Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Battle of Montebello

Campaign Map at start of battle

Two battles are fought at the same time.   4th French division attacks 4th Austrian division at Montebello and 3rd Austrian division attacks 3rd French division at Verona.

Having defeated the western Austrian column at Solo, Bonaparte now turns his attention to the eastern one at Montebello.  His aim is to defeat 4th division before they can join forces with the main Austrian army south of Lake Garda

Wurmster is moving his army south in four separate columns.   His intention is to concentrate his army south of Lake Garda before marching south to raise the siege of Mantua

Table at start of battle

Centre right is Montebello
Bottom left is San Bonifacio
Centre right Austrians in defence at Montebello
Centre left French deployed ready to attack

4th French division

General Argereau is a Poor commander
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

4th Austrian division

General Scoboszlo is a Poor commander
He also commands 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners
Half of his infantry are poor skirmishers but have effective volley fire
His artillery are all 9 pounders against the French 6 pounders.

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900

Both divisions start the battle of Move orders
French division advance behind cavalry screen
Austrian dragoons move to right flank to counter enemy cavalry

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000

Austrian gunners cause first casualties on French infantry
One Austrian infantry brigade move through town to support cavalry

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100

Austrian infantry receive artillery casualties and are shaken
French dragoons charge enemy cavalry but lose melee and retire shaken

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200

Austrian cavalry fail morale check to opportunity charge shaken dragoons
Dragoons retire behind square, pass morale and rally to disordered
Austrian infantry move to reinforce their left flank

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300

Argereau halts his left flank and orders his right to advance
Scoboszlo joins his left flank in preparation for the anticipated infantry attack

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400

French gunners continue to pound the Austrian infantry causing 30% casualties
Infantry fail morale and rout, as do their supporting militia infantry
The loss of his left flank is a disaster for Scoboszlo

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500

French left flank remains outside enemy artillery range
French right moves towards the town
Austrian gunners retreat into town
Austrian infantry continue to rout towards the table edge

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600

Scoboszlo orders his division to retreat
His left hand infantry turn to face the approaching French infantry
French gunners limber and advance to support the infantry

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700

Austrian military infantry in the centre retreats towards town
Line infantry deploy into line to cover the rest of the division as they retreat
French artillery unlimber at close range of enemy infantry

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800

French gunners fire at close range
Austrian infantry break and rout into supports
Supporting infantry also break and join rout
French infantry advance to occupy town

Argereau has won an easy victory in the second battle of the campaign
For a loss of 1600 infantry he has defeated the second of the three Austrian columns
Szoboszlo has lost 4000 infantry  and the remainder have routed

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

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