The ScenarioIn battle 3 the British failed to capture the French-held town in the north of the map following a bloody assault. Unwilling to repeat the venture they fell back onto the fortifications fought over in battle 1. So for our fifth battle the outnumbered French were trying to recapture the forts. As the British had voluntarily withdrawn they had to deploy first.
The three forts were stretched across the battlefield with the largest in the centre. Capturing two would win the battle for the French.
The SetupThe British deployment was a little unusual. Each fort was occupied by a battalion from the Light Brigade with British infantry and guns between - so far so conventional. Unusually though the reserves of Dutch-Belgium's and Hanoverians were formed on the flanks in march column, hoping to pull-off a bulls-horns manoeuvre.
|The left-hand British fort held by Prussian Jaegers|
|The right-hand British fort hold by light infantry with the British in the centre|
|The Dutch-Belgium reserves|
Outnumbered and with only 3 A class battalions at their disposal, the French focused all their efforts on the British left-hand fort. Two brigades were assigned to the assault with a third hoping to outflank the British also on their left. A final brigade was thrown-out on the British right to prevent the Dutch-Belgium's an easy flanking manoeuvre.
|French facing the Dutch-Belgium's|
|The assault columns|
|French centre supporting the main attack.|
On the British right they felt they had the numbers to advance and try to prevent the main French assault by attacking the flanks of the advancing brigades. So they abandoned the fort and the Dutch-Belgium troops moved forwards.
|British advance from the right-hand fort|
They could not though ignore the Brigade of Leger opposing them and so precious troops were diverted to attack them and care taken with moving the cavalry into a flanking position. Although causalities were light this all took time to execute safely and so could not significantly slow the French's own attack..
|The Dutch-Belgium's are assigned to contain the Leger on the French left|
|Allied cavalry practice their parade-ground display|
|Swiss attack goes in|
|Several turns later they are still there|
In the centre the French came under pressure as the British advanced in the hopes of spoiling the attack on the fort with a counter of their own. In a calculated gamble the French unleashed their Chasseurs against the British, catching them in line and sweeping them away in confusion as well as a unit of Hanoverians.
|Boys in green do it for their Emperor|
Flushed with success the French repeated the trick, this time the Dragoons caught some British line out of square and also routed them. With two bold charges the centre was safe for now and the allied counter-attack halted. On the allied right the Dutch-Belgium's and Leger settled into a gentlemanly fire-fight which suited both sides.
|Dragoons get in on the act|
|A brisk exchange of fire|
As night fell across the battle field the French had all but secured one fort but had made no impression on the other two - so a victory for the defending British. Once again A class troops well entrenched proved a tough-nut to crack even when out numbered 2-1.
|Napoleons children look on|
|Hanoverian postmen flee for their lives|
|The battle for the forts continue|
The Campaign Situation
With the French to secure the forts it remains at four key points a side. Next week the French assault the farm houses occupied by the Prussians