Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Battle of Raab 11:30-12:00

Seras' infantry assault the church
Eugene's HQ 1130am:
As Eugene monitors the positioning of Seras' division for assault against the church from afar, an ADC from Montbrun arrives. He hands Eugene a note:
10:40 Montbrun in action at Upper Bridge
Sire, we have suffered heavy casualties in our attempt to clear a bridgehead across the Pancza.  Both my horse battery and 2 CaC have been rendered hors de combat with the 7th hard pressed. I will continue until no longer feasible.
Colbert having difficulty finding suitable means across the brook. My ADC will pass through Grouchy's HQ on way to your HQ to request support. Release of Grouchy's heavy horse would be beneficial. Your humble servant, Montbrun
After finishing, Eugene looks up at Montbrun's ADC. The ADC says,
Sire, I passed through Grouchy's HQ at 1100. Although in reserve, Grouchy is prepared to support Montbrun based on his understanding of your orders to use initiative to support success. However, the general sees no breakthrough at present. I pressed upon him the urgency of his brigade's support. Grouchy confirmed he would respond by moving upon the bridge. Would you like me to deliver a more direct order to Grouchy on my way back to Montbrun?
Orders are written and as Montbrun's ADC leaves, Eugene's attention turns back to the large Austrian formations advancing down from the Szabadhegy Heights and Sera's attack on the church. One of his staff sees Eugene's concern and states,
Sire, I saw a similar maneuver by the Russians at Austerlitz when they crossed the Pratzen and descended to attack Telnitz. Perhaps, the Austrians have forgotten that lesson?
Out on the French right all French cavalry swarming around the Upper Bridge rally except for 2/20 CaC.  Grouchy remains inert.  Montbrun, on the west bank of the Pancza, is content to lick his wounds from the battering his command has taken.

The majority of Colbert's light cavalry brigade is now safely on the east bank of the Pancza.  With only a cavalry screen protecting much of ex-Gosztony's cavalry struggling to recover, Colbert launches an attack against Gosztony's former brigade.  While the 2/20th CaC, 1/7th CaC, and the 1/9 Hussars set their sights on the Austrian defensive cavalry screen directly to the east of the bridge, the 1/20th CaC charge head long against Hadik's guns.  Why go in against the guns?  Hadik's cavalry battery has thus far been ineffective and Colbert wanted to protect his main attack from a potential galling, enfilade fire. 
Colbert attacks!
Unfortunately for the French chasseurs, the guns find their target and blast the French horsemen apart.  The few troopers unscathed by the devastating eruption scatter back across the brook.

In rapid succession, the main French cavalry attack goes in.  Not wishing to be caught standing, the Austrian light horse counterattack.  
Cavalry clash
The first of the three French cavalry to strike is the 1/7 CaC.  In the clash with the Pesther Insurrectio, the chasseurs are disordered but neither back down as blades swing overhead and the clash of steel can be heard.

While the 1/7 CaC and Pesther are locked in mortal combat, the French 1/9 Hussars and 1/5 Ott Hussars clash.  The 9th Hussars quickly gain the upper hand and drive off the Austrian hussars. 

In the final engagement, the disordered 2/20th CaC crashes into the 1/Bacser Insurrectio.  Never able to recover from disorder, the French go in at a disadvantage and are dealt cruelly by the Hungarians.  The chasseurs are shaken, lose about half their men to capture and retreat back across the brook.   

Out of three cavalry attacks, French are clearly victorious in one, the Austrians victorious in another, and the third still to be decided.

In the action with the 1/7 CaC against the Pesther Insurrectio, the French finally gain supremacy and drive off the Hungarians.  Exhausted from the prolonged battle, many of the Insurrectio lay down their arms.  Those not surrendering fall back to the east to join the bulk of their fleeing brigade.  With prisoners in tow, the French fall back to reform on the west bank of the Pancza.
Aftermath of Colbert's charge
Colbert, having witnessed the destruction of the 1/20 CaC and his occupation of the bridgehead evaporate as the number of demoralized cavalry formations rises, panics and orders a withdrawal of his command back to the west bank of the brook.

