Following their disastrous defeat outside St Nazaire, the remains of Anglo-Emigre army began their withdrawal, back the way they had come to their base at Pornichet. The retreat was covered expertly by the relatively unscathed British Guards Brigade under Maj-Gen Ambercrumble and the two squadrons of Emigre hussars. The Republicans pursued but their troops did little more than to maintain some pressure on the Allies during their retreat. The Republican cavalry brigade had little hunger for glory and the battered infantry battalions needed time to recover.
|In Pornichet preparations are made to begin embarking the troops and destroying whatever stores cannot be taken back aboard the fleet.|
|The retreat brings with it streams of refugees desperate to embark and avoid the clutches of the Committee of Public Safety and rampaging Republican troops eager for revenge.|
The expeditionary force commander the Comte d'Hervilly is a broken man. His orders to land more troops and continue the invasion are overruled by his subordinates and the ailing commander of the British contingent General Cyrus Trapaud, who insist that preparations must be made for an immediate evacuation. d'Hervilly's dithering outside St Nazaire cost the Allies their advantage and allowed Republican reinforcements the time they needed to counter attack. Further indecision or lack of immediate action will lead to the total loss of the army, something that the British do not wish to happen as it would cause an uproar in the House and might even topple the government. (Note: it is the English/Scots regiments we're talking about here. Not the Emigre units, about which the government cares little; any who are re-embarked will no doubt be sent to the West Indies, which would not be fun).
|The Brigade of Guards and other English regiments prepare to defend the perimeter set up around Pornichet should the Republicans attack before the evacuation is complete.|
So that leaves me with probably two games to fight. Much will depend upon whether the Republicans go straight for Pornichet or assault Pouilliguen first. If I were them I would ignore the latter as defeating the main force as it tries to re embark would be enough for the remaining troops garrisoning Pouilliguen to surrender. We shall see how the dice fall for that one as we know that the Republicans are not necessarily going to make the militarily correct decision if a political one supersedes it.
Whatever the out come, there is a game on Thursday.