WSS Campaign
Turn Two
Battle near Mannheim
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Captain General John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough.
Prince François  Eugène of Savoy 
Camille d'Hostun de la Baume, Duc de Tallard, Marshall of France
Prince Maximilian II Emanuel Wittelsbach
Elector of Bavaria
 Welcome to the WSS Campaign
Sclacht bei Mannheim

As Villars' army moves south-east near Mannheim, Anhalt Dessau marched to meat him,  and both forces aware of each other's presence and approximate strengths sought engagement with each other. 
The two armies lined up in classical array, with the infantry on the center, the allied battalions anchored between two small hamlets. The French were quick to size the initiative with their cavalry on the right flank quickly descending on the more static Prussian division, while their infantry advanced their whole line towards the allies.
On the right, the French cavalry were not so quick to advance, and the allies cavalry division, mostly Hanoverians, were quick to advance from the rear - also bringing up their reserve which had been reorganizing behind the allied infantry, having been used earlier in the day for scouting.

Waiting for them were dragoons and several squadrons of French horse.

The French cavalry waited on the flank of their infantry and a short battle ensued, resulting in most of the French cavalry being driven off - but with fairly small losses.

However, the loss of their flank support created consternation amongst the French. The whole line had been advancing towards the allied line, but with their left flank threatened, and it's battalions there beginning to go into square, this had the effect dragging that end of the line back and stalling the advance.

A couple of ineffectual demonstrations were made by the Hanoverian cavalry against the French squares - to little effect except to scare the horse a lot. The net result of this w was that the left of the French infantry line was unable to advance and engage the Hanoverian infantry division opposite them.

Meanwhile, back on the right flank, the French cavalry were steadily, but surely driving back the allies' Prussian cavalry division, pushing it well past its starting position. 

A horses eye view of the same battle.

The horses on the fore ground (right click the image and click view - to see a larger version) were painted to an incredible standard of artistry by Neil Sheardown in Hull England. A little difficult to see is the two riders on the horse on the right most end of the nearest unit. They are converted, along with their horses, to appear as being knocked down by volley fire - and look splendid.

The allied line simply maintained its position, the speed of the French advance slowed only by its desire to keep its bigger guns - their limbers and teams protected by the battalions ahead of them.

In the far ground, the French cavalry can be seen pushing past the village as the allied cavalry is defeated on that flank.

So effective was the French attack that it was able to disengage the mauled and now useless Prussian cavalry and regroup to support their infantry's impending assault against the allied Prussian Infantry division on the allied left.

While the cavalry battle had been progressing, the French line had been steadily advancing, slowly enough that it could bring its bigger guns with it, and although the left of their line had been stalled, the right was approaching effective range of the enemy.

All that remained was for an artillery duel between the German and French guns, before the assault began. The guns did damage to each other's battalions, but not the devastation that had been hoped for.

While the guns fire away, nor more than one or two musketry volleys were exchanged at long range when unexpectedly, the Prussian Division's morale wavered and the battalions began to fall back.
Having fallen back a few hundred yards, and the French not having yet fully exploited the fall back, the Prussians quickly organized themselves into a 2 brigade square and began an orderly withdrawal.
At this point, Anhalt Dessau decided that the risk to his now disrupted line was too great and began to retreat from the table.

Very little infantry casualties were caused during the battle, the most blood being drawn by the Horse - the better of which was given by the French.

However, during the retreat, the French horse put up a vigorous pursuit, and a number of stragglers were cut down.

The final toll:

Allied Losses 
1,250 Horse
1,250 Foot
4 Guns
French Losses
375 Horse
625 Foot
0 Guns


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Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Ian Croxall
Salem, Oregon. USA