Sunday, 4 May 2014

Dettingen AAR (part 1)

The Battle of Dettingen AAR (part 1)

It was Good Friday and Russ and Mark arrived at my place to fight the Pragmatic Army's first battle of the War of the Austrian Succession.  Russ selected to play the Allied army of George II and Mark was happy to take on His Most Christian Majesty's Army under the Marshal Duc De Noailles.

The battle began with the Allies informed that their march to the east has been blocked by the French and that they must withdraw westward and ensure the safety of their baggage.  The above picture gives a good overall view looking westwards.  To the south is the river main (impassable), to the north are wooded hills (impassable), to the east is Kleinostheim and its stream and to the west is Dettingen and its marshy brook.  Russ began the game ordering his baggage westward ahead of the army to get it away from the French blocking force.  However, this is turn 2 (8.30am) and Mark has revealed that another blocking force is holding the Dettingen stream and that the Pragmatic Army is trapped.  Mark, as you may imagine was now full of glee.  Russ made no comment but his eyes were saying "Fuckin Taylor has set me up again!"

Mark's plan was to hold his forces at Dettingen, engage with his blocking force east of Kleinostheim and punch across the stream north of Kleinostheim before unleashing his whole army against the trapped Allies.  The above picture shows Noailles reserve speeding north behind the eastern corp.

French and Irish infantry move forward against Kleinostheim.
The English Footguards supported by the Hanoverian Guard act as rearguard.
However, at this point I sprung an historical twist on Mark.  The Duc de Grammont who commanded the blocking corp at Dettingen thought he saw a chance to win the battle in one glorious charge and undermine de Noailles at court and gain his own marshals baton.  The above picture shows his 6000 cavalry wade across the the stream.  At this point Mark went a bit quiet.

Although Mark was surprised by Grammont's attack Russ was in a very difficult situation.  He just about ordered the baggage to seek safety in woods to the north before they were overwhelmed by the French cavalry.  In this picture the British infantry(on the right) are trying to shake out of column into line, behind are Hanoverian infantry attempting to form on the British left flank and on the left the British cavalry are facing east in anticipation of the French reserve storming into the rear.

The French reserves begin to cross the stream north of Kleinostheim.  In the far corner is Ashaffenburg where the French have crossed the Main by pontoon bridge.

The Allied reserve.  On the hill are Austrian infantry supporting the rearguard in Kleinostheim.  To their left are Hanoverian Cavalry.

Grammont's cavalry has cleared the stream and marsh ahead of the infantry that they were supposed to support.  On attack orders they must close with the British as quickly as possible.

Grammont's infantry struggle to maintain cohesion as they cross at Dettingen.  Their failure to keep up with the cavalry means this attack will come in piece meal.

As Grammont's cavalry moves within charge range of the British infantry, Russ has just managed to issue new orders allowing the British to form line.  Behind this thin line the remaining regiments are in column (and we know what happens to columns hit by cavalry!).  George II is just behind the British artillery attempting to deploy it before the cavalry charge.

More to follow in part 2.

1 comment:

  1. The pictures do the game justice and really bring out the detail in your excellent paint work. I really like the water mill photo. That is a very nice model that one.

    Look forward to part 2. It will be interesting to re live George's fabulous victory!