The Battle of White Mountain 8 November 1620 Redux Wednesday, Jan 22 2014 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

Battle of White Mountain Redux 1620

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

A wargame exploring the Battle of White Mountain is described below.

White Mountain 1620 (31)

The schematic of the battlefield above have been scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 100-120 men using 25mm figures. Thus our 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefields. The rules used in the games are here.

The number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Battle of  White Mountain  had 23,000 Imperialist and Catholic League troops, facing 17,000 Bohemian and allied troops. Reducing the scale down by a factor of approximately 2 gives an order of battle for White Mountain thus.

Battle of White Mountain  Redux Order of Battle

In these battles, we use the principle of Sauve qui peut to define the level of losses (in terms of base units of 1 figure) sustained by each side before mass panic sets in. The levels are shown below for the battle.

White Mountain Sauve Qui Peut

In the battle, the Bohemians suffered a collapse in morale, despite relatively few casualties. In this re-enactment, the morale of each side is equivalent. This examines the defensive nature of the ground chosen by the Bohemians, and the ability of the larger formation tercios used by the Imperialsts to penetrate the Bohemian line of battle.

For both sides, once the threshold of base unit losses exceed the following total percentages at the specified time on the battlefield, a random number is created (by the linked excel spreadsheet, or a scientific calculator) to ascertain if mass panic has set in, and the rules of Sauve qui peut apply to mass panic.

The generals re-fighting the battle use suspension of disbelief, so that if enemy troops are bearing down unseen upon your own because of the restriction in visibility due to dead ground and hills, you cannot react until they would emerge… as happened during battles of the period.

The account of the wargame is given at quarter hour intervals across the battle; the high view shared by our Olympians who reflect on the action below.

Reference is made to the soldiers pocket book Bible, with quotes appearing before the description of each move. This explores the nature of faith in fighting for the period, especially for the Calvinists.

Spacer

White Mountain 1620 Wordle

12:15

A soldier must be valiant for God’s cause

Be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord’s battles.
1 Sam. 18:17.

The morning’s fog has long since risen, and revealed the heretics army to the commanders of the Catholics, Count von Tilly and Count Buquoy. After mass, led by Father Dominic de Jesus-Maria who preached against the heretics, their army draws up in mixed formation; the infantry in tercios, mixed with supporting cavalry. Count von Tilly takes the left wing and leads the Catholic League and their Bavarian blue and white chequerboard flags. Count Buquoy takes the right, and leads the Austrian Imperialists, with their flags of double headed eagles.

Atop the hills of the White Mountain before Prague lies the Star Palace, which acts as the anchor point for the defensive line chosen by their commanders. To the right lies the Star Palace and its walls, held by Count von Schlick and his men. In the centre are Prince Christian of Anhalt, and to the left Count von Thurn. Their army would tax a polyglot, comprised of Bohemians, Movarians, Hungarians. But most confess with Calvin’s faith, and as such they already know that God has determined the outcome of this battle through predestination. No probability for them, providence is all; they stand or fall on the sins they have, or are about to commit and how they atone for them.

Fortuna Belli is less certain about providence. Her domain is probability, mixed with a little capricious whim. Minerva also looks on with interest at the dispositions chosen by the generals. Large, dense tercios have punch, but little manoeuvrability. This contrasts with a double linear line atop a hill, mixed with a  few strongpoints. Mars always revels in the fight regardless of who will win.

The Catholic cannons open their barrage, and Calvinists fall. The Bavarian Catholic league begin their Hail Mary’s.

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.

The order to advance is given, and the Tercios move forward; pikes to the sky, matchlocks lit, horses at the walk.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Battle of White Mountain (1215)

12:30

A Soldier must not fear his enemies

O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou
their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
Isa. 33: 2.

Atop the hill, the Bohemians see the tercios slowly march towards them. It will take many minutes before the moments of truth begins. Time enough to return fire with their own cannons. Catholics fall to the shot,

… Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

and in return, so do the Protestants on the hill.

Onwards the Bavarian banners to the Holy Virgin flutter alongside the double eagled flags of the Austrian Imperialists, amidst their pikemen in the tercios.

Battle of White Mountain (1230)

12:45

A soldier must pray before he goes to fight

Ye shall not fear them; for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.
Deut. 3:22.

Count von Thurn has had plenty of time to consider how to respond to the tidal wave about to break over the left wing of the Bohemians. Cavalry from behind their main battle line swings round to the extreme left, with orders to flank the advancing Imperialists. The first Austrian tercio, steadied by Count Buquoy has almost reached the redan holding the cannons on the Bohemians left. So far their cannonballs have failed to stop the advance, and the gunners are beginning to face the wall of pikes levelled at them. Soon the tercio’s muskets will be firing out.

Battle of White Mountain (1245)

13:00

A soldier must put his confidence in God’s wisdom and strength.

God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble.
Psa. 46: 1.

On the left flank, the approaching Protestant cavalry draw the Imperialists out, and outnumbered, they eventually break, leaving the Bohemians free to pursue and engage the tercios. Count Buquoy urges his men onwards, and they storm the redan and capture the cannon from the Bohemians. Those gunners who did not flee are not spared, much to the delight of Mars. A fierce battle ensures, with the second line of the Bohemians pressing forward to retake the redan before the Imperialists can use the captured cannons. To their right, the second Imperialist tercio has fared worse, after a brave cavarly charge threw it into disorder. The tercio tries to reform, but this is difficult under fire. A counterattack by Imperialist cavalry in turn throws back the Bohemians.

On the right wing, the Catholic League led by Count von Tilly continue their steady advance. Maybe the battle will be resolved before they get to engage. The battle on the left is held in the balance. Whom will Fortuna Belli favour?

Battle of White Mountain (1300)

13:15

A soldier must not rely on his own wisdom, his own strength, or any provision for war.

There is no king saved by the multitude of a host; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety, neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
Psa. 33, 16:17.

Count von Thurn‘s gambit has paid off, and the cavalry on the left routs the tercio attempting to storm the redan. The Imperialist attack on the left has faltered, as both tercios fall back. The redan has been recaptured at some cost by the Bohemians, but lost at even more cost by the Austrians.  Despite their success, the Bohemians do not pursue.

In an inspired move, von Schlick has gathered the cavalry reserve of the right wing and brought it to the centre, where it forms a new reserve.

The Catholic League’s leading two tercios press the redan in the centre, in an attempt to break through and secure victory for the Bavarians. Emboldened by success on the left wing, a regiment of Bohemians marches forward to engage one of the tercios, and a fierce fight ensures.

Battle of White Mountain (1315)

13:30

A soldier must consider and believe God’s gracious promises

The Lord your God ye shall fear, and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
2 Kings. 17: 39.

The battle for the central redan rages, with one of the Catholic League tercios breaking under the weight of a cavalry charge. They flee for their lives, whilst their colleagues in the other tercio do better on the other side of the redan. The Protestant regiment supporting the artillery retreat, the Catholic League troops storm the barricades and take the guns. If they can hold on, and turn them against their former owners, they may yet tear a whole in the centre of the Protestant army through which they may pour in.

Alert to this threat, Christian of Anhalt sends forward his cavalry to outflank any breakthrough.

On the left, Count von Thurn‘s men will not advance off their ridge, as the Imperialists slowly retire.

Battle of White Mountain (1330)

13:45

A Soldier must not fear his enemies.

 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses and chariots and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them, for the Lord thy God is with thee.
Deut. 20:1.

The Catholic League attack on the central redan has failed, and the tercios retreat after being pressed hard by the Protestant cavalry. Only a few tercios remain in good order, and they shield their less fortunate comrades from further attack.

The Bohemian Protestants seem reluctant to press fowards and to claim an even bigger victory.

 

Battle of White Mountain (1345)

14:00

A Soldier must Cry unto God in his heart in the very instant of battle.

When Judah looked back, behold the battle was before and behind; and they cried unto the Lord.
Chron. 13:14.

The Protestant cavalry moves forward to engage with the tercio ‘sacrificial lamb’ before the town of Ruyzene on the right of the battlefield. The men in the tercio call out to each other, and for the moment they hold back the horsemen who surround them, firing their pistols before wheeling away again.

Count von Tilly can do little to save them; their duty is to save the remainder of their army for another day, and another trial of strength. Slowly, the remainder of the Catholics retire.

Battle of White Mountain (1400)

14:15

And let Soldiers and all of us know, that if we obtain any victory over our enemies, it is our duty to give all the glory to the Lord, and say:-

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
Psa. 118: 23.

Even the bravest of men cannot withstand an endless onslaught, and so the final tercio yields. Men fall, flee, and are pursued by their antagonists, with Mars amongst them. In the centre, another tercio is pushed back. Elsewhere the remainder of the Catholic army still pulls back. They know that the field belongs to the heretics.

The Protestants on the hill watches the Catholics retire. Time to tend to the wounded or sing out a song of praise for having been spared.

Minerva approves at such caution from both armies. Despite the dreams of generals, wars are rarely won in a day, and decisive battle remains the Fata Morgana of strategists. A string of victories will bring an opponent to their knees, and for that you need a cohort of veterans.

 

Battle of White Mountain (1415)

14:25

A Soldier must Consider that sometimes God’s people have the worst in battle as well as God’s enemies.

The sword devoureth one as well as another.
2 Sam. 11:25.

The combat is complete; the battle has ended. Having lost fully one third of their men, the Catholic assault was firmly rebuffed, and the Bohemian revolt will last one more winter. Perhaps even the new king on the throne in Prague can rest more easily tonight. The Holy Roman Emperor will not receive the news well, and promises to raise an army to devastate Bohemia next spring. Cooler heads in other cities will take note of these threats, and will pull their men back from the coming conflict, better to defend their own when the tidal wave strikes them.

Fortuna Belli favoured the defence today. On the field, the Catholics dazed by their defeat will sing a Te Deum tonight for surviving the battle, and to ask forgiveness for their sins. The Protestants will sing the 68th Psalm and recite the following passage from Exodus.

The Lord is a man of war; Jehovah is his name. Thy right hand, Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee.

Exod. 15, 3,6,7.

Battle of White Mountain (1425)

 

Spacer

Here’s an animated gif for each move in the battle.

Battle of White Mountain Redux

Spacer

The Generals fighting this battle were

Tilly Redux

Count von Tilly

Anhalt Redux

Christian of Anhalt

Battle of White Mountain Redux Colours

Albus

Advertisements

The Battle of Leuthen 5 December 1757 Redux Wednesday, Dec 5 2012 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels
LeuthenReduxBanner

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

A wargame exploring the Battle of Leuthen is described below.

Leuthen 1757 (102)

The schematic of the battlefield above have been scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 100-120 men using 25mm figures. Thus our 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefields. The rules used in the games are here.

The number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Battle of Leuthen  had 66,000 Imperialist troops (mostly Austrians, with some Bavarians and Württembergers) facing 39,000 Prussians. Reducing the scale down by a factor of approximately 2 gives an order of battle for Leuthen thus.

Battle of Leuthen Redux Order of Battle

In these battles, we use the principle of Sauve qui peut to define the level of losses (in terms of base units of 2 figures) sustained by each side before mass panic sets in. The levels are shown below for the battle.

Leuthen 1757 Sauve qui peut

For both sides, once the threshold of base unit losses exceed the following total percentages at the specified time on the battlefield, a random number is created (by the linked excel spreadsheet, or a scientific calculator) to ascertain if mass panic has set in, and the rules of Sauve qui peut apply to mass panic.

The generals refighting the battle use suspension of disbelief, so that if enemy troops are bearing down unseen upon your own because of the restriction in visibility due to dead ground and hills, you cannot react until they would emerge… as happened during the original battle.

The account of the wargames is given at quarter hour intervals across the battle; the high view shared by our Olympians who reflect on the action below.

Spacer

Leuthen Wordle

1:00 pm

“In War, the skin of a fox is at times as necessary as that of the lion, for cunning may succeed when force fails. Since, therefore, force may at one time be repelled by force, and at another be obliged to yield to stratagem, we ought to be well acquainted with the use of both, that we may on occasion adopt either.”

Of the Tricks and Stratagems of War, Military Instructions, Frederick the Great.

The Prussians led by their cunning fox and lion, Frederick the Great, have moved forward to engage the Austrians and sundry Imperialists in an attempt to destroy their army and drive them from Silesia. the same territory he stole from his antagonists some ten years earlier.  With the great victory of Rossbach barely a month ago, morale is high in the Prussian army.

The Austrians led by Charles of Lorraine, and his subordinate general Count von Daun are confident that the ridge they have chosen to occupy across the village of Leuthen can be defended against this impulsive foe.  The Battle of Kolin in June was proof enough of this, surely?

Above the ground chosen for battle, the Olympians look on. Minerva heard with avid interest the wise words Frederick penned to her in his paen to war, L’Art de la Guerre.

“Much more from MINERVA the chief requires,
Wisdom should guide his breast while courage fires,
There valor cool with temperate ardor lies,
Swift without rashness, without weakness wise,
His prudent care should o’er his troops preside,
And ‘midst the battles rage their efforts guide…”

So rare, a Captain of the field, who even thinks this, let alone commits it to epic verse. Through the long river of history, the last such she recalled was Caesar and his commentaries, some eighteen centuries earlier. And now by a coincidence of fate, he faces the army of the daughter of Caesar.

Fortuna Belli favours the bold, provided they are successful. Although blindfolded, so her favours and frowns are scattered impartially across the field of battle, she also heard her name called in Frederick‘s poem.

“Always attack so shall BELLONA kind,
Smile on your banners waving in the wind,
And favoring fortune aid the daring arms,
Whose rapid charge the expecting foe alarms…”

Again, so wise in a mortal.

Mars will revel in the fight regardless of who will win, and he looks on favourably towards Frederick’s willingness to raise the sword and use it.

Bridled by an exhortation to one supreme effort, his officers know the stakes before them in this battle.

Fate has been kind to the Prussians. Unbeknownst to Prince Charles of Lorraine and the Austrians, they have chosen to occupy a ridge used by the Prussians for their annual war game exercises. Frederick and his men know this land like the back of their hand. Rather than engage in a suicidal advance from Borne to the ridge, and obligingly attacking the Austrians head on whilst outnumbered 1:2, Frederick leads the bulk of his men due south in three columns, whilst a small advance guard cautiously advances beyond the village of Borne. Bewitched by this maneuver, Prince Charles moves some reserves from his left flank to his centre to counter this apparent threat from Borne, whilst watching the bulk of the Prussians march away, in apparent retreat.

But this is no retreat, or exercise. Under the watchful eye of Frederick, the Prussians swing south under the cover of low hills, then with a discipline that comes from constant unthinking practice, the vast whole swings back North, wheeling from column to line, into an attack by oblique order. Frederick has his men where he wants them, in the desired formation.

All this time the Austrian high command is oblivious to the storm about to strike them. At the extreme left of the Austrian line are Bavarians and Württembergers. These men fight for the Holy Roman Empire and her Empress Maria Theresa, but they are not the same quality of men as the Austrian army that they owe allegiance too. They too have seen the Prussians march South, then disappear. But later, much later, a deadly apparition appears before them. The Prussians have returned in full battle array, and are steadily marching towards them in deadly earnest. They have enough time to swing their portion of the line round from the village of Leuthen to face square on to the coming onslaught.

Frederick has placed his best troops at the right hand side of his oblique order, at the point of contact with the Imperialists.

He gives one last exhortation to the strike force of hand picked regiments.

‘Boys, you see the whitecoats there. You’ve got to drive them out the redoubt. All you’ve got to do is go for them with the bayonet and run them out. I’ll support you with five grenadier battalions and the whole army. It’s win or die! In front of you you have the enemy and behind you you have the whole army, so you can’t find a room forward or back except as victors.

The men nod, knowing their task.

In the distance, the Bavarians and Württembergers know this afternoons peace will soon be shattered. But they stand firm for now.

Minerva smiles in approval at Frederick‘s guile and daring.

Leuthen Redux # (1)

1:05 pm

The Prussian cannonade sings out, and their deadly balls plow through the Imperialists. The Prussian line engages them in a series of volleys. It is too much for the Imperialists; they break and flee past the village of Sagschutz without occupying it. Frederick urges his men onwards.

The nearest senior Austrian to this mayhem, General Nádasdy looks on in horror at what is unfolding before him. The cannons roar, the musket volleys fire, sounding like waves breaking on a distant pebble beach.  He swings his own cavalry reserve around to face the sounds, and urges the infantry between Sagshutz and Leuthen to do the same. But by then the Imperialist infantry is falling back in disarray, disrupting these troops, adding to the mayhem and fear and some break as the Prussian cannonade straddles them. He sends a messenger to Prince Charles  and von Daun to break the news to them. They have heard the sounds to their left, and can guess at what it means. But they cannot see anything yet, so the Austrian main line remains in place, facing a threat from the village of Borne that remains elusive.

Leuthen Redux # (2)

1:10 pm

The Bavarians and Württembergers try to wheel a new line of defence round to face the Prussian infantry who continue to sweep forwards. General Nádasdy leads his troopers forwards to stem this tide, but his first line is thrown into confusion by fleeing troops and cannon balls from the Prussian guns..

Behind the Prussian infantry, Count von Zieten leads the Prussian cavalry reserve forwards to counter the emerging threat from the Austrian cavalry.

The messengers from the Bavarians ride on, but haven’t reached Prince Charles yet, who hears the sounds of strife with unease. von Daun is closer to the action, but still awaits orders.

Leuthen Redux # (3)

1:15 pm

The Prussians pour out of Sagschutz, still in perfect oblique order. The Bavarians and Württembergers nervously await this storm, hoping for support.

General Nádasdy withdraws his troopers, waiting for the right moment to strike. Meantime, Count von Zieten and the Prussian cavalry reserve still ride forward to meet them, wheeling his troopers round the woods by the side of the Prussian infantry.

So far, Fortuna Belli has smiled on the Prussians.

Leuthen Redux # (4)

1:20 pm

The Bavarians and Württemberger line crumples in disorder from the fire by the Prussian Grenadiers. Behind the firing line, the Prussian oblique order marches onwards.

The cavalry continue to sweep towards each other, with the Austrians under a steady cannonade from the Prussian guns on the hill.

The Austrian guns along their main line fire out at the distant Prussian cavalry before them. Despite the range, the Prussians are unnerved by the fire and they retire in confusion.

Prince Charles and von Daun finally receive confirmation of what their ears have been telling them. The old fox has outflanked them, and disaster stares them in the face, unless they can wheel their army around to face the onslaught. Orders are issued, short prayers are said.  Fortuna Belli continues to smile on the Prussians, but can the Austrians save themselves?

Leuthen Redux # (5)

1:25 pm

The Württemberger line breaks, but the Bavarians hold the line in some disorder against the Prussian Grenadiers. The Oblique order of Berliner Blau continues marching onwards.

Prince Charles  and von Daun issue their orders and mutter short prayers. They will swing their rear line round first to march on Leuthen and hold the Prussians there. A rider sets out to carry the news down the line.

The cavalry have nearly reached each other. Unseen, Mars rides with the Prussians and draws his sword.

Leuthen Redux # (6)

1:30 pm

The Bavarians have also fallen back, and chaos reigns in the Imperialist infantry before Leuthen. von Zieten’s Prussian troopers  crash into Nádasdy’s Austrian cavalry, who in turn are thrown back, in part by infantry fire from the squares of Prussians on their flank. As Mars revels in the action, Minerva smiles. and sees that Frederick may accomplish another Battle of Zama.

Leuthen Redux # (7)

1:45 pm

The Prussian flood continues, but the white Austrian columns are working their way to form a new white line across Leuthen. Who will get their first and secure a foothold? Fortuna Belli continues to favour the Prussians so far, as the retreating Imperialist infantry disrupt their comrades advance.

Nádasdy’s Austrian cavalry fall back before von Zieten’s troopers, but to their rear, Luchasse’s Austrian troopers begin to swing round to plug the gap.

The next fifteen minutes will be crucial, but events are happening so fast across the battle line that no general can control events. They can only hope the streams of fire they have unleashed will be successful once their effects have been felt.

Leuthen Redux # (10)

2:00 pm

The Prussians drive onwards and the line of fire now runs along the village of Leuthen. The Austrian troops fall out of the village and join the fleeing Bavarians and Württembergers in throwing the approaching Austrians into chaos. Only along the western flank of Leuthen do the Austrian infantry stand firm. But their flank is unsecured. Spotting their chance, the Prussian cavalry between Heidau and Radaxdorf ride forwards.

Prince Charles and von Daun, at different points in the fray feel increasingly nervous about how their troops are responding, and the general slide into chaos at the firing line.

Leuthen Redux # (13)

2:15 pm

The line of Austrian white columns advance towards their colleagues who run into them, through them, in panic. The battle is as good as lost, and yet there is no order to retire, so the good are propelled towards the bad and become disorganized themselves. Mars rides with the Prussian cavalry, and they hunt down the fleeing Austrian infantry as they run for their life.  Minerva knows that Frederick has his Zama, but Fortuna Belli will not signal to Victory yet.

Leuthen Redux # (16)

2:30 pm

In the centre, the Prussian cavalry ride down the fleeing Austrian infantry;  Mars is resplendent.  To the west of the battlefield, the remnants of Nádasdy’s troopers try their art once more against Count von Zieten’s men. They may buy time for their hard pressed comrades in the infantry, but the tide cannot be turned now. Even Prince Charles , and von Daun are riding to the rear. The Prussian artillery  limber up, and follow their comrades as the battle moves out of range for their guns. This is hard work, but no-one is firing back at them.  One by one, the Austrian batteries are falling to the Prussians.

