venerdì 20 maggio 2022

Battle of Lake George - Camp Attack - May 14, 2022

Last Saturday my mates Ezio and Jimmy dedided to play an historical scenario using Rebels and Patriots printed by Osprey.

It was a battle fought during French-Indian wars in September 8, 1755. The battle was set in the north of New York province and it was part of a the British campaign to expel the French forces from North America.

This is the battle field my friends prepared ... 

... this is the picture that inspired them

A French, Canadian and Indian of 1,582 men under the command of the Baron de Dieskau attacked 2,932 men including 200 Mohawks under Major General William Johnson.

General Johnson with his forces advance via Lake George and Lake Campalain against the French Fort St. Frederic. Johnson, camped 25 km north to Fort Edward (an English fort), sent a messager to Fort Edward garrison to ask reinforcement  ... unfortunately the messager was intercepted and in this way the French commander obtained the position of enemies.

On September 8, William's column marched directly straight into the trap prepared by Baron de Dieskau. It was knonw as the "Bloody Morning Scout". After a short battle the English were forced to come back to their camp.

My mates decided to play the assault to Johnson's camp. 

After the success of the first attack Dieskau ordered to his Canadians and Indians to charge the enemy till the camp. Unfotunately the Indians and the Canadians, shaken by the loss of their leader during the fight before, attacked the camp without energy so the French commander formed a column of 222 grenadiers directly against Johnson's camp.

The English forces hurriedly constructed defensive barricates using wagons, overturned boats and trees. 

Once the grenadiers were out in the open ground the British gunners crewing Johnson's three cannond loaded them with grapeshot cutting the French ranks.

Baron de Dieskau was hit by the cannons and died during the fight. After the dead of the Baron and the  loss of the Canadian leader in the previously fight, French were forced to retire. 

In our battle the cannon was destroyed by the Indians ...

... that in this opened the way to the Canadians

After a long fight the English troops pushed away the enemy and won the battle

venerdì 13 maggio 2022

1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigate at Driel and Gen Sosabowski - May 2022

The 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigate was an infantry brigade of Polish Army that was created in September 1941. 
The Brigade was formed by Polish soldiers in exile in UK with the aim of its being used to support Polish resistance during Ww2. 

Unfortunately, on July 27, aware of the imminent Warsaw uprising the British governement refused the idea to use this brigate to support the insurgents. Polish unit should have took part of Normandy assault but also this mission was cancelled for them.
On contrary the brigade was involved in Operation Market Garden in September 1944. This operation was a bold plan designed to caputure the Rhine crossing along the Dutch-German border and establish a foothold for an advance in Germany.

Owing to bad weather and shortage of planes the drop on their objective was delayed by two days. They dropped into Driel (near Arnhem) without British units of support and without radio contact with the main Allied forces. They were dropped directly under a significant German fire and they were forced to set up a defensive hedgehog position. 

They tried for two days to cross the Rhine to reach the British red devils. After 3 days about 200 Polish troopers reach the British 1st Airborne Division only to cover their fall back.

On September 26 the Brigade ... or better what it remains ...  was moved to Nijmegen. The brigade had lost 25% of its fighting strength
Till the end of the war the 1st Polish brigade was attached to the 1st Polish Armoured Division in occupation duties in Norther Germany. 

The commander of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade in Driel was Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski. 

During the invasion of Poland he was colonel and he partecipated to the Siege of Warsaw keeping the position. After his success, Sosabowski was assigned to command of all Polish troops in the area of Grochow. Despite constant bombardement and German attacks he repelled the enemy attacks. Following the Polish surrender, he was made prisoner. Escaped he reach the Polish governement in exile. 
After the war he found a job as a factory worker in London. As well as many other Polish officers he was unable to return to Communist Poland so he decided for the exile. He died in 1967. Only in 1969 his remians were returned to Poland at Powazki Miliary Cemetery in Warsaw.
In the movie A Bridge too far he was portaryed by Gene Hackman

venerdì 6 maggio 2022

Marengo Battle June 14, 1800 - Black Powder April 30, 2022

Last Saturday my mates played a new Napoleonic battle. This time they decided for Marengo.
It was fought on June 14, 1800 between French army under Napoleon Bonaparte and the Austrian forces. The battle set in my region ... in Piedmont ... north west of Italy.

The battlefield we prepared

Surprised by the Austrian advance in mid-April 1800, Bonaparte was forced to reach Italy as soon as possible.

At the beginning of June, Bonaparte crossed the river Po defeating General Peter Karl Otto von Batorkez at Montebello but it was surprised by the enemy conter attack on June 14 near Marengo.

At 11.00 the assaults across the Fontanone stream (near Marengo) were repelled by French. Austrian commander revewed their efforts occupying Castel Ceriolo and advancing against French flank. By 2:30 the French were withdrawing and Austrian troops took Marengo.

Austrian's advance in our battle

Bonaparte used his reserve but the French continued to fall back.

Knowing that French reinforcement were approacing with Generale Desaix, Bonaparte renewed his attack on the north.
Desaix's arrival aroung 5:30 stabilized the French position. 

The story goes that, asked by Bonaparte what he thought of the situation, Generale Desaix replied "This battle is completely lost. However ther is time to win another"
Bonaparte did not agreed Desaix's idea so he continued the attacks. 

The 9th light infantry regiment delayed the Austrian advance down the main road while the rest of the army reformed new lines. The new troops concealed the Austrian attack forcing them to go back in disorder till Alessandria.

The victory secured Bonaparte's grip on power French administration. 

In our game the history changed a bit ... The Austrian generals win. Desaix arrived but too far from the center and not able to make the difference as in the real battle