|Seras' infantry assault the church|
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, MontbrunAfter 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.
In rapid succession, the main French cavalry attack goes in. Not wishing to be caught standing, the Austrian light horse counterattack.
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|
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
|Austrian center viewed from behind Austrian lines|
|Durutte advance s on Kis-Megyer|
|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|
|Austrian cavalry reform|
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.
|2/106 Line retreats back across the Pancza|
|Jagers drive French back across Pancza|
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.