Leuthen Redux # (19)

2:45 pm

Relief for the Austrians has appeared in the form of cavalry, which shields the retreat of their infantry. Facing a new threat, the Prussian cavalry before Frobelwitz backs away. Between Leuthen and Frobelwitz, a lone Austrian infantry square holds firm; the sole point of order. Meanwhile the flood of retreating Austrian infantry has reached the point of chaos; no troops could be reformed to fight today in good order; unit after unit has merged into one mass. Prince Charles  knows the battle is lost. What can he salvage from this moment?

Leuthen Redux # (22)

3:00 pm

The Prussian tide sweeps on as the Austrians retreat. All, except reinforcements to the west of Gluckerwitz, which form up in good order; the better to help their comrades retreat.

The Prussian artillery have reached a small hillock, ready to unlimber and pour fire onto the Austrians.

Leuthen Redux # (25)

3:15 pm

Austrian resistance is now centered between the villages of Frobelwitz and Gluckerwitz. A lone artillery battery spits defiance against the Prussians, who in turn mark it for capture when their flood allows it. In the distant rear, Prussian artillery fire out over their comrades heads. Their cannon balls strike the fleeing Austrian infantry, adding to their chaos.

Leuthen Redux # (28)

3:30 pm

Only a small pocket of Austrian resistance remains. The Prussian infantry forms out of battle array and into a  column of pursuit.  Austrian infantry are still falling to the swords of the Prussian cavalry. All for them is lost.

Leuthen Redux # (31)

3:40 pm

One last Austrian infantry square offers resistance, surrounded by Prussian infantry. They will soon fall. The rest of their army has fled.

Leuthen Redux # (33)

Prince Charles and von Daun flee with their men. They are at a loss to explain how their certitude dissolved in little over an hour, and against such a small army! They have been outgeneralled, and they know it. Their Empress will know of it shortly. She will remove Prince Charles from command and entrust all to the victor of Kolin.

Frederick has little time to celebrate his famous victory. He must organise and lead the pursuit against the Austrians. A moments effort now will gain much repose later. ‘Vorwärts’! he demands, and his men obey.

Fortuna Belli nods to Victory that the day belongs to  Frederick and his men; something that  Minerva has known for sometime. Lesser men than Frederick have been given the epithet ‘the Great’, but she knows that in the space of one month, he has destroyed two armies in the field at odds of 2:1 against his men. This is unprecedented for the modern age; perhaps for all ages. He deserves his title, and unwillingly to become the servant of his people in many more battles for another six years of war.

Perhaps this is the cause of his poem he leaves to his heir.

ILLUSTRIOUS Prince to whom ’tis given by fate,
To bear the burthen, and the pomp of state,
To reign of spacious realms the future lord,
To lift the balance, and to wield the sword,
0 hear a Soldier train’d to War’s alarms,
Inur’d to danger, and grown old in arms,
With voice experienc’d shew the thorny road
Which leads thro’ scenes of blood to fame’s abode.

 L’Art de la Guerre, Frederick the Great.

Spacer

Here’s an animated gif for each move in the battle.

Leuthen 1757 Redux

Spacer

The Generals fighting this battle were

Charles redux

Prince Charles.

Friedrich Redux

Frederick the Great.

Battle of Leuthen Redux Colours

The Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras 16 June 1815 Redux Friday, Mar 9 2012 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

A pair of wargames exploring the double battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras are described below.

Ligny

Quatre Bras

The schematic of the two battlefields above have been scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 100-120 men using 25mm figures. Thus our 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefields. The rules used in the games are here.

The number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Battle of Ligny was a large affair, with 68,000 French facing 84,000 Prussians. Reducing the scale down by a factor of approximately 3.3 gives an order of battle for Ligny thus.

For Quatre Bras 21,600 French face 28,800 Allied (Dutch/British/Hannoverian/Brunswickers). This makes the scale close to the actual battle.

The order of battle for Quatre Bras is

Quatre Bras was an ‘encounter’ battle, with troops arriving on the battlefield throughout the day. At the start of the battle, the Dutch troops hold the central villages, with the French advancing at 2:00 pm. This battle continued, and at 3:00 pm Napoleon ordered the French troops against the Prussians at Ligny in a set piece battle. Thus the two separate battles, less than 10 miles apart continued in isolation. The confusion of d’Erlon’s corps and its failure to reinforce the French at either battle is accounted for in the movements of the troops.

In these battles, we use the principle of Sauve qui peut to define the level of losses (in terms of base units of 1 figure) sustained by each side before mass panic sets in. The levels are shown below for each battle, adjusted for the time of reinforcements at Quatre Bras.

For both sides, once the threshold of base unit losses exceed the following total percentagesat the specified time on the battlefield, a random number is created (by the linked excel spreadsheet, or a scientific calculator) to ascertain if mass panic has set in,and the rules of  Sauve qui peut apply to mass panic.

One additional complicating factor for the wargame is the effect of the weather. The Battle of Ligny was fought in blazing sunshine, apart from just before dusk, when a heavy thunderstorm broke out. To simulate the capricious nature of the thunderstorm, a random number is generated to determine the visibility and movement.

There are 3 levels, showing the effect on visibility on the battlefield, the effect on movement and artillery, together with the reduction in effective musket range for infantry. Every move the thhunderstorm continues a fresh random number is generated, and teh effects above are immediately applied.

The generals refighting the battle use suspension of disbelief, so that if enemy troops are bearing down unseen upon your own because of the snow visibility, you cannot react until they would emerge… as happened during the original battle.

The account of the wargames is given by time at half hour intervals across both battles; the high view shared by our Olympians who comment on the actions below.

2:00 pm

At Quatre Bras

The Prince of Orange sees the French under the command of Marshal  Ney come marching towards his troops in an endless stream. Who was who said one more days work would see the job done?

“Hier komen de Franse” his men call out.

The  Prince de la Moskowa, veteran of countless battles sees his old Batavian comrades before him. They march to the sounds of La Victoire est à Nous! and the cries of “Vive l’empereur! En avant! En avant!”.

2:30 pm

At Quatre Bras

The French occupy the central hill overlooking the farmstead of Gemioncourt using l’ordre mixte, The Dutch await the attack that is building towards the village of L’Erale, which protects their left flank.

On the road from Ligny rides The Duke of Wellington, anxious to reach the Dutch troops in the centre before the storm breaks. Where are his English troops, sent this way before daybreak? He consoles himself that so far, the French storm has not broken.

Ney knows of the reputation of Milord Wellington, and proceeds carefully. Minerva approves of such caution, but Mars knows that Ney’s blood runs hot, and that action will see his true nature appear.

3:00 pm

At Quatre Bras

From afar, la musique d’brutals arrives. The guns of Napoleon’s army have begun their assault on the Prussians, and the sound carries to those fighting at Quatre Bras.

Ney leads the attack against the village of L’Erale “En avant! En avant!”, and Mars approves.

French cavalry has arrived and it places itself between this action and the approaching columns, making their way towards the waiting Dutch lines of infantry.

Behind the Dutch lines, Wellington’s silent prayers have been answered and Picton’s brigade appears, led by the 95th Rifles and followed by the 42nd Highlander and the 44th East Essex. Veterans of the Peninsular campaign, Wellington knows that with enough of these men, he can hold up the French till nightfall. His promise to Blucher and the Prussians to reinforce them hangs in the balance of how many Frenchies appear here at the crossroads of Quatre Bras.

At Ligny

Napoleon has heard with satisfaction the sound of cannon fire coming from the distant battlefield were Marshal Ney is engaged. Hopefully his tempestuous redheaded friend will soon rout the enemies before him, and heed the call to swing the remainder of his army towards the Prussian foes he faces today. Napoleon remembers well today he entered Berlin as master in 1807, and the day Prussians entered Paris last year, his star fallen. Revanche is all.

Commence firing!

Across the line of brooks which separates his troops from the French, Field Marshal Blucher immediately orders his cannons to counter the fire coming from the French. He too remembers these events; the stain of 1806-1807 and the glory of 1814. This time he will stop Napoleon in his tracks, and send the ogre of Europe packing. If Vellington and his men can come to his support so much the better. He will beat the French either way.

From afar, Fortuna Belli understands two battles seek her attention today. Whom shall she bless? The same side, or one from each of the protagonists?

3:30 pm

At Quatre Bras

The Dutch flee from L’Erale and are attacked by pursuing cavalry who sabre their former Batavian comrades with no mercy. Flanking fire from the Dutch in Piramont force the Hussars to retire. One Dutch battalion, fleeing for its life runs into the Delhutte woods, where they rally to pour fire on any French troops close by.

The French venture down the hill before Gemioncourt and test the resolve of the awaiting Dutch. Slowly the pressure builds, Fortuna Belli favours the bold, and the Dutch are forced to retire. Apart from their fortified village, the Dutch pull back to a new line behind Gemioncourt. They place a horse artillery battery in the lee of the village, to provide flanking fire.

Behind this line Picton’s troops advance, reaching the hard pressed Dutch. The Greenjackets work their way through the Dutch troops, moving to the right flank. Behind Picton’s men are Hanoverian troops loyal to George III and his commander, Wellington.

At Ligny

On the left of the battlefield, the French III Corps, led by Marshal Vandamme, advance to attack the village of St Amand. The Prussian defenders from von Zieten’s I Corps put up a furious resistance. One battalion of the French breaks and retreats, sufficiently disrupting the attack for Le Chapeau to go and steady the men.

On the right of the battlefield a battle rages around the village of Boignee. The French capture the village from the Prussians, who immediately rally and counter-attack; .

Artillery batteries trade blows with each other. So far the honours and the casualties are even in this battle.

4:00 pm

At Quatre Bras

The Allied centre is now set to face a concerted attack from French Hussars, infantry and distant artillery fire. The left flank is covered by the Materne Pond, the lynchpin Gemioncourt village. To the right of this, Picton’s men form a line out to Bossau Wood. The French push on to the waiting Goddams, their first test of fire from since peace was ended 100 days ago. The experienced soldiers note with little enthusiasm, their apparent calmness at the sound of la Musique, and les Sauterelles who outrange their Charlevilles.

On their right the field belongs to the French, as they drive home against the village of Piramont and the defending Dutch. Wellington, aware that his left flank could be turned, thus cutting him off from the Prussians diverts the Hanoverians towards the sound of this battle.

Ney is pleased with progress so far and urges the cavalry onwards, joining their attack, to the delight of Mars and the displeasure of Minerva, who prefers her generals to direct battles, not fight them.

Wellington knows this battle is a race to get the most troops onto the field as fast as possible. The matter is out of his hands; he awaits the distant calls of bugles, fifes and drums. In the distance Apollo listens to the melodies that accompany such mayhem. He gives more strong sunlight to the battlefield; and reckons some four hours will pass before Nox begins to hold sway with her encroaching darkness.

At Ligny

On the left of the battlefield, the French assault from Vandamme’s III Corps has swept away the Prussian defenders from the villages of St Amand and La Haye. But the Prussians will not give up without a fight, and counter-attack with Bucher signalling the advance of von Zeithen’s I Corps. The men needed little encouragement, Vörwarts is their motto.

On the right of the battlefield, the attacks on Boignee and Torgrenelle continue. The French take both villages, and the Prussians attempt to retake them.

In the centre, Napoleon stays his hand and does not advance yet. Better to let the wings of the Prussian army feel his wrath, and call on Blucher to denude his centre of troops to reinforce his losses. When the moment is right he will advance with his Imperial Guard and win another famous victory.

4:30 pm

At Quatre Bras

On their right, the French have captured Piramont and send the Dutch troops fleeing. Rather than press on towards the next village of Thyle, the French commander swings his infantry round past Materne Pond. If Fortuna Belli is kind to his men, they can roll up the Allied line and send Milord Wellington packing. One battalion of Hanoverians joins the Dutch to face down this threat. To their rear rides Hussars, which may slow the French down.

In the centre, the line of English red has held against the French, with a little help from the horse artillery battery besides Gemioncourt . They have seen off a cavalry charge and an infantry attack. This rebuff only acts as a spur to Ney who screams at his men to push on. But how to breach the red line?

The race to reinforce the combatants continues, with both sides gaining troops. Brunswickers appear with their Duke to the rear of Wellington’s line and the hard pressed brigade of Picton.

At Ligny

The French left wing is now secure, and the troops have captured Wagnelée in addition to St Amand and La Haye. French infantry from Vandamme’s III Corps cross Ligny brook and advance towards the centre of the Prussian position. This unsupported attack must surely be repelled? But beyond these positions, Prussian cavalry has ridden and the defeated French Hussars on the extreme left of the French army.  Because of this setback, Napoleon sends Carabiners from his heavy cavalry reserve to secure this flank.

In the centre all is still calm apart from the continuous exchange of artillery fire, which takes its toll. The awaiting French infantry know their time to attack will come.

On the right of the French position, progress is slow but steady. Torgrenelle falls to the Prussians, who send the French infantry battalion scuttling back towards their main lines. Supporting cavalry in the form of dragoons fights and defeats Prussian cuirassiers, and they are send back across the brook.

So far, Fortuna Belli has not overly favoured one side or the other.

5:00 pm

At Quatre Bras

On the Allied left flank, a combination of Hussars and Hanoverian infantry push the French back is disarray towards Piramont. The pressure is relieved by the French light cavalry in their centre, sent round to repulse their Dutch opponents. At this point the battle is poised, with Fortuna Belli favouring neither side.

In the centre, the struggle for Gemioncourt rages. The occupying Dutch battalion is routed by a well pressed attack, led by Ney. This in turn is checked and eventually repulsed, but not before the Allied horse battery is destroyed. The supporting red line of Picton’s brigade becomes disorganised in the attacks, but it holds.

The Brunswickers are diverted away from the centre towards the left flank by an aide de camp sent by the Duke of Wellington. Wellington can see that for now his steadfast English veterans hold the centre, as expected, and the left flank is the weak point for the French.

At Ligny

Blücher counter-attacks the French infantry at La Haye and Wagnelee, and a fierce infantry battle breaks out. Vandamme decides to send forward his last reserves. The French carabiners, with Hussars in support sweep across Ligny brook in an attempt to outflank the Prussians and take their infantry in the rear of their lines. Blucher, being an old Hussar himself is alert to this trick, and commits all his cavalry within immediate reach of this attack.

On the left flank of the French, their dragoons have swept away the Prussian cavalry counter-attack before Boignée. The battle is still evenly balanced.

5:30 pm

At Quatre Bras

Fortuna Belli favours the Allies on the left flank, and the cavalry push forwards between the villages of Piramont and L’Erale. French light cavalry reinforcements move forward to engage them in turn. In essence, the whole mêlée has moved forwards some 400 m. The Hanoverian infantry march forward and rout of the French infantry forced into square by the wheeling cavalry attack. Aide after aide comes to Marshal Ney begging for more reserves. Despite the dire situation in the centre, the chance to lead a cavalry counter charge proves too much for him and he moves over to seek another moments glory. This is much to the approval of Mars who revels in the fight, and disapproval of Minerva who prefers her generals to lead the strategy, not the combat.

Repeated attacks by the French in the centre are beaten off, and the English red line, pinned by the green jackets on the edge of the wood of Bossau moves forward.

From afar it is clear that Fortuna Belli has chosen Wellington and his polyglot army. The French are slowly being pushed back.

At Ligny

A huge wave of Prussian cavalry and infantry breaks over the French advancing on the left flank and sends them reeling backwards. Even the Carabiners cannot withstand this attack, and the Prussian cavalry sweep over the brook down towards the French infantry reserve repulsed from Wagnelée. The battle around La Haye continues to rage, with neither side taking an advantage.

From afar the scales tip slightly towards the French, as their advance on their right flank remorselessly continues. The French have recaptured Tongrenelle.

6:00 pm

At Quatre Bras

How quickly a change of whim from Fortuna Belli can affect a battle. Wellington sees his cavalry on the left flank flee before the overwhelming numbers of French Hussars, led by Ney. He leaves his secure centre to ride over to the position of crisis and tries to rally who he can. Ney, exultant pushes the Hussars on, trapping the Hanoverian infantry into squares. One hussar regiment tries its luck and attacks the square. The infantry fire volley after volley at them.

The French heavy cavalry reserve arrives on the battlefield, and is directed to attack the English line head-on. The irresistible force, clad in steel breastplates, thundering horses right down towards the immovable red line. As the charge progresses, French artillery rains down onto the waiting English who merely curse their luck.

The first line of French cavalry is repulsed, but the second seems to do better with one square breaking under the duress.

Through the wood of Bossau a new English division is winding its way through the road towards the Allied right.

At Ligny

Napoleon rides over to help rally his troops on the left flank. His presence has an immediate calming effect and at once the troops focus on the task at hand. They push forward and fling the Prussians backwards. The French carabiners separate from their Hussar colleagues and attack a regiment of Prussian Uhlans contesting one of the many bends of Ligny brook. The French retake W.

Having settled affairs on his left flank, Napoleon rides back to the centre, and begins the attack against Ligny and its waiting Prussian infantry. Now the real trial of strength can begin. Success here will guarantee glory for all, including the Emperor.

On the right flank, the French infantry and cavalry debouch across the brook, sweeping the Prussians before them.

6:30 pm

At Quatre Bras

The French cavalry on the left are repulsed by the resolute firing from the squares, and shielded from further attack by a regiment of hussars, Dutch, Hanoverian and Brunswick infantry push on.

The French Heavy cavalry in the centre have been repulsed and pull back behind their infantry, who await orders, either to advance or retire.

The column of English infantry have made their way through the Bossau woods, and begin advancing, threatening to flank the French on their left.

Wellington is sure now that he can win if the full weight of this relief column can be brought to bear on the French.

At Ligny

Fortuna Belli has now decided that Napoleon will have one another great victory.

This is now apparent on the right-wing of the French, as they drive the Prussians back across the brook towards Sombreffe. There is a real danger that the Prussian army may be taken in the flank if the French can drive forward.

On the left and the centre,  despite their tenacious resolve, the Prussians are being steadily driven backwards in confusion. Between the Mill at Ligny and the village a battalion of  Landwehr holds a line. Behind them, Prussian regular infantry attempt to rally.

To the rear of the Prussian line, a steady stream of troops are withdrawing towards the impending night and imminent safety.

Napoleon sees the whole battle in relation to its separate parts, and realises that time to send the Old Guard forward has arrived. He shall smash these impudent Prussians and send them back to Germany with their tails between their legs. The Old Guard follow their master across Ligny Brook.

7:00 pm

At Quatre Bras

On the left flank the allied advance continues, with Brunswick and Hanoverian infantry seeking to recapture the village of Piramont. The French cling on for now, but they are heavily outnumbered, with no visible sign of support from other troops.

In order to stem the advance on the Allied right flank, French Dragoons charge the advancing English infantry, who quickly form square and fight them off.

The Allied line advances in the centre. The remnants of Picton’s division move forward to take the hills before Gemioncourt. A regiment of French Cuirassiers attempts to flank this attack , but are met by artillery fire and English Dragoons. This combination causes the French to retire.

Ney ponders whether to withdraw. He know that unless d’Erlon’s corps appears to give him more troops, he will be pushed off the battlefield. It appears Fortuna Belli has not stood by him today. He has known worse defeats, and looks forwards to taking his revanche another day.

At Ligny

The skies darken and the heavens open, according to the will of Jupiter Tonans. He hurls his thunderbolts down onto the battlefield below. As the rain falls, the speed with which men can march and can see each other to fight diminishes. Muskets and canons lessen in their brutality; the fight belongs once again to cold steel.

The Prussians cling onto the village of Ligny in the centre of the battlefield. The Old Guard has reached the windmill that formed the centrepiece of Bluchers defensive line. Blücher sees the battle fall away from his control but will not yet concede defeat. He urges these men on for one more attack  “Vörwards, Vörwards”! but the mud holds his men back.  He also cannot see that his right-wing is slowly retreating off the battlefield and into the fast approaching night.

Through the veil of the falling rain, Napoleon sees the Prussians slowly pull back. He must urge his men on to close with them and destroy their army, here, now, the better to conserve his men’s strength for the next fight that must soon come. One hours extra exertion now will bring weeks of rest later.

7:30 pm

At Quatre Bras

The Allied line now stretches across the battlefield, from Delhutte woods to Bossau woods. The French are beaten and retire, with Ney cursing, frustrated at his early lost opportunity to crush the Dutch and seize the crossroads.

Victory once again blesses the Duke of Wellington, his redcoats, and the other nations that fight alongside him.

In the distance, the cannonfire at Ligny still echoes, and an ominous storm cloud gathers where the battle rages, hastening the arrival of Nox and darkness. Wellington sees the French pull back, but does not give chase. He has no means of knowing whether Blucher and his Prussians have held against Napoleon, so he must conserve his force for whatever tomorrow brings.

At Ligny

The thunderstorm still rages, with Jupiter Tonans displaying his wrath. Soon he will be joined by Nox, and the light on the battlefield is rapidly decreasing.

Blücher orders his men to retreat by division, so that some order can emerge from the chaos of defeat. His cannons defend the front and prevents the French infantry from progressing.

Napoleon rides to the rear, finds his heavy cavalry reserve, and orders them to ride to the extreme of his left flank and try to break through and seal off the Prussian retreat that he senses is occurring. He has won his great victory, but to what extent?

