Battle Report: 3rd August 1999

Later Turkish ~vs~ Later Russian

(Robert Avery ~vs~ Rupert Avery) .

Later Turkish

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s Org. Class Weapons Pts/Fig Points
  CinC 1         100
1st Brigade 2inC 1         50
  1st Bttn 20 4x5 RegB blr 11 260
  2nd Bttn 24 4x6 RegC blr 10 280
  3rd Bttn 24 4x6 RegC blr 10 280
  Attached Lancers 12 2x6 RegC l, s, blc 15 200
  Attached Artillery 2 2x1 RegC light blrb FA 89 198
2nd Brigade 2inC 1         50
  1st Bttn 24 4x6 RegC blr 10 280
  2nd Bttn 24 4x6 RegC blr 10 280
  3rd Bttn 24 4x6 RegC blr 10 280
  Attached Lancers 12 2x6 RegC l, s, blc   200
  Attached Artillery 2 2x1 RegC light blrb FA   198
              2656
.

Later Russian

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s

Org.

Class

Weapons

Pts/Fig

Points

.

CinC

1

 

 

 

  100
1st 2inC 1         50
Foot 1st Battalion 48 4x12 RegC poor quality blr 9 472
  2nd Battalion 48 4x12 RegC poor quality blr 9 472
  3rd Battalion 48 4x12 RegD poor quality blr 8 424
  Attached Sailors 48 4x12 RegD poor quality blr 8 424
1st 2inC 1         50
Horse Dragoon Guards 8 1x8 RegB s, blc 16 138
  Uhlans 8 1x8 RegC s, l, p 14 122
Artillery Battery 3 3x1 RegC light mlrb FA 79 267
  Ammo Wagon 1         50
              2569
 

Report

The Russians, being outscouted, deployed first. They set up very much in a block:  with the 1st and 2nd Bttn’s opposite a small village; their guns on their left; their cavalry to the left of the guns; and their remaining infantry to the left of the cavalry.

The Turks, on the other hand, split their forces into two parts. Their combined artillery, supported by the 2nd Brigade Cavalry, were placed on the far left of the field: allowing them to shoot across the battleground and into the flanks of any advancing Russians. Their entire infantry marched in column towards the village and its neighbouring hill; with their remaining cavalry on the far right beginning an outflanking manoeuvre.

As battle opened, both sides marched forward: the Russians sending their left flank infantry forces (the 3rd Bttn and the Sailors) towards the Turkish guns, and their other two infantry units toward the village. The Turks sent their entire infantry force doubling towards the village: with varying degrees of success.

Spotting a weakness in a disordered Turkish unit, the Russian commander charged  the 1st Bttn down the road near the village straight into the heart of the Turkish advance. Although the Turks were momentarily stopped in their tracks, the single Russian unit effectively faced six battalions of Turkish infantry. It’s charge failed, and the retreating Ruskies were hit by a charge themselves that routed them off the table.

Meanwhile, the Russians had brought up the 2nd Bttn to attack the village. Unfortunately, they came under flanking fire from the Turkish guns, which halted them before the village was reached. Worse, the Turkish 1st Bttn cavalry had completed their outflanking manoeuvre and were now threatening their other flank. Not sure what to do, the Russians formed square.

To the left, two battalions of Russians were still marching towards the Turkish guns. Unfortunately, the Russians had chosen to advance in line rather than, say, skirmish or column formation: so the advance was very slow.

The Turks now took the initiative: taking the village and the hill, and forming on their edges and preparing to pour fire into the halted Russian 2nd Bttn. Realising that a crisis point had been reached, the Russian commander attempted to shift the Turks from the village hill by charging his Sailors and entire cavalry at them as they were still forming. Unfortunately, the Turks were readier than they looked: their guns fired into the rear of the charging cavalry and sailors, and there were actually three battalions of infantry able to add their fire to repulse the charges.

With only the 2nd Bttn and artillery now still a fighting force (the 3rd Bttn had finally forced the guns to move: but only far enough to start pouring fire into it), the Russian commander ordered a retreat.

Casualties

The Turks lost 60 men from the 1st/2nd Bttn; 40 men from the 2nd/1st Bttn; and 80 men from the 2nd/3rd Bttn. They also lost 20 gunners and a sub-general (spectacular death): for a total of 200 casualties.

The Russians lost 180 men from the 2nd Bttn; 20 men from the 1st Bttn (ROT); 120 Sailors (ROT); 120 Dragoons (ROT); and 80 Uhlans (ROT). They also lost their CinC to a heavy wound: a total of 520 casualties.

Results

A win for the Turks.

Analysis

A good battle in which the long range Turkish artillery proved a thorn in the side of the slow-moving Russians. Had the Russian CinC suppressed the artillery sooner, then things might have been different: but the Turks took full advantage of their outscouting to get the best position possible.