Play started with the expected French cavalry attack on Mesenzov, preceded by a final bombardment from the grand battery. D'Espagne's cavalry swept up the slope and caught the 1st battalion of the Kexholm regiment attempting to form square. The 1st Chasseurs hardly paused as they charged through the disorganised mass, scattering it beyond recovery. Beyond lay the 12lb battery which had inflicted heavy losses on Verdier's infantry and the cavalry now closed on them. They were met by a devastating discharge of canister which emptied many saddles and the few bold chasseurs which reached the guns were driven off by the crews. To the right of the 1st Chasseurs, the 3rd Chasseurs had attacked Mesenzov's divisional artillery. This had already been weakened by fire from the grand battery and offered only feeble resistance and the French cavalry swept over them. However, behind the guns, Mesenzov's infantry had formed square, presenting a formidable barrier to further progress. Reluctantly, the 3rd Chasseurs fell back from the ridge to reform, leaving the huddled masses of Russian infantry to the tender mercies of the French guns.
|The first wave of D'Espagne's troopers attack Mesenzov|
|The 1st Chasseurs charge the guns|
In the centre, Caldiero was also now in Italian hands. The Grenadiers of the Italian Guard from Duhesme's division had driven out the 1st battalion of the 15th jaeger and given new heart to the battered divisions of Gardanne and Verdier. Both now moved forward to attack again. Gardanne was held by Tolstoy, mostly due to splendid spirit of the Lithuania regiment, which drove off attacks from two battalions of the 46th line; inflicting such heavy losses that they had to leave the field.
|Caldiero falls to the Italians|
|The Russian square halts the French cavalry|
At Caldiero Orlov was not waiting for Berg's grenadiers, he ordered the 2nd battalion of the 21st Jaeger to attack the Italian's holding the village. This they did with elan, driving off the Italian guardsmen and reclaiming the centre of Bennigsen's position. With the cavalry threat temporarily removed Orlov attacked Verdier again, breaking the 4th battalion of the 2nd Line and forcing the division to fall back to recover. Massena had therefore to deploy Duhesme's remaining battalions to prevent Orlov moving any further forward. This stopped any renewed attempt to recapture Caldiero.
|Orlov's jaegers recapture Caldiero|
This seemed a logical time to draw the game to a close and declare the result a draw, as it was historically. The French attack on Caldiero had been repulsed with substantial losses, (Gardanne and Verdier having lost half their battalions), but Gambion still remained in Italian hands. The divisions of Tolstoy and Mesenzov were too battered to exploit any French withdrawal. Orlov too had lost almost half his battalions. Berg was too far back to intervene and Frimont's cavalry had any forward progress opposed by the French reserve artillery and squares of Gardanne's infantry. Bennigsen had half his artillery batteries overrun some guns may be salvaged, but dead crew are more difficult to replace.
Many thanks to Steve for taking the role of Massena and making the game so enjoyable.