Wednesday 2 September 2020

French Revolutionary Wars War campaign: Rearguard at Mouscron 18 September 1793

Another Saturday and another battle. This one will be taking place at the same campaign time as last week's game, only a couple of miles to the rear of where the Coalition  army was fighting. FML von Knobelsdorf and FZM von Kaunitz deployed two brigades each to cover the rear while they took on the fresh French Army of the Scarpe. This rearguard's presence is probably going to be enough to prevent the forces under Pichagru and Jourdan from attacking the rear of the main Coalition army.

 The timings are such that even the quickest possible victory for the French under Pichegru and Jourdan wouldn't arrive behind the Coalition main body before perhaps 4.30pm. As we know the Coalition forces had crushed the Army of the Scarpe and were in the process of mopping up and stuff.

So, we have four Coalition brigades under FML Prinz von Baden, two decent Prussian ones (one of six battalions including the Garde, and the other of hussars). The Austrian/Saxon/Ragamuffin corps sent a brigade of Bavarians (!) and their own reserve brigade which was a mix of Austrian regulars, Grenz, and Freikorps with the welcome addition of the army's reserve artillery. The sketch map shows the Coalition deployment. Prussian cavalry on the right, the Bavarians and the reserve artillery in the centre, Austrian reserve brigade to the left of the road with one battalion occupying the hamlet.  In reserve, not shown for obvious reasons, are the Prussian brigade, the best troops on the Coalition side by a country mile. The force is under the Command of FML Prinz zu Baden.

Pichegru and Jourdan (not sure who will be in command as there is some rivalry) have much of the Armee du Nord's cavalry, ten regiments of varying types and quality in five small brigades, and four brigades of infantry of which one is newly raised volunteers and  another of former regular battalions. Most of the French have been in action before and are understrength to varying degrees, especially among the cavalry. 

The Coalition rearguard have had ample time  to  prepare some rudimentary fieldworks for their artillery to shelter behind. The French commanders were given the option of either advancing straight ahead from the march (A) or taking time to deploy before beginning their attack (B). They chose the latter, although much of the cavalry moved to concentrate on their left.

All is set now for yet another crunch battle in the campaign, but you will have to wait until Saturday!

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