Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Battle of Raab 13:30-14:00

When last we left the battle (Raab 13:00-13:30), French cavalry were making some progress in establishing a bridgehead around the Upper Bridge on the French right.  Austrian cavalry saw Andrasy panic and both Hadik and Grosztony lost to injury.  Andrasy's command had fallen back and Hadik and Grosztony remained on defense of the bridge and ford.  In the center neither combatant had yet to grasp the upper hand.

At 13:30, Pully's dragoon division is seen approaching the Upper Bridge to lend support to the French cavalry whom have been battling there all morning.  Much of the French cavalry rally with the exception of half of the 1/Italian Dragoons who continue routing back across the Pancza.
Pully's dragoons approach Pancza
Once more, French cavalry strike out from their tenuously held bridgehead in an attempt to overpower their foe in three cavalry charges.
French cavalry attack
Although already down to about 50% effectives, the 1/9 Hussars attack from the banks of the brook into the disordered and heavily damaged 2/Bacser Insurrectio cavalry.  Being disordered, the Hungarians cannot muster the organization to counter charge.  They are caught flat footed.  The hussars scatter the Hungarians and continue on into the 2/5 Ott Hussars.  Not able to gain advantage on the Austrian hussars, the 1/9th breaks off and retreats back to the safety of the Pancza, demoralized.
Austrians counter charge!
Likewise, Grouchy and the 1/7 Dragoons target the 2/Pesther Insurrection cavalry.  In good order, the Hungarians are able to counter charge.  Still, with Grouchy's presence and the heavier mounts, the French heavy cavalry cut their way through the Hungarians, scattering them to all points of the compass.  As the French pursue, the 1/Pesther Insurrectio horse stand in the path.  Already at half strength, the 1/Pesther suffers the same fate as its sister formation.  Shaken, Grouchy and the 1/7 Dragoons retire back to the bridge.
In the final clash, the 2/Italian Dragoons meet another counter charging body of Insurrection cavalry. In this exchange, the Hungarians are overrun as they fall back in search of safety.  As the Italians continue on their rampage, the 2/Zemplin Insurrectio are hit and destroyed.  Shaken, the Italian dragoons recall to  the Pancza.

Three attacks and four Hungarian Insurrectio cavalry formations have disappeared.  With the seeming destruction of Mescery's cavalry wing, both Hadik and Grozstony must check for panic.  With heavy losses, both formations panic and break towards the east leaving a number of troopers in the hands of the French.
Mescery's command disintegrates
Turning to the center, artillery fire continues to escalate.  The Austrian Reserve guns on the Heights pound Seras and the 2/53rd Line at the church.  Enduring near constant bombardment, the 2/53rd suffers heavy casualties becoming disordered.  For now, they hold their good defense ground at the church hillock.

Without support from Seras or Durutte, Severoli's Division of d'Hilliers' Corps advances across the Pancza to engage the Austrians alone.  To help shelter Severoli's Italians from artillery fire as they make their way across the treacherous brook, Durutte's 1/62 Line advances so as to shield the Italians.  This maneuver is not without cost as the French become disordered by the gun fire.
Severoli steps across the Pancza Brook
Nevertheless, Severoli makes contact with the Austrians across his entire front.  Many of the formations become disordered as the brook is negotiated.  All attacks hit the Austrian line in concert.    
Severoli's attack
With Severoli, himself, leading the attack, the 2nd Italian Line and 2/3rd Italian line arise out from the steeply banked Pancza to face the Salzburg Landwehr covering the stream bank.  Unable to find their footing, the Italians become shaken as they fight at a disadvantage against the heavily supported landwehr.  In a tough struggle, Severoli and his Italians are pushed back into the Pancza.  The retreat turns to rout.  As his demoralized Italians scatter back across the brook, Severoli finds himself nearly alone on the east bank.  Before he can recross the brook, the Austrian landwehr capture the commander!  Oh no! 

Next to contact the Austrians is 1st Italian Line Regiment.  The Italians climb out of the brook to face 1/IR27 on Severoli's right.  In the struggle for supremacy, first the Italians become shaken and then are overpowered by the Austrians.  Having suffered heavy casualties, the 1st Italian Regiment retreats back across the brook, demoralized.  Going in against Sebottendorf's guns on Severoli's left, the 1/3 Italian Line Regiment attacks.  Threatened, the Austrian guns limber and scamper away.

In the final attack on the Austrian line,  the 112th French Line finds Eckhart's IR32.  In a desperate struggle with the 10 Grenz lending support on IR32's right, the Austrians begin to waver and then break for the rear.  IR32 takes heavy casualties as it retreats to safety.
IR32 demoralized
Severoli wins some and losses some
Having his guns and IR32 in retreat as a result of the French attack near the Middle Bridge, Eckhart's green formation panics and routs back away from the brook.  Despite localized victories on the left against Eckhart, the repulse with heavy casualties and the capture of Severoli on the right cause the Italians to panic.  A number of Italians from 2/3 Italian Line lay down their arms as the bulk of the division retreats back across the Pancza and well beyond the stream.
Severoli panics!

