Saturday, 12 May 2012

Russian Flankers

While awaiting the first map moves in the new campaign we've been filling the time with a small encounter battle which I briefly mentioned in the last blog update.  As yet there's little to report on the campaign front so instead here's a few pics and a somewhat one-sided view of this latest scrap.  The Russian and Prussian Allied force of six Russian infantry divisions, two Prussian divisions and a division of Russian cavalry were tasked with ejecting a combined Franco-German force form a defensive line linking two villages and with its right flank resting on a small river.

Wurtemburg infantry regroup after fighting off an asssault by Russian infantry.  In the background a Prussian formation lines up to make a second attempt for the Allies.

The French and German troops had at their disposal a division each of Westphalians and Wurtemburgers, a combined Hessen-Darmstadt and Cleve Berg division, a French infantry division and a division of young guard.  Finally added to this was a light cavalry division of three regiments. 
The Allies made the decision to attack in strength on their right while holding the centre with a small force supported by artillery.  On their left more Russian infantry made the link to the Prussians who had to cross the river before they could get into the action.

Having lost the left hand village and with their flank under combined artillery and infantry attack the French left begins to crumble.

The French deployment saw the Westphalians and Hessen Darmstadt troops holding the left with the young guard in the centre and the Wurtemburgers holding the village on the right.  The last French division was off table but was scheduled to arrive around turn six on the far right of the French position and on the wrong side of the river. 
    As it turned out both sides attacked on their respective right flanks.  The French for some reason neglected to fully cover their left and a strong Russian force was able to manouvre past their main defensive position and turn the flank.  This then allowed another Russian column to assault the main French defensive position which by now had become the corner of an "L" shaped position.  With no cavalry and little artillery support the the French left quickly buckled.

The French right, eight battalions of seasoned infantry advance to engage a Landwehr division which after the initial firefight simply turned and fled.

On the French right things went a little better,  with the Prussian a division already halfway through the process of transferring from one side of the river to the other the Landwehr which were waiting their turn to cross were dismayed to see the arrival of fresh French troops.  There would be no time for them to cross to safety and accordingly they shook out into line of battle to await the arrival of the French.  Sadly there were to be no heroic stands by the part timers and they were summarily swept from the field having hardly fired a shot.

Young guard infantry holding the centre of the French position.  These were eventually pushed forward to try and relieve the pressure on the French left but it was too little too late.

On the face of things with the successes of both right flanks it would appear to have been a drawn fight but in reality it was a comprehensive victory for the Allies.  The defeat of the Landwehr whilst admirable was effectively a sideshow taking place as it did on the far bank of the river and away from the main fighting.  Whereas by turning the French left the Allies had inflicted heavy casualties and were in a good position to pursue the broken German troops all the way to the banks of the river where few of them would have been able to escape over the solitary bridge.  The young guard would have been isolated and also forced to surrender or face destruction.

Wurtemburg foot artillery.  These are Firing Line miniatures and until the introduction of the new range from Front rank I believe they were the only ones available.

So an interesting game which finished early enough for us to clear the figures away and then start yet another one.  This one with almost the same forces but with some casualties having been removed and the introduction of a few reinforcements.  Hopefully by the next post we may have had some action on the campaign front but with Eric being away for the next fortnight topping up his Geordie accent we will have to rely on his deputies to carry out his movements.


Phil said...

Another great report, pictures and figs are amazing.

DaveD said...

Crakin Noel.

Lots of toys, al la "Grand Manner"

love it

Rodger said...

Great report and wonderful photos.

DimaPrapor said...

Fantastic painting! Stunning battlreport! And great blog! Just keep it that way.

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