Monday, 5 May 2014

Dettingen AAR (part 2)

Dettingen AAR (part 2)

The marsh had disorganised Grammont's cavalry and as they were on attack orders they did not have an opportunity to form up and charge en mass.  As they charged in ones and twos the British were able to deploy fully into line and fire a series of devastating volleys.  Here, French dragoons are attempting to charge home.

Meanwhile Mark was desperate to get his reserve into the action and put some pressure on the Allies before they could overwhelm Grammont.  Here a Swiss regiment flanked by Horse screens the remaining reserve infantry.  At the head of the column is an Irish regiment followed by two German auxiliary units.  Hanoverian cavalry are facing the French threat whilst Russ has ordered the Austrian infantry on the hill to engage the French.  Mark's blocking corp is attempting to envelop Kleinostheim but has failed to pin a significant portion of Russ' reserves.
The Hanoverian line have successfully deployed to the left of the British.  Grammont's cavalry have been shattered and under the new army level morale rules, the French can no longer issue Attack orders and so Grammont's infantry reverts to engage.  This allows the French to better coordinate their dispositions before moving against the Hanoverian line.  However, it has also given Russ an opportunity to reorder his British infantry and engage the left flank of Grammont.
Mark had been on the backfoot since Grammont had unexpectedly launched his attack.  He was trying very hard to rest the initiative from Russ and force the Allies to react to his attacks.  Here the blocking force is pressing against Kleinostheim and the Allied rearguard.  However, Russ was sparing with his reinforcements on this front and has only deployed an Austrian infantry regiment on the left and an Austrian Grenadier unit to the right.  Like Wellington at Waterloo when sent requests for more reinforcements for Hougamont it was a case of "I can only send him my regards".

The battle had now raged all morning and on the 12 o'clock turn Mark decided to attack with his last uncommitted force.  The blocking force to the south of Kleinostheim had a command of cavalry in support and it was ordered to cross the stream and attack the Hanoverian cavalry in the flank.  Mark hoped that this would finally unlock the Allied position.

As the cavalry moved to attack, Noailles main reserve was shaking out into line and forming up to attack the British from the rear.  In the distance, Grammont has begun to engage the Hanoverian line but Austrian infantry with British cavalry are moving to contain the threat.

Having seen off Grammont's cavalry, the British are swinging onto Grammont's infantry flank.  

French cavalry struggle to cross the stream before the Hanoverian cavalry react.  However, the melees are inconclusive to start with.  At this point, fighting is general across the whole battlefield.

Unfortunately for Mark, the cavalry clash fails and with 50% casualties the whole French army is forced to go on hold.  Here, the blue marker indicates the hold position for Noailles reserve.  Within two moves of the rear of the British/Hanoverian infantry it has been successfully contained by the Austrian infantry and British Cavalry.  This bold but futile attack is very reminiscent of the British grand column that fails to punch its way to victory in our next battle, Fontenoy.

With no other threat the British sledge hammer smashes Grammont's infantry into the Hanoverian anvil.

By mid-afternoon the French numerical advantage had been spent and all their attacks had failed.  Grammont, unable to hold his position against the British/Hanoverian onslaught was now on retire orders.  In the middle rear George is rallying an infantry regiment.  One of Russ' victory conditions was to secure prestige points for George and enable him to shore up support for the Hanoverian dynasty in Britain (we are only two years off the '45).  As French defeat seemed inevitable George is now rushing around the battlefield picking up cheap points.
Noaille's reserve is now struggling to maintain its position and Mark orders a general retreat of the French army.
The Allied rearguard held its position to the very end of the battle and the French are forced to retire.

Thanks to Russ for the photos.  I thoroughly enjoyed this game and Russ and Mark put in a great effort.  Both were put in a very difficult position to begin with but Russ was able to get order into his battle lines just in time.  Mark seemed to spend the whole game within a hairs breadth of turning it to his advantage.

Historically, Noailles kept his reserve on the other bank of the Main ready to reinforce either blocking corp.  When Grammont launched his rash attack, Noailles was forced to march to his support but by the time he got their it was too late and the whole French army retired.  Therefore, Mark's plan was an alternative to the historical battle but I feel that he may have had more success if he had coordinated it with the attack on Kleinostheim (He blames the dice!)

This was a large battle which we fought comfortably within a day.  We used the Thursday evening to plan and discuss the battle which made a great difference and I will do this again when we fight the next one.  This will be Fontenoy and I will probably aim to put this on towards Autumn.


  1. votre Majesté
    J'ai le regret de vous informer d'un tour plus tragique des événements achetés par un grave manque de discipline .
    Le 27 Juin j'avais manœuvré l' anglais dans un piège de ma propre conception .
    J'ai placé le duc de Grammont dans une position de blocage avec ordre de tenir et ne pas laisser l' anglais à travers, alors que j'ai pris le reste de l'armée dans un éclairage héroïque marcher de passer derrière l'ennemi .
    Tout comme je me positionne pour frapper les Anglais , quand Grammont avec un mépris total de ses commandes a mené une attaque non pris en charge sur l'ennemi .
    Je me précipitai rapidement pour sauver le Duc stupide mais j'étais étonné de voir son commandement retraite après seulement reçu quelques volées de l'ennemi , je ne peux que supposer que le manque de fibre morale et oserais-je dire courage manquait de Duc que le permis aux troupes sous son commandement à agir ainsi.
    En l'absence de force de blocage pour arrêter la Colombie- je regroupé mes forces et fourni des soins pour les Britanniques blessés comme seul un homme serait, les Britanniques ont maintenant à la retraite à Hannau .
    J'aurais mis Grammont en charge de nos bagages et de latrines pour son affichage, mais l'homme est duc et certaines normes doivent être respectées .
    Je laisse à votre majesté pour faire face à Grammont que je ne peux pas faire confiance à une commande de l'armée .
    Respectueusement vôtre
    Adrien Maurice de Noailles

    And to those of an uncivilised tongue

    Your Majesty
    I regret to inform you of a most tragic turn of events bought on by a severe lack of discipline.
    On the 27th June I had manoeuvred the English into a trap of my own devising.
    I placed the Duc De Grammont in a blocking position with orders to Hold and not let the English thru, whilst I took the rest of the army in a heroic lighting march to get behind of the enemy.
    Just as I was positioning myself to smite the English, when Grammont with a total disregard of his orders led an unsupported attack on the enemy.
    I promptly rushed to save the foolish Duc but was amazed to see his command retire after only receiving a few volleys from the enemy , I can only surmise that a lack of moral fibre and dare I say courage was missing from Duc that the allowed the troops under his command to act so.
    With no blocking force to stop the British I regrouped my forces and provided care for the wounded British as only a gentleman would, the British have now retired to hannau.
    I would have put Grammont in charge of our baggage and latrines for his display but the man is Duc and certain standards must be upheld.
    I leave it to your majesty to deal with Grammont as I can’t trust with any command of the army.
    Yours Respectfully
    Adrien Maurice de Noailles

  2. That is exactly how Noailles responded. If Grammont had been successful, he would have stuck the knife into Noailles instead. Noailles did take care of the Allied wounded and he complained that French discipline was poor. Court intrigue at Versailles was vicious and as one general responded when asked "where is the enemy", he held up his telescope and looked across his own troops to a rival general. In another instance, one faction in the French army took comfort when their leader was killed by a cannon ball and his skull fragments took out the eye of his rival who was standing nearby!

  3. You been on that Google translator again Mark?