Situation from French positions
On the Austrian side of the stream, few Austrian cavalry on the right halt their retreat.  With the entire left in flight, Mescery must personally intervene.  This may prove a futile task.
Gajoli arrives at HQ
At Johan's HQ, Gajoli arrives to accept command of the Reserve after having delegated his old command and ridden up the Heights in search of the Archduke.  Out of breath, Gajoli says,
Your excellency, thank you for elevating me to the command of Frimont's Reserve. My former division is on the way to block Seras' advance upon the southern approaches to Kis-Megyer.
One of my talented ADCs has joined me with my recommendation that he take over Kienmeyer's vacant command. In tandem, we can throw the French back from Kis-Megyer.
When I left my positions near Kis-Megyer, the Italians were preparing an attack on the northern approaches to the farm. I am confident my old division along with the support of the Reserve batteries, can stall any French attempt to take Kis-Megyer from the south.
The grenadiers of the Reserve may be useful in counterattacking Severoli's Italians if they make a passage of the Pancza. After being thrown back from Kis-Megyer, Durutte appears to not have the stomach for another such frontal attack.
What are your orders?
Before Johan can respond to Gajoli's recommendations, a chorus of "Huzzahs" are heard above the gunfire coming from north of Kis-Megyer.  Both commanders turn their glasses towards the Kis-Megyer complex.
The Italians have been turned back and are in flight, your Excellency!" exclaims Gajoli.
Lowering his eye glass, the Archduke, says,
Indeed! No need for the grenadiers to support Sebottendorf.  Prepare to send the grenadiers and the 19th against the church.  Let's see if we can push Seras back across the brook too!
As Gajoli's old division attacks between the church and Kis-Megyer, the Austrian reserve batteries continue to pound the French hunkered down behind the walls of the church.  The 1/53rd takes more casualties and becomes shaken.
Austrian Reserve batteries in action
Newly led, Gajoli's old formation of IR62 strikes the disordered and weakened 2/53 Line in the hollow between the church and high ground of Kis-Megyer.  
IR62 attacks!
With heavy artillery fire to their right and being attacked frontally by fresh troops, the 2/53rd buckles and retreats back across the Pancza , demoralized.  As they retreat, the 53rd passes through the 1st Legere forcing them back across the brook as well.
IR62 victorious!
Dispositions at 14:00
Whew!  The Austrian left appears to be in disarray but the Austrian strongpoints in the center continue to hold and hold well.  The repulse of Severoli's large division of Italians is a tough pill to swallow for Eugene.

As for Johan, where should his next move concentrate?
With his left flank now in the air, quick decisions must be made.  What should they be? 

18 comments:

  1. Courageous and victorious (for the moment!) Austrians...Well, I am rather on the Italian side (my first Nap army...), so I will wait that Eugene will silence the 'Huzzahs'!
    Great report once agaain, love the "Out of breath, Gajoli says,.." point...

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    1. Phil! Yes, all looks good in the Austrian center for now. Will they hold? Appreciate your kind comments.

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  2. Nice to see the battle again, Jonathan. It is certainly full of action.

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    1. Happy that you have stuck with it for so long.
      Action, for sure!

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  3. Great commitment to a battle Jonathan! It looks good as well!

    Christopher

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    1. Keeping the gaming table occupied for a number of months with the same game is a commitment. A worthy exercise, though.

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  4. Great miniatures and terrain, excellent game!

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  5. Superb looking game Jonathan!

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  6. Its getting exciting, I think the Austrians will hold on.........or will they?

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    1. Time will tell, my friend. Phil (below) is hoping you are correct!

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  7. ...Phew!...great battle so far - My Austrian-Hungarian troops deserve victory ;oP

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    1. Phil! It has been a tough fight! The A-Hs under your leadership have done great deeds on the battlefield. Your left is collapsing, though, now what?

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  8. Love this epic battle report - which now was accompanied by a cup of coffee as it was consumed with great delight. Tough situation for the French, even if they managed to clip the Austrian left wing, the real question is if they have enough reserves to take advantage of their gains on this part of the field. With their Italian centre falling back in disarray, any reserves might be needed to stem up the center, preventing an all out Austrian counter attack. Shall be interesting to see what the Austrian player does next...

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    1. Glad you continue following this lengthy battle. When I began a few months' ago, I was not kidding when I mentioned it would be fought at a leisurely pace. Appreciate that you have hung in through it all. Still plenty of game left to complete.

      The problem the Austrians have with counterattacking is that much of their infantry is suspect in the quality aspect.

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