Wednesday, 10 February 2016

We must get across that bridge !

This is what the French commander stated when he saw the Austrians and Prussians bearing down on his forces attempting to converge at a river crossing.

Graham, Rafael & I gathered at Steve Clarke's today for an "In The Grand Manner" Napoleonic battle.

It was resolved that Steve C would command the French Allies facing my Austrians whilst Graham would take charge of the French facing Rafael's Prussians

Here's the layout with the key bridge, French Allies are already on the move towards it.

Farmer Stefan at the other end has no idea whats about to descend upon him !

French Allied division in column

The Prussians march onto the battlefield.

and French forces arrive opposite them.

The Prussians start to deploy their artillery on the road.

As an Austrian battery arrives over on the left.

Austrian hussars and infantry now show up

and more of their infantry and skirmishers work their way through wooded ground.

Austrian officers urge the artillery to use some high ground for their site.

The French Allies send out their skirmishers as the troops prepare to turn and face the Austrians.

A bird's eye view of proceedings at this stage.

French skirmishers move through the farmyard

Prussian troops move through the far woods as others form up behind the artillery.

Here our bird sees the various deployments where the Austrians face the French Allies.

Italian troops line a rise.

Austrian skirmishers advance beyond the tree line.

Buoyed up by the cavalry commander, hussars move into a trot

A French field officer organises his command

Prussian attack columns form up.

Now in position, the Austrian guns open up on the infantry opposite them.

French infantry in "ordre mixed"

The Austrian hussars now charge the enemy infantry

watched by supporting Uhlans.

The Prussians have changed into line as the French do likewise

Clear of the woods, Prussian infantry form up to attack the farm

which makes the French skirmishers scarper !

French dragoons trot onto the battlefield

and French hussars too behind the infantry

Although Prussian infantry have taken the farm, masses of French troops are to their left advancing purposefully.

The Prussian guns open fire on them

Prussian and French infantry close on each other

Boom ! Boom ! Boom !

Morale check !

Fierce exchange of musketry

Meanwhile, the Austrian hussars have "bounced" off the French Allied infantry line after taking casualties during the charge.

At this point we adjourned to The Chequers for lunch

Here we see Prussian and French commanders at ease !

The view from the pub window

Right, back to work - the Austrian hussars have to return to their own lines to reform

Over the other side, French troops storm the farm yard.

The Austrian lancers decide its their turn to charge the enemy infantry

As French hussars charge a Prussian line in column as they did not have space to deploy.

Two Austrian columns head for the Italian line

as two more make for the infantry guarding the way to the bridge

The Prussian volley kills half of the hussars forcing a change of heart

That did not happen to the Austrian lancers

The Prussians have been thrown out of the farm

at the very moment that the Uhlans plough through the enemy infantry, effectively destroying that battalion.

With the enemy infantry gone, the Uhlans return to their own lines as Dragoons replace them on the battlefield.

The French left looks good at this stage with the farm secure.

but the centre is pinned because of a retreating unit.

Further encouragement for the French - three squadrons of Cuirassiers arrive !

Prussian troops are unmoved !

as teor artillery continues to pound the infantry in front of them

The French dragoons find space to deploy

But their infantry colleagues are in disarray

Two big Austrian columns clash with a French one in front of the bridge

As the Prussians push the French infantry back

The Italians feel the full force of the enemy

French troops flee and the way to the bridge is wide open to the Austrians !

Relentless Prussian pressure too prevents any French co-ordination.

The French still hold the farm for now

but that does not help the main battle in the centre.

War can be so colourless at times !

Not to be outdone, Austrian dragoons charge another French Allied unit

and they are destroyed too - great holes are appearing in the French positions now and the two commands are separated and with no prospect of securing the bridge.

Worse still, the Austrian dragoons have captured the French recording device !

Victory is declared for the Austrians & Prussians.

A fine way to belatedly celebrate Steve's birthday down at Goldhanger.

Many thanks for hosting us, Steve.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Steve a "kind" report of a French defeat. Great to have all of you over for the day. Great picture of the Uhlans charging the Irish Legion! We will return to face the Austrian's again.