Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Battle of Lonato

Campaign Map at start of battle

Wurmster has ordered his three Austrian divisions to cross the river Minicio and attack Lonato.  

The town is held by two French divisions.  Bonaparte has taken the 3rd division south to Mantua to maintain the siege and defeat the Austrian relief column.

1st Austrian division has 2800 infantry, 360 cavalry and 400 gunners
2nd Austrian division has 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners
4th Austrian division has 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners

4th French division has 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners
5th French division has 3200 infantry, 400 cavalry and 400 gunners

Table at start of battle

Lonato is the town top left
Perschia is the town top right
The river the Minicio
The two French divisions are on the left
The three Austrian divisions are on the right
All divisions are on the table at the start of the game
The river can only be crossed using the bridges (top right and bottom right)

Move 1 – 0800 to  0900
The French (left) are widely spread to cover the length of the river Minico
Two Austrian divisions deploy artillery to prepare to storm the bridges
The third Austrian division moves across the river to attack the hill

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
The Austrian guns have a longer range than the French
French gunners manhandle their guns forward into range of the Austrians
1st Austrian division have crossed the river and bring forward their artillery and cavalry

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
French and Austrian artillery exchange fire
1st division start to deploy south of the river

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
Artillery fire is completely ineffective, no casualties on either side
Austrians unwilling to risk an attack over the two bridges until enemy is shaken
1st division manhandle guns towards hill and into range of the enemy

Counter battery fire
In our rules you require a total of 11 using 2D6 to achieve a hit on enemy artillery
Normally it is a waste of time, unless there is no other target available
But the Austrians need to subdue the enemy artillery before they attack
A double six caused 10% casualties and forced a morale test
The French gunners passed the test, but will be less effective firing

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
The French continue to hold the line
Austrian artillery prove ineffective, except on their left where they hit enemy gunners

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
Austrian artillery has repositioned south of the bridge
Cavalry charge enemy gunners and force them to seek shelter from nearby square
1st Austrian division move forward to attack the hill

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
Despite the lack of success of the Austrian artillery Wurmster orders a general attack as time is running out.   In the centre cavalry lead the advance over the bridge    At the bottom 1st division approach the hill and their cavalry pin the infantry square

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
French dragoons charge the Austrian cavalry crossing the bridge in the centre.  
The French win the melee, leaving the advancing columns without cavalry support
French cavalry supporting the hill are forced to withdraw when they receive artillery casualties

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
4th Austrian division (top) start to cross the bridge
2nd Austrian division (centre) disrupted as cavalry rout back over bridge
1st Austrian division (bottom) climb hill and attack square

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
4th Austrian division (top) cavalry charge and rout gunners and supporting infantry
2nd Austrian division (centre) recover and advance over the bridge
1st Austrian division (bottom) rout infantry and gunners from hill


French casualties were 400 infantry, 40 cavalry and 80 gunners
Austrian casualties were 240 infantry and 40 cavalry

In addition 4 French brigades were in rout and all their artillery abandoned

Once the Austrians had crossed the river in strength it was all over for the French
In addition their right flank was broken and one quarter of their infantry in rout

The loss of Lonato would result in Bonaparte ordering a general retreat.
Wurmster had broken the siege of Mantua and achieved his campaign objective

We used our own wargame rules to fight the battle

They can be found here

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