Rosenberg has three divisions (15 battalions), of infantry under his immediate command. The approach march through rugged terrain means that he has no cavalry support and his artillery are still struggling over the broken ground trying to reach the battlefield. His plan is to make frontal pinning attacks, drawing the enemy on him and allowing his flank attacks under Hessen-Homburg and Frolich the best chance of making a decisive contribution.
Here is a sketch map of the table layout; the area below the abbey is impassable to all troops and the river is unfordable.
Rosenburg ordered his infantry to advance behind a screen of jaeger and grenz. Within minutes the French gunners had found the range and roundshot began to plough bloody lanes through the advancing white coated ranks. The 3rd battalion of the Weidenfeld Infantry Regiment was particularly badly hit, losing over 25% of it's strength before reaching the slope up to the plateau. Further to the right, the battalions of Deutschmeister also suffered casualties, but continued to press forward. Ocksay's brigade was fortunate in that it had no artillery in front of it and the Austrians plodded forward towards the towering walls of the Abbey. On the ridge, Lefol had quickly assessed that he was outnumbered 2 to 1 and sent a courier off to Vandamme, requesting the supporting divisions be sent forward. Vandamme had already ordered Berthezene to advance and support the troops holding the Abbey. Another ADC was sent galloping towards Girard's division with orders to support Lefol's left.
|French troops on the Muhlerburg|
|The Austrian cavalry attack|
Ocksay had attacked the Abbey again, IR Zach leading the way. The Austrians forced their way into the buildings and drove out the 3rd Legere who formed the garrison. Berthezene's battalions were now attacked from front and flank and matters were made worse when 2nd battalion 2nd Marine Infantry were overrun by a charge by grenadier battalion Reuber. Fortunately, Habert's division had now moved up and helped to stem the Austrian advance.
|Lefol's men are pushed back|
Just as this disaster befell the French, the Austrians mounted a third attack against Lefol. By now the fire from the artillery was weaker and the volleys less effective and grudgingly the French had to give ground. Vandamme was staring defeat in the face, but at the vital moment Rey's men crested the ridge onto the plateau. Their arrival gave heart to Lefol's weary men and they reformed their lines. As the Austrians pressed forward they were met by volleys and their advance faltered. On the French right Habert had managed to contain Hessen-Homburg's advance, though Berthezene's division was destroyed.
At this point we had to call a halt and the action was declared a draw, though the advantage lay with the Austrians. Two French divisions had been destroyed and one Austrian. The scenario notes required three destroyed divisions for a 'victory'. It had been a close fought game and both Steve and I had felt we had a chance of victory.
The scenario had come from Chris Lleach's "Fields of Glory" scenarios for shako rules and was actually Rivoli, though with no Revolutionary period figures I transposed the action to Germany in 1813.