8:00 pm

At Ligny

Jupiter Tonans work is still not complete, and together with Nox it is difficult for the participants to see what each other are doing. The Prussians are steadily withdrawing, the French refusing to pursue them down, as the days fatigues and rain takes its toil.

The French heavy cavalry reserve have made some progress to their end destination but are still some distance away.  The mud is impeding their progress; the will of man cannot overcome the stuff of nature in the time left before darkness ends the combat.

Napoleon senses that the result of the day’s labour will give him three-quarters of the victory he desired. He believes the Prussians will now withdraw back to their homeland. He can announce a victory on the streets of Paris, and give his heart one more priceless boost before fate calls his name to another battlefield, and another fight.

Blücher’s will is not broken; withdrawal is necessary today, but tomorrow is another day. He will rally his men, feed them, and let them rest for one day. Then he will go searching for the ogre of Europe, and defeat him with help of Wellington’s men.

8:30 pm

At Ligny

Victory smiles once more on Napoleon, her most successful general in the age of destiny, and he smiles back at her. The field of glory and its carpet of cadavers once more belongs to him and his troops.

He sees beyond the moment in the spreading darkness of Nox, and in the near distance shimmers the Fata Morgana of another decisive battle and another greeting from Victory. This time it will against the redcoats of the British, and the other little nations that cling to the coat of their leader, the Iron Duke.

Still further into the distance lies the vision of Pax, summoned to a conference between Napoleon and the cowed Regents of Europe.

Pax, but on Napoleon‘s terms.

Here’s an animated gif for each move in the battles.

The battle of Quatre Bras

The battle of Ligny

The Generals fighting this battle were

The Duke of Wellington

Marshal Ney

Emperor Napoleon

FeldMarshal Blücher

The Battle of Sole Bay 7 June 1672 Redux Tuesday, Dec 6 2011 

Sea motive

Sea motive

 

This reenactment of the main fleet action during the Battle of Solebay scales the number of ships used down by a factor about of 3-4, so there are 12 Dutch Ships of the Line versus 10 ships for the Anglo-French fleet (6 English and 4 French) respectively. In addition, each side has six fireships to match the large numbers employed by each side  in the real battle.

The  Solebay ship damage sheets and the ship names are found in the link. The rules for the battle can be found here.

One difference to the real battle is to allow the winds (represented by the gods of the winds, the Venti) to change according to a dice roll at the end of each move. If the score is 1, the wind changes 1 point anticlockwise, 2-5 gives no change to the direction, and if a 6 is thrown, the wind changes 1 point clockwise. Likewise the strength of the wind may change, with a die roll of 1 decreasing it by one unit, 2-5 gives no change, and 6 increases it by one unit. Thus the capriciousness of the Venti can decide the fleet action on the day as the winds work in favour of one or other fleet, due to their possession of the weather gauge and the relative ease of movement given by the points of sail in the rules.

The fleets assume the positions used on the day, approximately those before the battle began at 08:30. The French ships form line ahead, and sail north to south. The English are struggling to form line ahead sailing south to north. Meanwhile, the Dutch sail with the easterly winds behind them, heading initially for the Anglo-French fleet.

The initial weather conditions match those at the start of the battle and are given by the Venti

Move 1

Volturnus blows with moderate strength from the east, propelling the Dutch fleet towards their Anglo-French adversaries, struggling to form a coherent line of battle. The English are sailing northwards, the French to the south.

Admiral De Ruyter, leading the prinsenvlag division signals to van Banckert, leading the triple prinsenvlag division to engage the French and their white flags. He will lead the other two divisions onto the English.

The Duke of York, leading the red division looks on aghast at his French allies, led by D’Estrées as they sail away from him.

Move 2

The wind and the fleets continue as before, with more of the Dutch coming over the horizon.

Move 3

At last the English begin to turn towards the enemy, with HMS St Andrew of the Blue squadron and HMS London of the Red squadron steering as close to the wind as they dare. van Banckert, turns his squadron led by Westfriesland of the triple prinsenvlag division towards the French.

Move 4

HMS St Andrew of the Blue squadron heads south east, close hauled, beating towards the Dutch. Even the White squadron l’Terrible has begun the same process, but heading on a north easterly course. The Dutch sail onwards, Westfriesland of the triple prinsenvlag squadron pulling away from the Dolphijn, leading the single prinsenvlag squadron.

Move 5

Volturnus continues to blow with moderate strength from the east, forcing the English and French squadrons to beat towards the Dutch bearing down on them. The Maagd van Dordrecht, leading the double prinsenvlag squadron separates from the Dolphijn. Will they manage to cross the T of the Anglo-French fleet? Only time and the next few manoeuvres will tell.

Move 6

The fleets are closing together fast, with the Dutch fan tailing out to intercept the English. The White squadron, lead by l’Terrible tacks to head on a south easterly course.

Move 7

Volturnus tires and passes the burden of the breeze to the south easterly zephyr, Subsolanus, who continues at reduced strength. The change in direction causes l’Terrible to immediately change tack and head north. The English blue and red squadrons head east. The Dutch continue to fan out in line astern, prior to the engagement.

Move 8

The first broadside comes from HMS Dreadnought, but it fails to make a mark on the leading Dutch ship, Dolphijn. The Dutch squadrons are trying to ‘ cross the T ‘ of the English.

Damage points:- Dutch = 0,  Anglo-French = 0

Move 9

Subsolanus, the zephyr of the south easterly breeze continues at a reduced strength. The paths of the first ships cross, leading to an exchange of fire between the Dolphijn and HMS Dreadnought. The honours favour the English. Both the English (HMS Dartmouth) and the Dutch (Gorinchem) light a fire ship apiece, sending them forwards in the expectation of disrupting the opposite fleet, and the hope of hitting a target. The crew of these ships row away steadfastly, seeking rescue from a friendly ship before the chaos ensues.

Damage points:- Dutch = 3,  Anglo-French = 2

Move 10

The English blue squadron gets to  ‘ cross the T ‘ of the Dutch double Prinsenvlag squadron and HMS St Andrew gives Maagd van Dordrecht a broadside.  HMS Dartmouth, the fire ship, causes anxiety to the rest of the ships in this Dutch squadron as the burning hulk bears down on them. The Dutch fire ship, Gorinchem, causes the English red squadron to take sail in, allowing the fire ship to pass. HMS Dreadnought receives more damage.

The French squadron steers north-east towards the melee, but they are still some distance away.

Damage points:- Dutch = 4,  Anglo-French = 5

Move 11

Auster, the zephyr of the south wind takes over the burden of the wind. The battle between the English Blue squadron and the Dutch double  Prinsenvlag squadron now breaks down into a series of ship duels, with HMS Royal James particularly suffering. In retaliation, the English set alight HMS Success and she begins drifting towards the Dutch. Likewise, the English Red squadron and the Dutch  Prinsenvlag squadron also breaks down into ship to ship duels.  The first two fire ships coast gently on their way, missing their targets, but causing ships to swerve. The French white squadron is close to engaging with the Dutch triple Prinsenvlag squadron.

Damage points:- Dutch = 7,  Anglo-French = 9

Move 12

Auster continues to blow down on the chaos below. Maagd van Dordrecht receives another broadside and her fore and main masts are brought down. HMS Robert is put on fire, as she rams into the stricken ship and sets her alight. The frantic Dutch crew try to halt the flames, but in vain. But all does not go the English way, as HMS Dreadnought’s rigging is also brought down.

Damage points:- Dutch = 12,  Anglo-French = 11

Move 13

Subsolanus, the zephyr of the south easterly breeze regains strength and blows. The crew of the Maagd van Dordrecht  fail to put out the fire and it grows. The ship will surely explode soon, and some of the crew jump over the side, to take their chance with the sea.

The crew of the Vrede set her on fire and she coasts into the side of HMS Prince from the Red squadron. The Dutch crew watch with grim satisfaction as the fire catches. Their work done, they row towards a friendly Dutch ship.

In the chaos of HMS Dreadnought’s rigging, a fire breaks out in the fallen sails, and another ship begins the fight for survival.

The English Blue squadron and the Dutch double Prinsenvlag squadron steer away from the fires, with the leading ships trading ineffectual broadsides as they go.

L’Terrible and the Westfriesland begin trading broadsides.

Damage points:- Dutch = 13,  Anglo-French = 17

Move 14

Once again, Auster, the zephyr of the south wind takes over the burden of the wind, but does so with the lightest of breezes.

The Maagd van Dordrecht explodes, showering burning wood, metal and alas the crew across the sea.  HMS Prince, already struggling from the fire ship conflagration is caught in the demise of the Dordrecht, as two fierce fires burn. The crew, seeing the fate of the Dutch vessel, abandon ship.   HMS Dreadnought’s rigging continues to burn, and her crew also looks nervously on at the fate of the Dordrecht.

The Dutch single and double  Prinsenvlag squadrons sail to the east, with the die Zeven Provinciem  taking the worst of the damage.

The Westfriesland of the triple  Prinsenvlag squadron has no choice but to sail south west, and she suffers a pummeling from L’Terrible and le Sainte Phillipe, and HMS London. The rest of the Dutch triple  Prinsenvlag squadron, led by Pacificatie intercept the French White squadron.

Damage points:- Dutch = 24,  Anglo-French = 19

Move 15

Auster continues to blow with the lightest of breezes.

HMS Dreadnought succumbs to the fire and explodes, showing burning fragments across the sea. Far off to shore, the people of Suffolk hear the explosion, but cannot see who has fallen.

The Westfriesland continues its south westerly course, being boxed in by the English and French ships tormenting her.  L’Terrible, le Sainte Phillipe and L’ Superbe all fire into the Dutch ship, who returns fire as best she can. At the intersection of the Dutch and French squadrons, L’ Terrible and Pacificatie trade blows. Elsewhere, the English and Dutch squadrons sailing eastwards also continue to exchange broadsides, causing little damage.

Damage points:- Dutch = 29,  Anglo-French = 31

Move 16

HMS Prince explodes and sinks, another English ship lost today. The echo of the moment reaches the shores of Suffolk minutes many seconds later.

The Westfriesland is now a wreck; fore, main and mizzen masts have fallen and two fires have broken out. But all does not go the French way, as  L’ Terrible loses her fore and main mast.

The Dutch single and double Prinsenvlag squadrons sail to the south east, with the English blue squadron breaking off the chase.

Damage points:- Dutch = 35,  Anglo-French = 46

Move 17

Auster, the zephyr of the south wind continues with the lightest of breezes.

L’ Superb suffers at the hand of the Dutch, but the Allies inflict no damage in return.

Damage points:- Dutch = 35,  Anglo-French = 48

Move 18

The Dutch Single and Double Prinsenvlag squadrons sail to the south east, leaving the fight to their Triple Prinsenvlag squadron. The French continue to fire back.

Damage points:- Dutch = 35,  Anglo-French = 48

Move 19

What remains of the Westfriesland explodes and sinks. L’ Terrible loses her mizzen mast and now drifts helplessly, prey for Dutch fire ships.

Damage points:- Dutch = 37,  Anglo-French = 52

Move 20

HMS Royal James of the blue squadron pursues the Dutch Single and Double Prinsenvlag squadrons.  She remains in danger of being surrounded if the Dutch turn around.

Damage points:- Dutch = 38,  Anglo-French = 53

Move 21

The Dutch Single and Double Prinsenvlag squadrons turn to the south west, and consequently HMS Royal Prince suffers at the hand of the Dutch. She loses her mizzen mast, which will slow her down.

Damage points:- Dutch = 38,  Anglo-French = 54

Move 22

L’ Superb explodes and sinks. The remaining Allied ships know the battle is lost and begin to turn towards the east to sail home.

Damage points:- Dutch = 40,  Anglo-French = 65

Move 23

Only HMS Royal Prince continues the duel with the Dutch, inflicting damage on the Wapen van Enkhuizen.

Damage points:- Dutch = 41,  Anglo-French = 65

Move 24

HMS Royal Prince continues the duel with the Wapen van Enkhuizen, but neither ship does any damage.

Damage points:- Dutch = 41,  Anglo-French = 65

Move 25

The fleets have now disengaged and begin to sail towards their homes.

Damage points:- Dutch = 41,  Anglo-French = 65

Move 26

Auster, the zephyr of the south wind continues with the lightest of breezes, as he watches the ships sail for home.

The Dutch have a long journey and a hero’s welcome for their famous victory to look forward to.

The English and French ships have but a short time to reach shore and tell their tales of woe at the hands of their enemy.

Damage points:- Dutch = 41,  Anglo-French = 65

The entire battle sequence is available as an animated gif, best viewed in Windows picture viewer.

The Admirals fighting this battle were

Admiral Michiel de Ruyter

James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral.

The Battle of Lützen 16 November 1632 Redux Sunday, May 8 2011 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

A wargame of the Battle of Lützen is described below.

The schematic of the battlefield above has been scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 100-120 men using 25mm figures. Thus our 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefield. The number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Imperialists had about 17,000 men at the start of the battle with 24 guns, and the Swedes/Germans about 19,000 with 60 guns. Reducing this by a factor of 1/2, the following order of battle is given.

In this battle, we use the principle of Sauve qui peut to define the level of losses (in terms of base units of 1 figure) sustained by each side before mass panic sets in. The levels are shown below for each army.

For both sides, once the threshold of losses exceed the following percentages, a dice roll is made to ascertain if mass panic has set in.

For the Imperialist army, the loss of up to 12 base units can be withstood before testing for morale. As soon as the relief force under Pappenheim arrives, the morale levels are lifted to 14 base units at the 15% threshold, to reflect the higher level of troops on the field. In the case of the Swedes and German allies,  19 base units can be lost before the 15% threshold is reached, reflecting their advantage in numbers. One additional complicating factor for the wargame is the effect of the weather. The Battle of Lützen was fought in fog which varied throughout the day. To simulate the capricious nature of fog, a dice is rolled to determine the visibilty.

Each position shows the visibility on the battlefield, so at position 1, the visibility falls to 100m (50mm) etc, whereas at 5-6 the visibility is unlimited, subject to line of sight. The generals refighting the battle use suspension of disbelief, so that if enemy troops are bearing down unseen upon your own because of the snow visibility, you cannot react until they would emerge… as happened during the original battle. After 15 minutes (3 moves) a dice is rolled and the new visibilty is established. Given the fog rose in the morning, but fell in the evening, a modifier to the dice roll is given for the time of day. Between 10:45 and 11:00 am, +1 is added to the roll. Between 11:00 and 13:00 + 2 is added to the roll, 13:00 and 14:00 no modifier is added, 14:00 and 15:00 -1 is added to the roll, and finally after 15:00 until nightfall -2 is added to the dice roll. This alters the probablilty of being in clear weather or thick fog, depending on the time of day.

Similarly, the arrival of Pappenheim and his men is given to chance. It’s known that he appeared shortly after 12:00, so to account for this at 12:05 a dice roll of 6 will allow Pappenheim’s men to appear on the board. At 12:10 a dice roll of 5,6 is needed, 12:15 4-6 is needed and this dice modification of shortening odds continues at 5 minutes intervals until at 12:30 the troops definitely arrive on the board. Rules used in the games can be found in this link.

A final point:- the little puffs of white cotten wool on the battlefield pictures below signify firing and the clouds of white smoke it made, the ‘fog of war’ that black powder produced.

Move 1 (10:45)

The Swedish army, led by their King Gustavus Adolphus finish singing “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” and begin to sing “Verzage nicht du Hauflein klein“, King Gustavus‘s own battle hymn.

Be not dismayed, thou little flock,
Although the foe’s fierce battle shock,
Loud on all sides assail thee.
Though o’er thy fall they laugh secure,
Their triumph cannot long endure,
Let not thy courage fail thee.

He signals the advance, and the cannons ring out, sending their shot through the mist at the enemy.

Wallenstein the Imperial commander sees the Swedes through the fog, a straggling line of sinners. He has recalled Pappenheim and his men to the field. If his troops can hold on until they arrive, then surely the Lord of Hosts will give the day to his men and not to these Northmen.

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Above the fray, Auster the God of fog breathes his mists over the plains of Lützen. He cares little for these mortals arguments. The visibility at 400m is enough for these men to see their emnity reflected.

Move 2 (10:50)

The Swedes march on in the centre, led by General Major Brahe. On the left, Gustavus Adolphus starts to wheel the cavalry around to outflank the Imperialists facing his men. The Swedes are singing the last verse of their hymn.

Our hope is sure in Jesus’ might;
Against themselves the godless fight,
Themselves, not us, distressing;
Shame and contempt their lot shall be;
God is with us, with Him are we; To us belongs His blessing.

The Imperialists before them, Catholics, count the beads on their rosaries as they retice their Pater Nosters and Ave Marias. There is still time to find redemption before the bullets start flying.

Move 3 (10:55)

Gustavus’s men continue to wheel, Brahe’s men continue to close on the enemy. There is no singing now, only the steady beat of drums. The novice soldiers on each side look on in disbelief at what is unfolding before their eyes, as the moment of truth beckons. The veterans of the Imperialists spit into the ground and check their weapons one last time.

Move 4 (11:00)

First contact between the troops, as a fight breaks out between the Swedish cavalry, interspersed with musketeers against the less well trained Croats. The Imperialist artillery fire on the Swedes, unnerving them.

Move 5 (11:05)

The Swedish cavalry under artillery fire break in confusion. To their right, Gustavus Adolphus and his men fight the Croats. The first line of infantry have now almost closed to fire contact. What was once cloaked in mist is now plainly visible.

Move 6 (11:10)

Gustavus Adolphus falls wounded to a lucky pistol shot from a Croat in the mêlée.

Sweden and all Protestant will grieve in due course for the lost Lion of the North. Catholic Europe will sing Te Deums for their deliverance.

Salvum fac populum tuum,
Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.

The Swedish cavalry press on their attack, seeking vengence. The Swedish and Imperialist infantry send each other into a disorganised state as push of pike takes over from the musket exchange.

Move 7 (11:15)

The first line of Imperialist infantry wavers and breaks at the end under the Swedish assault, creating a dangerous gap in the line. As if to underline the danger, the Imperialist General Colloredo falls to a musket ball as the troops he stood before crumple under the assault.

The Croats responsible for the fall of the Swedish King break in confusion. All goes badly for the Imperialsts, except on the extreme left, where their cavalry hold the Swedes on the line of the River Flossgraben.

Auster, the God of fog, sucks his breath in and the mists disappear over the plains of Lützen. The folly of men is for all to see.

Move 8 (11:20)

Remember Magdeburg! Magdeburg Quarter! ” roar the Swedes as the Imperialst front line crumples even further into retreat, throwing the troops they flee past into chaos.

Providence has spoken again, the battle  is all but won by the Swedes, or is it? News of the fall of their King reaches the Swedish blue regiment. A flicker of doubt creeps into their hearts.

Wallenstein has no time for doubt. He must lead a cavalry counterattack to stem the haemorrhage of troops in his centre or lose all.  “Vorwärts”! he shouts, and the men of his right wing obey.

Move 9 (11:25)

The counter charge in the centre scatters the Swedish Blue Regiment, as their defensive hedgehog breaks under the pistol shots and sabres of the Imperialist cavalry.

On the extreme left, by the River Flossgraben,  the Swedish cavalry also scatters before the Imperialists, as the truth of the loss of their King sinks in, and unnerves their fighting resolve.

Move 10 (11:30)

The scattering of the Swedish cavalry continues, and their retreat puts fresh heart into the Croats, who stop retreating. The Swedish infantry are pressed back by the Imperialist cavalry, with more troopers rushing to try their luck on the last standing Swedish infantry regiment in their front line.

Wallenstein’s gamble has paid off so far. He rides to rally the infantry in the centre, who begin to come to order again.

On the far right, Duke Bernhard receives news of the  fall of Gustavus Adolphus in silence.  He is, by seniority, the new leader of the army. The battlefield is quiet at his end, with no chance of an attack by the Imperialists. He shall take his cavalry with him to reinforce the army, and lead it to avenge the death of his King.

Fortuna Belli has favoured first one side, and then the other. Where her eventual indulgence will fall is not yet clear. Only time, and more fighting will tell.

Move 11 (11:35)

Duke Bernhard begins wheeling his cavalry around behind the second line of Swedes in the centre.

The front line of Swedish infantry suffers a furious cavarly charge and much of the infantry is thrown into confusion in the mêlée.

Behind this battle line, Wallenstein continues to rally the Imperialist infantry in the centre.

Move 12 (11:40)

Mars rides with the Imperialist cavalry as the Swedish infantry breaks before the onslaught. The riders hew down those who stand, those who run. Providence was with the Swedes just a short while ago?

The Imperialist infantry threaten to sweep forward and complete the partial victory won by the cavalry.

Wallenstein knows that if Pappenheim and his men come to the field soon, he can win against the odds, and the gratitude of the Emperor will be great indeed.  His mercenary heart knows such praise may beckon pay and further privilege.

On the left, the Imperialist cavalry pulls back behind the River Flossgraben under the command of Holk. Much of the Swedish cavalry first attack continues to rout.

Move 13 (11:45)

In the centre, one small clump of Swedish infantry valliantly battles on against a caracole attack by the Imperialist cavalry. Another clump breaks under the cavalry assault.

To the right, a mass of  Imperialist cavalry ride on to face the Swedish infantry second line. They are made of sterner stuff than their compatriots, and they stands their ground, in a defensive ‘hedgehog’, bristling with lowered pikes.

To the rear of this action, Holk leads the Swedish cavalry of their left wing towards the centre.