Grosztony's old command, still unsettled by the loss of its leader and its rear-guard cavalry screen scattered, retrogrades away from the Upper Bridge.  More Austrian and Hungarian cavalry stream towards the rear.  With Mescery personally intervening, perhaps ex-Grozstony will find the will to stop and reform? 
Cavalry positions on the Austrian left
after Colbert's attack
In the French center, Durutte crosses the Pancza in preparation for an assault on Kis-Megyer.  Lutz' battery opens up on the advancing French and disorders the 1/62 Line.
Austrian center viewed from behind Austrian lines
Durutte advance s on Kis-Megyer
Seras, on Durutte's right, assaults the church.  To provide protection from Austrian cavalry for the French attack, the 1st Leger climbs out of the Pancza and forms square.  Going in against the Insurrection infantry on the church heights is the 1/106 Line with the 2/106 and 1/53 Line in support.
Seras assaults the church
Protected by the church defenses and aided by holding the high ground, the Insurrectio militia repulse the seemingly overwhelming French attack as the 106 breaks against the church walls.  The French 1/106 takes 25% casualties including a number lost to capture as it reels back down the hill, shaken.  Supporting French infantry are disordered as the 1/106 passes back through their ranks.  Even with the initial setback, Seras coolly vows to press on.  
French 1/106  attack repulsed
Much of Mescery's Austrian cavalry shakes off ex-Gosztony's panicked withdrawal and attempts to rally. Despite many of the cavalry formations still disordered, Mescery reforms his brigade to more adequately cover the Upper Bridge and calm is restored.  The only cavalry not participating in the cavalry reformation are the green Insurrectio that are demoralized.  Once demoralized, Insurrectio cannot recover and are lost for the remainder of the battle.  With both Colbert and Montbrun currently unable to respond, Mescery has time to reform uninterrupted.
Austrian cavalry reform
French guns finally find the range.  Grouchy's horse artillery rips through Westprimer Insurrectio cavalry causing significant casualties and disordering it.  Against the lower section of Kis-Megyer, Durutte's battery manages to disorder the Vienna Landwehr taking refuge among the walls.  Softening up an enemy strong point is a good policy before an assault.

On the Szabadhegy Heights, the council of war between Archduke Johan and Frimont continues.  Leaving the churchyard only minutes before Seras' attack, the Archduke meets Frimont on the western slopes of the heights and orders him to reinforce the Insurrectio troops defending the church.  Actually, the order is not so much to defend the church but to drive Seras back across the brook.  Frimont accepts these orders and sends Kienmeyer on his way.
Kienmeyer counterattacks
Out in front of Kienmeyer's main body, first to contact the French between Kis-Megyer and the church are the 9th Jagers.  Although only at about half strength, the well-trained veterans do not hesitate to dive into a close range firefight against the already disordered French.  Seemingly appearing out of nowhere, the disordered 2/106 is surprised by jagers.  The French 106th becomes demoralized as it falls back across the Pancza.  A number of French are captured before they can make good their escape.
2/106 Line retreats back across the Pancza
As the 2/106th passes through the already disordered 35/42 Line, the 35/42 becomes shaken as the jagers bear down on them.  Suffering the same fate as their compatriots, the 35/42 retreats back across the Pancza, demoralized.  Many panicked Frenchmen are captured before they can make the safety of the opposite bank.  Now, only 1/53rd Line holds tenuously to the east bank of the brook.
Jagers drive French back across Pancza
Despite the setbacks in his initial assault against the church, Seras does not panic.  As an ADC from Seras arrives at French HQ at 12:00, Eugene looks up to see Grouchy's heavy cavalry brigade stirring into motion.

At the Upper Bridge, the Austrians under Mescery still control the crossing.  With Montbrun severely handled, only Colbert can pull together enough might to launch another attack.  Having panicked, orders will be needed to prompt Colbert back onto the offensive.

In the center, the church proved more formidable than Seras had first estimated.  Much of his command went streaming for the rear when surprised by the well-handled jagers.  Without much permanent harm caused by the setback, Seras will likely try again.
Positions 12:00
All along the front, the Archduke has experienced very good luck on the battlefield.  Can this good fortune continue?

10 comments:

  1. Things are really heating up! Again looks great!

    Christopher

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  2. Great, will Kienmeyer become the king of this battle?

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    Replies
    1. Kienmeyer is in a very good position to turn back the French.
      We will see!

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  3. Compliments for a superbly written AAR - this is proving quite a challenge for the French player!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The first two hours of combat have turned into a real battle for both.

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  4. The Austrians are holding their own quite nicely so far, reflecting the strength of John's position!

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    Replies
    1. Indeed, it is a strong defensive position and has been no cake walk thus far for Eugene.

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  5. Great looking battle!! Love the basing and table you've used.

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