Sunday, July 03, 2011


On 17 June, my eldest and I set out a match between a Russian and French force.

Both were of considerable size and composition.

The Russians included Cossacks and Siege Artillery, while the French boasted large Dragoon and Hussar forces. Both had a grenadier contingent.

This time round we decided to use the entire back yard, the French deployment area included a forward moving pursuit force on the road leading to the Russian center left. My youngest boy was going to 'help' me with the Russian command.

The French, run by my eldest son, chose to place some of their allied infantry in their left flank to press into an opening between two wooded areas.

Russian Grenadiers (simulated by these Pavlov Grenadiers) were placed well back from the main Russian lines ready to take advantage of the road to plunge into the left center should the French choose to press hard.

More towards the center rear of the Russian position were some Hussars, ready again to respond where needed.

Giving an overview of the Russian positions as seen from the left wing here:

a view of the some of the Russian Light Dragoons, looking towards my young opponent commander...

Once into action the French send forward their elite Dragoons formations, racing down the road into the Russian center left and the church steeple town.

Meanwhile on the French left columns of infantry pushed up the low rise and towards to opening between two forest sections seeking to penetrate the Russian line.

The gap was close to the Russian lines and the move was not unanticipated, the number of French troops was a concern as to whether the single Russian division could hold back two French ones. So orders were dispatched to the light Dragoons to fill in the extreme left of the woods gap.

French allied Infantry pressed on to face down the advancing Russians, making three infantry columns moving into the French side of the woods gap.

The Light Dragoons were faster and used a first charge to halt and rout one column of French Infantry.

Meanwhile along the road into the Russian town, the Cavalry melee had begun. First some of the French Grenadier Horse was pounded by the Russian guns, they ended up seeking the shelter of the buildings to get their horses re-organized. Then the second column of French Dragoons arrived and were met by Russian Dragoons, it was a huge tangle brawl of charges and counter-charges that followed...

Russian command chose to send in Russian Hussars to ensure that the French did not break through the town sector.

This was because the Russian Grenadiers had been ordered to move forward and they were vulnerable, should the French horse break out...

Still solid in the center of the Russian positions were the siege and foot batteries of the artillery park, seen here with covering foot battalions.

The confused cavalry melees in the town sector sorted out, the French simply did not have enough reserves to maintain their early momentum. The Russian Hussars arrived to find that the opponents were gone...

French High Command moved forward to maintain contact with the forward deployed columns. No reserves were left to throw into the action now as the light cavalry Chasseurs a Cheval were now committed to the woods gap, a breakthrough there could yet win the day.

Now the battle for victory could be tested. The French had lost a lot of cavalry, while the Russians did loose some, they were not as taxed. The French needed to gain the woods gap to secure the ground before nightfall. Else the next day could see their flank turned and no where for the Grenadiers to go but back ...

With the Hussars, Chasseurs and light cavalry division going into the forest gap, this was the moment of truth!

As the light of the day was fading the Russian line infantry was up to the task!

They fired on the bloodied Chasseur a Cheval, then on more Hussars that had just scattered the light Dragoons ...

Over on the Russian left center the Russian cavalry was now consolidating their gains while staying out of French artillery range.

The French Grenadier Division had set up formations and was pouring out artillery fire ... enough to keep the Russians back.

The light from the day was fading as the Russian Grenadiers were pushing forward from the town along the road. With the French light cavalry division routed back to the start lines there was no doubt that this day of battle was a tactical Russian victory!


Bluebear Jeff said...

Congratulations to Alex!

Did any troops decide to desert "into the high grass"? Or did all return safely to camp?

-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

No confirmed losses.

One Division commander did have a crooked angle come up on the horses legs. It will be repairable.

abdul666 said...

Charming and 'merry nostalgia' bearing: all of us adults playing with toy soldiers started (± long ago!) playing in the garden...

Capt Bill said...

Nice to see an old Beerstein Grenzer Flag flapping over the battlefield...