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1 Marshal Enterprises is pleased to present a recently discovered letter, purportedly in a batch of correspondence from the estate of the Duke of Wurttemberg, which has revealed, first-hand, the experiences the Duke had at the Battle of Halle. We cannot vouch for the accuracy of this document, but we believe it captures the spirit of the Duke s participation in the struggles at Halle. In order to facilitate a clearer understanding of the Duke s letter, we have recreated the battle on our own map for The Battle of Halle and have taken appropriate photos for the recreation. Here is the letter: 1 Dezember 1810 To His Majesty King Friedrich Wilhelm III In response to a request from the Chief of the General Staff, General von Scharnhorst, this nach der Aktion-Bericht is provided to your Highness. It is my understanding this information will be used as instructional material for further study of our recent campaigns, by the members of the Preußische Kriegsakademie. La Bataille d Halle After Action Report As the loyal servant of Your Most Prussian Majesty Friedrich Wilhelm III, my orders of 12 Oktober 1806 instructed me to take care of the Royal Army s line of communications for supplies and guard the route for Prussian or Saxon formations returning from the battles to the west. It is for that reason that the divisions entrusted to me defended the exits to the town of Halle, astride the Salle River in Sachsen-Anhalt. Halle s position and bridges make it one of the best crossing points on the Saale. My command included an Avant Garde Division, two line infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade, organized as the Reserve Korps. Since 15 Oktober 1806 my staff had encountered a series of small cavalry detachments whose information was not complementary to the reputation of our army. Several elements of the forces at the King s disposal had been defeated by the 1 La Bataille ME

2 armies of anarchy, from France. Last night a detachment from the Reitzenstein Kuirassiers brought news that the French would reach our position by morning, 17 Oktober This was especially disturbing as no official orders have been received from Your Majesty s Senior Advisors with regard to holding Halle or defending the main roads to Magdeburg or to Leipzig. Supplemental correspondence was anticipated in the morning, to clarify our position and course of actions. We trusted in God and Your Majesty to see us through the time of trial. I had instructed the detachments of the Hertzberg Dragoons to post lookouts in front of Passendorf. Von Hinrichs was to guard the entrance to the bridges. The rest of Your forces were on the East side of the Saale ready to defend the communications and delay any enemy access to the rest of Sachsen. At about 9:00 AM firing could be heard coming from Passendorf. The intensity of the firing was increased with the sound of artillery. Portions of the Hertzberg Dragoons Regiment were falling back in good order but taking serious loses. From our vantage point several enemy divisions with cavalry could be seen advancing from the west. A regiment of French light infantry, tried to overwhelm our fusiliers. These brave battalions demonstrated their loyalty to your Majesty but unfortunately were cut off from the bridges and fell back towards the Saale. In the service of your Majesty the 2 ND Warsaw Brigade (Knoor and Hinrichs) fusiliers were lost. 2 La Bataille ME

3 The most loyal elements of the Fusiliers fell back along the covered bridges back into the town and rejoined their comrades. The remainder of the Korps was in position, east of the city wall and its gates. A division covered the exits from the Steinthor and the Galgenthor and we awaited our orders. While the French occupied the City, orders arrived from your Majesty s staff at Noon. The Reserve Korps was instructed to deny the enemy the roads from Halle and then join the reorganizing formations of the army in Magdeburg. Therefore our dispositions were changed to northwest to protect these roads. In accordance with your Majesty s wishes, we remained a distance from the city astride the main road to this important depot in Brandenburg. So as not to incur needles casualties from the French Infantry at the Garten wall our Musketeers were deployed 500 yards from the edge of Halle. Our units were formed, rested and confident. They were supported by artillery and with cavalry units on their flanks. I held a brief prayer service and reminded the faithful of Martin Luther s words The man who has the will to undergo all labor may win to any good. 3 La Bataille ME

4 The French had been moving all morning and many of their units had already been engaged with just a few of our skirmish battalions. They filed into the city, looting, drinking and subjecting the citizens to abuse not witnessed since the 30 Year s War. The French Senior Officers organized their debauched regiments and made preparations to attack. They were not able to deploy in good order however. Each time a tricolor unit ventured from the town gates, our artillery would make them pay for their arrogance. Some of their light troops were able to leap the wall and deploy in open order to our left. At about 1:00 pm the leading French columns issued from the city with a Marshal of France at their head. Throughout the next 3 hours the French attempted to engage us and cause our defeat. Our lines of Infantry however, kept up a steady fire as the French came forward. The Usedom Hussars and the Heyking Dragoons prevented the enemy from turning our flanks. The Schmeling Grenadier Battalion lost all it officers and 60% of its men but did not waver in your service. The Kalreuth Musketeer Regiment stood firm against repeated cavalry charges raillying around the standard your Majesty had presented to them during the parades at Potsdam. 4 La Bataille ME

5 By 4:00 pm the French had enough after suffering substantial losses from our disciplined volleys. When the smoke finally cleared we could see their leader had fallen in the action. Unfortunately our ammunition was running low and the line divisions were not able to counterattack. It was all the officers could do to hold our brave soldaten back as they sought revenge for the citizens of Halle. Each one had proved themselves a true Prussian. As the sun set, the Reserve Korps retreated a little more than a mile away and pretended to make camp. With the camp fires lighted, the brave elements of the Reserve Korps slipped away to join the main army and fight another day. Your most obedient servant, Fuer Koenig und Vaterland Herzog Eugen Friedrich Heinrich von Württemberg 5 La Bataille ME

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