Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Russian Campaign at Michael's - Part 11

(Click here or click on the Campaign 09: Russia menu item to see all the parts with the latest at the top. A Campaign using Empire Campaign System and Empire V rules and Adler 6mm Napoleonic figures of the French invading Russia in 1812.)

It's now the 5th hour of battle. The Italians are holding their own against the Russian Grenadier formations supported by many guns and light cavalry reinforced with cavalry from the Guard.

I command the left of the field, with 2 divisions of Italians. 1 division is made up of line regiments and supported by attached heavy artillery. This division holds the line to the left of the road. The other division I command is made up of a brigade of Elite infantry, a brigade of Crack infantry, a brigade of Grenadiers and a brigade of cavalry with guns. This divisions hold the left flank of the battlefield with the cavalry on the extreme left. An additional brigade of light cavalry sits between my 1st division and the road behind the heavy gun line.

Overhead pic showing the Italian line division with 1 brigade in front and the 2nd brigade behind, supported by artillery and cavalry to its right between them and the road. The elite division begins from the centre and moves to the left with 2 squares, skirmishers and cavalry covering the extreme left flank.

To the front of my troops was 2 brigades of Russian grenadiers in columns of attack bearing down upon me. 1 brigade of 4 battalions was heading for my line division while the other was moving towards my elite division. On my right next to the road and opposite my heavy guns is 4 batteries of Russian artillery. On my left the Russian guard cavalry sits waiting for an opportunity supported by 2 batteries of horse artillery.

A close up of the extreme left flank of the battlefield showing the 2 Italian elite squares and the skirmish line.

The Russian guard cavalry threatening my left flank.

A close up of the left most brigade of Russian grenadiers looking over the plumes of my Italian grenadiers.

As if on parade instead of in the middle of a battle, the Russian grenadiers opposing my grenadiers broke into a solid line covering the entire front my elite division. The 4 battalions of enemy grenadiers, now 3 ranks deep moved forward. My skirmishers ran forward to harass and try to discourage them from advancing any closer.

4 Russian grenadier battalions form line and advance under heavy skirmisher fire.

My skirmish line was no match for the advancing grenadiers who simply marched forward as though they were not even there. Soon their line and my grenadier lines were engaged in a ferocious firefight at extremely close range. This firefight went on for 3/4 of an hour as both sides poured volley after volley into each other. Hundreds of men died on both sides as each side tried to force the result. Eventually, the Russian Corps commander attached to their firing line, was mortally wounded and the addition of Italian guard artillery firing on their flank at close range, forced the situation. 3 of the 4 enemy battalions broke and fled.

The firefight at its height. Russian grenadiers face off against Italian grenadiers and elite infantry.

The firefight at its peak.

The situation at the start of the 6th hour of battle.

The aftermath of the firefight with the Russians loosing their Corps commander and Italian horse artillery on their flank.

During the 6th hour of battle, a fresh brigade of light cavalry arrived on my extreme left flank and took up positions to counter the threat from the Russian guard cavalry.

Friendly cavalry arrive on my left flank.

Part way through the 6th hour, the Russian formations broke and their entire army fled under the watchful eyes of 2 brigades of guard cavalry on either flank. Our commander decided to consolidate his positions rather than pursuing the enemy as we would not have got very far with an enemy grenadier formation holding the village to the north.

The situation on the other side of the road at the 6th hour of battle. Italian columns head to head with Russian grenadiers, with both sides supported with artillery and cavalry.

A quick pic of Russian artillery crews manhandle their guns away as fast as they can.

... 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. A Campaign using Empire Campaign System and Empire V rules and Adler 6mm Napoleonic figures of the French invading Russia in 1812.)

1 comment:

Colin Hanley said...

Amazing pictures and an exciting battle report !
What do the straws indicate? Caualties?