Move 14 (11:50)

The cavalry vs infantry battle in the centre rages on, with the Imperialsts getting the worst, as a troop of Swedish cavalry scatter the cavalry on the right. The Swedish infantry hold firm, a shore against the waves of horses.

Wallenstein has succeeded in rallying the Imperialst infantry behind the front line.

Move 15 (11:55)

The Imperialist cavalry retire in confusion, and the Swedes have held for now. The cavalry charge gave the Imperialsts breathing space, enough time for Pappenheim and his men to close the distance to the field.

The victorious regiment of Swedish cavalry sweep through the gap between the Imperialist infantry in the centre and on the right as they pursue the fleeing cavalry.

Move 16 (12:00)

The cluster of Swedes that fought off the Imperialst infantry pit their arms against a regiment of Imperialists who swiftly become disorganised in the push of pike. The Imperialst cavalry by their side retire through a gap between the infantry.

The small regiment of Swedish cavalry continue to pursue the Imperialists, but notice they are now separated way ahead of their comrades, and also a regiment of cavalry, led by Wallenstein is riding towards them. Instinct tells them they should return back to their own lines.

The Swedish cavalry of the left wing has now reached the centre of the battlefield.

Move 17 (12:05)

The Swedes win the push of pike and sends the imperialist infantry back in disarray.

The small regiment of Swedish cavalry on the right hand side of the battle plunge into the flank of an imperialist regiment of infantry, who break in disarray and begin running towards their cannon on a hill for safety.

Wallenstein leads his cavalry group towards the successful Swedes. If he can catch them, he will be extracted his revenge.

Move 18 (12:10)

The Swedish cavalry on the right-hand side of the battle continue to harass the Imperialist infantry regiment which flees in terror. But help is at hand, Imperialist cavalry ride towards them in the certitude they will overwhelm their enemy. Meanwhile Wallenstein continues his advance to their rear in the hope of encircling them.

In the centre, ebb and flow is order of the day. The reformed Swedish line joined the victorious group of infantry which has just seen off the Imperialists. However to their rear, a small group of cavalrymen break the extreme of the Swedish second line.

Far to the rear, the Protestant cavalry has nearly completed its transfer from one side of the battlefield to the other.

Wallenstein‘s wish has been granted. Pappenheim has arrived on the battlefield with his reserve of Imperialist cavalry.

Move 19 (12:15)

Pappenheim‘s cavalry waits for their leader to survey the battlefield and pick their spot for deployment.

In the centre the Imperialist infantry strengthens its line, ready for renewed struggle with the Swedes.

On the right, the isolated Swedish squadron pursues the broken Imperialist infantry, but slowly, surely the Imperialist cavalry are riding to surround it.

Move 20 (12:20)

Pappenheims men ride to the left flank as it is clear that is where the Swedes are massing for a counter attack.

Close to the artillery near the Flossgraben, the Swedish blue regiment has successfully repulsed the squadron of Imperialist cavalry attacking them, which in turn routs away disorganised.

On the right flank, the successful Swedish squadron is quickly scattered by the surrounding Imperialist cavalry. The survivors from this melee make their way towards a gap in the line of infantry advancing towards the Imperialists.

Move 21 (12:25)

Redeployments govern the battlefield as troops reorganise into new battle lines.

The Imperialists now have an arc of troops from one side of the battlefield to the other, infantry in the centre, cavalry on both flanks. This is the norm and Minerva, the Goddess of strategy approves.

The Swedes have denuded their right flank of cavalry and drawn everything towards the left where squadrons still ride to complete their redeployment. This is a bold strategy, born of desperation at the death of their king. Its success will surely live on the whims of Fortuna Belli once the action has started.

The infantry lines in the centre make their way towards each other, drums beating and flags flying. Both sides have tested each other’s mettle this morning, and more will be tested this afternoon.

Move 22 (12:30)


The Swedish blue regiment marches forwards to engage the imperialist artillery on the extreme of their left flank.  They immediately come under attack from a squadron of Imperialist cavalry and artillery fire which tests their resolve. The Swedes nerves hold, as their defensive hedgehog fights off the cavalry.

Auster the God of fog breathes his mists once more over the plains of Lützen.

On the Swedish left flank, the second line of cavalry sweeps round as all are still in motion. The Imperialists cannot see this movement but can hear something sizeable is happening.

Neither the Swedish or Imperialist infantry in the centre push further forward, each waiting for the other to make the move.

Move 23 (12:35)

Auster’s mists still cover the battlefield, masking the redeployment of the second line of Swedish cavalry.

The Swedish blue regiment successfully fights off the Imperialist cavalry squadron which retires disorganised. They have served their nation and their faith well today.

Move 24 (12:40)

With an impetuousity born of success, and perhaps guided by Mars, the Swedish blue regiment marches forwards directly towards the Imperialist artillery tormenting them.  Their good order breaks down in the process and the men become disorganised. An Imperialist infantry regiment advances to add flanking fire onto the Swedes. How long can they last?

Move 25 (12:45)

The arid bliss self belief provokes addled the Swedish blue regiment. Their charge has ended in failure and they break before the triple torment of infantry, cavalry and artillery fire.

The mist lifts and Pappenheim can see that the Swedish cavalry are forming one long line. This threatens to outflank his men. They must punch through their centre when the attack comes.

On the other flank, the remaining Swedish cavalry begin riding toward the centre.

Move 26 (12:50)

The Swedish blue regiment regain their nerve as they draw level with the main battle line.

The Swedish cavalry have now formed their long battle line.

Move 27 (12:55)

Artillery exchange fire, but elsewher a terrible calm descends on the battlefield. No side will test the others resolve.

Move 28 (13:00)

The Swedish cavalry begin to advance. Pappenheims men, veterans all, will them closer so battle can begin.

Move 29 (13:05)

The Swedes begin shortening their cavalry line by forming a traditional double line. Pappenheim sees this leaves a gap between them and their infantry centre. If he can scatter the cavalry facing him, he could roll up the exposed flank of the Swedish infantry. If…

Move 30 (13:10)

The Swedes continue their redeployments. The Imperialists wait.

Move 31 (13:15)

Auster’s mists roll over the battlefield once more, masking the redeployment of the Swedish cavalry.

Move 32 (13:20)

The Swedes on the right wing have finished their movement.

Move 33 (13:25)

Framåt! Gud vara med oss!

In the mists  Pappenheim and his men hear the Swedish cavalry advance, and glimpse them emerge through the fog.

Move 34 (13:30)

Auster’s breath increases and the fog plunges the visibility to 100m.  Only at the left flank of the Swedish advance can the two protagonists see each other, as both sides ready for the deadly embrace.

Move 35 (13:35)

In thick fog the first honours go to the Swedes, with their interspersed cavalry and infantry scattering the end of Imperialist cavalry. The fog masks the gap opened between Pappenheim and his men and the artillery at the end of the Imperialist infantry line.

Move 36 (13:40)

The Swedish cavalry wave continues on through the mists, Pappenheim  supporting his men.

Move 37 (13:45)

The mists lift a little and battle is joined along the length of the Imperialists right flank. The Swedes have crossed the Flossgraben, threatening the flank of the Imperialist infantry. A cavalry squadron rides forward to intercept.

Move 38 (13:50)

Fortuna Belli smiles on the Swedes, as they progress against the Imperialist cavalry which shatters under the assault. Wallenstein cannot tell which way the battle is going on his flank but senses with trepidation that the sound of battle is moving towards him, indicating his men aren’t holding their ground.

Move 39 (13:55)

The situation on the left flank of the Imperialists line worsens as a Swedish squadron captures the Imperialist artillery. This threatens their entire infantry line with flanking fire. The regiment at the end of the line falls back, fearful of their position. With Pappenheim busy rallying his men, a cavalry counter charge must fall to Wallenstein who senses the danger his army is in. He moves to the nearest cavalry and urges them to follow him.

Move 40 (14:00)

The battle rages between the Swedish cavalry and the Imperialists on their left flank, with the Imperialists holding their own. Wallenstein and the cavalry ride towards the captured artillery battery, now in Swedish hands, who fire on the approaching men.

Move 41 (14:05)

The Swedes are driven back to the Flossgraben river, and a fierce cavalry mêlée breaks out around the captured artillery unit. The battle is in the balance again.

Move 42 (14:10)

Wallenstein and his men overwhelm the Swedish cavalry defending the captured artillery unit whose fate once again hangs in the balance. If the Imperialists can resecure this vital components to their line, the battle may swing back to them yet.

Regardless of this event,  the long line of Swedish and Protestant infantry begins the approach towards the Imperialists to settle the matter once and for all by the push of pike.

Move 43 (14:15)

The artillery piece becomes a central target in the struggle, as the Swedes counter-attack, preventing the imperialists from remanning the guns and using them.

The advance of the Swedish and Protestant infantry is slow down on the extreme right by a headlong charge of Imperialist cavalry, forcing the end regiments into a defensive hedgehog. The Swedish infantry falters, becoming disorganised.

Move 44 (14:20)

The Swedish cavalry once again forces off the imperialists trying to recapture the artillery. The guns belong to the Swedes again, who will shortly begin pummelling the Imperialists when the opportunity presents itself.

On the left flank of the Imperialists a major cavalry battle has broken out as the Swedes try their luck one more time. Both sides in the chaos and confusion of the fighting and the fog become disorganised. The Swedes still have a line of reserves to fall back on, but should the Imperialists lose the whole position of their army is exposed. Sensing this, the Imperialist infantry begins slowly withdrawing seeking to delay the moment of truth with their opposite number.

Things go better for the Imperialists on their right flank, as one of the cavalry squadrons breaks through Swedish Green regiment, putting the men to the sword as they drive on.

Move 45 (14:25)

The judgment of Fortuna Belli comes down on the Swedish side. Their cavalry have scattered Pappenheim and his men, exposing the entire army’s flank. The disorganised remnants of the Imperialist cavalry ride towards the edge of the battlefield, seeking safety in the fog through speed and distance from their tormentors.

The Imperialist infantry begins retreat in earnest, sensing that the battle can no longer be won. The Swedish infantry, with a hole punched through its left flank seems none too keen to advance, as thetheir Green regiments suffers grievously at the hands of the victorious Imperialist squadron pursuing them. Help may be on its way as a small Swedish cavalry squadron rides to intercept them.

Move 46 (14:30)

A majority of the Imperialist cavalry has fled the battlefield. Their infantry pulls back steadfastly seeking the same safety. Even the artillery on the hill above the town of Lützen makes its own way off the battlefield.

The Imperialist cavalry squadron pursuing the Swedish Green regiment is scattered by the countercharge of the Swedish cavalry. They ride headlong for the gap that means safety for them, leaving the survivors of the Swedish Green regiment to run headlong away from the conflict until they regain their nerves.

Move 47 (14:35)

The Swedes advance again en masse, as they seek to close down on the remaining Imperialist units. Equally these men seek their safety but retreat in good order.

Move 48 (14:40)

On go the Swedes, back go the Imperialists. A mass of Swedish cavalry is gathering for the final assault, for they can close the distance long before their infantry can cause any further harm.

Move 49 (14:45)

“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered:
let them also that hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away:
as wax melteth before the fire,
so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.”

With the words of the 68th Psalm, beloved of the Calvinists in their ears, the Swedish cavalry close in upon one poor unfortunate Imperialist infantry regiment. Surrounded, it will be made to pay for the sins of the rest of their army, as quarter will neither be given or asked.

The rest of the Imperialist army shall escape to fight another day, in another place.

Victoria  awards the day to the Swedes and the German Protestants. Despite the loss of their dead king, they have clinched the battle, and although this victory is melancholic due to the passing of their monarch, they have succeeded in avenging his loss and securing Protestant Germany.

Northern Europe will mourn the fallen Lion King. Farewell faithful servant; the star that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.

From afar,  Mars and Pax know this battle’s outcome can only seek to prolong the war, as the death of Gustavus Adolphus gives the Imperialists enough hope to continue the struggle.

Wallenstein  and his defeated men retire into the fog and the approaching gloom.  Wallenstein  does not know yet of the fall of Gustavus Adolphus, but will seek to make this the principal outcome of the battle to the Emperor when he is summoned to explain his army’s defeat.

A little more resource your Majesty, more money and men, and I can overwhelm these Northmen yet for your honour and the greater glory of the Church.

The Emperor will see through these words, but accept the premise.

The entire battle sequence is available as an animated gif, best viewed in Windows picture viewer.

The Generals fighting this battle were

Gustavus Adolphus 

 Wallenstein 

The Battle of Höchstädt 20 September 1703 Redux Thursday, Nov 4 2010 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

A wargame of the Battle of Höchstädt is described below.

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

The schematic of the battlefield above has been scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 50-60 men using 15mm figures. Thus our 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefield. The number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Austrians and Prussians had about 16,000 men at the start of the battle, and the French about 24,000 by the end of 20th September 1703. Reducing this by a factor of 15/24, the following order of battle is given.

In this battle, we use the principle of Sauve qui peut to define the level of losses (in terms of base units of 2 figures) sustained by each side before mass panic sets in. The levels are shown below for each army.

For both sides, once the threshold of losses exceed the following percentages, a dice roll is made to ascertain if mass panic has set in.

For the Imperialst army and their Prussian allies, the loss of up to 15 base units can be withstood before testing for morale. In the case of the Franco-Bavarian army, given the initial deployment of just d’Usson’s troops, a lower level of losses can be sustained, so d’Usson’s troops can lose 6 base units before the 15% threshold is reached. As soon as the main army under Villars and Maximillian II arrives, the morale levels are lifted to 23 base units at the 15% threshold, to reflect the higher level of troops on the field.

A final point:- the little puffs of white cotten wool on the battlefield signify firing and the clouds of white smoke it made, the ‘fog of war’ that black powder produced.

The rules used for the re-enactment are found here.

Move 1 (11:30)

Marquis d’Usson stares at the serried ranks of Austrians and their Doppeladler Fahne before him. He recalls a conversation he once had with le Roy Soleil.

‘Good order makes us look assured, and it seem enough to look brave, because most of our enemies do not wait for us to approach near enough for us to show if we are in fact brave.’

Given the host before him, this theory of stoical forbearance will be tested to the limit, unless the main army under Maréchal Villars and Elector Maximillian II appears soon. Count von Styrum is unaware of the approach of the main French and Bavarian army. All he sees is the small force before him, which must surely yield to his superior numbers. ‘Feuer’. The Austrian cannons begin firing, and the French guns respond. The duel has begun.

Move 3 (11:45)

Marquis d’Usson has ordered le régiment Hainaut into the village of Oberglauheim to protect his left flank. The imperialsts are content for now to rain cannon balls onto the French artillery, thereby disrupting them, so they cannot return fire.

Move 4 (11:50)

Count von Styrum sends the first three lines of his troops foward. It will take time to cross the ground before engaging with the enemy. The French stand and look on at this advance; en muraille blanc, a wall of white coated men armed with muskets, drapeau d’ordonnance flying.

To the rear of the Imperialists, Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau orders his troops into column. They will march round and in due course outflank the French if they hold their ground.

Move 5 (11:55)

Le régiment Hainaut makes its way into the village of Oberglauheim, and Marquis d’Usson relaxes a little. He sees that the Imperialists are keeping their cavalry close to their infantry, and the cavarly on their right flank is making its way past the village of Sonderheim, squadron by squadron.

Move 6 (12:00)

The French cavalry on the left have seen the Austrian cavalry compressed against Sonderheim, and they attack, discharging their pistols before engaging with sword. The first Austrian squadron is disorganised by this sally. Meanwhile the French cavalry attack forces the nearby Austrian infantry into square. On the Austrian right flank, their cavalry begins to advance ahead of their infantry, who steadily advance on.

The head of the Berliner blau caterpiller, formed from the Prussians and their columns of infantry and cavalry begin passing the village of Unterglauheim.

Move 7 (12:05)

The cavalry battle by the village of Sonderheim ebbs towards the French, then back towards the Austrians, as more of the latter arrive to join the fray; “Vorwärts!“. Austrian infantry flee from the French cannonade, as the advance on the French centre temporarily halts. Marquis d’Usson orders le régiment Anjou into column and stirs the cavalry on the right into action, as he prepares his men for a complicated minuet in front of the advancing enemy.

Move 8 (12:10)

Marquis d’Usson orders the French cavalry on the left to wheel round to face the Imperialist Cuirassiers, swinging behind the village of Oberglauheim, which is itself under pressure from Austrian troops, who falter under the defensive fire from le régiment Hainaut. Meanwhile, le régiment Anjou wheel their column towards the gap left by their cavalry.

The rout of the Austrian infantry stops, but hey haven’t yet reformed, so cannot return to the advance, despite the admonishments from Count von Styrum.

The French left looks more shaken as part of their cavalry shatter under the weight of Austrian horsemen, who now outnumber the remaining enemy by 2:1.

Move 9 (12:15)

The battle is poised to tip either way, according to the whims of Fortuna Belli who smiles on neither side yet. On the French right flank, le régiment Hainaut hold onto Oberglauheim, sending das Regiment Holstein – Ploen reeling back from volley upon volley of musket fire. The Austrians disrupt their Swabian comrades in das Regiment Baden Baden. However all does not proceed to French liking, as le régiment Artois breaks under Imperialist fire. On the French right flank, the French cavalry retreat slowly as the Austrians advance. The French cavalry retirement allows the Austrian infantry to reform out of square, to begin the advance again.

Move 10 (12:20)

The Austrian cavalry sweep around behind Oberglauheim, and the French cavalry on their left wheel around to face them.

The gap in the line left by the routing le régiment d’Artois is quickly filled by le régiment Royal and le régiment d’Anjou. The Swabian Imperialists facing them suffer the worst of the fire exchange.

Two other Austrian battalions still retreat through their advancing comrades, sowing disorder and panic amongst them.

Move 11 (12:25)

Near Oberglauheim the Austrian and French cavalry face off in a mêlée, with the first round going to the French. They send their tormentors back in a rout; the second line of Austrian cavalry looking wearily on.

The Swabian Imperialist infantry retreat from the steady musket fire offered by the French line, which holds firm.

The head of the Berliner blau caterpiller, formed from the Prussians and their columns of infantry and cavalry begin passing the village of Weilheim.

Move 12 (12:30)

The battle has been fought for one hour, and Marquis d’Usson still sees no sign of the main French and Bavarian army. He rides to rally le régiment Artois before they cross the river Schwanenbach. In this battle, every man will count.

The French infantry line, a wall of men clad in white, stands firm having repulsed the first wave of the Imperialists.

Near Oberglauheim, the Austrian and French cavalry face off in the next mêlée, with the honours going to the Austrians, who seek revenge for their earlier loss.

Move 13 (12:35)

The French lose the cavalry duel, and L’Marquis d’Usson rides to them to urge them to rally.

By Oberglauheim, das Regiment Baden Durlach aus Schwaben tries to storm the village, but the French will not yield. Instead the Swabians melt before the French fire.

Move 14 (12:40)

L’Marquis d’Usson fails to rally the fleeing French cavalry, who cry ‘Sauve qui peut‘ as they plunge across the river Schwanenbach. A quick glace over the Marquis’s shoulder suggests he is needed urgently elsewhere.

On the French right flank, Austrian cavalry ride in upon the French cavalry and a new mêlée begins. The Imperialist infantry make contact with the French and start a fire fight. The sound of musketry rolls out across the battlefield, punctuated by cries of En Jou! Feu!.

Move 15 (12:45)

On the French left, the Austrian cavalry begin to advance as the Berliner blau caterpiller draws ever nearer to the village of Oberglauheim.

On the French right, the cavalry mêlée continues. A French battery limbers up, ready to withdraw to relative safety and form a new line of resistance. Meanwhile, another Austrian battalion retreats from the fire fight with the French.

Move 16 (12:50)

The cavalry mêlée on the French right continues, with both sets of men slashing at each other, swords drawn; disorder rules as Mars revels in the fight.

The presence of Austrian cavalry so near forces the french battalion at the end of their right into square. Another Imperialist infantry battalion withers before French fire. To the rear of the Austrians, a battery limbers up and begins to make its way to the nearby hill.

So far, the French have performed well, but they risk a cavalry attack from the rear as the Austrian sweep round in pursuit of the barely reformed le régiment Artois. This mortal threat should concentrate the minds of the men struggling to get into order.

Move 17 (12:55)


The sight of a line of Austrian cavalry before le régiment Artois does the trick, and they snap into square; a secure post to the rear of the French. The second line of Austrian infantry is now in retreat, having been broken by the French wall of white, who cling to their ground, though disorganised.

Fortuna Belli has not completely abandoned the Imperialists. On the right, the French cavalry yield first to the Austrians, who are too tired to pursue. Despite the casualties the Imperialists have taken, they may soon envelop the French. Marquis d’Usson scans the horizon for signs of the main French army. They are nowhere to be seen.

Move 18 (13:00)


The battle is finely balanced. The French infanty by Oberglauheim advance, scattering the Swabians before them, even as Count von Styrum exhorts his men on.

Behind them, a ragged line of French infantry struggle to reorder themselves. Scenting the weakness, the Austrian cavalry to their rear ride forwards. One group attack le régiment Artois in square who hold firm, sending riders and their horses to the ground with their musketry; more work for Somnus and Mors this evening. Another group of Austrian cavalry make straight for the ragged line.

Marquis d’Usson rallies the French cavalry on the right, who dutifully follow their leader back to the fray.

