Quarterly Report from the GHQ of Bonaparte’s Bane
The Russo-Swedish War of 1808-09
This war featured pitched battles, some sieges and many small rear-guard/skirmish actions in some of the most difficult terrain of the Napoleonic wars. The Russo-Swedish war saw the breakup of the Swedish-Finnish union, the overthrow of the Swedish king in a Coup d' Etat and the overall political and strategic effects of the war had a tremendous impact on the future of Scandinavia. Sweden had an army of 66,000 men, a part of which was withheld in Sweden proper for fear of a Danish attack on Scania. Russia had, according to Swedish calculations, 80,000 men at the most to employ in the Finnish campaign. The Swedish King ordered a Finnish militia of 30,000 men to be established, which turned out to be of little military value and suffered heavily from epidemics. The Russian invasion began on February 21st 1808, with 24,000 men. The actual defensive force available in Finland numbered 22,000 men, 7,000 of them stationed in fortress of Sveaborg. The Swedish strategy was to retreat, slowing down the Russian advance by skirmishes, and to rely on a number of fortresses, most importantly Sveaborg, in which the Swedes could spend the coming winter while the Russians had to camp out in the open. The campaign in Finland saw Russian troops advancing, occupying much of the country. A number of smaller battles were fought, at Siikajoki and Revolaks (Russian victories), at Lappo (Swedish victory), at Oravais (Russian victory). In November 1808 the Convention of Olkijoki was signed, according to which Finland to the south/east of the Kemi River was left to the Russians.
Campaign Bautzen covers the RSW in 38 RSW scenarios.
In my opinion, these scenarios offer TWS a gold mine of opportunities for both War Game Exercise and Training games. The scenarios range from small actions of 24 -30 turns through larger battles of 48-60 turns. There is even a naval action (scenario #36) featuring a number of 1x 6lb gunboats on each side. Most of the scenarios have a small number of troops to command (usually 10-20 infantry companies, a couple of 2 gun batteries and a few cavalry squadrons) which facilitates very quick turnaround time. The maximum Stacking Parameters are 400 men, 200 cavalry, 4 guns and 5 counters. Musket Ranges are extended 5 hexes to reflect the company game level. Terrain in all scenarios is challenging. Usually lots of woods, and marsh intermixed with some open terrain along which run the roads and trails.
Here is a sample briefing from the first and last scenario briefings.
Scenario #01 (24 GTs) This action is Part 1 of the Pyhäjoki area rearguard action. The Russian 5th Division had advanced to the north along the Finnish coast. Near Yppäri they found Gripenberg's rearguard drawn up covering the withdrawal of the army. The Russians engaged the rearguard but their initial attacks were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, more forces arrived for Gripenberg. Likewise the Russians mounted a flanking operation on the Swedish flank. By the end of the day the Russians had only pushed back the Swedes. Note: the actual battle lasted longer. Special rules: The Swedes may not leave the map during the action until turn 20. They must exit the map at hex 77,0 by the end of the game. Count any Swedish units still on the map as victory points towards the final count. For every 25 infantry - count 3 VPs. For every 25 cavalry - count 5 VPs. For each gun - 6 VPs.
Bonus #2 (60 GTs) 10 September 1808 - Variant - Briefing: The British Expeditionary force under Sir John Moore (3,402 British Infantry in 40 companies) never was utilized by the Swedish King. What if he had welcomed their service and they had intervened in the war in September? This is a situation where the Russians (7279) have advanced north along the coast and slightly inland while the British have landed and march to reinforce the Swedish forces (2370).
Suggested Further Reading
https://www.napoleon-series.org/militar ... nland.html
http://www.napoleon-series.org/military ... nnish.html
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