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Battle Report: 8th June 1996

French 1870 ~vs~ Prussian 1870

(Robert Avery ~vs~ Nog Norgren)

.

French 1870

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s Org. Class Weapons Pts/Fig Points
. CinC

1

. .. .   100
  2inC 2         100
Line 1ere Ligne 36 6x6 RegC lbl   456
Infantry 2ieme Ligne 36 6x6 RegC lbl   456
  3ieme Ligne 36 6x6 RegC lbl   456
  Zouaves 36 6x6 RegB lbl   528
  Marines 36 6x6 RegC lbl   456
Cavalry Lancers 12 2x6 RegB s, l   200
Brigade Cuirassiers 12 2x6 RegB s, armour   200
  Guides 12 2x6 RegA s, p   224
  Dragoons 12 2x6 RegA s, blc   236
Artillery Battery A 3 3x1 RegC light mlsb FA   237
Train Ammo Wagon 1       50 50
              3699
.

Prussian 1870

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s

Org.

Class

Weapons

Pts/Fig

Points

  

CinC

1

 

 

 

  100
  2inC 2         100
Foot Guards 48 4x12 RegA blr   664
  Jaegers 48 4x12 LightsB blr   664
  1st Line 48 4x12 RegC blr   520
  2nd Line 24 2x12 RegC blr   260
Horse Uhlans 24 4x6 RegB s, p, blc, l   472
  Cuirassiers 24 4x6 RegA s, p, blc, armour   520
Artillery Personality 1         25
  Battery A 3 3x1 RegA light blrb FA   321
Train Ammo Wagon 1         50
              3696
.
. French Prussians
Foot 3600 3360
Horse 960 960
Guns 6 6
 

Report

Neither side outscouted, so the armies deployed for battle simultaneously. The Prussians placed their full strength infantry battalions in the centre, supported by their artillery, their Uhlans on the left, with the smaller infantry battalion and Cuirassiers on their right.

The French placed all their cavalry on their left flank, and pushed forward their infantry in column: evenly spaced out over their frontage.

Both sides immediately advanced strongly:  with infantry rushing forward in column. On the French left, the French cavalry poured out of the village and formed four huge lines, each two squadrons wide, in preparation for a wave assault on the Prussian Cuirassiers and smaller infantry battalion.

The Prussian artillery, proving as deadly as their historical counterparts, wiped out all but one section of their French equivalents, which fled the field anyway.

The Prussian commander now deployed his men into line but, as they began to move, suddenly realised that the French Marines and Zouaves were charging forward, sunlight glinting off their bayonets! At the same time, the French cavalry spurred their horses forward into a charge:  it was going to be a short, sharp battle!

On the French left, their cavalry smashed into the Cuirassiers and a small square of infantry. The first squadron of Prussian Cuirassiers and the whole of the French Lancers were wiped from the field, but then the French Heavy cavalry, big men on big horses, crashed into their foes: hurling them backwards shaken and in disorder. Still more French cavalry charged forward, and the Prussians gave way and routed.

Meanwhile in the centre, the French Marines had smashed through the Jaeger skirmish line, and forced the Prussian gunners to flee to the Guards unit. The Guards refused flank, and halted the Marines who, next phase, were peppered by the Prussian Guard on their own flank, and fled in some confusion.

The Zouaves had smashed the rest of the Jaegers from the field and had paused to regroup. Into view came the Prussian Uhlans, rushing across the field to halt the victorious French cavalry from rolling up their lines. Chassepots were raised, and the unfortunate Uhlans blasted in the flank.

With only the Guards and one line battalion remaining, and facing five untouched French units, the Prussians retreated.

Casualties

The Prussians lost 120 Jaegers; 40 Cuirassiers; 220 Line Infantry and 60 Guards. The Uhlans took very heavy casualties too.

The French lost two artillery sections; half the Marines and Zouaves; all the Lancers and most of their Cuirassiers.

Results

A narrow victory for the French:  with the Prussians being able to retreat in good order.

Analysis

A great battle decided by two charges in the second turn!

The French fought with élan:  winning at the point of the bayonet. Note that the speedy Prussian advance did negate the advantage of the Chassepot’s longer range.