By Höchstädt, the other group of fleeing French cavalry no longer cry ‘Sauve qui peut‘, as distance from the battle calms them. They come to rest, and their senses.

Move 19 (13:05)

Le régiment d’Artois continues to hold in square at the back of the French position and they fight off the Austrian cavalry who scatter towards the gap between the villages. Their Prussian comrades ride forward to fill the void they have left. Before Oberglauheim, the second Austrian cavalry group threaten the rear of the French infantry line, who form into square from the threat. At the extreme left of the French line, the square formed by le régiment d’Anjou starts to buckle from a fire fight with the Austrian infantry third line.

Le régiment Hainaut in Oberglauheim stare as the Prussian battalions, which have marched steadtfastly around the battlefield, as they prepare to storm their village.

The Austrian artillery battery on the hill by Sonderheim unlimbers and makes ready to fire.

On the French right, the cavalry mêlée resumes, with no-one blessed by Victoria so far.

Move 20 (13:10)

Fortuna Belli can curse and bless an army in equal measures. The French position on the left buckles; the Prussians eject le régiment Hainaut from Oberglauheim at the same time as the Austrian Cuirassiers slam into le régiment d’Anjou ; Mars delights in the fight. The Austrian third line of infantry closes in for the kill, and surely the French cannot hold for much longer.

However on the horizon, the advance guard of the main Franco-Bavarian army arrives to the rear of the Imperialists. Oblivious to this development, Count von Styrum hears a strange cheer go up from the French ranks; not at all the sound he expected from an army about to be defeated.

Move 21 (13:15)

Chaos reigns as the French cling onto their ragged line, despite being turned on their left flank by the advancing Prussians and attacked by Imperialists in front, being led on by Count von Styrum.

The relocated French battery fires on the Austrian Cuirassiers attacking le régiment d’Anjou and disorganises them. They retire to safer ground and try to reform. Meanwhile le régiment d’Anjou continues running oblivious to the retreat of the attacking cavalry.

On the French right, again their cavalry yield to the attacking Austrians, who pose ready to sweep down on the mass of infantry in squares about to flee. But still the French keep up a strange cheer, as their beleaguered battalions in square see French infantry behind the relieving cavalry marching towards them.

The Austrian regiments that fled from the first attack reached as far as the river Nebel but did not cross. They stare open mouthed at the column of French cavalry and infantry bearing down upon them. The colonel of das regiment Holstein – Ploen sends a messenger to Count von Styrum alerting him to the new danger.

Move 22 (13:20)

Like a compass needle responding to a nearby stronger magnet, the Austrian battery on the hill swings around by 180° and starts firing at the French cavalry advancing to the rear of the Imperialist army. This movement is also seen by Count von Styrum, who receives the message from the regiment Holstein – Ploen with incredulity and denial. “Es kann nicht sein, müssen Sie irren“.

A Swabian regiment, routing from the battlefront reaches the river Nebel and sees the new danger. The men start running along the edge of the river towards Oberglauheim, and away from the French.

On the French right, the infantry in squares hold on, buoyed by the sight of even more comrades marching towards them. And still more march towards the battle.

On the plain before Höchstädt, the recently routed French cavalry emerge from the town to face a line of Prussian cavalry.

Move 23 (13:25)

Finally Count von Styrum dares to turn around and sees for himself the advancing French cavalry to his rear, who now draw close to Unterglauheim. He instinctively rides towards his unintented rear line, formed from the rallied Austrian infantry along the river Nebel.

At the rear of the French line, the Prussian and French cavalry start another mêlée, with weight on numbers telling for the Prussians.

Move 24 (13:30)

A mass of French infantry retreat from the battle towards Höchstädt. On the French right, their cavalry yield once more to the Austrians. However, a combination of two regiments firing sends back a Swabian battalion in retreat.

The Prussian cavalry win their mêlée against the battle weary French, who ride away in a rout. However an unbelievable message has arrived from the Prussian commander, Prince Anhalt-Dessau, ordering their recall.

Meanwhile, the relieving French cavalry sweep past Unterglauheim.

Marquis d’Usson exhorts his men on. They have done wonders in clinging on, if only they could hold on a little longer. Perhaps the day can still end in Gloire for them, if Fortuna Belli smiles on them.

Move 25 (13:35)


The Prussian cavalry now turn about face, and try to forget the size of the prize to their right. They have the French army at their mercy, and yet their commander wants them to return. Warum?

The Imperialist infantry before the French have not swept forwards, having received a messenger from Count von Styrum, urging caution, given the French army appearing before their rear.

The Prussian commander, Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau, can also see the danger. The Austro-Prussians have just a little more time left to crush d’Usson’s French, before turning to face the new threat. He seeks an urgent meeting with Count von Styrum to discuss their options.

Move 26 (13:40)

As the Prussian cavalry obey, they see the French relieving cavalry riding towards the Prussian infantry, and begin to see the sense in the orders they are following.

The French cavalry see before them the fleeing Swabian infantry, who now abandon their weapons and run for lives.

The Austrian cuirassiers have passed between the gap of the Prussian infantry, and the imperialist infantry and attempt to ride around the latter to catch the French cavalry in the flank. The distance however is long, and they sense the French cavalry will reach the fleeing infantry before they can make contact.

The fleeing infantry under Marquis d’Usson’s command have come back to order, and march behind his line in columns.

Count von Styrum receives the request to meet from Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau. Sensing no immediate danger to his rear, he prepares to ride off in search of his comrade

Move 27 (13:45)

The pursuing French cavalry reach the Swabian infantry and begin the dreadful task with sabres drawn. The Austrian cuirassiers pass around the flank of a line of Imperialist infantry, and see this carnage. Revenge spurs them on.

The Austrian infantry before Marquis d’Usson tries one last time to break his line; thick smoke and the sound of musketry ripples up and down. One battalion of Austrians turns and flees, leaving a gap in the line.

Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau has ordered his Prussians to form a new line of battle, with which to sweep the flank of the French. The first Prussian column turns into line.

Move 28 (13:50)

The French cavalry still do their terrible work on the defenceless Swabian infantry; only Mars can bear to look on the scene. The Prussian and Austrian cavalry dig their spurs in to drive their horses faster, so they can catch the French.

The Austrian infantry attack breaks on the wall of the French, and most of them retire or retreat.

Count von Styrum now knows he cannot quickly win this battle; he must turn his force to face the ever-growing threat from the French main army, whose columns appear to stretch over the horizon, and place a rear guard to fend off d’Usson’s men.

To the rear of the Imperialists, Maréchal Villars breasts the hill with his fresh infantry, and is delighted to see that d’Usson’s men still making a fight of it. Versailles shall hear of this.

Move 29 (13:55)

The proximity of the pursuing Prussian and Austrian cavalry force the French to break off their attack on the Swabian infantry.

The Austrian cavalry on the French right pour through the gap in theline left by the retreating infantry battalion, as they see the chance to attack the fleeing men.

Maréchal Villars swings the French infantry column to his right before Unterglauheim.

In the midst of the disorganised imperialist infantry, Count von Styrum and Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau meet to decide on the next phase of the battle.

Move 30 (14:00)

The French cavalry calmly form into line, as the Prussians and Austrians try to reach them. The remainder of the terrified Swabian infantry make for Oberglauheim.

On the French right flank, Marquis d’Usson sees his retreating battalion come to some order and form square to fight off the Austrian cavalry attacking them. White smoke envelops the square and for now he cannot tell if they have survived the onslaught.

With a heavy heart, Count von Styrum orders his infantry to break off the attack on d’Usson’s men and turn around to fight the ever growing French threat. Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau will lead his Prussians on, and clear d’Usson from the field, having time to swing around behind von Styrum’s men, to form a masse de decision for later in the day.

Move 31 (14:05)

The French cavalry ride back towards their own infantry deploying under the command of Maréchal Villars. Their pursuers will not reach them.

On the French right flank, le régiment Tourraine fights off the Austrian cavalry who retire in disorder. Marquis d’Usson appaulds his men and their resolve. Having seen off the Imperialists, now he must turn his men and face the Prussians.

Count von Styrum tries to calm two battalions of men fleeing from contact with d’Usson’s men. Every man will be needed in the next fight.

Move 32 (14:10)

Minerva watches with satisfaction and Mars with frustration as mayhem gives way to manoeuvre. The dispositions chosen by the generals now will determine the battles fate.

The Imperialists draw back to form a line of battle along the river Nebel. Before them, the growing Franco-Bavarian army also deploy into line of battle.

The successful French cavalry raid rides back to join thier newly arrived camarades who have just breasted the hill before Oberglauheim.

Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau welcomes back his cavalry after their fruitless chase of the French. They will be a trump card to play when attacking d’Usson’s men.

Marquis d’Usson begins issuing the orders to swing his men, forming a right angle into a new line to face the men in Berliner blau.

Move 33 (14:15)

The manoeuvres continue uninterrupted, apart from artillery fire raining cannon balls down on the marching men.

Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau watches his infantry march in columns, shortly to form a new line. Minerva whispers in his ear and he sees the empty space by the left flank of d’Usson’s line, now forming a curve. His men on the right flank have no-one to fight.

d’Usson knows this too; he must extend his left, or risk being flanked. His men are in front of the river Schwanenbach; they would be better behind it to face the Prussian wave when it comes.

Move 34 (14:20)

Marquis d’Usson rides as fast as he can to his right flank, ordering a rapid redeployment of men to his left flank. But a commander knows that no matter how urgent the need, it still takes time.

Before d’Usson’s men, Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau urges his infantry on in their redeployment to a line of battle. The race is on between the French and the Prussians in reforming before the next round of combat.

Move 35 (14:25)

All is movement. The Prussians near finishing their redeployment, d’Ussons’s French have only started theirs.

Maréchal Villars watches his first line of infantry intently. Should he attack immediately, or wait until the next column of men marching steadily along the road towards the battlefield deploy and form a second line?

Count von Styrum urges the Imperialists towards the river Nebel to form a second line of defence. All he can do is endure the next French attack and hope the Prussians can finish off the French to his rear.

Move 36 (14:30)

The Prussians finish their deployment, as do Maréchal Villars first line of French infantry.

The Imperialists strive to close the gap between their first and second line, as they see the second column of French infantry breast the hill before them. “So many?” says Count von Styrum, but only to himself.

Move 37 (14:35)

The Prussians and French begin a deadly Sarabande; the Prussians advance and the French retire behind the river Schwanenbach, ready to receive the next advance. Behind their line, the two French battalions march as fast as they can to cover the gap emerging on the left flank.

Maréchal Villars waits for the second line of French infantry to begin to form, and Count von Styrum is grateful there is no immediate attack. His second line will be in place before the French come on.

Move 38 (14:40)


The Prussians advance, the French retire, traiding space for time. Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau tires of the Sarabande; time to up the tempo to a Gavotte. He orders his cavalry to head for the wings of his line and wait for any weakness in the French.

Move 39 (14:45)

And so the deadly Gavotte begins, as a line of fire breaks out across the Prussians.

“Machet Euch fertig! Schlaget an! Feuer!”

And the French, who reply

“Présentez armes! En joue! Feu!”

The French initially fare worse. The Prussian cavalry trot forwards looking intently for a French retreat they can pounce on, hawk on mouse.

Move 40 (14:50)

Fortuna Belli frowns on the Prussians, as the battalion on their right retreat. The Prussian cavalry by them move forward.

Behind the French firing line, le régiment Royal Roussilon and its companion near the end of their forced march in column. But they see les Prusses wheel towards them, en muraille.

Far away from this action, les Bavarois arrive and march in column. Maximilian II, Elector of Bavaria, rides up to Maréchal Villars on the hill to discuss how best to deploy his men.

Move 41 (14:55)

The Prussian infantry begin to advance in the firefight. The Prussian cavalry charge the French left wing, with the end battalion in a disrupted square, which withstands the first assault. Along the firing line, d’Usson’s men still mostly hold, en muraille blanc, although increasingly ragged.

On the hill, Maréchal Villars sees d’Usson’s men still stand. His troops have almost deployed in the second line, so he suggests that Maximilian II leads les Bavarois in a flanking march towards Oberglauheim.

Move 42 (15:00)

d’Usson’s men begin to retire from the Prussian advance, as the Marquis tries to rally le régiment Artois. The Prussian cavalry become disorganised as they try to break the French square, who holds on.

“Avant!” The bugles call out, the drums beat and the first line of Maréchal Villars infantry march towards les autres chiens.

Move 43 (15:05)

Firing erupts as the French and Austrians exchange fire, with the French getting the worst. Fortuna Belli frowns on le régiment La Reine, their blood turns to ice and they run.

The French cavalry takes the onset of firing as their cue, and begin to sweep around past the village of Weilheim.

Marquis d’Usson stays with his men as they continue to fall back, leaving two battalions in square dangerously exposed to Prussian ire. They hold firm, and send the Prussian cavalry back in disarray. Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau steadies the battalions by him.

Move 44 (15:10)

Count von Styrum has cause for celebration, as only le régiment Le Rois remains from the French first line. The rest have retired into Unterglauheim and the mill.

Maréchal Villars masks his displeasure with the performance of his infantry, hoping that le régiment Champagne at the far right of the line will do well. He and Maximilian II urge les Bavarois on. The sooner the flanking move takes place, the better.

Marquis d’Usson watches the squares of le régiments Hainaut et Orleans send the Prussians back, with a little help from the French battery nearby.

Move 45 (15:15)

The Austrian battalion at the left of the line looks on at the cavalry mêlée, and decides to form square. “Formiert das Karree! Das ist ein Behfehl”. The men obey as quickly as they can.

Despite holding their own in the first attack from the French, Count von Styrum and his men grow increasingly restless. They can see the French cavalry ride around and attack their own before the village of Oberglauheim. If the Austrians do not hold, their flank will be exposed, as surely as the unfolding infantry attack from die Bayern will bring. And to their rear, a strange roar goes up. Die Französisch have beaten die Preußen!! “Mein Gott, wir sind umgeben”.

Move 46 (15:20)

Fortuna Belli frowns on the Austrian cavalry and the French cavalry muraille sweeps all before them. That’s enough for Count von Styrum’s men, they have endured enough, and the first line falls swiftly into disarray brought on by panic.

This echoes onwards to the Prussians, and they too sense the dangers and fall back to the village of Lutzingen.

Maréchal Villars sees this, but how to exploit it? His troops in Weilheim spring out and force the Austrians back. Time for the second line to advance.

Move 47 (15:25)

The French sweep on and the Austrians fall back. That’s enough for the Austrian artillery on the hill, who limber up and begin to make their way across the plain.

Mars calls to the French cavalry on the right, and their commander leads them forwards by le régiment Champagne. A cavalry officers dream; an army falling back in disarry. “Ziehen Säbel”!

Marquis d’Usson forms his men into another line who have been fighting for four hours continuously. Such a long day.

Move 48 (15:30)

A full mêlée rages by he village of Oberglauheim as the Austrians and Prussians try to stem the advance of the French cavalry.

Count von Styrums men fall steadily back and it looks as if the battle is lost; Mars rides with the French cavalry on the right as they bear down on them, sabres drawn. The Austrians have reformed into columns for quicker movement.

Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau rallies the battalions by him as they reform into a shaken line, ready to hold the gap between Oberglauheim and Lutzingen.

d’Usson’s men advance again. They could cut off the Austrian retreat.

Move 49 (15:35)

The Austrian cavalry send the French cavalry back on the left flank in disarray. If the austrians can repeat this on the right flank, they may yet escape the battlefield in good order.

Move 50 (15:40)

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield.

Count von Styrum sees his cavalry on the right rout after a brief mêlée with the victorious French. He must save as many men as he can before d’Usson’s men close in. The Prussians try to come to order, but they too have wilted before Fortuna Belli‘s implacable gaze.

“Jeder für sich und Gott mit alle”!

The battle is lost for the Imperialists.

Move 51 (15:45)

The French cavalry chase the fleeing Austrian infantry into the rough marshland by the Danube, who throw their equipment away, to help them run even quicker. These men are happy enough to still be alive – what need have they of standards and muskets? The Austrian cavalry flees behind the ragged mass of their infantry, as all desperately try to make the gap left open by the Prussians and the Imperialist cavalry by Oberglauheim.

d’Usson’s men advance. The gap the Imperialists have open to them to retreat is reducing minute by minute. Count von Styrum knows this and rides headlong towards escape, abandoning the troops behind him.

Move 52 (15:50)

The French cavalry ride into the fleeing Austrian infantry, leaving more work for Somnus and Mors in their wake, as men, cannons and standards fall to their sabres. To their right, the French infantry under Maréchal Villars march forward, scattering an Austrian artillery train. All the Imperialist guns are now in French hands.

d’Usson’s men halt their advance to form square as fleeing Austrian cavalry ride by, but the gap for retreat is still closing.

Move 53 (15:55)

As more Austrians fall to French sabres, the Bavarian troops have steadily been marching round and will soon be able to attack Oberglauheim, the lynchpin in the gate still open for the Imperialists and Prussians to escape through.

Maximilian II urges the French cavalry on, which line the northern edge of the battlefield, as they face off against the Prussian and Austrian cavalry. Despite being allies, he cannot get the men to advance. Prussian infantry march as fast as they can to form the rearguard on the retreat to Nordlingen.

Still the net closes, bringing in more Austrian soldiers, who throw their hands up in surrender.

Move 54 (16:00)

The net closes in further, and more Imperialists fall into it. They simply beg for mercy and no longer fight.

Move 55 (16:05)

The Bavarians reach Oberglauheim, and the Austrians quit without a fight to join the retreating throng. d’Usson’s men open fire on the remainder still running through the gap, as the French cavalry in pursuit at the rear round up the Imperialist stragglers. The net has closed.

Move 56 (16:10)

Today has been a disaster or a triumph, depending on the point of view of the combatants. Fortuna Belli takes no sides.

Victoria awards the day and the triumph to the French and Bavarians, as she surveys their terrible handiwork. Over 60% of the Austro-Prussian army have become casualties, all their artillery train, and a swathe of their standards are now in French hands.

“d’Usson and his men accomplished miracles today, your Majesty, as did the rest of your army”, Maréchal Villars shall tell Le Roi Soleil in tonight’s dispatch.

Le Roi Soleil shall light a candle in Sainte-Chapelle once he gets the news, and order the singing of Te Deums. Perhaps he shall call Maréchal Villars “Le Tapissier de Notre-Dame. Il est surnommé le tapissier de Notre-Dame en raison du grand nombre de drapeaux ennemis, qu’il prend sur les champs de bataille et que l’on suspend dans le cœur de la cathédrale.”



The entire battle sequence is available as an animated gif, best viewed in Windows picture viewer.

The Generals fighting this battle were

Maréchal Villars

Prince von Anhalt-Dessau


The Battle of Eylau 8th February 1807 Redux Saturday, Mar 13 2010 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

A wargame of the Battle of Eylau is described below.

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

The schematic of the battlefield is shown, oriented from the original map to fit the troop deployments.

This is then scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 100-120 men using 25mm figures. Thus the 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefield.

The number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Russians and Prussians had about 76,000 men by the end of the battle, and the French about 75,000 by dusk on 8th February 1807. Reducing this by a factor of approximately 3, the following order of battle is given.

One additional complicating factor for the wargame is the effect of the weather. The Battle of Eylau was fought in a blizzard. To simulate the capricious nature of snows in a blizzard, a marker is placed (initially) on position 4. Every move a dice is rolled. If the score is 1,2 the counter is moved down one position; 3,4 the position stays the same, and if 5,6 the counter is moved up one position.

Each position shows the visibility on the battlefield, so at position 1, the visibility falls to 100m (50mm) etc, whereas at 4-6 the visibility is unlimited, subject to line of sight. The generals refighting the battle use suspension of disbelief, so that if enemy troops are bearing down unseen upon your own because of the snow visibility, you cannot react until they would emerge… as happened during the original battle.

Further, troops moving in heavy snows (positions 1,2) are prone to veering off course to the desired direction, so a dice is rolled before setting off, with a throw of 1 (troops veer left); 2-5 (as intended), 6 (troops veer right). In addition, sending a messenger to communicate desired action requires a dice throw of 3-6 to ensure success; a throw of 1,2 accounts for messengers getting lost in the snows. At extreme range, a dice roll of 6 is needed for artillery to cause disruption, again to account for reduced effectiveness due to the snows. Finally all movement is slowed by 10mm per move for infantry and foot artillery and by 20 mm for cavalry to account for moving through heavy snow.

These adjustments are made to the general rules used for the wargame, and can be found here.

 

Move 1 08:30

The first consideration with a general who offers battle should be the glory and honour of his arms. The safety and preservation of his men is only second.

Napoleon surveys the snowy wastes before him and his opponents disposition. He balances the paradoxical trinity of enmity, chance and reason. With the Imperial Guard and Heavy Cavalry reserve, the odds are currently 50:50. Reason whispers to him that although he can see he is badly outnumbered, Davout and Ney‘s Corps have been recalled to the battlefield. Instead he counts upon his opponents timidity not to try to overwhelm his position before Eylau, giving him enough time to turn the flanks of les Russe once the reserves arrive and win a famous victory.

Count Bennigsen, in command of the Russians has other ideas. After being evicted by the French from Eylau the night before, his men have spent a miserable night upon the hills in the cold. Time to shift the French off the hills before Eylau and win a great victory that will bear his name.He orders the cannonade to begin.

‘It has begun! Here it is! Terrible but glorious!’ says the face of every private and officer.

The French cannons reply and the battle begins.

