Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kisah AKU n The Fall of Christiania

Previous Chapter - The Betrayal

Napoleon, the Emperor of France now must deal with the Coalition of Three Nations. With the Danish and Swedish cooperate together to make a pre-emptive strike against the French at Schwerin and Novgorod, the Dutch will try to seize French’s Flanders from Amsterdam. Far to the south, Corsica – the birthplace of the Emperor fall to the hand of the Corse Rebel. It did help to give a sufficient time for the Coalition to invade France, as the Emperor will face difficulty to coordinate the defence due to the lack of fully equipped army and leadership. Duroc’s army is far to the south, fortifying Rome while Oudinot’s army still at the Bavarian land, defending the city of Stuttgart from the expected people uprising. If his Army Group Centre left the city undefended, the rebel will seize the city and Napoleon will faced another problem. As being informed by his Lord Secretary of Army, Napoleon only have four available generals with their battle ready army- two armies under Eugene de Beauharnais and his reserve command by Armand Phillipon were both positioned near Hannover, remained close to each other while the other army is stationed at Novgorod under the command of the Russian’s campaign veteran, General Eduard Mortier. There, an army under General De Moncey scheduled to arrive as Mortier’s reinforcement, supporting the defences of Novgorod.
Eugene de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson is one of the veterans of the Russian Campaign. His army mostly consisted of cavalry squadron that saw combat on the unforgiving Russian winter. Berthier’s plan is to move Beauharnais together with his reserve towards the Danish land, capture their capital, Copenhagen while try to avoid pitched battle against the numerical superiority of the Danish army. If anything happen, for example the Dutch strike his rear – Beauharnais might consider a retreat into Frisia, where a battalion of reserve infantry may assist him and then he will be able to renew the invasion.
Armand Phillipon, freshly promoted general will command Beauharnais’s reserve army consisted of four fresh battalions of Middle Guard. He will be responsible to protect the rear of the army. These two armies need to advance close to each other, so that if pitched battle cannot be avoided – at least Beauharnais may commit Phillipon into the battle.

On the Early February 1813, Amsterdam unexpectedly captured by General Jean Andre Massena without asking the Emperor’s consent to storm the heavily fortified city. Actually, Massena brilliantly gathered the remnant of his army to advance towards Reims, while putting one third of its strength to defend the city of Schwerin. There were also a number of regimental commanders that scattered near Reims assembled at the city and joined Massena’s army. Massena is capable to mount a pre-emptive attack against the Dutch and succeeded in capturing Amsterdam. Napoleon is very impressed with Massena’s valiant action and later promoted him as the General of the Grand Army. The Dutch was being kicked out from the competition and now Beauharnais could resume his march to Copenhagen without fearing of the intervention of the Dutch.

