Prussia Adopts Scharnhorst's Startegy in 1806

Feb 2019
936
Serbia
In 1806, just before the War of the 4th Coalition was declared the Prussian high command was divided on how to fight Napoleon. There were a few alternative proposals by Hohenlohe, Brunswick, Massenbach and Scharnhorst, they looked like this:

1563657042978.png

(The map is found in David Chandler's book Jena 1806 on page 10.)

Scharnhorst proposed a series of delaying actions and smaller battles using natural obstacles such as rivers and woods to delay the French advance and preserve Prussia's army until the Russian reinforcements arrive. Hohenlohe proposed a general defence in Saxony at certain points, highlighted on the map via red circles. Brunswick wanted to advance forward and strike the French positions while Massenbach had the strangest idea of all, a sort of military parade through Saxony and the Wurzburg area to distract the French. What happened was a compromise plan that incorporated elements of both Brunswick's and Hohenlohe's strategies, the actual positions taken up are displayed on the map via squares.

What would've happened if Prussia followed Scharnhorst's strategy and waited for the Russians? How would the war go for Napoleon?

Your thoughts.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,640
Well there is a fair chance the Saxons would have changed sides, never being that enamoured with their prussian overlords.

Retreating in the face of the enemy is one of the very difficult things to do in warfare. Troops do not like retreating.

And jutst because the Russians were able to sucessfully mount rearguard operations against the french, (and just repeatedly even when their army was not that good) does not mnean the Prussians could.

And was not Kamenskoi in command rather than Bennigsen at the start of the Russian campaign