Victoria looks from afar at these two generals who would claim her favour. She will decide who to bless much, much later after many brave men have fallen.

Move 3 08:45

The cannonade rages back and forth, the Russians getting the better, with fire from the French main battery suppressed as the troops become disorganised. On the left flank, a regiment of Cossacks become disorganised from persistent artillery fire from the French battery in between the infantry.

The weather at this point is as clear as it will be this day.

Move 4 08:50

Tutchkov leads his men forwards towards Eylau, and the cavalry immediately to their right begin wheeling round behind them.

The French battalions on their left begin advancing, one towards the village of Schloditten; one towards Tutchkov’s men.

Move 5 08:55

On the left, the Russian advance led by Tutchkov continues, and to his rear, Dokhturov leads the 7th Division forwards in support, led by his cavalry.

The single French battalion continues its advance across the snows towards Tutchkov’s men. They march unsupported “avoir des engelures aux yeux“. The other French battalion at the extreme left marches continues towards the village of Schloditten, with the Dragoon regiment wheeling round in support. Another French battalion is moving into Eylau, so this can be held securely.

High on the hills, Le Chapeau sees Dokhturov’s advance. That could badly threaten his left if unchecked, so better prepare a welcoming party for them. He sends a messenger to the heavy cavalry reserve.

Move 6 09:00

On the left flank, the French battalion marching on its own feels its blood turn to ice, so they turn about and march back towards the safety of the cannon before them, which has disrupted a regiment of Cossacks. The French Dragoons sweep past the infantry bound for the village of Schloditten.

The Russian advance led by Tutchkov continues, with Eylau the target. A horse artillery battery by their side limbers up to accompany them. Dokhturov’s cavalry have moved ahead and form a second line behind Tutchkov’s cavalry. Meanwhile Dokhturov’s infantry plod onwards through the snow, singing, Ах, Вы Сени, Мои Сени.

Hidden behind the western heights, the Carabiniers form column in preparation to wheel and support the left flank, as ordered by Le Chapeau.

Move 7 09:05

Tutchkov’s Russians close on Eylau, and begin to storm the town; smoke rising from the musketry. Behind the first line of infantry are the Leyb-Gvardiya Преображенский полк, led by General Kozlovsky. They form column, in order to march around their colleagues in the firefight. To their right side, a horse artillery unit rides past.

By the village of Schloditten, the French Dragoons and Russian Cossacks fight with the honours even so far.

Behind the French lines, the Carabiniers and one regiments of Cuirassiers begin moving to the left, supported by a battery of horse artillery.

At the extreme right , the first troops from Marshal Davout‘s III corps have appeared.

Move 8 09:10

Tutchkov’s Russians continue to close on Eylau and the exchange of fire echoes across the battlefield. The Russian Leyb-Gvardiya begin marching around the right flank of this attack, supported by the horse artillery unit.

Fortuna Belli smiles on the Russian Cossacks by Schloditten and the French Dragoons retreat in disorder, leaving their left wing exposed. One French infantry battalion forms square against the threat.

Le Chapeau‘s decision to reinforce the left wing with Carabiniers and Cuirassiers looks prescient as they work their way round behind the hills, but Minerva knows his judgement comes from her silent whisperings. He sends Soult to oversee their deployment, and to try to halt the Dragoons retreat.

Move 9 09:15

Capriciousness is all – Fortuna Belli now frowns on the Russian Cossacks by Schloditten, as they break under artillery fire. Soult’s presence stops the rout of the French Dragoons besides the cannon that just did such harm.

The Russian infantry recoils before Eylau as the French musketeers do their work; the snowy fields before the town are carpeted by the fallen. The infantry battalion which was supporting their left flank also recoil from the hail of roundshot from the French grand battery.

The Russian Leyb-Gvardiya continue marching as before, supported by the horse artillery unit. They are heading towards the French battalion on the hill, to the left of Eylau who watch the Grenadiers and their tall hats grow larger, and they hear their song, Yes, they know us Turks and Swedes, for the first time. It sends shivers through them.

Dokhturov’s 7th Division continue forwards through the snow, the sound of battle growing ever louder for the troops in the front columns.

The Carabiniers and Cuirassiers receive new orders from Le Chapeau.

Move 10 09:20

The Russian Cossacks continue to retreat, allowing the French infantry close to Schloditten to reform from square to a column, and make a hasty advance towards the village before a combination of le brutal et beau sabreur closeby have them instead. Minerva smiles in approval, the eyes of Mars blaze at the Russians missed opportunity.

Tutchkov’s presence ralies the Russian infantry battalion before Eylau, ready for them to have another attempt once they’ve reorganised.

The Russian Leyb-Gvardiya sing out

“Their banner will be taken
by the Russian Bayonet,
our Fathers battle valor
it will not let us forget”.

and the French infantry receiving them break in terror, before running towards Le Chapeau.

‘Where are you running to?’ he proclaims. ‘ Les Russes are that way’, pointing towards the direction they just ran from. They rally and reform battle order before his admonishment.

On the plain les Gros Talons form up, Carabiniers close to Soult, Cuirassiers behind l’Empereur .

Move 11 09:25

The French infantry make their way into Schloditten, which will shortly become a strongpoint.

The presence of so much French cavalry forces the Russian Leyb-Gvardiya into square, as their horse artillery deploy besides them.

Dokhturov’s men continue their slow advance through the snow.

Move 12 09:30

Soult leads the Dragoons forwards a little, which allows Tutchkov to lead another assault on Eylau, with the Leyb-Gvardiya and line infantry. So far in the town, the hard pressed French cling on.

Le Chapeau sends the French infantry down the hill in a counter offensive, as les Gros Talons form up behind them on the hill, steel gleaming and waiting for any weakness from Les Russes.

In the centre, the artillery duel between the Russians and French continues, with both sides sustaining casualties.

Move 13 09:35

The Russian Leyb-Gvardiya sing out as they storm Eylau

“Loud is the voice of our honor,
solid our bayonets.
So we walk toward our glory
foremost, fearless regiment”
.

and the French infantry defending the town fall back before the gleaming steel and up the hill.

In seeming recompense, Fortuna Belli now smiles on the French infantry advancing towards the Russian horse artillery deployed close to Eylau and they take this prize at bayonet point.

Soult leads the French Dragoons forwards against Russian Hussars, who give way before the onslaught.

Move 14 09:40

A single French infantry battalion tries to retake Eylau, but is repulsed swiftly. Le Chapeau rides out to meet them, but even he fails to steady their nerves, and they continue running for now. He takes the Cuirassier regiment with him for support who pine for action. At last they are “off the hill”, they mutter, but only to themselves.

The French infantry originally thrown out of Eylau rally besides Les Immortels, who smile at their indiscipline.

Soult and his French Dragoons have beaten the Russian Hussars, who flee. The les Gros Talons of the Carabiniers form up behind Scholditten, protecting their flank.

The French infantry who captured the horse artillery unit make it their own. Dead and dying Russians are moved out the way; French soldiers have now become gunners.

Move 15 09:45

“Mесть” cry Dokhturov’s Dragoons, and they charge into Soult and his men, sending only half of them back with the Marshal, as the rest are left on the snowy field. Napoleon senses the crisis and rides out to meet them, wide eyed men and horses. The Cuirassiers deploy on the plain, to their left a French cannon, to their right the French infantry, now nursing their captured prize of a horse artillery battery into life. A Russian infantry battalion routs under their hail of grapeshot.

On the far left of the French line, les Gros Talons of the Carabiniers ride out towards the once routed, but now rallied Cossacks. This is surely a fight the Cossacks must lose?

Tutchkov gets the Russian line infantry battalion by Eylau in readiness to storm the French infantry at the foot of the hill overlooking the town once the supporting battalions join them. French cannonballs tear into the advancing green lines.

Bennigsen, in command of the Russians sees that he’s advanced on his right, and taken Eylau, a strategic prize. If Tutchkov can succeed in taking the French cannons in the centre, he can blow a hole through the middle, and order a general advance to sweep the rest of the French away.

Move 16 09:50

By Elyau, Tutchkov’s first column of Russian infantry is severely mauled by the French artillery and they rout, disorganising the second wave of men marching towards the guns.

Le Chapeau steadies the nerves of retreating French infantry, as Soult reforms what’s left of his French Dragoons. French artillery rout Russian Hussars by Dokhturov. The French Cuirassiers advance towards the Russian Dragoons who are suffering casualties under artillery fire too, and become disorganised in the process.

On the extreme left, les Gros Talons of the Carabiniers have scattered the Russian Cossacks.

Only in Eylau do the Russians stand firm.

Move 17 09:55

A clash begins between the Russian Dragoons and the French Cuirassiers, with Soult’s French Dragoons riding up to outflank the Russians. Horses rear, men slash with their sabres, but so far the Russians hold their own in the mêlée. Scenting further glory, the Carabiniers wheel around and head for the fight.

Two of Dokhturov’s infantry battalions have broken off from the main body, and march towards the French infantry, furiously making firing holes in the walls of Schloditten, before the Russians begin their attack.

Tutchkov’s second wave of infantry have formed columns, ready for attack, and they rout the French infantry guarding the foot of the hill before Eylau, who in turn pass through the French gunners. Combining this with the Russian artillery who have managed to outgun their French rivals ensures the French gunners are disorganised. They only put up a sporadic fire, unable to halt the infantry advancing towards them. Can Bennigsen‘s dream of capturing the guns and blowing a hole through the French centre be realised? Only if Fortuna Belli smiles on them.

Move 18 10:00

Napoleon rides to the centre and rallies the French infantry and artillery. Combined in strength, they rout one of the Russian infantry columns. The remaining column now faces an extra French battalion pivoting round to attack them with flanking fire.

On the left flank, the Russian cavalry continues to retreat in pockets of troopers.

Undeterred, the Russian infantry continue marching on, heading for their fate at Schloditten.

Move 19 10:05

Le Chapeau knows he must retake Eylau and so launches his ace weapon; the sound of La Marche des Grognards et La Victoire est à Nous! rings out over the battlefield. Les Grognards march steadily towards Eylau, the Russian Guards wait for them; an irresistable force against an immovable object. Fortuna Belli’s smile will determine who wins.

Perhaps by bravery, foolhardiness or tempered by past battles, Tutchkov is inured to this counterattack attack by the French. He leads his Russian infantry on against the French infantry to the left of Eylau.

To the left, Dokhturov attempts to rally the fleeing Russian cavalry. Les Gros Talons sit on the plain, forcing the Russian infantry before Schloditten into square.

Move 20 10:10

The struggle for Eylau is in full flow; so far the Russians cling on as les Grognards begin their déjeuner à la fourchette. The Russian artillery falls upon the French.

The French artillery are too busy supporting their infantry against Tutchkov’s attack.

To the left, the Russian cavalry begins to come to order and reassemble.

In the skies above the battlefield, Caecius – God of the north-east wind – bringer of foul weather, bearer of coldness, snows and blizzards; he who pours hail unto those below looks for his moment to release his curse. His breath of cold sweeps out.

Move 21 10:15

The curse of Caecius sweeps over the battlefield and the visibility falls to 400m. The Russian gunners lose their targets in the snow. The French can still see theirs and hammer away at Tutchkov’s men who stubbonly try to break the French infantry.

La Victoire est à Nous! rings out over the battlefield, Fortuna Belli has smiled on les Grognards and their déjeuner à la fourchette. The Russian Guards reel back in confusion. Le Chapeau transfers a battalion of the Young Guard to Eylau to secure this vital stronghold.

Move 22 10:20

The curse of Caecius strengthens and the visibility falls to 200m. The Imperial Guard continue to sweep the Russians from Eylau and make ready to occupy it themselves. The Russian infantry to the right of Eylau push back the French, who disrupt some of the artillery and infantry behind them in their retreat. Enough guns remain however to push two to the Russian battalions back.

Across the rest of the battlefield, silence falls as troops wait for the weather to ease.

Move 23 10:25

Visibility is still at 200m, as Caecius snowblinds all. In the chaos around Eylau, the Young Guard occupy the town, securing it for the French. A line infantry battalion makes use of the snow cover and rushes out from the town to try to recapture the horse artillery abandoned earlier. By Eylau, one final Russian battalion is in good order and makes a charge for the french artillery on the hill. It captures one of the batteries! Can it blow a hole through the French centre, despite the nearby presence of les Grognards?

Move 24 10:30

Caecius rage intensifies and the snows reduce the visiblity to 100m. That’s still enough for the Russian gunners with their new prize to achieve the near impossible, and rout a battalion of les Immortels; the Old Guard, who run back into Napoleon. “Where are you running to?” he demands. “Les Russes are that way”, pointing to where they have just come from. The other Old Guard battalion nearby exacts swift revenge and pushes the Russians off the cannon in a fierce bayonet charge. The crisis for the French passes and their centre holds. Slowly the routed French infantry on the hill recovers its composure.

However, Tutchkov’s Russians run, and this attack, so nearly successful has failed. Such is the whim of Fortuna Belli.

Move 25 10:35

Visibility is still only 100m, and the battlefield is quiet, all firing has stopped. The Russian attack under Tutchkov reorganises for another atttempt under heavy snows, the defending French also reorganise. The solitary French battalion sent from Eylau recapture the abandoned horse artillery unit. For now, they can’t see anything to fire at and can just make out Soult’s cavalry on the plain to their left.

Move 26 10:40

Caecius relents a little and the visiblity in the snow increases to 200m.

Tutchkov rallies the Russian infanry, and readies them for another assault on the French, who can only hear the sound of their drums.

Move 27 10:45

Caecius frowns and the visiblity in the blizzard decreases back to 100m.

Tutchkov’s attack emerges from the snows and they assault the French, who reply with musketry. Some Russian battalions retreat, others stand and fight.

A messenger from Count Bennigsen calls for cavalry reinforcement. Another messenger sent by Soult asks the French Carabiniers to join his main avalry body on the French left.

Move 28 10:50

Visibility continues at only 100m, and Tutchkov’s attack continues on, with neither the Russian or French infantry holding sway. Le Chapeau readies a battalion of the Old Guard for counterattack if the whim of Fortuna Belli goes against the French.

The Russian cavalry summonded by Count Bennigsen starts out forward in the thick snows towards where they think they are needed. Likewise the French Carabiniers ride throughthe snows towards Soult.

Move 29 10:55

Caecius again relents a little and the visiblity in the snow increases to 200m. The tide turns against Tutchkov’s attack and the French push back a couple of the attacking Russian Battalions. Le Chapeau senses the moment is ripe and the Old Guard begin their attack.

The French Carabiniers arrive by Soult and await for further orders.

Move 30 11:00

The attack by the Old Guard sweeps Tutchkov’s men away and they flee back towards the safety of the rest of their army. Caecius again relents a little and the visiblity in the snow increases to 400m. The Russian artillery speings to life again and attempt to cover the retreat of their comrades.

Move 31 11:05

The Old Guard begin returning back to their Emperor. Behind them, Tutchkov’s Russians continue to beat a retreat. The cavalry requested by Count Bennigsen arrive on the ridge which the Russian artillery commands.

Move 32 11:10

The snows still restrict visibility and movement, with both sides reorganising for the moment when Caecius stops his wrath.

Move 33 11:15

The visiblity improves a little. The French are ready again for the Russians. The first wave of attackers make their weary way back to their starting positions. The second wave begins the slow advance through the snows.

On the left, Soult about turns the French cavalry.

Move 34 11:20

On the left, Soult wheels the French cavalry behind Schloditten. The visibility falls again, masking the next attack, again being led by Tutchkov. He whispers to his aides close by “Success never depends, and never will depend, on position, or equipment, or even on numbers, and least of all on position.” “But on what then?” “On the feeling that is in me and in each soldier. A battle is won by those who firmly resolve to win it!”

Move 35 11:25

Under cover of the foul snows of Caecius, the Russians begin the next advance towards the French who again can only hear their adversaries draw nearer. Behind the infantry is a regiment of Dragoons.

On the left, Soult continues to wheel the French cavalry behind Schloditten. They head into snow, slowly.

Move 36 11:30

Tutchkov’s new wave of men advance through the snows, unseen by the French, and way behind them, Somov’s division begin their advance. Caecius relents a little and the visiblity rises to 200m.

Move 37 11:35

The visibilty rises further to 400m, and the silent guns spring into life on each side. Tutchkov’s men stagger until the hail of fire, but one battalion closes in on the French battery in the centre right of their line. Somov’s men continue to advance, as yet unseen by Le Chapeau.

Move 38 11:40

For a little under 90 minutes, Caecius has rained hail and snow onto those beneath him, but at last he tires and men can at last see the whole battlefield again. Le Chapeau at last sees Somov’s Division as they reach the hill behind Tutchkov’s men who are faltering under fire. All except one battalion, which still clings onto the foothill of the central French battery, whose fire in turn is suppressed by the Russians.

Move 39 11:45

The struggle for the central French battery continues, with neither side yielding. The rest of Tutchkov’s attack has faltered under cannon fire. Le Chapeau senses the moment and send a messenger to Marshal Murat to form the cavalry corps up, ready for a charge.

On the left, Dokhturov advances a regiment of Cossacks, forcing a battalion of French infantry into square. In response, Soult wheels the French Cuirassiers around to face the threat.

Move 40 11:50

On the left flank, Soult advances the French Cuirassiers towards the Russian Cossacks, as a Russian infantry battalion engages the French infantry bound in square.

The struggle for the central French battery continues, with Tutchkov and Augereau both adding their leadership to the fight. A battalion of Russian Guards makes it’s way to help their comrades, who hear their song, Yes, they know us Turks and Swedes.

Behind the French infantry, Marshal Murat‘s Dragoons sweep forward in pursuit of Tutchkov’s fleeing men.

Move 41 11:55

On the left the Russian infantry battalion engages the French infantry bound in square, who are putting up a stiff response. Dokhturov joins his Cossacks and send the Hussars around behind the hill, to outflank Soult and his French Gros Talons.

The central battle rages on, and it’s not clear who Fortuna Belli will smile on. Augereau‘s men in reserve move out of l’ordre mixtre to ordre mince, to maximise their firepower.

The French Dragoons have almost completed their wheeling move behind this battle, but come to the attention of the Russian gunners.

Move 42 12:00

The curse of Caecius again sweeps over the battlefield and the visibility falls to 400m.

On the left, the French square finally breaks, leaving the prize of a horse artillery battery to the disorganised Russian infantry. If they can sieze this, they could swing the balance on the left flank.

In the centre, a combination of French artillery and robust musketry confounds the Russian guards, who rout, leaving Tutchkov and his men more vunerable in their struggle to seize the French artillery battery.

The French Dragoons weather the hail of cannon fire directed their way. The presence of this cavalry threat forces Russian infantry into square.

The last of Davout‘s III Corps has arrived onto the battlefield on the extreme right.

Move 43 12:05

Caecius reduces the visibility to 200m.

On the left, Dokhturov’s Cossacks and Hussars lose the cavalry duel with Soult and his French Cuirassiers. The Russians flee, forcing their nearby infantry into square under threat from the victorious French Cuirassiers.

In the centre, Tutchkov and his men fail to seize the French artillery battery, which is overrun by French Dragoons. Both sides have troops retiring from the mêlée. Tutchkov does manage to rally the Russian guards back into a disorganised state.

Move 44 12:10

Caecius relents a little and the visibility rises to 400m.

On the left, Dokhturov’s cavalry continue to retreat from les Gros Talons. The Russian infantry, which fought so hard to capture the French horse artillery battery, breaks from the square under intense artillery fire, so the gun becomes unmanned again. A French battalion moves down the hill to recapture it.

In the centre, Tutchkov’s men rally as they watch the French Dragoons wheel back towards their own lines. Behind Tutchkov, a regiment of Russian Dragoons from up, ready for the fray.

Move 45 12:15

Visibility returns to normal again, and the artillery batteries both sides restart their deadly work.

On the left, the French infantry recapture the horse artillery battery. Behind the Russian lines, Dokhturov fails to rally his cavalry, in blind terror from their recent fight.

Russian artillery breaks the French infantry battalion on the hill as it tries to reman the foot artillery unit in the centre of the battlefield. Russian Dragoons bear down on them as they run for their lives.

Move 46 12:20

Caecius frowns again and the visibility falls to 400m.

The left flank action sees the recaptured French horse artillery disrupt the Russian infantry on the hill, and to their left the retreating Russian battalion halts and begins reforming.

In the centre , a cavalry mêlée rages over the hill where the Russian guns are. No one can claim this prize yet. So far the Russian Dragoons are having the worst of the battle. To the rear of this fight, Somov’s men continue to march onwards towards the French.

If the Russians can break the French centre, the battle will be theirs.

Move 47 12:25

The visibility remains restricted at 400m, which prevents the Russian main battery from helping the battle in the centre.

Fortuna Belli smiles on the Russians and gives their hearts a priceless boost. Their Dragoons rout the French, and behind them the infantry ready to storm the hill and capture the central cannon.

A moment of crisis has arisen for the French. Le Chapeau goes amongst his infantry to rally them, ready for a counterattack. He calls for his chosen children, the Imperial Guard to leave the hill and ready themselves for the attack.

On the left, Dohktorov rallies the Russian Hussars.

Move 48 12:30

The visibility rises again, and the artillery duel recommences.

The central hill now belongs to the Russians, who begin to reman the artillery battery. To their left, a fierce firefight routs one Russian battalion, with another disrupted as the French counterattack begins.

Before the hill, French Cuirassiers and Russian Dragoons begin another cavalry mêlée, with both sides holding their own.

