Many thanks to DC who left a comment on my last post which signposts information about the Battleground series he has posted on his blog (http://unfashionablyshiny.blogspot.com/search/label/Battleground ). If you are interested in more information about this classic series please follow the link.
The battle this week was Lobositz and may well be the start of a series of SYW battles over the next few months. It is a fascinating scenario, giving plenty of scope for light troops and also sweeping cavalry charges. There is a map on the excellent 'Project SYW' website (www.kronoskaf.com/syw/index.php?title=Main_Page) . Frederick was expecting nothing more than a skirmish with the Austrian rearguard and the foggy conditions prevented him discovering that the whole Austrian army was present until he was embroiled in a messy action to try and clear the Lobosch Hill on his left flank and his cavalry had been reconnaissance had been pushed back by artillery and infantry fire and a counter charge by the Austrian cavalry.
Representing fog/mist is nigh on impossible on the tabletop so we started with the opposing armies in place and in view. The Prussians committed 7 battalions to the attack on the Lobosch.
Although they were only opposed by two units of Grenzers the nature of the ground, steep slopes, vinyards and walls made progress difficult. The leading Frei Korps battalion suffered heavy casulaties from the skirmishing Austrian troops and a close range salvo from a couple of light guns caused them to retreat. Their supporting grenadiers moved forward and managed to clear the first line of defence, but more hard fighting would be required to clear the heights. Seeing the Prussian progress the Austrian commander detached two batallions from his right wing near Lobositz village to reinforce the Grenz.
The Austrians had deployed four units of cavalry on the plain in front of the sunken road to the left of Lobositz. The terrain made retreat difficult and they were opposed by three brigades of Prussian infantry and their cavalry supports. Coming under attack from the Prussian artillery their only course seemed to be attack. On the left their light cavalry was completely overmatched by the Prussian Hussars with cuirassiers in support.
In the centre they enjoyed more success. The Zweibrucken Dragoons together with the combined Carabinier companies of the cuirassier regiments charged the Prussian infantry. Perhaps unnerved by the rapidly closing cavalry the musketry volley from the infantry was ineffective and when the Austrians charged home the first line of battalions were scattered. Thus encouraged the Austrian cavalry charged the second line of battalions and broke those also.
Fortunately for Frederick, he had a cavalry reserve behind his infantry and they moved to plug the gap. The Zweibrucken Dragoons were charged by the Prussian Gardes-du-Corps and after a fierce struggle the Prussians prevailed. The Carabiniers found themselves facing further infantry and elected to retire rather than risk further musketry volleys.
The main Prussian infantry assualt on Lobostz itself was thus stalled and the main Austrian battery was causing severe casualties; although the Austrian right was also suffering from the Prussian artillery. The crisis of the battle was nigh.