager, thus increasing their rate of fire. Therefore as long as an infantry unit is in contact and behind the 18th Jager Btn the following rules apply. This unit has a fire factor of 2, instead of 1, up to their full range of 8".

The Retreat Order:

At the start of the Allied 20:00 phase they receive the order to retreat and join the main army. From this phase onwards the Austrian 2nd Brigade may be used without penalty. The Prussians no longer receive any points for occupying anything except Gitschin / Jicin. Finally from the Allied 21:00 phase the Allies receive a victory point penalty if Austrian units are still on table.

Victory Points:

In addition to the normal victory points awarded for worn, spent, etc.. units the following victory points are awarded.

The Prussians:

Get the following V.P's for being in sole occupation of the following villages at the end of any Allied phase, before the Allies receive the order to withdraw.

2 V.P's Each for Podulsi and Zames

5 V.P's Each for Brada, Dilec, Eiserstadt, Lochov and Prachov

5 V.P's If the Allies use the Austrian 2nd Brigade, as outlined above.

1 V.P. Only at the end of each Allied phase, from the 21:00 turn. Per Austrian (not Saxon) Brigade (the Corps Artillery and the Cavalry Division count as brigades) that has any of its units on table.

The Allies:

25 V.P's If the Allies control, or have units in, Gitschin / Jicin at the end of the game.