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Battle Report: 19th August 1997

Prussian ~vs~ Late French

(Robert Avery ~vs~ Rupert Avery) .

Prussian

Brigade

Unit

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

1

. .. .   100
Infantry Guards 48 4x12 RegB blr   568
Brigade Jaegers 48 4x12 RegC blr   520
  Line 48 4x12 RegC blr   520
Cavalry Uhlans 6 1x6 RegB s, p, l   136
Brigade Dragoons 12 2x6 RegB s, blc   232
  Cuirassiers 6 1x6 RegB s, p, blc, armour   148
Artillery Battery A 3 3x1 RegB light blrb FA   306

.

            2510
.

Late French

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s

Org.

Class

Weapons

Pts/Fig

Points

.

CinC

1

 

 

 

  100
Infantry 1st Bttn 30 5x6 RegC lbl   390
Brigade 2nd Bttn 30 5x6 RegC lbl   390
  3rd Bttn 30 5x6 RegC lbl   390
  Zouaves 36 6x6 RegB lbl   492
Cavalry Guides 6 1x6 RegA s, p   122
Brigade Cuirassiers 6 1x6 RegB s, armour   110
  Dragoons 6 1x6 RegA s, blc   128
  Lancers 6 1x6 RegB s, l   110
Artillery Battery A 3 3x1 RegB light mlsb FA   237
.             2525
.
. Prussian French
Foot 2880 2520
Horse 280 480
Guns 6 6
.

Report

An excellent battle played under the hidden movement system.

As battle was joined, both sides attempted to advance slowly in the centre of the field, with strong pincer movements on both flanks deployed behind screening cavalry.

On the Prussian left, in the village, the German commander sent forward his Dragoons to scout, quickly pulling back on seeing a mass of enemy skirmishers. As he did so, a force of French Cuirassiers burst from the village in their rear: causing them to rout. Fortunately, the Prussian infantry commander had anticipated the enemy cavalry and formed square. As the fleeing Prussian Dragoons cleared their line of fire, the Jaegers readied their weapons and, as the enemy Cuirassiers came within range, annihilated them!

Meanwhile, on the Prussian right flank, the French had occupied the high ground, and began peppering two companies of Guard with their artillery. The German ordered his guns to suppress those of the enemy and, after some 90 minutes of firing, they did so.

This delay, however, meant that the French commander was able to get his 3ieme Battalion into position to hit the Prussian Guard with their Chassepot rifles and, after 30 minutes of both artillery and Chassepot fire, the Prussian Guard fled!

In the centre, 2½ battalions of French infantry, supported by cavalry, advanced into range. However, rather than use the superior range of the Chassepot to pepper the Prussians, the French commander held his fire: waiting to move closer.  Seeing an opportunity, the Prussians launched an attack column into the manoeuvring French, moving up more infantry in support. Caught somewhat off their guard, the French lost ½ battalion of Zouaves and their cavalry, and had their infantry advance halted in disarray. The Prussians, however, lost their attack column to defensive fire.

The battle now moved into its next phase. On the Prussian left, an impetuous French charge was repulsed by the Jaegers, but in effect pinned them down, along with the rallied Dragoons, for the rest of the game.

On the Prussian right a grave situation had arisen: with the French looping round with their 3ieme Ligne and two squadrons of cavalry. All that lay between them and the Prussian flank was the Prussian artillery. It fired, the French cavalry was destroyed, and their accompanying infantry failed to charge home as the Prussians guns reloaded.

In the centre, the French commander, realising it was now or never, sent everything he had left (2 battalions of infantry) forward. Although they also didn’t charge home, and ended up shaken and battered, they did cause the Prussians facing them to flee.

As the battle ended, the centre and both sides were stalled for both the French and the Prussians. They had fought each other to a standstill! 

BattleMap_19_08_97.jpg

Casualties

The Prussians lost 260 Guards; 80 Jaegers and 360 Line Infantry. They also lost all the Cuirassiers and Uhlans, and their CinC was lightly wounded.

The French lost all their Lancers, Dragoons and Guides; all their artillery; the entire Zouave battalion and 120 line infantry.

Results 

A draw.

Analysis

Great battle, a fair result, with the contrast between the Prussian artillery and French Chassepots really showing.