Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A game played on December 26 & 27 2009.

Rules used: Shako version 1

Alexander (my eldest son) set out the Russians and I commanded the French (his choice as he wanted to command all the Russian Cavalry).

Once the troops were laid out and the plans set, we began movement.

The Russian plan consisted of a general hold of the line, actually very typical.
atypical was the deployment that left fully 1/2 of the infantry and 2/3rds of the move able guns isolated on the right wing.

The French plan was a refused left, using cavalry (all that there was to start with) to screen any Russian plans to strike across the open ground. Then press into Pultusk using the arriving 3rd Div of III Corps to push thru the town and strike into the Russian line.

Early on, things went very badly for the Russian Heavy Cavalry, they were exposed to murderous French artillery fire and forced back from the French Squares that they faced on the reverse slope with no way to back away from them...

The results were disastrous, losing fully one unit of Cavalry and having the others wounded either by charging into squares or having the French cannon pound them to the breaking point...

The next four turns consisted of either Russian or French Cavalry charges in Pultusk, while in the center a murderous cannonade was exchanged with Russian and French Infantry coming away the worse for wear.

With turn 6 the III Corps had made its presence felt, pushing back the Russian Light Cavalry...

Messengers had been dispatched from Russian HQ to get the right wing into motion, partly to break the deadlock in the center and partly to make room for the heavy cavalry to deploy.

The silent Russian Right wing suddenly became the scene of the battle, with the Infantry moving forward and heavy cavalry coming into view from beyond the woods.

Just as a French horse battery moved to bring fire into the moving column, the heavy horse was totally exposed ... and obliterated.

Turn Nine brought the tipping point.

Near Pultusk the Russian light cavalry was bloodied but resolute in holding off the French III Corps from advancing through the town. Undaunted d'Aultanne took them across the river Narew and through the buildings on the other side, bringing fire into the flanks of the Horse Battery attached to the Russian light cavalry formation.

In the center a formation of Russians had charged the gun, driving off the gunners.

French Infantry (seen here in greatcoats) then raced up over the hill to crush the Russians in a flank attack.

Over on the French left, Russian right, the horse battery was now bringing fire into the columns of advancing infntry, having dispatched the horse...

Alex got to use the HEAVY BATTERY measuring stick as his big Russian guns finally got to pound the French that had strayed over the hill...

Now though the Russian left along the River Narew was coming under increasing fire. as even more French battalions were storming over the river to press on the flank...

While over on the Russian right wing the coup de grace was delivered by Hussars (just out ov view here having recalled from the successful charge) who broke a Russian regiment, this then caused a morale failure of the division, having suffered 50% losses, which took the whole Right wing away with it...

Victorious this time were the French, by a score of 5 units to 10 lost by the Russians.

Unlike the historical battle, Lannes was able to push the Russians out of the way while keeping some Chasseurs available to keep up the pursuit...would an ugly Eylau been necessary had the French been able to do this in 1806?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Battle of PULTUSK

Glancing through my collection of Napoleonic books I found the Dec 26, 1806 battle, ok ACTION, of PULTUSK as the destruction of Prussia was winding down and the Russians were continuing to retreat, one commander General Bennigsen, chose to turn and fight one last time. Marshal Lannes commanded the infamous V Corps of the Grand Armee and was to receive support from the 3rd Division of the equally famous III Corps.

I have compiled the photos and an AAR will be coming later this week.