|I'm not sure what the collective noun is for a group of French Aide De Camps but I am sure its not "a patch", vegetable |
patch specifically. This colourful group certainly earned their pay carrying out D'Erlons orders in this battle.
In the words of that great Napoleonic General Stevie Winwood, you need to take your chances!
That is certainly what the British commander was stating as the battle started to unravel before me...I mean him. As reported in the last blog entry on this battle, the French were reeling on the hill and in the centre and a series of poor command roles prevented the knock-out punch from being delivered.
|The central French brigade rally first time...of course!|
Now the French had recovered and to continue in the boxing parlance, had caught their breath in the corner and were counter punching like it was the fifteenth round in a title bout!
|The Rifles turn to face as the central British brigade retires through an adverse result.|
|"Rifles will reform to the left!"|
|Without the Brunswick Hussars and the Horse artillery on the allied left, only squares and a few Uhlans|
remain to try and stem the flow of French.
|Cavalry battles on the Allied right flank go reasonably well for the Dutch- Belgians without and major|
routs of the enemy. Breaking even will not save the battle for the Anglo-Dutch.
|Did I mention that Cookie had the Young Guard come on from reserve?|
|Falling back in order to help preserve the centre these regiments look somewhat isolated.|
|The Brunswick lights line the edge of the churchyard to see if they can bring some firepower to bear|
on what the consider to be the imminent arrival of a brigade of French Heavy Cavalry
|This battery of Royal Artillery fires a parting salvo before needing to withdraw in order to secure a |
point of entry for the Brunswick reserve that would never come.
|The casualty mount|
|On the French left several battalions quite wisely form square however they were not to be threatened today. |
|All that lies between D'Erlons Corps and Brussels.|
At this point the Anglo-Dutch force was down to four ADC's and the reserve of Brunswick Lieb Guard and Line were still unable to be summoned. It was decided that the allies would look to extricate what they could off the field before a loss became a debacle in the morning papers in London!
The Brunswick light infantry brigade were in serious trouble and would struggle to be retire at all. Too much enemy cavalry and infantry in close proximity would mean a long stay in prison camps for the boys in black.
Everything else it was decided should be able to retire with most discipline in tact albeit with a little pride dented!
Phil and I had a fantastic time and the rule system seriously is one that I could not recommend highly enough. So much fun, the flexibility to manoeuvre and fight in the particular Napoleonic doctrine and style of the time and a superb command and control mechanism which makes every turn a vital combination of forward planning, tactics and a hint of lady luck.
Just like the real thing.
We did do a few things incorrectly, the most pressing being the use of individual squadrons of cavalry in manoeuvre and combat when the rules clearly state that the minimum cavalry unit size is in fact TWO squadrons. It made much more sense to us when we discovered that and we do need to keep that in mind for future games.
Can't wait for the next battle.