The Saxons had 5 battalions ready to attack, with two more plus a regiment of dragoons close by. A further reinforcement of Russian troops, 12 battalions and 4 regiments of dragoons, plus two batteries of artillery would arrive later. Victory condition for the Saxon/Russian forces were simple, drive the Swedish forces back into the river. For the Swedes, all(?) that was required was to establish a bridgehead to cover the construction of the pontoon bridge.
The table layout was very basic. A two foot length of one of the long (6ft) edges was designated as the beach on which the Swedes would land. This was at the northern (right hand top) corner and along the adjacent short (4ft) edge was a swamp and wooded area. A gap of 12" was left for the arrival of the Saxon reinforcements. A river flowed between the two long edges of the table, with a ford on the left hand edge. If the Swedes established a line along this river it was taken that they had formed the required bridgehead. The Russian force would arrive at the bottom left hand corner.
|The first wave of Swedish infantry come ashore|
|Von Steinau is wounded|
In the centre, the Smalands regiment was encountering stiff opposition from regiment Von Thielau. The first battalion of Smalands was shredded by two devastating volleys from the Saxons and took no further part in the action. (Some lucky Saxon dice imposed two step losses on the hapless Swedes destroying the unit). Into the breach marched the second battalion of Smalands only to receive casualties themselves and they had to fall back to reform. Meanwhile on the Swedish left a prolonged fire fight was developing; neither side being able to gain the upper hand.
Fortunately for Charles, the first wave of Swedish reinforcements now arrived, two units of infantry, a unit of cavalry and a light gun. Reinforcing success, the infantry were sent forward to support the attack by the guards. The artillery was sent to the left to help the Jonkopping regiment and the cavalry were sent forward to plug the gap left by the Smalands regiment. Fortunately for the Saxons they too received some reinforcements. Even better, they arrived in a position which threatened the flank of the Swedish guards. However, without orders, the leading unit, the dragoons, charged the Swedish line. The guards waited until the horse were in close range and then fired a telling volley. All impetus and order lost, the Saxon dragoons fell back and took no further part in the action.
|The Saxon dragoons are driven off|
Von Steinau was now able to return to take up command and not a moment too soon. His left wing was streaming for the rear, regiment Ansbach-Kavanagh also having been routed by the Swedish guards. The infantry which had arrived with the dragoons was still holding its position, but had no orders and was threatened by the guards and also the two supporting infantry battalions. His centre was advancing, but had both flanks 'in the air' and on the right, his own regiment was beginning to suffer from the attentions of the Swedish artillery. The first priority was rallying the battalions from the left and this he achieved, forming a line which now threatened the flank of the guards.
Further Swedish reinforcements now arrived, three infantry battalions and a cavalry regiment. The infantry moved forward and began to envelop the Von Thielau regiment, whilst the cavalry moved to the left where there was more open ground. Von Steinau could see in the distance the leading units of Repnin's Russian troops, but he knew that it would take some time before they could affect his battle. His troops had fought well, and were becoming weary but they still possessed a bite. The Swedish guards now became victims of their success. Advancing too far from their supports they staggered under volleys from the reformed Swedish left wing and also the reinforcements. Outnumbered four to one even these elite troops found their limit and much reduced in numbeers they were driven from the field.
|The Swedish artillery fires on Von Steinau|
Unfortunately, with the battle in the balance we ran out of time. My wargames table is not a permanent fixture,so we cannot leave the battle to continue next week. I did run through a couple of moves on the following morning before tidying the troops away and this found the Saxons driven off just before the Russians arrived. With work on the pontoon bridge already under way and facing the Swedish forces alone, Repnin decided to fall back. Victory for the Swedes, but at a price, veteran troops are difficult to replace quickly.
Historically, the Swedes did far better, inflicting twice as many casualties on the Saxons as they received. They also subdued a redoubt which had been constructed to provide artillery fire against any landing. In the event I decided to ignore the redoubt, which was just as well for the balance of the game.