Friday 17 April 2020

FRW CAMPAIGN. Battle at Bissinghen 5 Sept 1793 Turns 3 and 4

Following on from the earlier post, yesterday I played another couple of moves of the encounter at the town of Bissinghen, sitting roughly half way between Courtrai and Menin on the River Lys.

The Emigre Army of the Conde (no more than a strongish division in the campaign) was being attacked by a corps of Republicans under General Pichegru. The latter had immediately launched an all-out attack in an attempt to destroy the isolated Emigres before the Austrians could intervene. The latter were known to have been on the opposite bank of the Lys the previous day, and had commenced the construction of two pontoon bridges facing Bissinghen. I don’t know the size of this place in 1793 but as it appears on my contemporary map of the Austrian Netherlands I’m assuming it was a town rather than a mere village.

As this is part of an ongoing battle within a campaign where players are largely in the dark as to what’s going on elsewhere in the area of operations I’m only sharing the information that the two commanders (Conde and Pichegru) plus the Austrians who are supposedly ‘rushing’ to save their Coalition buddies. (Austrian armies of this era rarely rush anywhere of course). So the commentaries may be somewhat briefer than normal. Fear not however as a more comprehensive report will appear once the battle has been decided. The photos show the position at the end of T4.

By the end of T4 the French had deployed a company of foot artillery to  fire at the Austrian pontoon bridges. In the background the extent of the French assault can be seen.
This time taken from the West. The Emigre  Hussars have been forced to retreat following the rout of one of their units (Damas Legion Hussars) had routed after clashing with the (totally fictitious for this theatre of war) Polish Legion cavalry. The Emigre brigade actually passed a Faltering test at the start of the turn and had been required to retreat to almost the edge of the table.
French foot artillery shooting up a herd of sheep. The bounce through is however hitting  the Emigre infantry off in the distance. 
The Emigre reserve, a brigade of heavy cavalry, manoeuvres in response to the threat of  enemy cavalry rolling up the flank of the main line of defence. The Uhlans Britanique can be seen getting ready to have a go at the enemy infantry advancing in the centre. 
The Republican left flank. Rather a lot of cavalry.
The Republicans ordered their former Ancien Regime regulars to assault the town. The combined grenadiers are successful in driving the Emigres of the Mirabeau Legion out of half of the town,  but with grievous casualties.
Outside the town the Republican assault overruns a company of Emigre artillery (DREADFUL dice scores from the Emigres) dispersing the gunners. A second assault was repulsed by a well placed volley from the Damas infantry. The loss of the artillery caused the Mirabeau Legion brigade to falter at the end of T4. 
Conde looks on as his troops start to waiver. Can they hold on? 

The regulars attacking the town.

The Battailon Anachronistique steps back to face the breakthrough. They’re actually the  Regiment Bachman from 1799 but they were needed to make up the numbers.
Republican artillery lining up their sights to fire at the pontoon bridge in the distance.
Well, that’s all for now as I won’t be playing any more turns until later this afternoon. Lots of unanswered questions. Will the faltering Emigres rally? Will the bridge be completed? Or will it be destroyed by enemy cannon fire?  Have the Austrians noticed the battle on the opposite bank? You, and I for that matter, will have to wait and see.

(No sheep or rabbits were harmed during the battle, so far anyway).


  1. As always a wonderful looking table and troops.

  2. Exciting stuff and I was concerned about the welfare of the sheep

  3. Great stuff and look forward to reading the full AAR.

  4. nice report Colin, keep it up!