Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The battle of Adelsdorf, 1st day

In the north Marshal Augereau's advanced guard encounters the advance guard of Prince Hohenzollern as the two divisions meet outside Adelsdorf late in the afternoon. A short sharp action ensued as the two sides fought for the town but ultimately it remained in Austrian hands. Although the French could claim a small victory, in truth the Austrians pulled back due to lack of forces and to consolidate for the next day when the rest of the corps arrives. The French obliged and withdrew their own forces to do the same. Both sides now awaited the imminent arrival of their armies.

The forces for the first day are as follows:-


Division. GD Marchand

Brigade. GB Guillaume

2nd Vistula regt = 3 batts
11th line = 1 batt
43rd line = 1 batt
45th line = 1 batt
2nd line lancers = 2 sqdns
7th dragoons = 2 sqdns (3rd & 4th)
8 guns

Brigade. GB Moreau

8th(?) Duchy of Warsaw = 1 batt
21st line = 2 batts
2nd hussars = 2 sqdns
4 guns

Strength: infantry 7,050
                cavalry 1,400

Total   8,690 inc. artillery (12 guns)


Division. GD Brady

Brigade. GB Hohenfeld

7th line = 2 batts
34th line = 1 batt
Landwehr = 2 batts
1st hussars = 2 sqdns
3rd uhlans = 2 sqdns
4 guns

Brigade. GB Wittzingerode

8th line = 2 batts
37th line = 1 batt
Landwehr = 1 batt
1st chevauxlegers = 3 sqdns
8 guns

Strength: infantry 7,200
                cavalry 1,600

Total   8,960 inc. artillery (12 guns)

                                                The 37th from Wittzingerode's brigade

                                     Austrian gunners ready for action outside Adelsdorf,
                                                        a dirty little town back then

This would be the centre of their line..
..seen here again from a distance..
The Austrian centre/left
..and what the gunners could see straight ahead..
..or what they could 'actually' see!
You get an idea of distances here in this scale.
In reality, this is only 4 foot!

                                      Austrian troops moving into view on the right flank

..and seen here from the rear 
 Landwehr support a line battalion. Guns on the ridge behind 
This battery was knocked out entirely by some well aimed counter-battery fire
 Hohenfeld inspecting the line
The Austrian left wing, Wittzingerode's brigade..
..seen here from the town
                                                          Another unit joins the right

                                                        A close up of some landwehr

                                      In the French centre Guillaume set's up his artillery
                                                to counter the enemy guns on the ridge

                                     Vistula infantry arrive on the French left and advance
                                                          toward Hohenfeld's brigade

                                     3rd batt. 2nd Vistula inf. After taking fire from enemy
                                       artillery on the ridge, and a serious threat from allied
                             cavalry this unit suffered casualties and retired without firing a shot

                                     On the French right a lone battalion of Poles arrive,
                                 supported by a French battery which immediately opens fire

                                      The very same battery with dragoons trotting past
                                      on their way to counter a threat looming in the centre

The French centre/left. At the start of a long artillery duel
Counter-battery fire
The 1st chevauxlegers. Acting like they were on the parade ground
these troopers seemed to be 'surveying' the field!
Taking fire from Guillaume's artillery, they at last decided
on a suitable target. Or indeed, were obligated!

                                      Meanwhile, after their successful foraging a couple
                                       of days ago in which they destroyed a battalion, the
                                      3rd uhlan's see the approaching men of the Vistula

                                      And behind the uhlans the 1st hussars. These two
                                           units now lined up to assualt the French left

                                        Taken from behind the hussars you can just see
                                                 the Vistula battalions form squares

                                       Having no support, two batts form square as the
                                          third fails a morale test. It was in the rear, and
                                                       so made a lucky escape

Those that stayed had a hot time of it!

                                Two of the squares. In the bottom right the chevauxlegers
                                  on their way to see off some dragoons. Or so they wish!

                                                             The field of battle.

                                                           Today is a good day to die!
                                      Taking casualties from artillery, the hussars make
                                        them the new target and vere off in that direction
                                              leaving the lancers to do little damage

                            The same seen from far off. In the foreground the chevauxleger's
                                           have made it accross the plain despite losses...

                                                   ...and clash with enemy dragoons

                                        Infantry at last moving in support of the lancers

At this stage on the Austrian left, Hungarians clash with Poles
The two batts of the French 21st line in support of the Poles.
This regt lost it's third batt out foraging the other day
                                                                Close up of the 21st
Hungarians after a volley
2nd hussars looking to charge the Hungarian line
Men of the elite company
Back on the Austrian right, infantry about to form into line

                                           French gunners poor shot into the hussars

                                                                    1st hussars.  

                                     Having silenced the guns at least, the brave troopers
                                          take more casualties from huge volleys as they
                                                            approach the infantry

                                       They wheel left and head back towards the town

                               The chevauxlegers got the worst of it against the dragoons
                                    with the fire from a French square inficting casualties
                                                       including their commander...

                          ...and by another turn of events! Here, line lancers make their move

                                                          View from the town

                                      The Austrian cavalry about face and head back to
                                                                   their own lines

                                           And being chased off by dragoons & lancers

                                                           A nice view of the action.

                                           Lancers seen here retiring after their attack

                                 It's now up to Wittzingerode's infantry to take on the Poles

                                                  Vistula infantry attacking the 7th line

                             Back in line the Poles held their own against four enemy batts

                                                          ..and a stray shot!

                                    Hohenfeld seen here is starting to doubt the situation

                                 Although out-numbered, the poles un-nerve the Austrian line

                                 With the chevauxlegers chased back to Adelsdorf, French
                                               cavalry are soon stopped in their tracks...

                                             ...by artillery and infantry left to guard the
                                                                out-skirts of the town

                                                    A good defence from the allied line.
                                          The lead squadron of dragoons was almost wiped out!
                              Both regts retired after this but were still a threat to the allied right,
                                                          namely Hohenfelds infantry

                        At the same time, Moreau sends in the attack against the Austrian left

                                                      The hussars attacking the flank..

                                                    ...and threatening a landwehr batt

Meanwhile the fire-fight continues on the allied right but dies down
as Hohenfeld makes a fighting withdrawal. The Poles however, didn't follow
                                           Wittzingerode giving the order to withdraw

                         Moreau too calls off the attack as news comes in from Marchand about
                                 the strategical situation as the rest of the corps moves closer

The first day could be counted as a draw and really needn't have happened. With limited forces on both sides and too spread out for any tactical use, the commanders were wise to call off any further attacks. The town itself had no strategical value and the French were happy to leave it in enemy hands.
Guillaume's artillery did exeptionally well in knocking out the enemy battery on the ridge as well as cover the brave Vistula regt.
French casualties were apprx 650 with the loss of two guns.
The Austrians lost apprx 450 and five guns. The 1st hussars lost a hundred men alone and were reprimanded for their follies!

The second day (hopefully next weekend) will be the first corps level game for this blog and it's gonna be fairly big. Both sides I'm sure will fight hard to win the first victory in this campaign. Will Augereau please his emperor? We shall see...