Battle Report: 23rd March 1992
Late British Indian ~vs~ Late Afghan & Russian
Norgren ~vs~ Robert Avery & Richard Avery)
This was a very large battle that took about six hours to fight.
The Afghans occupied the allies’ left flank, faced by the British CinC with the Ghurkas and Highlanders supported by the Bengal Lancers and rocket battery. The Russians occupied the allies’ right flank, faced by the rest of the British force.
On the left, the Afghans advanced strongly and, despite strong resistance from the Ghurkas, Highlanders and Sikhs (who had been sent to reinforce), eventually forced a general rout.
The Ghurkas managed to defeat a charge on their square from the Ghazi fanatics, led by the Afghan CinC: but succumbed eventually to skirmisher fire. The Highlanders repulsed a charge by the fanatical cavalry, but were battered for the whole battle by skirmishers and artillery fire, eventually routing from the field. The reinforcing Sikhs were faced by the Ghazis right at the end of the battle, but fired far too soon, leaving them at the mercy of their hawk-like foes.
On the Russian side of the battlefield, the British advanced slowly against a solid defence maintained by the Russians. The Cossacks attempted to clear the British skirmish line, but were repulsed time and time again. The British replied by throwing their Lancers and Sikh cavalry against the Russian main body, but these were repulsed in turn. The far right of the battlefield became a slogging match that was unresolved by the end of the battle: the British unable to make any headway.
further in to the centre an incident occurred that really was the final nail
in the British coffin. The Cossack infantry had formed a skirmish line to
oppose the advancing Sepoy regiment. On being charged by the Sepoys, the
Cossack skirmish line disengaged, running back towards the cover of their main
body of infantry. The Sepoys, however, had timed their charge just right: and
ended up forcing the Cossacks to turn and fight. This proved to be a mistake:
as the Cossacks, outnumbered and charged in the rear, somehow managed to win
the melee! The Sepoys never recovered...they crumbled, and so did this half of
the British force.
The British lost a total of 1225 men: 20% of their force. Nine of their units were routed: only the 1st/24th managing to perform a fighting retreat, covering their fleeing comrades.
The Russians lost 388 men, the Afghans 462 men: for a total of 850 casualties.
An extremely bloody battle ended with a win for the combined Russian/Afghan side.
The luck was unusual: in that General Norgren had extraordinary good die rolls at the beginning of the battle, and vice-versa at the end. General Norgren did, however, accept that he could have deployed his forces better initially - especially as he out-scouted the allies - and that it was probably this initial deployment that sealed his fate!