Saturday, May 23, 2015

Battle of Raab 12:30-13:00 Grouchy's Ride

Archduke Johan's HQ 1230
A dispatch rider from Mescery arrives with the following message:
From Mescery, cavalry left wing 1145am
Your Excellency, my command has repulsed another French attempt to cross the Pancza in strength.  Casualties mounting and my cavalry are fatiguing. A large enemy cavalry formation seen approaching the Upper Bridge.
Turning to FML Frimont, the Archduke seems pleased with the performance of Mescery's predominantly insurrection troops but urges Frimont to retake the church in order to relieve pressure against Kis-Meyger.

From the Archduke's vantage point up on the Szabadhegy Heights, the picture of the unfolding battle is more clear.  Opposite the Archduke's HQ in the valley to the west, Eugene has no such view and must rely more heavily on the a stream of dispatches.  With the sound of battle escalating on his far right, Eugene surmises that Grouchy has reached the Pancza and is beginning his attack.

When the battle was last joined (see 1200-1230), the French cavalry were positioned to push across the Pancza Brook with Grouchy's dragoons.  In the center, both the church and the lower Kis-Megyer complex had fallen into French hands.
Battle Overview 1230
In the center, much of Seras and Durutte's divisions rally and are poised to press the Austrians again.

On the right, Colbert rallies the 9th Hussars and 7th Chasseurs while reorganizing his command on the west bank of the Pancza.  While Colbert awaits orders, Grouchy wastes little time in bringing his cavalry across the Pancza.  The 30th Dragoons make their way across the brook above the bridge while the Italian Dragoons pick out an approach below the bridge.  Following the Italian Dragoons, Seras' 9th Chasseurs cross to the east bank as well.

Grouchy's attempt at forming a bridgehead is not unchallenged by Mescery.  Laying in wait, the Austrian cavalry counterattack every French attempt to cross.  Mescery's hope is to catch the French before they have had time to form up after negotiating the difficult stream passage.
Austrian attacks along the Pancza
First, the 2/5 Ott Hussars strike the 2/30 Dragoons.  Both cavalry formations are supported; the Austrians by Insurrectio cavalry; the French by two more squadrons of the 30th.  In the clash, the 30th Dragoons become shaken but the Austrians break off their attack and fall back in disorder.
Cavalry clashes around the Upper Bridge
As the Italians cross, the 2/Italian Dragoons draw fire from Hadik's battery.  Those two squadrons of heavy cavalry are shaken by the incoming artillery fire.  To make any headway in the bridgehead, Hadik's battery must be silenced.  In the attack against the 1/Italian Dragoons, 1/2 Hussars rush into two squadrons of the Italians.
Hussars strike!
The already disordered Italians become shaken in the impact but do not break.  With the Italians shaken and sensing the need for personal intervention, Grouchy crosses the brook in an effort to rally the wavering dragoons.  At great personal risk, Grouchy rallies the dragoons forcing the Austrian cavalry to break off the attack and return back from whence they came. 
Grouchy rallies the Italian dragoons
Having restored the morale of his Italians, Grouchy presses the heavy cavalry forward and into Hadik's guns.
Grouchy vs Hadik's guns
Overrunning and capturing the guns, the Italians breakthrough and destroy the remnants of 1/Wesprimer Insurrectio cavalry. 
1/Wesprimer Insurrectio destroyed
Continuing to lose cohesion as they charge forward, the Italians reach 1/2 Joseph Hussars who only moments before they were locked in combat against. 
Grouchy vs Austrian hussars
This time, the hussars stand firm and repel the tiring French.  Exhausted, Grouchy and the dragoons break off their attack and fall back but do not reach the relative safety of the Pancza.
In the third engagement, the 2/Wesprimer Insurrectio cavalry strike Seras' 9th Chasseurs as the chasseurs attempt to form up to the left of the Italians.  In the following lengthy clash of swords, the Hungarians are driven off leaving half of their comrades in French hands.

Despite the setbacks against Grouchy below the Upper Bridge, Andrasy's mostly green Insurrection cavalry do not panic but maintain their positions on the field.  With Grouchy exhausted and isolated, will Mescery be able to mount a counterattack?

Next we turn to the fighting in the center.


  1. Epic long game your having Jonathan! It looks very nice btw.


    1. Christopher, I hope by "epic long" you don't mean boring and long! Glad you are still following along.

  2. Very nice, once the Austrian Hussars...

  3. Fantastic game! I will have to read the other posts now and catch up!

    1. Thank you for tuning into the BatRep, Rodger!
      Please do read through the prior episodes to make sense of the battle.

  4. The French have eliminated the Ayustrian Horse battery, although at heavy cost. We'll see if the Austrians are able to make a counterattack, or if the Isurrectio start to unravel...

    1. Hadik's battery has been giving the French cavalry much grief. Having it gone will make holding a bridgehead a little less costly.

      The Insurrectio have held up better than I first, anticipated. Counterattacking before the French could shake out after crossing the brook has paid dividends.

  5. Very cool, Jonathan. I am sure this game would be well-received and very popular at Enfilade! :)

    1. Thanks, Dean!

      One of these years, I must return to a weekend of Enfilade!
      I don't believe I have made one since it moved to Olympia.

  6. This is a marvellous 'series' Jonathan. You have us all waiting with bated breath for the next instalment!