Monday, October 13, 2014

Wertingen 1805 Revisited

With Peter Williams visiting from Canberra I introduced him to our Hail Frederick with a re-run of Wertingen 1805, an historical scenario we fought a few months ago.  Peter commanded the Austrian Corps which has been surprised by Murat's cavalry & needs to escape before Lane's infantry can come up and finish it off.  See blog of 19/08/2014 for full details of the scenario.
Two moves in and the first French heavy cavalry division is galloping forward as the Austrian infantry moves from road columns to a chain of squares.  On the right the Austrian cavalry have charged down the road at the French hussars.
The French hussars surprisingly defeated the Austrian cuirassiers, but have stayed back & rallied  as the surviving Austrian hussars fell back.  The second French heavy cavalry division has come onto the table as the first engages the squares. 
The French artillery & cavalry have broken 1 square each, but 1 French cavalry has also been broken & others shaken.   The 2nd cavalry division's advance is maddeningly slow.  The Austrian hussars have fallen back behind the village & the French hussars have followed up.  French infantry has come onto the table on the road on the right, just off pic.
The French hussars charged through the village at the Austrians but were beaten.  Then the Austrians made a sweeping advance through the village to destroy the supporting hussars as well.  This exposed the head of the infantry column on the road.  The French grenadiers hastily formed a disordered attack column which broke.  The hussar's sweeping advance was finally halted by the line infantry behind. 
The Austrian hussars fell back from the French infantry now advancing in supported line. The 1st French cavalry are running out of steam and the squares are steadily retreating while the 2nd heavy cavalry continue a careful advance with pretty ordinary command dice.  
The heroic Austrian hussars failed command when ordered to attack the French cavalry in flank & were finally broken by infantry hitting them in flank. 
The fresh cavalry division has finally made it to the action, but it's too late to stop the Austrians getting 5 of their 9 battalions away.  Two have already made it off the table and only one of the 4 in the pic above wasn't able to get away.

So this battle went very differently to the first time we did it.  This time the Austrians won.  Peter's aggressive use of his small cavalry force kept the French infantry right out of it & his fighting retreat of the squares was very well done. 

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