I’m facilitating another 18th century game set in northern Italy in 1732 on Saturday. Here’s the background to the engagement and some photos showing the starting positions of the armies. The battle follows on from the previous game. Click here
The next phase of 1st Ristorante War is about to begin. Following the drawn battle of Castello Monazana the Spanish and French armies pulled back and regrouped while the Waldo-Austrian army retired through Waldensia, retiring some ten leagues from the road across the mountains where they received reinforcements. The Waldensian army had been shattered and the Duke withdrew them from the war. Two weeks later and despite the lateness of the season, the now slightly stronger and better led French and Spanish army was able to move through the pass and encamped at its eastern side.
The Austrians were well aware of the presence of their enemy, yet had been caught on the back foot (Der Rückfuß) by the withdrawal of the Waldensian force. The Franco-Spanish commanders hope to take advantage of this and have come up with a plan to fall upon the Austrian rear while ‘demonstrating’ against their front. This involves a lengthy march around the flank of the Austrians under cover of early morning darkness and the ‘hilly’ terrain that would initially hide them from view of the Austrians.
Sadly for the Franco-Spanish army, the Austrians were aware of their movements and as dawn broke on 5 November 1732 they could see the long columns of the French and Spanish troops some distance away, marching around their left flank. FML Mercy ordered the bulk of the Austrian infantry to march towards the flank of the enemy columns while the cavalry marched faster to be in position to attack the head of the column. He left his most battered line battalions and most of the Austrian light troops to watch the French encampment.
|The Austrian cavalry facing the head of the Franco-Spanish column.|
|The Franco-Spanish cavalry|
|Four brigades of French and Spanish infantry|
|The view from the hill where the Prussian artillery and infantry are deployed.|
This scenario isn't all it seems of course........