The Imperial Guard obey the Emperor, and a battalion of Young and Old Guard make their way towards the fray.

On the left flank, Russian infantry begin marching forwards, after breaking out of square.

Move 49 12:35

The battle springs back into life on the left, as Russian infantry makes its way towards the village of Schloditten, which they last tried to storm at 10am.

The isolated French battalion to the left of Eylau, with its captured horse artillery battery tries to slow the advance of 3 Russian battalions.

In the centre, the Russians open up with their captured cannons, disrupting the French infantry further, as Augereau‘s men try to rally under his and Le Chapeau‘s praises and admonishments. The cavalry mêlée before teh hill continues, with both sides disorganised and vunerable to one last effort.

Move 50 12:40

The Russian advance into the village of Schloditten meets stiff French resistance, and the Russians faulter before the hail of fire they meet.

The isolated French battalion to the left of Eylau just about holds its own, as the Russians prepare to outflank it.

In the centre, Fortuna Belli smiles on the French cavalry as the Russians rout; their cavalry in turn disrupting their infantry on the hill with the prized cannon. Tolstoi’s reserve of cavalry forces its way through the narrow gap of retreating and advancing men, wondering what inferno they will meet once they face off against the французский.

Move 51 12:45

The Russians capture back their horse artillery battery before Eylau, sending the French back in confusion, who run for the hill above the town. However, one Russian battalion to the left of this brigade run from French artillery fire.

Before the village of Schloditten, an empasse is reached, with neither the Russians or French yielding.

The Russians secure the foot artillery battery in the centre of the battle, with infantry occupying the hill.

The French ready themselves for a major counterattack on this key sector, involving the Young Guard. Behind them, Le Chapeau prepares a cavalry surprise for les Russes.

The ebb and flow of cavalry behind this fight continues as Tolstoi’s troopers continue to make their way through gap between the hills.

Mars, breaker of armies, nods and approves at this strife.

Move 52 12:50

Caecius frowns again and the visibility falls to 400m.

The Russians conslidate their grip around the left of the battlefield, but are still stalled before Schloditten.

The French counter attack regains the central artillery unit with help from the Young Guard. To the rear, both Napoleon and Marshal Murat steady the Dragoons. On the right, Marshal Davout leads French Infantry towards Osten-Sacken’s men on the hill.

Napoleon sends a messenger to recall some of Soult‘s heavy cavalry to help reestablish command of the battlefield on the right flank.

Move 53 12:55

The Russians fall back before Schloditten. For the moment the village remains in French hands. Half of Soult‘s heavy cavalry swings around with the Marshal, convinced that for now the position on the left is stable.

In the centre, the French push on into Somov’s men, who begin to retreat. to counteract this setback, Russian Hussars charge the French infantry, forced into squares. French Dragoons begin working their way towards this threat to relieve their comrades.

Move 54 13:00

The battle on the right dominates the action. The Hussar attack on the French squares becomes a larger mêlée as the French Dragoons begin to counterattack, with French Cuirassiers not far behind. To the left of this, the battle around the hill rages, with the Russian infantry attack by Somov slowly becoming disorganised. On the right, close to Davout, another cavalry fight breaks out, with the Russians getting the worst of it.

Move 55 13:05

On the right, the infantry battle still rages. It must soon reach a crisis, as the Russian attack progresses from order to disorder; battlefield entropy displayed. The Russian Hussars slowly buckle under the French Dragoons attack, with Napoleon watching on. By Davout, the honours in the cavalry mêlée goes to the French, and their presence will doubtless pin down the Russian infantry guards close by.

Thus the battle on the center-right looks as though it is slowly turning towards the French. But the capriciousness of Fortuna Belli now smiles on the Russians as L’Estocq and his Prussians have beaten Marshal Ney‘s Corps to the battlefield. Instantly a messenger sets off from the watching French Carabiniers to alert the high command of this dramatic change.

Move 56 13:10

Cuirassiers tip the battle’s balance towards the French in the cavalry mêlée in the centre, as the Russian Dragoons recoil in disarray. The French also recapture the cannon on the hill to the immediate left of this action. The crisis in the centre for the French is passing.

On the left however, it’s a different story. L’Estocq’s Prussians continue to pour onto the battlefield. The messenge from the watchful French Carabiniers reaches Soult‘s heavy cavalry, who instantly stop their deployment, counter to Napoleon’s request.

“Tell l’Empereur that I would never disobey him, unless a tremedous need arises. Tell him les Prussiens have arrived, and until we know what their numbers are, I request command of these men on the left.”

The messenger nods and sets off to find Le Chapeau. Which young Captain would want to deliver a message like that?

Move 57 13:15

The Russian attack on the centre has ended, again in failure. Count Bennigsen, silently curses Fortuna Belli, who has now thrice nearly blessed his commands, but each time favoured the French. Next time, he vows, next time, together with die Preußen they’ll push the French off those hills.

L’Estocq’s Prussians march onwards, Hohenfreidberger Marsch playing, Ordinärfahne flying. Perhaps, today, the Prussians will perform better than they did last year against die Französisch…

Move 58 13:20

Caecius, tired of carrying his load of snow, decides to let it fall as the visibility falls to 400m.

The quaking French Captain delivers Soult‘s rebuff to Napoleon who ponders whether to shout at him for this petulance. He thinks better and send the messenger back, saying that he reminds Soult that on his judgement, the battle may hang. In truth, he can see that the Russian tide has ebbed and the crisis has passed. He sends a regiment of Dragoons around to aid the faithful Soult who turns the cavalry around, and they ride back to the left flank. On the extreme left, the French Carabiniers are being overwhelmed by sheer numbers of Russian Hussars, Cossacks and Dragoons. Meanwhile, L’Estocq’s Prussians still march on. The French infantry in Schloditten begin fighting off another Russian infantry attack, who would prefer the village to be theirs, rather than Preußen. In the smoke, the chef de battalion notes the arrival of les Prussiens on the hill. Will they hold on?

Move 59 13:25

The French Carabiniers rout after being flanked by Russian Dragoons. The path is open for the Russian cavalry if they seize the moment, but to their left, their infantry retires from trying to storm Schloditten.

In the centre, Somov and Tutchkov lead the weary Russian infantry back to their starting positions.

The French take the opportunity to reorganise their lines.

Move 60 13:30

L’Estocq’s orders the first Prussian battalion on the hill overlooking Schloditten into column, ready for attack.

In the village, French infantry fire on the Russian cavalry, disorganising the Dragoons.

Caecius, still restricts the visibility to 400m. The Generals on each side cannot see the reorganisation going on, as each side readies itself for one last push before dusk.

Move 61 13:35

Caecius, finally relents and full visibility returns.

“Where is Ney? Has anyone seen Ney?” calls out Napoleon, who knows he can win if Ney arrives soon. On the hill he sees the continued arrival of more Prussiens. “Surely these people know they are beaten?”.

Soult rallies the shaken Carabiniers, bringing them back to face the enemy.

The French are as prepared now for another assault as they can be, as the bulk of their cavalry sweeps around to the left. Le Chapeau intends to punch a hole through the screen of Russian cavalry by Doktorov’s men, to sever the Russian and Prussians apart, then begin rolling up the Russian line. To help this, the French artillery concentrate their fire on the Russian Hussars, disrupting them. He orders a field battery to relocate to the left of Eylau to support this.

Move 62 13:40

L’Estocq’s orders the third Prussian battalion on the hill overlooking Schloditten into column, ready for the attack.

From a distance, Mars sees this gathering storm and nods in approval, quoting the Emperor’s own maxim.

When you have resolved to fight a battle, collect your whole force. Dispense with nothing. A single battalion sometimes decides the day.

Always attack with superior force… Soult takes the Carabiniers back into the line, together with the Cuirassiers and Dragoons, as the French prepare a storm of their own.

Move 63 13:45

The Prussians now have a cannon on the hill above Schloditten, and troops in abundance. The French in the village prepare themselves pour lembrassé par une demoiselle.

In the gap between the hill above Eylau and the cavalry, a battalion breaks under Russian artillery fire.

“God is on the side with the best artillery”, muses Napoleon, as he sees them flee.

Move 64 13:50

The French battalion that broke under artillery fire continues to retreat, with their space being filled by French Dragoons.

Move 65 13:55

“Mitt Gott für König und Vaterland!” The Prussians sweep down off the hill towards Schloditten and the waiting French.

The French cavalry now stretches across the plain on the left hand flank.

Elsewhere, apart from the exchange of cannon fire, and the fall of a steady few on each side to this steely punch, the battlefield is quiet. The shades of the fallen will be reclaimed by Somnus and Mors and in due course be taken to visit Charon, the ferryman.

Move 66 14:00

“Rache!” The Prussians, motivated by emnity following their collapse at Jena-Auerstädt, force their way at bayonet point into Schloditten. Woe betide any Frenchman in the village who fails to run before this maelstrom.

In anticipation of losing the village, Soult leads the Carabiniers and Cuirassiers forward again. Behind the village, the Russian cavalry look nervously on as this wave advances towards their shoreline.

Move 67 14:05

The French are evicted from Schloditten as delighted Prussians claim the village. The exit of the French troops makes Soult pause in his advance. Behind him, the French Dragoons wheel. In front, more Prussians advance across the hills behind Schloditten. And finally, a French foot battery has finally made its way to support the current one on the plain. Now, how to proceed…

Move 68 14:10

With Schloditten secured by one battalion of die Preußen, the rest march back towards the hill where they just launched their attack.

Napoleon, watches les Prussiens march on towards the centre. Best to counterattack when they are fully committed and strung out on the march, maybe fifteen minutes from now. He sends a message to Soult to begin the attack no later than 2:30 pm, and forwards on a pair of infantry battalions to the left. Will les Russes interfere with his plan to roll up their right flank?

Move 69 14:15

Count Bennigsen certainly has plans for the Russians and calls for the horse artillery on the right flank to move to the centre, so they can blast a hole through the French lines. This will weaken his right, but he counts on the march of die Preußen to distract the French. The first Horse battery close to Eylau begins limbering up. Napoleon, watches this development with interest. Perhaps he should send some infantry to back up Soult once he charges…

Soult has rallied the French troops evicted from Schloditten, and gets them to march as fast as they can out of the way of the cavalry, who look on contemptuously at their scurrying.

Move 70 14:20

Napoleon, watches les Russes turn back from the valley between Schloditten and the hill overlooking Eylau, as the horse artillery makes its way across the valley beneath the hills where the Russian main development lies. So, withdraw from the right to strengthen the centre.

“Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.” “Yes, sire.”

Soult has seen this too, and has swung the French Dragoons around to ride out onto the plain to lead the attack.

On their left flank, the Russian cavalry receive orders to move. Count Bennigsen wants one more push through the centre, as he hopes today’s attrition has weakened French resolve enough for success.

Move 71 14:25

The Russian infantry withdraw, forming columns in the process. This draws the sting of French cannon fire, as bees circle around a honey pot.

The French Dragoons now see this prey retreating before them. Now to close the distance between and turn retreat into rout and thereby win themselves fame.

Russian horse artillery dashes through the vale between each army. The French gunners try to stop them, their Russian counterparts return their fire to aid their comrades. Fortuna Belli, so far favours the bold, and the horse artillery rides on.

The infantry Napoleon sent to help on the left still march around, but the evident withdrawal of the Russsians is too good an opportunity to miss. He orders a general advance on the left flank.

Behind the line of hills clad with Russian green, their cavalry continues to reform behind the centre, ready for their commander’s new order. In the French centre, a battalion breaks under cannon fire.

Move 72 14:30

On the left, the French sweep forward, Dragoons chasing the retiring Russian infantry, followed in turn by the French infantry, supported by a battalion of Les Immortels.

Soult orders his heavy cavalry into column, ready for a punch through Les Russes.

The Russian cavalry facing them have also received orders to return to the centre, and begin withdrawing.

L’Estocq’s Prussians have begun reaching the hill overlooking Eylau, and are consequently strung out in order of march.

Count Bennigsen nods and a mass cannonade signals the start of the next Russian attack on the centre-right, and he hopes the horse artillery will help blow a hole through the French that is just appearing. The Russian horse artillery obliges by continuing the dash through the vale between each army.

Indifferent to the struggle below, Caecius, pours hail on all, and visibility closes down to 400m.

Move 73 14:35

Thick as the snow flakes on a wintry day
When Jove the Lord of counsel down on men
His snow storm sends and manifests his power
Hushed are the winds the flakes continuous fall
That the high mountain tops and jutting crags
And lotus covered meads are buried deep
And man’s productive labours of the field
On hoary Ocean’s beach and bays they lie
The approaching waves their bound o’er all
Is spread by Jove the heavy veil of snow

Caecius obeys Jove’s call and redoubles his hail as visibility closes down to 200m.

Soult curses under breath. The Russian cavalry disappear into the snows, and could have retreated for all he knows, squandering his chance. However, the “Berliner Blau caterpillar” is still crawling across the plain. If he could cut this off at the head, he could roll the entire body of men up in a morass of routing men.

He turns his heavy cavalry column around to begin the sweep towards the “caterpillar”.

L’Estocq at the tail of the Prussian “Berliner Blau caterpillar” welcomes the snows as cover for this manouveur.

Soult was right, the Russian cavalry take advantage of the snows to retire towards the centre.

Tutchkov contemplates the next roll of the dice as he leads the Russian centre forwards against the French. He hopes the snows will continue to fall. The horse artillery have just about arrived to help his men.

Augereau tries to rally the fleeing infantry, imploring them to return to the line. They stop running.

Napoleon knows better than to curse the weather in case it gets worse. He calls “Where is Ney? Has anyone seen Ney?”

Move 74 14:40

Caecius relents a little and the visibility lifts to 400m. This is still not enough for Soult who still cannot see the enemy, but follows instead the French Dragoons, who in turn are closing down on the Russian infantry. They form square, as the French infantry and cavalry bear down on them through the snows.

L’Estocq moves up towards the head of the Prussian “Berliner Blau caterpillar”, which is hard pressed under artillery fire.

Behind the Russian centre, cavalry gathers. By Somov and Tolstoi’s men they work their way through the ravine of men. In front of them, Tutchkov’s men begin to press the French infantry in the central hill. The French foot artillery and infantry become disorganised from the combined Russian infantry and horse artillery.

Move 75 14:45

On the left. the French infantry engage one of the Russian squares, breaking them. The Dragoons behind them ride forward in pursuit, with the nodding approval of Fortuna Belli. The Russian men are fleeing for their lives, as they know the French will give them no quarter if they catch them. Soult still follows the French Dragoons and the sound of musketry.

On the hill to the right of this action, a battalion of les Immortels exchanges fire with the tenacous remnants of the Russian Guards. The honours are even so far, but a battalion of Young Guard start a flanking attack on the Russians, which surely they cannot withstand.

The head of the “Berliner Blau caterpillar” breaks under artillery fire and the men flee, without even firing a shot. L’Estocq urges the men to stand, but instead they run.

A tremendous fight envelops the French centre. The artillery battery falls to the Russians, who promptly swing the guns around and begin to reman them, having taken the position at bayonet point. Russian troops to their left become disorganised under musket fire from French troops holding the firing line.

To steady the French position, Marshal Murat launches his reserve of Cuirassiers, who come under infantry fire. In return the Russian Dragoons have made their way through the ravine of men and begin to threaten French infantry into square. The battle is finely balanced and could tilt either way.

Move 76 14:50

Caecius tires and full visibility returns.

Count Bennigsen takes the opportunity to survey the battlefield. His right is more imperilled than he had bargained for; the progress of his attack on the centre is slower than he had wished.

Now it can see again, the massed French cavalry attack now latches sight onto its target. The French Dragoons force more Russian infantry into squares. The fleeing Russian troops push more infantry into disorder as they plunge through the serried marching ranks, curses being exchanged between the two groups of men.

Dokhturov wheels a regiment of Hussars around to face off against this threat before Soult’s men arrive and cause even more chaos.

The Russian guardsmen hold their own against les Immortels and the Young Guard. They must hold to shield the steady march of the “Berliner Blau caterpillar”. L’Estocq leads the head of the column of men towards the battle enveloping the centre, towards the Young Guard advancing into sustained cannon fire from the newly deployed horse artillery. This pressure has allowed the French to recapture for now the hill where their foot artllery battering is deployed. Although the Russian infantry flee, the French Cuirassiers will crumbles under supporting artillery fire. Possession of the central artillery battery will allow the victor to pour a hail of fire onto the loser, so this prize is fiercely contested; a bone between two dogs who snap and snarl.

Le Chapeau senses that here the battle can be lost for the French and stands behind the hill, rallying the stragglers and returning them to the fray.

Davout’s men begin attacking Tolstoi’s infantry upon the hill to the extreme right, but the newly deployed Russian Dragoons force some of the French infantry into square.

Move 77 14:55

A universe of battle now engulfs the entire front. On the left, a cavalry mêlée starts between the French Dragoons and Russian Hussars. French infantry columns rout Russian infantry in squares, adding to the growing chaos. Behind the columns, Soult and the heavy cavalry charge onwards, seeking to enter the gap in the infantry ahead of them.

The Russian guardsmen still hold on against les Immortels and the Young Guard, but they are becoming increasingly demoralised as the Young Guard envelops them in enfilading fire.

The “Berliner Blau caterpillar” melts under artillery fire. L’Estocq watches on as another battalion runs. Why will his men not fight today?

Le Chapeau part exalts, part chides his men as he stands on the hill. For now, the French have recpatures this ground. To the left, Russian horse artillery thin out the ranks of the Young Guard who imprudently marched towards them, and they stagger, disorganised. To the right, another cavalry mêlée breaks out. At the extreme right of the battlefield, Davout‘s men retreat from Russian cannon fire.

Move 78 15:00

On the left, the cavalry mêlée grows as Soult leads some of the heavy cavalry into the fray in support of the French Dragoons. Russian cavalry swing round to help as a counterbalance. The French infantry in columns drive onwards and the Russian fomations melt like ice; the men run and run. Even the Russian guardsmen run too. Now no infantry stand between the central Russian artillery batteries and the French.

Count Bennigsen‘s fears now overtake his original bold plan. He will lose the battle if he can’t stop this haemorrhage in men causing more damage. He can only do this by diverting troops from the central attack, enough to hold off the French, whilst still pressing the centre. The battle has become one of attrition.

Who will give up first? Fortuna Belli gives no hints on her favours.


Move 79 15:05

The smile of Fortuna Belli goes to the French on the left of the battlefield, as Russian cavalry and infantry flee before the onslaught; their haemorrhage in men continues.

The Young Guard com uner attack from a battalion of les Teufels. Both sides become disordered in the ensuing fire fight.

In the centre, Le Chapeau moves back to the Imperial Guard, leaving the troops on the hill defending the cannon to themselves. The French struggle to hold back les Russes:-

‘Русские войска.
Росейским штыком,
Сюда шли мы не гулять.’

The French and Russian troops continue to push against each other; trial under fire.

Move 80 15:10

Still the French cavalry sweep all before them on the left side. A single Russian battalion forms a shaken square to act as cover for their reteating troops, as French infantry columns march on. 3 French battalions in L’ordre mixte march up the hill towards the Russian cannons.

По войскам шрапнелью будем мы стрелять,
А шашками сами себя защищать! ‘

Despite the song, the Russian cannons fail to halt this advance.

The Young Guard repulse les Teufels, who retreat. L’Estocq watches his men crumble before the advancing Old Guard, sent forward by Le Chapeau at the crucial time.

The central hill lies empty for the moment, claimed by neither the French or the Russians; only by their dead or wounded.

Russian Dragoons by Tolstoi force Davout‘s men into squares.

Move 81 15:15

The Russians are close to total collapse on the left, as horses and infantry flee from the advancing French. The Russian infantry make their way towards the woods, which offers some degree of shelter.

Count Bennigsen‘s order for recall from the centre has yet to take place. He can only look on, and hope that somehow, things do not get worse.

The Russian gunners in the main battery carve a hole through l’ordre mixte marching towards them; the central battalion retreats in confusion.

In the centre, the Russians send out another wave of men, which carries them onto the hill where the French battery rests.

On the extreme right, Russian cavalry ride down the French artillery which guards this flank. Although the horsemen suffer casualties, their momentum takes them through and they extract their revenge on their tormentors, the French gunners, who run for their lives.

Move 82 15:20

So now the heavy hand of Mars gives grief,
To neither side his fury yields relief,
Thus equal deaths are dealt with equal chance;
By turns they quit their ground by turns advance:
Victors and vanquish’d in the various field,
Nor wholly overcome, nor wholly yield,
The gods from heav’n survey the fatal strife,
And mourn the miseries of human life.

The French attack the left flank; the Russians yield.
The Russians attack the right flank; the French yield.

This lever has its fulcrum on the central battery, itself the subject of martial ebb and flow; once more possessed by Tutchkov’s men.

The battle could go either way.

Move 83 15:25

The Russian withdrawal from the centre removes the horse artillery units which so successfully allowed Tutchkov to claim the central battery, which in turn begins to withdraw. The Russian infantry clings onto the hill against French attacks to shield this. On the right, Davout ‘s men retreat in confusion before the Russians, and Murat rallies what is left of the French cavalry.

Napoleon cannot see how far his left wing has pushed, how much damage they have inflicted. But he knows he could still lose the battle if his right wing disintegrates, so he recalls some of Soult‘s cavalry, whilst still calling out for Marshal Ney and his men.

