An Infantry Division is tasked with holding the high ground near the village of St Arnaud. The French Divisional Commander (Arnaud), has been informed that a Young Guard division is hurrying to his aid. Behind them he can expect an additional cavalry Brigade (BDE), but of what composition he knows not. he also has a Divisional Battery of 4 guns and a horse artillery Battery that has been sent ahead to help.
Just as well he has the support coming up because before him is arrayed two enemy Divisions! One is a Russian Guard division and the other is a Prussian Division. Obviously someone in the Allied high command has also twigged as to the significant importance this high ground has, and an additional enemy BDE is approaching. Looks like Prussian Cavalry.
Lil' Scott Commanded the Russian Guard. 6 Battalions of Russians Guards Valiant, Exp Sk 0 plus 2 Bavarian converged Grenadier Battalions also Valiant Exp Sk 0, (ok, so I was short two more Russian battalions, so we pressed into service two Bavarian battalions.). he also had two heavy Batteries. One of 5 guns and one of 4 guns.
Stan as usual commanded his Prussians, 2 regular Battalions, 3 Reserve Battalions and 3 Landwehr battalions plus Landwehr Cavalry and a Foot battery of 4 guns.
I won't go into a lot of detail but essentially the battle opened with general advance along the entire front by both the Russian Guard and the Prussians. The French were spread rather thin, but had anchored both of their flanks. The left flank anchored on some stone walled farm land, whilst the right flank was rather solid with a small village garrisoned and a battalion behind that in square just in case the menacing Prussian cavalry attempted a sweep around.
BELOW: The Battlefield as seen from the French left. Note "The Hook". That's the bend in the road.
The Allies soon received their reinforcements which consisted of a Prussian Cavalry BDE. Fortunately the French the Young Guard division arrived at the same time. Now it's two divisions V two divisions and a Cavalry BDE.
BELOW: The arrival of the French Young Guard Division was greeted by huge cheers from the French Infantry Division. The YG GD DIV consisted of three French Yg Battalions on three Italian Royal Guard Battalions.
BELOW: Russian Guards attacking the French left flank. The French defenders made good use of the numerous walls and fence lines to make life very difficult for the attackers.
BELOW: Bavarians and Wurtemburgers closes to the camera. These lads doubled as Prussian Reserve Battalions for todays battle. They were roughly handelled by the Verteran French Leger battalion they attempted to drived back.
BELOW: Russians advance through "The Hook", (the distictive bend in the road running across the battlefield)
BELOW: Russian Guards advance into the teeth of French Artillery! Brave Chaps!!!
BELOW: Allied infantry pour into the center of the French line. In the top right of the photo you can see the Village with the garrison within.
The Prussian Cavalry Bde arrived behind the Prussian Division, and proceeded to attempt to turn the French right by swinging around the garrisoned village. they were inspired by the sole Landwehr lancer regiment that had scooted around and ran down the hastily redeployed French Horse Artillery.
I think we all expected the Allies to blow right through the French division holding the line, but they held on quite well.
Just as the Prussians were celebrating the success of the daring Landwehr Cavalry the French Cavalry BDE arrived. A collective groan came up from the allied command when it was revealed it was OLD GUARD, (Lancers and Grenadiers a Cheval).
The Old Guard Cavalry soon restored the situation on the French right flank. The Lancers slaughtered the 'raiding' Landwehr cavalry while the Mounted Grenadiers put paid to half of the Prussian Cavalry Bde attenpting to turn the French Right.
BELOW: French Young Guard moving across to the threatened center.
BELOW: Corporal LeLeve defends his cow!
BELOW: Russian Guards drive back French conscripts (L) and Italian Royal Guard(R) as the try to clear out the farmland on the French left flank.
Eventually the Prussians and Russians over-ran the French Infantry Division, and even managed to rout the OLD GUARD Grenadiers a Cheval but the Russian Guard Division was spent in the process. As the French first line finally broke, so did the Russian Guard. The battle ended with the Prussians settling down to eat their evening bratwurst in front of the high ground as the Russians and Bavarians streamed to the rear. The French Guards, (both Young, Old and Italian) happy to hold onto the high ground).
What would have been a draw actually saw the victory going to the French, as the Loss of a Russian Guard Division was seen as a bigger blow to allied plans than the destruction of a Brigade of French conscripts.
BELOW: French Young Guard attack and rout Russian Guard on the left while the Italian Royal Guard do battle with more Rusian Guards
BELOW: The French make a last ditch stand on the slopes of the contested high ground.