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Different take on Quatre Bras

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:09 pm
by shadowdragon
Most of the AAR i've read over the past year for the battle of Quatre Bras take a traditional perspective with Storico unit arrivals and a French victory if they take the crossroads and Allied victory if they hold it. After reading Andrew Field's book the Prelude to Waterloo I'm wondering about how well that captures the strategic situation. From the French perspective the main affair is Ligny. Quatre Bras is a holding action to prevent the Allied army joining the Prussians. The only purpose for capturing the crossroads is to allow D'Erlon's Corp to arrive in the Prussian rear but even without the crossroads that corps would have had a decisive effect by arriving on the flank as they would have if Ney had not ordered them back to Quatre Bras far too late in the day to be useful there. In essence Ney either forgot or misunderstood his mission. On the Allied side nothing Wellington did really helped the Prussians and the campaign would have been lost without Ney redirecting the I Corps.

So I'm wondering if anyone has done this battle with the French objective of a holding action without calling on I Corps divisions and the Allied objective of exiting in the direction of Ligny. For this to work I would think there must be a possibility of earlier arrival because (1) Ney orders his formations to close up earlier and (2) Wellington appreciates the need to concentrate sooner.

Re: Different take on Quatre Bras

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:25 am
by deadtorius
that's an interesting perspective you have put up there.