Friday, January 7, 2011

Battle of Albuera - Part Six

Move 9

French cavalry finally advance, their leading brigade, Polish lancers, charge the Spanish dragoons. Due to good dice, the dragoons beat the lancers who retire shaken.

Massena takes command of a dragoon brigade and orders them to charge the infantry on the Spanish Hill. The infantry break and rout. But the second brigade still holds the hill, though now Shaken.

Cole brings redeploys his artillery and brings the hussar brigade forward to meet Gazan as the French infantry cross the stream. This allows the French artillery to cross the Albuera bridge and unlimber within short range of the village.

The fight for the Spanish Hill continues. Only one Spanish brigade remains on the hill, but is still fighting despite being surrounded by French infantry and cavalry.

The French cavalry are at last committed, but have lost the opening melee between their lancers and Spanish dragoons.

The French have crossed the Albuera bridge, and the British have redeployed to meet them.

Massena has ordered an all out attack on the Spanish Hill. One last Spanish brigade still holds on desperately, even though surrounded by French infantry and cavalry. The second brigade has been routed by the cavalry but a third brigade is approaching the cavalry.

The French cavalry advance to engage the allied cavalry. The first engagement, between Polish lancers and Spanish dragoons, ends in disaster for the French. The dragoons not only defeat the lancers and drive them back Shaken, but they do so without any casualties to themselves.

Move 10

The Gods of War (or at least the dice) have turned their backs on the French cavalry. With the lancer brigade in rout, the remaining three brigades are all committed, and all fail. One dragoon brigade draws in their encounter with the British dragoons. The second brigade is charged by the British hussars, resulting in another draw. Worse of all the Spanish dragoons defeat the chasseur brigade, who fall back Shaken.

The Spanish Hill is finally taken by the French. But it has taken so long there are only two moves to nightfall, and if Beresford can hold until then he can regroup around Albuera. If he can do so he will be able to hold both roads to Badajoz and prevent secure the siege.

Due to poor command dice the French are still crossing the river. Meanwhile the British have redeployed and are ready to meet any attack.

The French have taken the Spanish Hill, but are also some distance from Albuera and will not be able to advance before nightfall.

The cavalry melee is undecided. If Beresford can win this engagement Soult will be forced to withdraw.

The battle for Spanish Hill. The Spanish gunners have abandoned their guns, but the infantry exchange musket fire with the French. A third Spanish brigade is about to join the fight.
The disappointing French cavalry engagement. The French chasseurs who have charged the Spanish dragoons to cover the routed Polish lancers have lost the melee and fallen back Shaken. To their left the second French dragoon brigade have drawn in their melee with the British dragoons, and both are Shaken. This engagement is critical to the outcome of the battle and could go either way.

No comments:

Post a Comment