Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Battle of Nations 2010 - Part 3

The Battle of nations enters its second hour with a blanket of light snow dropping visibility down to 500yds at best. The guns fall silent as men and horse grope forward in the white mist. Silhouettes in the distance indiscernible at first soon betray their origin as foe's clash in a fury of gunfire and swords.

On the Allied left flank the Prussians feverishly push forward to quickly form a solid wall of infantry and artillery as the Wurttemberger's take advantage of the respite given to them by the retreating Prussian cavalry brigade to advance rapidly. The Wurttemberg Fuzzjager btln covers the following heavy infantry by engaging the Prussian line as the casualties on both sides continue to mount.

On the Prussian right the action in the village intensifies as the Bavarian contingent is now fully engaged with the advancing Russians. Jager btlns have now secured the forward woods and have opened up a lively firefight against the light companies of a forward Bavarian Infantry regiment. Meanwhile a Prussian Jager btln supported by a Fusilier btln has overwhelmed the Bavarian light btln facing them forcing it to break and round through the fields to the rear. This has exposed a Bavarian foot battery which is now very vulnerable.

Towards the centre of the battlefield the Polish brigade has now activated its break-off orders after suffering from intense Russian artillery fire. The snow shower providing the Polish with some respite from the gunfire to withdraw slowly out of effective range. The Russians have also taken advantage of this development to bring up a cavalry division into the vicinity in the hope of crushing the retreating Polish. However, the distance is rapidly extending and the chance to pounce has clearly passed.

Towards the Allied right centre another Russian division is finding itself hotly engaged with a French Legere regiment that has taken position behind hedgerows catching the forward Russian Musketeer regiment in the open in formed line. These Russian btlns failed to initiate a charge on the enemy regiment and is now rapidly being cut to pieces from the incoming skirmisher fire while its own fire is highly ineffectual. However, a Cossack sontia is poised directly behind the faltering Russian forward line ready to charge the unsuspecting French lights. If successful this charge could save the predicament of the Russian infantry lines.

Towards the Allied right flank the forward Austrian Infantry brigade remains isolated defending itself from an entire French division. The French failed to take advantage of a faltering Hungarian Infantry column with an exposed flank. This shaken unit was at the mercy of the French who failed to act. This unit subsequently through the work of its integral officers and NCO's managed to re-order the btln and form line to face the right of their position. Its situation is still dire and it could yet still collapse if the French act quickly. Meanwhile the Austrian 3rd ranker's and Jagers continue to defend themselves against a Legere regiment facing it.

During this time the rear Austrian brigades finally activated their orders and are now advancing to support the beleaguered forward brigade on its right flank. In the process one btln of the 4th Regiment of Infantry charged a French skirmish screen forcing it to evade rapidly away while on the extreme Allied right flank the Austrian cuirassiers finally prevailed over their lighter French counterparts forcing them to rapidly retire. Taking advantage of the respite the Cuirassiers have reformed ready to re-engage if necessary.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Battle of Nations 2010 - Part 2

This update details the happenings of the last turn of the 1st hour of combat.

On the French right flank the Prussian cavalry attack has been fought off. After the loss of a Wurttemberg Line battalion caught by the lead Prussian dragoon regiment the rest of the Wurttemberg brigade came to the rescue. The Wurttemberg light battalion advanced on the withdrawing dragoons catching them as they turned. The incoming fire causing their morale to collapse into rout. A second regiment caught in the hurried retreat was then hit by further light infantry fire but also round-shot and shell form a supporting Wurttemberg foot battery further back.
The combination of this fire also catching the second regiment while it attempted to turn and flee in such a confined space caused its morale to collapse and it too routed. The third regiment in this brigade, a regiment of Landwehr cavalry fared better. It had remained a few hundred paces behind and was able to safely withdraw behind the onrushing Prussian infantry Brigade and artillery support striving to form a defensive line before the Wurttembergers could take advantage of the chaos.

Meanwhile in the center the Russians were beginning to make their presence known. A Russian grand batery had gained to top of a low hill 800yds further back but had a perfect clear field of vision of the advancing Polish brigade headed directly towards the advancing Russian Infantry supporting the right flank of the Prussians.

From this position the Russian position batteries opened up reining shot and shell down on the lead Polish battalion. Within 15minutes the Polish btln was chopped up losing 20 percent of its strength. Nevertheless it held its morale and continued to advance. However, severely reduced in strength this btln may not hold on much longer. If the field of fire holds out long enough the entire Polish brigade may be in jeopardy.

To counter this threat the French advanced their 2nd Infantry division into the wheat fields and built up areas along the centre of the field. Already in position they had the time to advance their voltiguer companies across the lateral road to take up positions along the hedgerows. As the Russian advanced first regiment deployed into line and continued to advance the French voltiguers opened up at long range. In such an open field the Russians lost several men from their close ordered formations. However, they halted to deliver a volley of their own which was ineffectual at best.

On the French left flank the lead French Infantry division was now in position to strike the lone Austrian Infantry brigade that had advanced alone. The second Austrian Infantry brigade further back failed to activate its orders to advance and support the right flank of the lead brigade. Now caught out in front the Austrians are now suffering heavy casualties from massed skirmisher fire. The integral 3rd ranker's are putting up heroic resistance but cannot hold back the mass French light troops. The extreme right Austrian infantry column has been outflanked and is now beginning to falter (shaken) as it takes casualties to its exposed flank. If the French Light cavalry advancing to support them is successful in pushing the enemy cavalry back this flank may soon fall...

This Light Cavalry brigade consisting of two regiments in line. A Chasseur a'cheval regiment in front with a Hussar regiment in close support behind. Seizing on a mistake committed by the opposing Austrian cavalry commander the order was given to advance! The Austrian heavy cavalry brigade (Cuirassiers) had advanced to their extreme right flank in a column of troops to avoid a small light woods. Hoping to pass this woods the Austrian commander had hoped to form line and charge.

However, the quick thinking French who now had the possibility of charging down on the enemy as he was deploying sounded the bugles to charge! As the French advanced at a trot from almost 500yds away the Austrians seeing their dilemma, quickly gave the order to hurriedly deploy into line (they passed their morale check). This staggered line had no choice but to extend into the light woods. Just as the French had neared to less than 200yds the bugles trumpeted out the order to increase the pace and within 100yds the first line galloped into the Austrians who had managed to deploy just in the nick of time.

The ensuing contact between the French first line of veteran light cavalry up against the Austrians (also veterans) ended in a tie. The onrushing French light cavalry hit the Cuirassiers at the halt and inflicted 27 casualties. However, the halted but deployed Austrian heavy cavalry, armoured inflicted 27 against the French! None predicted such a rare occurrence but the French were brought to a standstill and a general melee ensued. This meant that the rest of the Austrian brigade could enter the melee next turn but also the French Hussars would join in. As the night ended we did not have the time to advance to the next turn to find out the conclusion to this fight. It is on a knife's edge and will be continued next Tuesday night!!

to be continued...