donderdag 9 juli 2015

4. Battle of Höchstädt, 1703

4. Battle of Höchstädt, 1703.
This is the second re-fight of the Battle of Höchstädt, 1703, the first played 2 ½ years ago used DBA-HX 2.2. This re-fight will use the revised 3.0. For the original game fought in 2012 readers can follow the enclosed links:.

The numbers of elements per side would not change for this re-fight, however, adjustments were made to the composition of troops; the addition of conscript and skirmisher types. Because distances have changed, it was decided to play the game two boards; the first is the engagement between D’Usson and Count Styrum and the second the arrival of the French-Bavarian army east of the Nebel River.

Marshal Villars (CinC) 16 elements (BP = 4.0)
1 x Cuirassier, 4 x Cavalry, 6 x Line Infantry, 4 x  Conscript, 1 x Light Artillery

The Elector of Bavaria 12 elements (BP = 3.0)
2 x Cuirassier, 2 x Cavalry, 4 x Line Infantry, 3 x Conscript, 1 x Light Artillery

D’Usson at Höchstädt 8 elements (BP = 2.0)
2 x Cavalry, 3 x Line Infantry, 2 x Conscript, 1 x Light Artillery

Marshal Styrum (CinC) 12 elements (BP = 3.0)
2 x Cuirassier, 2 x Cavalry, 5 x Line Infantry, 2 x Conscript, 1 x Light Artillery

Prince Anhalt-Dessau 12 elements (BP = 3.0)
2 x Cuirassier, 2 x Cavalry, 5 x Line Infantry, 2 x Conscript, 1 x Light Artillery

D’Usson moved out of Höchstädt on the morning of the 20th. Forming his into line, he would await for Villars attack on the Imperial camp. The sound of the guns would be the signal to advance and catch the Austrians in the rear.

By 8.00 am, the sound of marching troops supplanted the expected cannonade and worse, the flags were of Imperial make. D’Usson quickly surmised Villars was delayed and that he would be facing the full brunt of Styrum’s force. With little opportunity to re-deploy his troops D’Usson held his ground.

Crossing the stream, the Austrians encountered a brisk fusillade from the French side. By 9.30, D’Usson could no longer stem the advance of the Imperial troops and decided to withdraw his demoralized command to Höchstädt hoping the sound of battle would hasten Villars to his aid.

Styrum undeterred by the small losses (1 Cv) would continue pursuit with the Prince v. Anhalt-Dessau in support. Past midday and deploying the Imperial troops before Höchstädt, Styrum receives alarming news that large French forces are approaching the camp from the east. Realizing D’Usson was a mere diversion, orders are given to hasten back to camp and prepare to fight a second battle.

Villars and the Elector.
Hearing of the French approach to the rear, the Prince v. Anhalt-Dessau was first to redeploy and form the left wing of the Allied army while Styrum would form on the open space between the Prussians and the Danube River. By 10.00 am, the second battle of the day was well under way.

By 10.00 am, it became clear that the French were driving the Allied army away from the Danube and toward the Goldberg mountains. The road to Nordlingen was already choked with baggage and detachments fleeing from the camp, so time would need to gain by making a slow and steady retreat.

The Elector of Bavaria, closest to the Nordlingen road was “asked” to press his attack and cut off the Allied army’s exit. Having crossed the Nebelbach, this he proceeded to do. Unfortunately, the Prussians had differing opinion about this and delivered an intense fusillade on the cornflower blue line.

An hour later (11.00 am), having committed his entire command, the Elector could make no impression on the Prussians. The decisive blow would have to be delivered by Villars himself.

Villars was doing precisely that and before noontime the coordination of cavalry attacks against the Imperial flank and a steady advance with volley fire was gradually weakening Styrum’s command. Before 12.00, the Austrians began to flee toward the road to Nordlingen. It would now be up to the Prussians to hold the door open long enough to save the army from disaster.

Through a concerted effort by Prussian cavalry the Bavarian Horse were beaten off leaving a sole Bavarian Cuirassier unit to hold the flank. The Bavarian foot seeing the Austrians in flight were frustrated in their effort to break the Prussians. Their hopes died when loud cheers could be heard on the right flank signalling the demise of the Bavarian Cuirassier unit. With all the Bavarian cavalry gone the Elector would be hard pressed to keep his troops in position.

Past noon, Villars could see that the Elector was in trouble and worse news came when he heard the Bavarian cavalry would be of no further use, it was decided to bring the pursuit of the Austrians to a halt and reform a new line facing the Prussians. Calculating that it would take another hour to collect his cavalry and reposition his artillery, Villars decided to hold the field and console his ally, the Elector with a noon day meal provided by the Austrians.


Geen opmerkingen: