Monday, June 1, 2015

Battle of Raab 12:30-13:00

Austrian guns on the heights
With cavalry action around the Upper Bridge in tumult (see Grouchy's Ride), attention turns to the center and the exploits of Seras and Durutte.
French battlefield view
As the French launch attacks into the Austrian center positions, the Austrian Reserve guns placed on the Szabadhegy Heights target the 1/102 Line that only recently gained the walls of the lower Kis-Megyer complex.  The batteries find their target and the French suffer moderate casualties becoming shaken.
French targeted by artillery
In the gap between the Kis-Megyer Farm and the church, the 2/53rd Line supported by the 1st Legere go in against IR 19.  The attack hits the disordered 1/19 IR and French skirmishers easily compound this advantage.
French attack between church and farm
The weight of the French attack is too much and 1/19 IR retreats back up onto the heights, demoralized.  A number of Austrians surrender.  The supporting Austrians in 2/19 hold their ground but become disordered as their comrades pass through them.  
Austrians repulsed.
To Seras' left, Durutte's boys go in once again against the defenders of the farm.  Led by the 22nd Legere with support from the 23rd Line, French repeat an earlier failed assault against the stronghold.  The fighting is vicious as first the legere and then the Austrians become disordered in the close assault.  As in previous attempts, the balance finally swings in favor of the defenders and the French attack is checked.  The hard-fighting 22nd becomes shaken as it withdraws back across the Panzca.
Legere attack Kis-Megyer
The defeat of the the 22nd's attack forces a panic test upon Durutte.  With very bad luck, Durutte fails his low-level panic test.  The entire division falls back across the brook.  Attack orders now revert to defend as Durutte reorganizes his division.
Durutte panics!
On the Austrian left, the still demoralized Insurrectio cavalry under Cumaier scatter, never to see the battlefield again.  As the Austrians make rally attempts, only 1/2 Joseph Hussars and 2/Wesprimer cavalry fail to rally.

With French cavalry on the east bank of brook in wavering state, Mescery launches three counterattacks; all against Grouchy's dragoons.
Austrian cavalry attack!
Above the Upper Bridge, 1/5 Ott Hussars with support from 1/Bascer Insurrectio attack the shaken 2/30th Dragoons who tentatively hold a small bridgehead on the east bank.  With the 1/30th Dragoons shaken, their fellow horsemen will lend no assistance in the clash.  The 2/30th is destroyed under the initial impact and the Austrians plunge into the 1/30th Dragoons.  The dragoons become demoralized and fall back across the brook.  The victorious Austrian cavalry break off the attack and retire back to their own lines, shaken.
Sabers clash
In the second cavalry clash, the still disordered 1/2 Joseph Hussars, hoping to capitalize on their advantage, strike out against the demoralized 2/Italian Dragoons.  The dragoons will stand for none of this and retreat back across the Pancza leaving behind a number of Italians in Austrian hands.  The Austrians are unable to follow up.

In the third charge, disordered insurrection troopers have their eyes set on finishing off the remainder of the demoralized Italian dragoons.  Luckily for the dragoons, the 1/9 Chasseurs intercept the Insurrectio before they can reach its intended target.  In the clash, the Insurrectio break off the attack and fall back demoralized.  This act likely saved Grouchy's life!  Having lost one dragoon and two more formations demoralized, Grouchy tests for panic.  With chaos all around, Grouchy maintains his composure and chooses to fight on.
Positions around Upper Bridge at 1300
Back in the center at the Kis-Megyer Farm, the vacation of the east bank by Durutte allows the retaking of the lower farm complex by Lutz.  Those hard-fought French gains are now lost.
Austrians retake farm complex
Having rallied the grenadiers, Kienmeyer personally leads the veteran Austrians once again into the breech against the church.  With Seras and the 1/53 Line defending, this position will be a tough nut to crack as demonstrated in an earlier attack.
Grenadiers assault church
In the initial attack, the grenadiers become disordered but make a second effort to overcome the defenders.  This second attack is repulsed and the grenadiers begin to waver.  Sensing the fragility of the assault, Frimont personally intervenes in an effort to rally the grenadiers and encourage them to one more attack.  Under Frimont's encouragement and leadership, the grenadiers rally.  Back into the breech!
Grenadiers against 53rd Line
In this third assault with both Kienmeyer and Frimont at the fore, the grenadiers are bloodily repulsed.  In the close combat both Frimont and Kienmeyer go down with injuries and are carried from the field.  This is too much!  Kienmeyer's division panics and falls back to the Szabadhegy Heights to lick their wounds. 
Kienmeyer's division panics as leaders are lost
Thus ends the 1300 turn of the battle.  Both sides experienced success and failure during the 1230-1300 turn.  At the cavalry battle centered around the Upper Bridge, both have taken and given much punishment.  Grouchy still maintains a toe hold on the east bank but that hold is tenuous at best.  Still, Andrasy's cavalry are on the brink.  If the French can somehow cause a second panic check upon Andrasy, his battered formation may be gone for good.  Can Eugene spur Colbert's light cavalry back into action?  That may be the key to a satisfactory outcome for the French.  Can Mescery thwart another French cavalry assault across the Pancza?  That result might force Grouchy to call off his attack.

In the center, taking up good defensive positions has been the key.  Durutte failed in his attempt to storm Kis-Megyer while Kienmeyer failed in wresting control of the church back from Seras.  Losing both Kienmeyer and Frimont in the assault on the church throws in a few complications to the Austrian command structure.  Ex-Kienmeyer's division may not be back in operation for at least one hour.  Luckily for Johan, pressure on Kis-Megyer has been at least temporarily removed from direct assault from the west.  More troublesome to Johan is that attack from the south is now possible.
French view of battlefield at 1300
Closer inspection of Kis-Megyer at 1300
At 1300, Pully's French heavy cavalry can be seen approaching the battlefield from the west.


  1. These Austrians are active, very active! Nice report as always...

    1. The Austrian cavalry have stymied much of their opposition thus far. I don't believe the Austrians can win a cavalry battle of attrition though.

  2. A real nice looking game and report Jonathan!


    1. Thanks for continuing to follow the battle, Christopher.

  3. The Emperor will not be happy when the butcher's bill for today is presented to him. But will he have anything to show for that heavy price tag?

    1. A French victory that prevents Johan from linking up with Charles at Wagram is worth the cost

  4. The game continues to look great, and present tough challenges for both sides. The Austrian cavalry are exceeding expectations, but can they keep it up?

    Aolid French victory not only makes it unlikely that Johan will be able to support Karl; at Wagram, but also disperses the Hungarian Insurrectio. Their numbers are significant - about 20,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry. If allowed even a few months of training and field operations, their quality would likely start to increase dramatically (like the Prussian Landwehr of 2013).

    What rules are you using, Jon?

    1. Astute contextual insight, Peter! Had Johan succeeded, the outcome at Wagram might have been very different. Forty thousand additional troops could have been put to good use.

      As for rules, this replay is being carried out using a heavily modified version of Republique. For me, it produces historically believable results.

  5. What an action-packed turn that was! The Austrian cavalry counter-attack, driving over the bridge, eventually blunted by the chasseurs and then the continued struggle for Kris-Meyer farm. Fabulous.
    I am really enjoying this 'series' which is re-told so well by the combination of your summary and photos. I especially like those close-up shots of key points of action.
    Thanks for the entertainment and inspiration Jonathan

    1. Glad you are enjoying the replay, James!

      The battle had been action-packed with both sides struggling hard to succeed. The battle is still very much in the balance. It will be interesting to see what develops in the next turn.