Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Russian Campaign at Michael's - Part 3

(Click here or click on the Campaign 09: Russia menu item to see all the parts with the latest at the top)

More on our Campaign on the Invasion of Russian and my progress commanding the Westphalians in the Battle of Smolensk. We are using 6mm Adler Napoleonics.

Here is a view of the rest of the battlefield in and around Smolensk. I am assaulting the left, which if not shown on this image. Poniatovski's Poles are attacking to the left of the church in the centre of the image, while Ney is assaulting to the right of the town.

A view of the rest of the battlefield

Poniatovski's Poles slip past the cavalry in their staring competition to hide in the cornfields to the rear of the town only to discover a brigade of Russian infantry

the Russians and Poles come to grips in the cornfields

Ney manages to punch a hole in the Russian lines atop the ridge packed with artillery using 2 battalions of Hessian Guards supported by French infantry to their left and right

The 4 Hessian battalions assaulting the Russian line forces them back in total dissarray creating a hole that could be exploited

Back to my attack.

With only Cossack skirmishers now between me and the main Russian lines, it was now time to hand over the attack to my Westphalian Infantry. The Cavalry moved further to the left to threaten the rear of the left most position of artillery (36 pieces of 6 pounders!) and a protecting brigade of Hussars.

With the front open, the 1st of my 2 infantry divisions deploy wide with 1 brigade of 5 battalions in a line of columns moving towards the enemy gun position on the left mentioned above, and the other brigade of 6 battalions in a line of columns moving to the enemy gun position on the right. This 2nd position also contained 36 guns but 24 of them were 12 pounders. Nasty! Needless to say a large skirmisher screen was pushed forward to occupy the guns but it was not long before both the skirmishers and columns were taking casualties from the guns. I had to make my move quick.

My lead division of Westphalian infantry spread wide to threaten the enemy gun positions to their front

The left brigade

With the left brigade I pushed forward 2 battalions in line to occupy the gunners for my cavalry attack on the extreme left. This was to hopefully prevent the enemy from turning his guns to face my horse. It worked! The guns did not move, but many a fine Westphalian Infantryman went down. But the gunners were also taking casualties as well.

A line of 2 battalions encompass the front of the left gun position in an attempt to occupy its gunners. 120 casualties were taken in this action but a few of the gunners were killed also.

One of the benefits of this move was that the left most battery in that left gun position was a horse battery and it opted to relocate and abandon the line. Great! 12 less guns to deal with.

My line of infantry now faces 22 guns while my cavalry come to grips with the defending Russian Hussars and fight an even fight on my left.

My right infantry brigade prepare to attack the right Russian gun position

I do not have much time. The casualties are mounting on the infantry column. At around 300 every 15 minutes, I had to act. A thick skirmish screen was thrown up right at the tips of the guns. This occupied them in order to stop them targetting my columns. Skirmishers were dieing fast! I needed to get the columns moving.

A thick skirmish screen thrown in front of the guns to reduce casualties to the column is almost wiped out!

The call the charge rang out! The Russians were stunned! Napoleon's ADC attached to my staff was gobsmacked! 6 Westphalian battalions in column closed their gaps and double paced forward into the waiting guns. It was beautiful! With the Brigade and Divisional commanders leading, they could not fail.

It was close! My Infantry's elan was just enough to overcome the gunners and soon we had a horse battery running for it's life and 23 heavy 12 pounders in our possession. We succeeded but we lost approx 360 men doing it.

Now the front is open to the awaiting Russian Infantry and the Guard!

Will the tide turn?

My Westphalian infantry rejoicingly dance around the on the position that earlier was occupied by 36 Russian artillery pieces.

A couple more pics.

The main Russian gun position on the ridgeline that commands the left flank. My attack completely avoided it by moving further to the left and is currently slightly behind and to the left of it.

A French Light Cavalry attached earlier in the day to my Corps finally arrives and takes to the field covering my right.

to be continued ...

(Click here or click on the Campaign 09: Russia menu item to see all the parts with the latest at the top)

1 comment:

Michael said...

Very nice, very jealous.