Beauharnais then captured Copenhagen without being resisted by the Danish. This is Frederick’s plan to throw back the French as he has already rallied his generals to Christiania; there he will be able to combine with a corps of Swedish army under the command of General Isakson. From that point, they will be able to press the outnumbered Beauharnais then recapture Copenhagen while try to push the French to their initial point.
Christiania is the last stand for the Danish army, the royal family, nobles and aristocrats of the Danes. If the city falls to the hand of Beauharnais, they’re finish. Frederick however still has the guts to fight the invader because the Danish are clearly won the numerical superiority against the French. But, rather than facing the seasoned and elite French troops in the open battle, Frederick favour to defend the city itself and let Beauharnais and his army laid siege of Christiania. There, a huge number of infantry are amassed, together with fully armoured batteries and well motivated cavalry unit.
On Beauharnais side, he faced a major problem – lacking of experience in laying the siege and the position of the city itself. Christiania is actually fortified by a huge fort in front of the city, named Fort Frederick – forming two layers of defences. Its mean Beauharnais need to pass two heavily defended fortification before entering Christiania and it will cost a massive number of death tolls among his army.
Then, he managed to detect Frederick’s fatal mistake – the right section of the fort is almost left undefended. Beauharnais then ordered the batteries to shell the centre while make a deception movement against Frederick’s left. With this tactic called “infiltration”, Beauharnais’s plan is to concentrate a massive bombardment against the centre, demoralized the Danish while trying to confuse them. Simultaneously, he also sends two battalions of the French Line Infantry towards Frederick’s left to increase his confusion.
Unexpectedly, the Danish Royal Cavalry charge the advancing Foot but in a mean time, the Foot managed to form the square formation.  The square formation is really a good defending formation when encountering the cavalry charges. Even if the infantry only succeed in forming two ranks of square, its still can avoid a huge number of casualties because the horses will never charge against the bayonet.
The Danish Royal Cavalry is the most elite unit in the hierarchy of the Danish army. They’re recruited from the Danes royal families; most of them experience at least five battles throughout Frederick’s campaign against the Prussian. This unit never sustained even half of casualties making them a right and exclusive choice for the King as his personal guard.
Far to the right, Beauharnais commits two battalions of the Foot, assisted by a squadron of Cuirassier to storm Frederick’s undefended section. With all Frederick’s gun distracted by Beauharnais initial movement on his left,  Beauharnais’s left detachment advanced without being resist.
Covered by light forest that surrounding the fort, the Foot advanced stealthily towards the wall.
Frederick then unleashed his reserve squadron of Hussar that charge from the woods against the steady Foot. Charging an infantry inside the woods is not a good idea. All of Frederick’s shock detachment was slain to death, due to misjudgement of the terrain and topography as well as the discipline showed by Beauharnais’s army.
Meanwhile, a squadron of Cuirassier protecting the advancing Foot spotted Frederick’s cannon deployed outside the fort. Without hesitate, the commander charge the ill defended unit and succeed in killing them all, thus capturing two pieces of artillery.
With all possible threat clear, the French led by Brigadier General Jean Rapp scale the wall of Fort Frederick. Far to the left, the defending French still hold their line making Frederick a hard decision on which section need to be cover. Either to reinforce the nearly win detachment on his right or fortify the undefended section. If he continue to press Beauharnais’s defending Foot by sending his best unit, Frederick might be able to push them back while if he send several battalion of his best infantry on the undefended section of wall, he might be able to deny Beauharnais’s quick victory.

Frederick then made one solid decision – to renew his frontal attack against Beauharnais’s left while stationed only three battalions of freshly recruited infantry to guard the undefended section. Such a disastrous decision because Beauharnais still not commits Phillipon’s reserve army that assembled only half a mile from the battlefield. Shall his line fall, Beauharnais still has much time to rally his army and renew the attack together with Phillipon. But, if the undefended section falls to the hand of Rapp’s detachment – Frederick might consider concentrating all of his army towards them making an untenable position at his center, thus enabling Beauharnais to storm it easily.
Rapp’s detachment succeeded in capturing the wall, reform and gains an ‘upper hand’. They’re able to fire the Danish from the high ground, making a perfect defending position and give Beauharnais sufficient time to launch a fresh attack against Frederick.
A brutal hand to hand combat on the wall of Frederick’s Fort. Frederick realizing the fact that he need to retake the wall, start to push Rapp’s detachment with all of his army, leaving the front gate undefended. Despite of their effort, the Danish still unable to defeat the well discipline French.
Meanwhile, Beauharnais’s left detachment that still undefeated scale the wall and capture the left gate of Fort Frederick. There, they witnessed a savage fighting of Rapp’s detachment against a massive number of Frederick’s infantry. The commander, Brigadier General Jean Reynier signalled Beauharnais from the wall – the reinforcement is badly needed.
Reynier’s then ordered his men to fortify the building inside the fort, thus attracting several Danish infantry to attack them and relieved Rapp’s detachment and gave them a little pressure on defending the wall.
Beauharnais then ordered two squadrons of lancers to reinforce the hard pressure French, the French Lancer is among the best heavy cavalry in the continent, these fearsome shock troops will advance with their full speed towards the enemy without fear then delivered a powerful charge, thus inflicting both moral and physical damage to their enemies.
The remnant of the Danish armed forces begins their retreat, leaving the fort and headed towards the city.
In order to inflict as much casualties for the Danish army.
Beauharnais then unleashed his light cavalry. These fast moving and light cavalry unit is the most suitable unit to pursue the retreating army. As the result, many of the Danish being killed before manage to reach the Christiania.

Siege of Christiania concluded when Frederick of Denmark officially surrendered the city before midnight of Late March 1813. Frederick recalled and abolished his armed forces, as well as to accept the sovereignty of Napoleon as the ruler of Denmark. Beauharnais then continues his advance towards Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, the last enemy of the France Empire as well as the Emperor and all French people. With the fall of Sweden, the Emperor’s dream to conquer Europe will become true. 

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