After the success at Smolensk, the Russians withdraw to the NorthEast towards Yelnya with Napoleon in pursuit.
On a parallel road to the south, Napoleon orders the Italian Corps to continue moving NorthEast in line with the main army. As an Imperial ADC, I am sent down to check on their status. As I progress down the road with my escort, I come across a courier coming the other way who reports the Italians are engaging a Russian formation. I spur my stead forward in haste.
The campaign map showing Napoleon and the main army recovering at Smolensk and the Italians at the crossroads to the south in contact with the enemy.
When I arrive at the Italian lines, I discover the Eugene, commanding the Italians has stumbled upon a large force of Russians as they moved off after the battle of Smolensk. They have recovered well and the force is a mixture of all arms with a majority of them being elite. Guard cavalry and numerous Grenadier formations are spotted.
The Italians deploy either side of the main road in the bottom of this picture and prepare the receive attacks from Russian Guard cavalry and Grenadiers.
I report into Eugene's HQ. I find the enagement is already 4 hours advanced but Eugene is calm and holding his troops in position in order to make the Russians come to him. He confirms what I have heard. He does indeed face a combined Russian force of Grenadiers and Guard light cavalry and all their guns.
Eugene gives me command of the left wing made up of the Italian guard cavalry of 3 regiments and guns, an Italian elite brigade and an Italian Infantry division with 3 batteries of heavy guns attached.
Russian Guard cavalry threaten Eugene's centre
I immediately sprung into action. Opposite my forces was a brigade of good cavalry and guns on my extreme left and 8 battalions of Grenadiers and guns towards the centre. I decided to charge their cavalry before they could rest and unlimber their guns on me. My guns were already unlimbered so they fired away in support of the charge.
The charge went in and before long the enemy horse was in full flight.
The attached artillery did not even faulter as their horse fleeing. They brazenly galloped full speed to my flank and unloaded cannister into my blown force as they tried to reorganise.
My infantry towards the centre consolidated their defensive line and deployed every gun they could. The enemy guns were soon unlimbered as well and they began trading shot for shot. It was not long before I began getting the edge, primarily because most of mine were heavy 12 pound guns.
I decided to pull the front line from my centre, 3 battalions of elite light infantry to reinforce my left and threaten the enemy horse batteries on my flank. The remaing brigade of Italian Grenadiers pushed forward to fill the gap and take the impending Russian attack.
Close up of the Italian Grenadiers
The Russian Guard cavalry move forwards in the centre at Eugene's cavalry.
Italian infantry hold the small village on the road in the centre of our lines.
... 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.)