Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cressay part 2

General Poisson, the commander of the Lorraine troops had been watching the deployment of the Electoral forces and expecting more to arrive. The initial skirmishes had probed his position, but there had been no serious attack. If this was all the enemy had to offer, perhaps it was an opportunity to secure his position at court with a victory. For his part Lord Percy was beginning to feel slightly uneasy. There seemed to be a large force opposing him and his orders to secure Cressay looked increasingly difficult to carry out. However, with a little luck he could hold his position and retire under cover of darkness. Perhaps a few limited attacks with his left flank would pin the enemy in place.

After a brief conference with his staff Poisson decided to attack. Concentrating his artillery, he would silence the enemy guns and then move forward to cut the road to Midie. Gradually the Lorraine guns gained the upper hand. With casualties amongst his gunners rising, the battery commander had no choice but to pull back. Lord Percy sent an aide with orders for the guns to retire to Midie and contact the main force at Drew requesting reinforcements.

Seeing the Electoral guns retire, Poisson ordered the infantry and cavalry on his left under the Duc de Haique to advance and also ordered forward the Cuirassier brigade to charge the enemy dragoons who now held the centre of Lord Percy's position. As the Lorraine heavy cavalry surged forward, Lord Percy supported his dragoons with his Yellow Hussars, attempting to neutralise the cuirassiers' advantage by hitting their flank. This possibility had been seen by the commander of the cuirassiers and his second regiment deployed to their right to meet this threat. The melee was short and fierce, the result was overwhelmingly in favour of Lorraine; the hussars were shattered, the remnants limping to the rear and finished as a fighting unit. The dragoons fared almost as badly losing over 50% of their strength and routing from combat. Seizing their advantage, the heavy cavalry carried on into the heart of the Electoral position. A second dragoon regiment was scattered, a battalion of infantry failed to stand firm and was ridden down and the retreating battery was overrun. With this charge the battle had been decided. Meanwhile, to pin the Electoral left, Poisson had ordered his right flank to advance over the ridge. This they had done and a furious fire fight developed, which had gone in favour of the Electoral troops. Both brigade commanders were delighted with the way they were carrying out their commanders orders, and getting the better of their opponents, but to their right the battle had been decided.
Having destroyed the Electoral centre and pinned their left, Poisson now used his reserve dragoon brigade to threaten the flank of the Electoral infantry who were stubbornly resisting the Lorraine right flank's advance. The dragoons were supported by the victorious currasiers, who advancing into suprised and captured Lord Percy and his aides. The day was lost for the Electoral forces, indeed the complete destruction of their force seemed possible. It was at this point that Poisson offered terms to the senior Electoral brigade commander. If they were to retreat immediately from Chiraz there would be no pursuit. This offer was accepted and the battered remnants made their way back to the river crossing. Lord Percy meanwhile, was to be the guest of General Poisson at a very acceptable inn in Cressay. On his way to that dinner appointment Lord Percy wondered if it would be possible to engineer a diplomatic post at the court of Lorraine, possibly in an advisory role?

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