Friday, 27 November 2015

Battle of Turin (Spring 1505)

The French have beaten the Duke of Milan outside the walls of Turin and the city has surrendered to the victors.  The Duke and the remnants of his army have fallen back under the protection of their light cavalry.  There is jubilation in Paris but the French King is determined to push his advantage and conquer the Duchy.

At first it appeared that the Duke would secure the victory as his army had chosen a strong position bolstered by an immense train of artillery.  His engineer had worked hard to entrench many of these guns once the Duke had decided to vacate the protection of Turin and offer battle to the French.

The French commander was loathe to risk his army against such a position but many in his army were aware that the King had demanded a victory and the elite Gensd'armes clamoured for an immediate assault.  Much of the day of battle was spent by both sides manoeuvring whilst the Duke's artillery ineffectively bombarded the French host.

As the afternoon weared on the Gensd'armes demanded that an attack be launched and the French commander relented.  At this moment the Duke's mounted crossbow were deploying on the left flank to skirmish against the French heavy cavalry and they were caught in the first impetuous charge.  These light troops were able to evade with some difficulty and the Duke ordered forward his reserve pike formations and condottieri to counter the French attack.  However, the Duke's reserves came on piece meal and the French Gensd'armes and their retainers, after a fierce struggle, destroyed these troops and took the Duke's baggage in a final charge before dusk.

Many of the Duke's soldiers were ready to retire from the battle and the whole army was on the verge of route, and only night saved the whole force from disintegration.  Much of the artillery on the left flank had been over run and the Duke's engineer did well to retrieve a battery of heavy guns for future service.

The following day Turin surrendered and the French commander led his army through the main gate in triumph.  He wore full armour and carried his lance, the symbols of a conqueror.


  1. Russ had done an excellent job - I blame Mark...

  2. Its as you were - France is back! Milan is in danger. The Empire must intervene - which means Venice in buggered. In other news, Florentine tomatoes are coming along nicely :)

  3. Everything looked OK when I left the table. Something went very wrong during those last few

  4. Sounds like he did it admirably!