On the left, the French advance begins to slow. Raking fire from the Prussian artillery on the hill above Schloditten routs the French Dragoons, and Dokhturov rallies a line of Russian cavalry to face off against the French. The retreating Russian infantry run for the shelter of the woods before them. The French infantry continue to press their Russian counterparts, but they hold.

On the hill before Eylau, the Russian artillery continue to slow up the French infantry advance.

Count Bennigsen sends the horse artillery recalled from the centre to the gap between the woods and the hill, at right angles to the main line. If they get there in time, he hopes his hard pressed troops can rally behind them.

Move 84 15:30

Dokhturov now forms an ordered battle line, in the shape of a crescent against the French, now reduced to 2 heavy cavalry units. The French infantry on the left forms a long line. On the hill, the Russian artillery has beaten off remaining columns of l’ordre mixte.

The Russian horse artillery batteries, direct by their commander in chief, race towards the gap between him and the woods. In the woods, the fleeing Russian and Prussian infantry find shelter and hope.

In the centre, Augereau leads the French infantry forward once more against Tutchkov’s Russians.

On the right, Davout ‘s men cling on, reformed into squares.

Move 85 15:35

The horse artillery units taken from the Russian centre now deploy in the gap, as ordered. The heavy French cavalry now see this new danger, and the reformed cavalry under Dokhturov.

Soult responds to teh Emperors request by sending back the French Dragoons under his command back to the right flank.

The Russians pull back from the centre, but their cavalry on the right of the battlefield have forced numerous French infantry battalions into square. A good target if they can exploit the situation.

Move 86 15:40

Dokhturov’s cavalry now surround the French Carabiniers, who fight on though threatened with envelopment by their enemy. The Russian horse artillery give a whiff of grapeshot towards the French Cuirassiers, who dare not attack any further forwards.

The Russian infantry give as good as they get on the left; the high tide for the French has passed.

The centre now becomes silent. Not so on the right, as the Russian and French infantry clash, with les Français getting the worst.

Move 87 15:45

The French begin their retreat on the left. Count Bennigsen’s gamble to send the horse artillery from his centre to aid his threatened right wing has paid off.

In the centre a void has opened between the two armies, where recently bitter battle play raged.

On the right, the French are still being tested by Osten-Sacken and his men as the captured cannons fire back at their previous owners. Napoleon busies himself rallying his men to continue the fight.

Move 88 15:50

Even the Russians notice the French tide has ebbed on the left. Dokhturov gathers his men to begin the pursuit at a respectful distance.

Napoleon can see that some of Soult‘s cavalry has rounded the hill behind Eylau, making their way directly to his hard pressed right flank. His men are still trying to extricate themselves from Osten-Sacken’s attack.

Move 89 15:55

The French pull back on the left. Count Bennigsen signals for an advance to follow them.

The French have virtually disengaged on the right, with an isolated square on the extreme of the flank as the obstacle before Osten-Sacken’s Russians. A lone ensign rides away from the square carrying the regiments eagle, lest the worst befall his comrades.

Move 90 16:00

Nox, the goddess of the night begins to sweep towards the battlefield to see how her children Somnus and Mors are coping with so many fallen from both sides. Her shadow casts a veil over the battlefield, and the visibility falls to 1200m.

The armies continue to separate; military mitosis, with both returning to their starting positions.

Move 91 16:05

The veil of Nox sweeps down, and the visibility falls to 1100m.

Le Chapeau forms a line of infantry at right angles to the main battery, to allow his right wing to shelter behind, away from Osten-Sacken’s Russians who close in on the isolated French square.

Soult leads the left wing of the French back to the relative safety of the main army.

Move 92 16:10

The relentless onrush of Nox reduces the visibility falls to 1000m.

The Russian infantry back short work of the French square on the right, and the survivors flee for their life, hoping that the gathering gloom will save them from pursuing Russian cavalry.

On the left, the French have almost made the hills above Eylau.

On the right, the French battalion running seems to have a good distance between themselves and the Russians, who are a little dilatory in their pursuit.

Le Chapeau urges the columns of infantry onwards. He must shepherd his men, and preserve as many as he can for further action.

The Russian lines look similar to their original positions, but with much fewer men.

Move 93 16:15

The veil of Nox continues to close over the battlefield, and the visibility falls to 900m.

Le Chapeau returns to the main battery above Eylau and watches the Russian advance. Two more hours of light, another assault and his army would crumble. But night is coming. And Ney?

Move 94 16:20

Dusk draws on and the veil of Nox continues, reducing the visibility to 800m.

Napoleon‘s silent prayers are answered as a young captain makes his way before the Emperor, to tell him Ney and his whole division is two hours away, but is making all speed. They should be here by 6:30pm, no later, and that the cavalry head the advance. Instantly the Emperor’s reflex switch from defence to attack. About half and hour light left. One more push on the left, to give Ney space to deploy and roll up the Russian flank tomorrow. He sends orders out to Soult.

Tomorrow’s battle is far from the minds of the French battalion running on the right flank. They are only concerned with the immediate danger from the Russian cavalry pursuing them.

Move 95 16:25

Twilight sparkles the ice on the ground. Nox is coming, reducing the visibility to 700m.

Twilight also sparkles on the drawn sabres of the Russian cavalry on the right flank, as they steadily colse the distance on the routing French infantry. This sight gives a sense of urgency to the retreat of the French on the right.

Move 96 16:30

Half an hour before the arrival of Nox, and the visibility falls to 600m.

The Russian cavalry close the distance to the routing Frenchmen, as Fortuna Belli smiles on the horsemen. The scene is terrible to behold, but not for Mars, who nods in approval.

Marshal Murat forms the cavalry up and leads them down onto the plain before Dokturov’s men.

“Surely they wouldn’t attack again, would they?”

Move 97 16:35

The gunners on each side stare into the gloom as Nox continues her approach. The visibility falls to 500m.

Marshal Murat leads the French cavalry forward against the Russians. Orders are barked out, infantry fold into squares and the Russian cavalry stand on the snows awaiting the next hammer blow.

On the right flank, the Russian horsemen wade into the French infantry, taking them off the battlefield. Precious few will ever see la belle France again.

Move 98 16:40

The veil of Nox sweeps down, and the visibility falls to 400m.

Steel on steel, sabre to sabre, the cavalry clash once more on the snows. Flanking fire from a Russian square ripples into an attacking French cavalry column.

Count Bennigsen cannot see the fight through the gloom, but trusts in his men’s resolve to stand firm. Napoleon hopes otherwise.

Move 99 16:45

Nox and her dark cloak reduces the visibility to 300m, and at this level of light, even Napoleon cannot see his men push half of Dokhturov’s men back, or the Russian square force back the French cavalry attacking them. He sends the Old Guard forward, safe in the belief that they will always cause, but never suffer harm.

Move 100 16:50

Straining into the gloom, Nox reduces the visibility to 200m. Now even the gunners cannot see each other and the cannons fall silent at last. Dokhturov’s men hold, despite the cries of Marshal Murat. The French do not break through.

Move 101 16:55

The cavalry battle on the left peters out amidst oaths and curses from both sides. Men can no longer see their own swords, let alone their enemies. Reluctantly the French break off the attack: the Russians have held.

The Imperial Guard rout one Russian square, but even they cannot see to pursue.

Nightfall arrives with Nox, as the visibility reduces to zero. Her children, Somnus and Mors, gather each of the fallen in turn and carry the shade away from the battlefield. How many of the wounded will succumb, and require their tender care during the bitter night ahead as Nox est perpetua una dormienda claims them?

Napoleon knows his army has been lucky to survive the day and eagerly awaits Ney’s arrival. By that time, the Russians will have begun withdrawing from the battlefield to lick their wounds and ready themselves for another day. The Emperor consoles himself as he prepares the bulletin for tomorrow.

Spread the following reports in an unofficial manner. They are however true…The Russian army is greatly weakened – that the Russian army demands peace…”. But the army knows better; “Mentir comme un bulletin”.

Tomorrow’s dawn brings the full extent of French losses to the Emperor’s eyes, for even he cannot evade this awful truth. As the Emperor and his Marshals ride across the snows, carpeted by the dead and dying, an exchange is heard by the survivors.

Napoleon to Soult:- “Marshal, the Russians have done us great harm”.

Soult to Napoleon:- “And we them, our bullets were not made of cotton”.

Ney:- “Quelle massacre! Et sans resultant.”

Victoria awards the day to the Russians and Count Bennigsen. Fortuna Belli has smiled and cursed both armies in equal measures. The Russians came close to winning outright; although they lost half their army in the fight, so did the French, and Napoleon did not beat them. But the French lost four artillery batteries to the Russians, who lost none in return. That is reason enough for her to give her blessings the les Russes est les Prussiens.

The entire battle sequence is available as an animated gif, best viewed in Windows picture viewer

The Generals fighting this battle were

Emperor Napoleon I

Count Bennigsen

The Battle of Malplaquet 11th September 1709 Redux Friday, Sep 11 2009 

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

Vauban Tile 500 pixels

The battle of Malplaquet was the last of the major battles that the Duke of Marlborough fought in the war of the Spanish succession. Located near Mons on the French border, the battle resulted in a Pyrrhic victory for the Allied forces over the Franco Bavarian army, led by Marshal Villars.

For the 300th anniverary of the battle, a wargame simulation is described below.

The schematic of the battlefield is shown below, scaled down to fit our beloved bit of 5′ by 4′ for the wargame recreation. The scale used is board 1mm = battlefield 2 m; each move represents 5 minutes, and each figure represents 60 men using 15mm figures. Thus the 5′ by 4′ board rescales to 3 by 2.4 km on the battlefield.

Malplaquet Battlefield

This is roughly a shrinkage by 5:1 of the real battlefield, so the number of troops need to be reduced accordingly to keep the troop density equivalent. The Allies had about 110,000 men, and the Franco-Bavarians about 80,000 on 11th September 1709. Reducing this by a factor of approximately 5, the following order of battle is given.

Malplaquet Redux Order of Battle

Assuming 600 men per battalion and 120 men per squadron, the Allies have a total of 22,000 men (26 battalions, 48 squadrons and 30 cannons). The Franco-Bavarians have a total of 17,000 men (21 battalions, 33 squadrons and 20 cannons).

Clearly outnumbered, the French have created a series of redans and entrenchments that span the centre of the battlefield, easily seen in the photographs below.

The rules used for the re-enactment are found here.

Move 1 9:00 (time of the start of the battle on 11th September 1709 )

Mal Redux 0900

Maréchal Villars has heard the muse of warfare, Minerva, whisper in his ear “Ethos Anthropos Daimon”; a man’s character is his fate. The brilliant victories by the Duke of Marlborough at the Battles of Blenheim and Ramilles had used central attacks. Villars has made his centre as strong as possible with redans, stretching into the woods either side of the Aulnois gap, and will let Marlborough’s men bleed to death in the expected assaults on these prepared positions.

Marlborough and Eugene are sure the French will not contest à outrance this battlefield, but will yield to their will: flanking attacks, causing a weakening of the centre, followed by a coup de grâce attack through the centre.

Fortuna Belli can only smile on one of these protagonists.

A massed cannonade from the grand battery in the Allied centre signals the start of the battle proper, and Eugene leads the Imperialist infantry forwards through the wood of Taisnières. Lottum leads the Prussians forward against the flank of the wood.

Move 3 9:15

Mal Redux 0915

The Allied assault move forward slowly through the wood of Taisnières. Villars cannot see the mass of troops in the thick wood, but a messenger from Albergotti, the General in command of his extreme left, tells him that he can hear drumbeats across a broad front in the woods. Ever cautious, mon Maréchal readies his reserve about Chaussée du Bois to enter the fray. He crosses his centre, and calls on le regiment du Bourbon to march to Chaussée du Bois to fill the gap. Meanwhile, the French cannonade make bitter battleplay upon Lottum‘s advancing Prussians, who suffer as the sky rains cannonballs on them.

Move 6 9:30

Mal Redux 0930

The Allied assault through the wood of Taisnières meets its first stiff resistance from the French infantry, sheltering behind redans. The Imperialst Austrian first line withers under fire and is disrupted. The Prussians attempt to wheel around on the plane of Aulnois before the wood of Taisnières, and in so doing expose their flank to the French artillery. This is a target no gunner can miss, and whole ranks are carried off. The first line breaks in retreat, the second is disrupted. Lottum urges them on under fire. Meanwhile, Maréchal Villars has called for more reserves to help with the hammer blow he expects at the top of wood of Taisnières. He sends a messenger to summon the Spanish troops from his right wing, under the command of General D’Artagnan.

The Prince of Orange studies his pocket watch. Half an hour has passed since the battle has started. Time to lead his troops against the silent, waiting redans before him; the French watching intently. “Vooruit!”. His men obey.

Move 7 9:35

Mal Redux 0935

The brave Dutch infantry is soon immersed in a storm of fire, as the French artillery, concealed by the redans sheltering the Swiss troops opens fire. The right wing of the Dutch infantry is thrown back, the centre is badly disrupted, even before they have a chance to engage with the French.

A messenger sent by Maréchal Villars has been cooly received by General D’Artagnan. He can hear Maréchal Boufflers troops beginning to repulse the Dutch advance. He sends the messenger back, empty handed; “Je suis nécessaire ici!“. What will le Maréchal say at this impudence?

Fortuna Belli smiles on the French. On the left flank, the Prussians break under flanking fire and exchange of musketry. The Austrians similarly have broken at the top of the woods. Only the extreme right of the Allied line marches through the wood of Taisnières uncontested.

Move 8 9:40

Mal Redux 0940

The plight of the Prussians has moved Marlborough to attempt to rally them, together with General Lottum; “Bleiben und kämpfen!”. Eugene has the same task with the Austrians, fleeing from the fire at the top of the wood of Taisnières. Are these really the same French they’ve fought and beaten so many times before?

The Dutch recoil under fire, with only one unit reaching the redans in sufficient order to fight with the Swiss, who make ready:- “Hier chömme d’Holländischer. Füür!”

Move 9 9:45

Mal Redux 0945

“Les autres chiens! En Jou! Feu! Chargez!…” For 15 minutes the wall of white coated soldiers of France have fought off the Austrians. They still hold, but are steadily being ouflanked by the brigade under General Withers on the extreme left of the wood of Taisnières…

Aware that the army risks being outflanked, Maréchal Villars moves to the centre to gather reserves. But from where? Did Minerva whisper to Marlborough too? Here he receives the news from General D’Artagnan and his refusal to come to his aid. Mon Maréchal sends the quaking aide back, with a stern rebuke. He will not accept another refusal of a direct command; “France will fall without his troops”.

Marlborough is busy steadying shattered Prussian nerves. But he is aware that the Dutch are suffering terribly on his left flank. The Swiss troops have done their terrible handiwork and the Dutch are in retreat across the battlefront. The Prince of Orange rallies who he can in preparation for a second assault.

Right now, Fortuna Belli clearly favours the French.

Move 10 9:50

Mal Redux 0950

The Austrian and British flanking move has just emerged from the wood of Taisnières, stirring the French battalion holding Chaussée du Bois to start to swing towards the threat; “En avant”. In the wood itself, the French still hold back the Austrians, despite now beginning to get disorganised themselves. This tangle of woodland has become Campus Martius, a field of Mars, and the carnage is terrible as Fortuna Belli frowns on the Austrians. Mars, breaker of armies, nods and approves at this strife.

The Prussians are still reorganising whilst under artillery fire.

In the centre, Maréchal Villars has called for every second battalion from his centre, to be sent to his left flank. If he can inflict enough casualties on the Allied advance in the wood of Taisnières, there is a chance he can stem this tide and then divert the troops back to the centre. “Cuimhnidh ar Luimneach” cry the Irish as they march towards the sounds of the fusilade on the left flank.

On the right flank, the Dutch are beginning to regroup before their next attack “Stabiel jongens, stabiel“.

Move 11 9:55

Mal Redux 0955

Maréchal Villars has returned to the left flank to take personal command. He sends troops into Chaussée du Bois, even as the Austrians capture the village of La Folie. On the firing line, the French are begining to be driven back from the redans at the top of the woods.

The Prusssians are still slowly coming to order as Marlborough and General Lottum call out “Reiß dich zusammen!!” But the French artillery keeps on firing and playing havoc.

The Prince of Orange steadies the Dutch in his second line, as the first line begins another assault on the French right.

Behind the threatened French front, General D’Artagnan receives mon Maréchal’s admonishment. He must obey this time, and forms his troops into column of march, informing Maréchal Boufflers of his orders.

Move 12 10:00

Mal Redux 1000

Fortuna Belli at last smiles on the Allies. The French infantry at the top of the wood of Taisnières are beginning to fall back from the redans in some disorder. General Albergotti has bought time for the reserves to flood to this corner of the battlefield, but is it enough time?

On the extreme left, the British disrupt their French attackers with steady platoon firing. The French respond with a general advance of Bavarian cavalry, which makes ready to threaten any Allied advance out of the wood.

The Prussians begin to regain some order, which is just as well as Marlborough receives a report from the Prince of Orange telling him of their repulse, and demands for more troops.

On the French right, the Swiss infantry and the French artillery break apart another Dutch attack . Only those troops sheltered by the wood of Lanières have made it to the French redans. These are contested with musketry. A pall of battle smoke hangs in the wood, obscuring the view.

Move 13 10:05

Mal Redux 1005

On the extreme left, the British infantry have routed their French attackers, who run for the village of Chaussée du Bois. The French cling on to the top of the wood of Taisnières. Meanwhile, French cavalry sweep round, ready to attack the Austrians and British, who will have to form square to defend themselves.

The Prussians bring another unit to order, with cajoles and curses.

On the extreme right, one last Dutch battalion tries its luck against the formidable French redans. Prussian cavalry sweep around to their rear, to stabilise the situation.

Move 14 10:10

Mal Redux 1010

The French cavalry charge the fully formed English square. “Steady, lads:- fire!” The irresistable force and the immovable object fight it out, with honours even so far. To counter this cavalry threat, the reserve Austrian cavalry makes its way through the wood. But between them and a flanking charge are 6 squadrons of Bavarian cuirassiers. In the wood of Taisnières, the French have been pushed back halfway, abandoning the redans in a general attempt to reorganise. Maréchal Villars is busy forming a second line from the Irish troops that have just arrived.

The Prussians on the plane cannot see this movement. Neither can any of the Allied commanders see General D’Artagnan march his Spanish Netherlands troops to the left flank.

Marlborough rides over to meet the Prince of Orange and assess the situation. The second Dutch assault has failed; with troops retiring or routing back to their starting position.

The French right flank is secure. “Bien. Quelle affaire!” mutters Maréchal Boufflers, and Fortuna Belli smiles in agreement.

Move 15 10:15

Mal Redux 1015

Marlborough listens to the Prince of Orange and rapidly concludes that little is to be gained, but much would be lost by another unsupported self sacrificial attack. A battalion of Hannovarian troops marches through the wood of Tiry to support the shattered survivors; the Dutch are forbidden to advance until the general assault takes place.

General Lottum finally has all the Prussian troops back in order, and they wait for the order to advance.

On the left flank, the solid English square beats back the French cavalry, who retreat back in disarray. The Austrian cavalry emerge from the wood, to be confronted by their Imperial pretenders, the Bavarian cuirassiers. By the side of the English, a single Allied battery is ready to emerge from the wood, ready to pound all before it.

Meanwhile, the French infantry continue to hold some form of firing line in the wood of Taisnières; some firm, some retreat in good order. Behind them, Maréchal Villars has formed a double line of infantry, ready to brave the next Allied storm.

In the French centre, their artillery are disrupted by Allied fire. The slow march of the Spanish Netherlands continues. “Vite, plus vite, mes braves” urges General D’Artagnan.

Move 17 10:25

Mal Redux 1025

The Bavarian cuirassiers take the Austrian squadrons in the flank and rout them into the wood. The Britsh infantry return to line formation, and the Allied cannon has unlimbered and begun to attack the French infantry before it. Maréchal Villars calls for the cannon from the redans nearest to the wood of Taisnières to join him ‘Ici, tout de suite’ to answer this impertinence in kind. Thus ordered, the artilery piece limbers up and heads towards the village of Chaussée du Bois. The Prussians and British in the centre of the battlefield notice this movement.

Move 18 10:30

Mal Redux 1030

Unaware of the success of the Bavarian cuirassiers, the British infantry begin to advance with covering artillery fire. The Bavarians notice this move and will react shortly. Eugene urges his Austrians on to drive the french out of the last quadrant of the wood of Taisnières. The firing line arcs around, the battle ebbs and flows in the tangled trees.

Elsewhere, the French undergo slow movement towards the left flank. Marlborough and the Prince of Orange have stabilised the Dutch infantry, and the Hannovarians have moved up in support of them.

After 1 1/2 hours of battle, the victory points and the honours belong to the French and the favours of Fortuna Belli have not changed.

Move 19 10:35

Mal Redux 1035

Sheltered from direct artillery fire by the village of La Folie, the Bavarian cuirassiers threaten the British infantry, who form square as their only defence. The firing line still stands in the wood of Taisnières, neither the Imperialists or the French will yield this Campus Martius. The French counter attack is beginning to congregate around the village of Chaussée du Bois.

Move 21 10:45

Mal Redux 1045

Stalemate – The Bavarian cavalry await the French artillery to arrive and pound the British square into something more malleable for the sword. The British hope that their supporting cannons will suppress this deadly threat. In the woods, the French slowly give way before superior numbers. Eugene must soon see Marlborough and know his will.

Move 23 10:55