Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Battle of Salo

Campaign Map at start of battle

Wurmster has divided his army into four columns to make it easier to cross the mountains either side of Lake Garda.   1st division is the only one to the west of the lake.

Bonaparte wants to defeat the isolated 1st Austrian division before it can join with the rest of Wumster’s army south of Lake Garda.

Table at start of battle

Salo is the town at the top right
Lake Garda is off table on the right
Austrians advancing from the north (top)
French advancing from the south (bottom)

5th French division
General Sauret is an Average general
He commands 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners
His infantry are better skirmishers than the Austrian
His artillery is less effective than the enemy

1st Austrian division
General Quosdanovich is a Poor commander
He also commands 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners
Half of his infantry are jagers and equal to the French at skirmishing
His artillery are all 9 pounders against the French 6 pounders.

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Both divisions start the battle of Move orders
Both deploy to fight in the narrow strip just south of Salo

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
French infantry move onto hill on the left, and Austrian infantry quickly do the same
Artillery and cavalry deploy just outside of artillery range
Infantry start to deploy behind cavalry screen

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
French gunners manhandle their guns towards the enemy
Austrian cavalry withdraw out of artillery range
Austrian infantry deploy behind hill, also out of enemy artillery range

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
Sauret orders his division to advance and engage the Austrians
Quosdanovich also changes his orders to engage, but remains behind hill

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Austrian artillery hit French cavalry who fail their morale and are shaken
Austrian hussars advance to engage them, but come under fire from French gunners
Austrian cavalry also take casualties, fail morale and rout
French cavalry attempt to rally at end of move, fail morale and rout
Meanwhile a skirmish action is taking place on the hill

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
Both sides have now committed their infantry to fight for the hill
The leading Austrian jager brigade lose the skirmish fight to French infantry
Austrian gunners lose artillery duel and suffer light casualties
Both sides have lost their cavalry who have continued to rout

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
French infantry on the hill have routed the Austrian jagers, and shaken their supports
Quosdanovich can see that he has lost the battle and orders his division to retreat

Bonaparte has won the first battle of this second Italian campaign.
For a loss of 80 infantry and 40 cavalry he has defeated one of the three Austrian columns
Quosdanovich has lost 160 infantry, 40 cavalry and 40 gunners

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

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