I have long heard of the famous quote by a British soldier regarding the battle of Waterloo, "As for myself all I know it that I spent the day lying in the mud while every scoiuyndrel with a horse rode over us". I do believe that I now have an inkling of what he was talking about. My fight for Connewitz and its environs left me with only a vague understanding of events elsewhere on the battlefield. I will post further pictures later so the other generals can provide their insights.
As events played out for the big Leipzig refight we came up short-handed on generals so we trimmed the game down to just the southern front. Even then we found ourselves commanding more than one Corps each in several cases. Perhaps the weekend of the 4th of July wasn't the best choice after all.
I commanded Merveldt's troops facing Connewitz, R.U.P. commanded Poniatowski's troops facing me. The Austrians were south and east of the river trying to cross on two bridges in to the teeth of the deployed French and Polish troops who were wisely deployed just out of close cannon range from the bridges, effectively forcing me to pass through the defiles into a "field of death".
the Austrians, nice and orderly, prepare to cross the bridges
the French and Polish guns, backed by infantry and cavalry,
ready themselves for the grim work ahead
the French line was anchored to Markleesburg, I am just off-screen to the left
and so it begins, Austrian Jagers and Hussars storm across the bridge
to be greeted by the thunder of the French guns
the Polish guns to the south added their voices as well
many Austrian units suffered casualties before even crossing the bridges, but they pressed on
the Hussars bravely charged the guns to cover the crossing of the Dragoon and line infantry
despite horrendous casualties the Austrians continued to press the matter,
the French and Polish units unflinchingly stood this test but,
as casualties mounted, it was clear that they neared their breaking point
the view from the center of the French position, Markleesburg (the graveyard of many a brigade) holds as a lynch-pin in the French line as the relentless pressure of the Austrians (on the right) and the Prussian (on the left) fold both flanks back.
the sacrifice of the line troops weakened the French line enough that the arrival of the grenadier division (upper left) saw a solid bridgehead established, even the addition of a division of Young Guard from the French reserve was not enough to push the Austrians back across the river.
a view of the 6'x18' table from the eastern end, early in the battle,
my battle occurred in the very lower left corner of this gigantic table,
Tom's technique of covering the blueboard hills with a soft felt
beautifully conveys the rolling nature of German countryside
a view east across the table from the southwest corner, (left to right) Hutch and Kris discuss maneuvers as our host Tom (seated) chats with The Housemartin, Lupes (right hand edge of shot)clenches his fist at the mighty line of French guns and chants, "But I have more Russians"
with the Young Guard unable to stanch the flow od Austrian Grenadiers and Marleesburg on the brink of falling into Allied hands we called the game, this is the view south from where Leipzig would be, the French on the left and facing then the Austrians on the right