Battle Report: 29th December 1990
A re-fight of FATEPUR, 12th July 1857
Indian ~vs~ Indian Mutineer
(Nog Norgren ~vs~ Robert & Richard Avery)
battle was a historical re-fight of the Battle of Fatepur, 12th July
battle followed its historical path almost exactly, with the exception that
the British did not try to outflank the Mutineers with their artillery.
As the battle opened, both sides headed off the road into the narrow streets of Fatepur. In the second turn, an artillery duel led to the artillery crews of both the British and Mutineers running from the field. The Mutineer guns were quickly manned by their infantry, but ownership of the British guns was hotly contested for the rest of the battle, changing hands at least twice!
Otherwise, the battle degenerated into an infantry slogging match, with skirmishers and the brave leadership of commanders swinging the advantage between the British and the Mutineers. The fact that the fighting took place within the streets of Fatepur and its gardens meant that casualties, and therefore routs, were kept to a minimum.
Eventually the Mutineer infantry managed to wheel their cannon up the road into a position from which it could fire into the flanks of the British infantry. Two stunning blasts wiped out a whole British company in one turn, turning the battle into the Mutineer’s favour.
As night fell, and both sides retreated to lick their wounds, the battle ended: but with the advantage with the Mutineers.
Casualties were very high on both sides.
The British 2inC was seriously wounded. The Highlanders lost two companies; the 64th Foot, one company; with all other infantry companies suffering casualties. The Naval Brigade contingent was routed, and all the British cavalry wiped out. The artillery had one section destroyed, and the other captured. In all, the British lost 46% of their force!
On the Mutineer’s side, Nana Sahib was seriously wounded. All Sepoy companies suffered minor casualties, with three being routed. One unit of Tribesmen and all the cavalry and artillery also routed.
A winning draw for the Mutineers.
A terrific battle that developed into an exciting slogging match. The range of the British muskets and their Light Infantry proved more than a match for far superior numbers of Mutineers.
Note that no-one tried to outflank: a tactical mistake that, if avoided, the British could have exploited most effectively.