Napoleonic Wargame Club

Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800
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Author:  Bill Peters [ Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800

I have hit the wall in my research on these three battles in 1800 and need to know if anyone has information on the order of battle for the Austrian army (as usual they are the hardest). I have completed the OB for the French but the only listings I have for the Austrians have no information on the brigade structures. Only names of commanders.

I hate to just "freewheel" it and place the units in brigades (which I had to do with the French) without know exactly which ones they were assigned to so if anyone knows of an accurate OB for the Austrians for 1 May to 5 May 1800 let me know. Its the army that fought under the command of FZM Kray.

I cannot use the Hohenlineden OB as a guide because the army was reorganized and placed in the command of Archduke John.

The various narratives I read give no information on the units under the commands other than Kollwrat's grenadiers and light infantry that fought in the Left Wing at Messkirch.

Author:  Compass Rose [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800


I just happen to come upon this however, it is showing only the French forces, which you stated you already have.

Maybe it can help you out by having an additional source to confirm what you already have for the French, maybe not. :wink:


Author:  Bill Peters [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800

Thanks - I posted a notice up on The Miniatures Page website here:

So far the main help has been finding Picard's work in French. My French is not great but I tend to get the gist of what is going on in the text. Hoping to find locations of the formations at the start of the Battle of Engen.

This is all like a detective case. Lots of clues and sorting them all out takes time but when its done its really satisfying.

One of the most difficult hunts I had was to find out what St. Priest's corps at the start of the Battle of Leipzig. Warren Bajan and I discussed it at length. I found what I was looking for in an obscure location. Turns out they were south of Mockern and ended up crossing to the north through Yorck's position and then marching north to take up position north of Mockern on the left flank.

Another rough one was the composition of the Tyrol Corps for the Arcole Campaign. Since they played a small part in the campaign they do not get a lot of detailed attention. The Miniatures Page folks helped me out. Turns out a guy has posted the entire OB for the Tyrol Corps some time back! What a find!

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800

Bill, is it worse to put together an OOB piece by piece from various sources or is it worse to have many OOBs from which you have to form an OOB?

Author:  Bill Peters [ Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800

Christian - I have worked under both formats... For instance for the Austerlitz game I used both Bowden and Goetz' OBs. The result was a problem with the Russian Guard. Goetz uses a different naming format for the regiments, in particular the Garde cavalry.

On the other hand I have used Nafziger's OBs for many years and then referred to other OBs for correct spellings of the regiment names. Nafziger's OBs have typos. I have actually seen his source OBs and they did not use the same spelling. I guess you just have to no that he was using a PC with DOS ver. 5 or 6 and a dot matrix printer for many years. I emailed with him and he said, "if that system ever crashes all of my work is gone." Thankfully someone helped him get backups of that data! But as far as I know he never transferred it over to a newer PC. He may have done that by now ....

The other way to build an OB is directly from the text. This is difficult but it does work. I did this with several of the games in the series one of them being the 1814 game where I needed to use anything at my disposal.

My least favorite work is Digby Smith's Data Book - no organization usually (brigades, divisions, etc) and in speaking with him he has no plans on editing it for a E-Book 2nd edition. He just doesn't have the time (or interest). I use it sparingly but I had to with some of the battles as nothine else existed.

The folks at The Miniatures Page provided me with the OB for Dedovich's Tyrol Corps for the 1796 Arcole Campaign. I am really in their debt for that! No one had the Tyrol Corps in such detail. The other formation I still would like to find detailed info on is the three divisions that formed the left wing of the Austrian army during the Rivoli operation.

You see ... if they were not in a battle a lot of historians ignore those troops. For instance, Suchet's corps for 1800 is just noted in one source as being along the Riviera! (Hollins in the Osprey campaign series book for the Marengo Campaign).

Then there is the accuracy wars .... many people take sides on this. For years the viewpoint was that the Russians outnumbered the French by over 11k men at Austerlitz. Bowden and then Goetz disproved that theory. And when you read Goetz' account of the battle it was closer to a "near run thing" than most history books read. Usually it is "Napoleon came, he saw an opening, he conquered." It was a closer battle on the Pratzen than many would have us believe. French units routed ... cavalry were chased off ... only because 1/3 or more of the army was off fighting the French left flank could Napoleon have won. But of course that was what he had planned on .... but even so the troops that were on the Pratzen gave Napoleon a run for his money.

So to recount .. I prefer to work from ONE OB source and then verify it using other sources. John Gill's 1809 campaign OB pages brought to light some errors in my Eckmuhl and Wagram OBs. Not that I can do too much about it at this point. But his works are really good.

Author:  Bill Peters [ Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking Information on Engen-2nd Stockach-Messkirch 1800

I have built the preliminary version of the Engen and Messkirch OB file (see attached file). The Austrian OB is not terribly trustworthy but it represents the units that fought in the theater. I weeded out units like militia that I felt probably didn't take part in the battles.

The Austrians had the Bavarian contingent under GM Wrede as well as the Conde's small contingent (paid for by British coin). Included are are two Swiss emigre' regiments.

Feel free to nitpick both the French and Austrian OBs. If you have better information than I please come forward. This OB will be considered "suspect" until I can get a more definitive version.

I am also providing this as my contribution to the history of the period. If someone else has done this OB before have not seen it. Not saying I am the first but it definitely falls into the "rare" category in the gaming world.

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