Sunday, November 25, 2012

Campaign Move 12 – Wurmsters First Advance

Move 12 - 0800 to 1200 25 July 1796

All divisions start the campaign with sufficient supplies for 6 moves (two days). 
When they are reduced to 3 moves (one day) they can resupply
To do so they must halt, and avoid contact with the enemy, for one day

Bonaparte is aware that Wurmster has reorganised the Army of Italy at Trent in order to raise the siege of Mantua.

He now receives reports that the Austrians are advancing south in four columns

He decides to cover Mantua by holding Verona, and strike at the western Austrian column

He orders 3rd and 4th divisions to concentrate at Verona

5th division will march north and attack the Austrians at Salo

6th division will maintain the siege of Mantua

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mantua Campaign – August 1796

Strategic Map of Italy at start of campaign

Background to the campaign

By late may 1796 Bonaparte had driven the Austrians out of Italy, but they had left behind a strong garrison at the fortified city of Mantua. 

On 19 July 1796 Bonaparte laid siege to the city.

Tactical Map of Mantua campaign area at start of campaign

The French army of 50,000 men held the area south of Lake Garda.   They expected that the Austrians would attempt to raise the siege and were deployed to cover any approach to Mantua from the north or west.

Beaulieu was replaced by Wurmster who took command of an army of 50,000 men at Trent on 24 July 1796.   He ordered an immediate advance south to raise the siege of Mantua

Austrian Army of Italy

General Wurmster has four divisions
Their supply base is at Trent
They have orders to raise the siege of Mantua
1st division commanded by Quosdanovich is at Limone      
2nd division commanded by Melas is at Roverto
3rd division commanded by Davidovisch is at Roverto
4th division commanded by Szoboszlo is at Bassano

French Army of Italy

Bonaparte also has four divisions
His supply base is at Brescia
He has deployed his army to lay siege to Mantua
3rd division commanded by Massena is at Verona
4th division commanded by Argereau is at Arcola
5th division commanded by Sauret is at Lonato
6th division commanded by Despinoy is at Mantua

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Campaign Move 11 – End of Piedmont Campaign

 Move 11 - 1200 to 1600 12 April 1796

Bonaparte defeats the Austrians at Alessandria

By nightfall Beaulieu is in full retreat to the north

Bonaparte orders 3rd and 6th divisions to pursue the Austrians
He will march on Turin with h 4th and 5th divisions.

On 16 April 1796 Colli surrenders Turin.

Bonaparte has achieved a remarkable victory over the combined Sardininian and Austrian army and has forced the Austrians to abandon eastern and central Italy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Battle of Alessandria

Campaign Map at start of battle

Bonaparte has defeated the Sardinian’s and forced them to retreat towards Turin, where they will have to regroup.

He now turns on the Austrians who have just arrived at Alessandria.  

Leaving 5th division to pin the Sardinian’s he orders 4th and 6th divisions to attack Alessandria

Table at start of battle

Alessandria is the town at the top centre
The centre road leads to Monferrato
The left hand road leads to Turin
2nd Austrian division are deployed in front of Alessandria
3rd Austrian division will arrive behind Alessandria
6th French division are deployed south of Alessandria
4th Austrian division will arrive centre left

6th French Division

General Bonaparte is classified as a Gifted commander
He commands 6400 infantry, 800 cavalry and 800 gunners
Both French divisional commanders are classified as Average
French infantry are better at skirmish

2nd Austrian Division in front of Alessandria

All Austrian generals are classified as Poor
General Beaulieu commands 6400 infantry, 800 cavalry and 800 gunners
Austrian cavalry are better trained than the French
Austrian guns are heavier and have longer range than the French

 Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
6th French approach town and move to left of the road
4th French arrive left behind their cavalry screen
2nd Austrian are on Hold orders in front of Alessandria
3rd Austrian arrive and start to extend right flank

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000

6th French advance within range of Austrian gunners and suffer first casualties
4th French deploy and unlimber their artillery
2nd Austrian changed to Engage orders, advance their left flank
3rd Austrian deploy opposite 4th French
Move 3 – 1000 to 1100

French dragoons (left) charge Austrian light cavalry
Dragoons roll 10 with 2D6 and rout light cavalry into nearby infantry square
Nearby Austrian gunners are shaken by the rout.
This reserve halts the deployment of 3rd Austrian division.
As a result the table has to be extended north to cover the new battleground
2nd Austrian (right) have moved forward on Engage orders and are now isolated.
One French demi brigade (left) has routed due to artillery casualties and shaken a second 

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200

Bonaparte is quick to take advantage of the isolated Austrian left
6th division swing to their right and attack 2nd Austrian division
The French cavalry charge and rout the gunners
The disordered cavalry then charge the nearby shaken infantry and rout them also
3rd Austrian division (behind Alessandria) quickly halt and prepare to retreat 

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300

Beaulieu acknowledges defeat and orders his army to abandon Alessandria and retreat north.
There is sufficient distance from the French for the larger body around the town to escape
However the two infantry brigades near the farm are surrounded and must surrender
A second complete victory for Bonaparte
For the loss of 200 infantry and 200 cavalry he has defeated the Austrian army

Beaulieu has lost 2,000 infantry (including 1,200 who surrendered)

We used our own wargame rules to fight the battle
They can be found here