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"An about face charge" Topic


18 Posts

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Action Log

17 Sep 2019 9:38 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "A about face charge" to "An about face charge"
  • Changed starttime from
    17 Sep 2019 1:18 p.m. PST
    to
    17 Sep 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

Areas of Interest

Napoleonic

703 hits since 17 Sep 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

14Bore17 Sep 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

Odd things come up and while just a solo game still would like some historical background.
A cavalry battle the left flank regiment went threw the opponents like hot knife through butter passing up everything on their right. Now they are well past so can they turn about face and come back realising they would be in reverse order. Even if just manoeuvring not charging would come to the back of units previously on their right.

14Bore17 Sep 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

Odd things come up and while just a solo game still would like some historical background.
A cavalry battle the left flank regiment went threw the opponents like hot knife through butter passing up everything on their right. Now they are well past so can they turn about face and come back realising they would be in reverse order. Even if just manoeuvring not charging would come to the back of units previously on their right.

JimDuncanUK17 Sep 2019 1:45 p.m. PST

I don't see your problem.

HMS Exeter17 Sep 2019 2:35 p.m. PST

Assuming your preferred rules don't address this…
.
A unit of cavalry that had just done a full movement charge would have their mounts blown by the end. If they scattered their opponents they would have ridden down the fleeing enemy unless the charge was affirmatively checked.

The cav unit is in no condition to do much of anything right now. Odds are the cav would slow wheel to face the bypassed enemy, to maintain unit cohesion and breathe the mounts.

If these were unformed cav, however, they'd have likely wheeled as a mass after breaking their first opponent and ran their mounts out hitting a new enemy flank or rear.

Just my tuppence.

14Bore17 Sep 2019 2:40 p.m. PST

Empire does have penalty for a charge and I use them. But just turning around and maneuvering back will put them at a opponents 6 o'clock. They could come up behind and use carbine fire. ( they are Hussars)
Getting back to their lines is the priority.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 3:22 p.m. PST

Is there such a doctrine to wheel 180 per individual rider? I don't think so. I think they would have to pivot along one corner or another as a squadron.

14Bore17 Sep 2019 3:45 p.m. PST

They could turn into a column of squadrons

HMS Exeter17 Sep 2019 4:37 p.m. PST

If your opponent knows his trade, he'll have a (how does Empire put it, "unreliable battle cavalry") light or irregular cav unit in reserve that would make short work of scattering blown cavalry.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 1:03 a.m. PST

No problem with British cavalry of that era….(or indeed ECW)…no question of them turning back to once more confront their original target. Indeed the opponent's cavalry need not even seek them out. The British cavalry will ride on until totally blown and then attack them…

OK, like Wellington I do exaggerate and generalise, slightly, here.

4th Cuirassier18 Sep 2019 2:30 a.m. PST

Did cavalry not ordinarily return to their start point after a charge? British cavalry excepted obviously.

Garde de Paris18 Sep 2019 3:40 a.m. PST

Does anyone know how the great charge of French cavalry at Preussich Eylau was done? Allegedly, the ran over the Russian infantry (who actually dropped to the ground to allow the horses to jump over them), got into the rear, turned, and rode back. I've never seen any details in writing.

GdeP

C M DODSON18 Sep 2019 4:25 a.m. PST

In my rules, being formed as a unit is vital as the unit is penalised otherwise in morale and combat.

After a charge/ combat the unit will need to reform and regroup before attempting another manoeuvre.

However, once organised the prospect of attacking an exposed enemy flank or rear is cavalry heaven.

Best wishes,

Chris

14Bore18 Sep 2019 3:09 p.m. PST

My Silesian Hussars formed column and walked back to their lines, no other opponents in the area.

Mike the Analyst18 Sep 2019 3:39 p.m. PST

Flashman, as you say – not turn as individuals, the smallest body to turn is "by threes" that is three files.

Mike the Analyst18 Sep 2019 3:44 p.m. PST

14Bore, I believe it was considered a bad idea for units to have their sub-units in reversed order. This was known as "inversion". I have seen an example (I think in Balck -tactics) a unit ended up inverted after an attack and was defeated when counter attacked.

Mike the Analyst18 Sep 2019 3:56 p.m. PST

14Bore, assuming the unit is coherent then yes wheel each squadron to the right forming a column of squadron, right in front. Immediately wheel the lead squadron to the right and have the following squadrons ride forward and wheel to their right as they pass the end of the newly formed line to their right.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 4:38 a.m. PST

Cavalry in a 'stirrup-to-stirrup' formation would have difficulty trying to do an 'about face' like infantry, because a horse is much longer then it is wide. They'd really have to wheel about. Takes longer but they stay in good order.

Zhmodikov20 Sep 2019 10:38 a.m. PST

Garde de Paris wrote:


Does anyone know how the great charge of French cavalry at Preussich Eylau was done? Allegedly, the ran over the Russian infantry (who actually dropped to the ground to allow the horses to jump over them), got into the rear, turned, and rode back. I've never seen any details in writing.

The French cavalry were counterattacked by the Russian cavalry and forced to retreat in disorder.

Robert Wilson:


The efforts of the French cavalry had been equally unsuccessful; the Russian cavalry overwhelmed them…
A regiment of French cuirassiers had, during the storm, gained an interval in the Russian line between their center and left wing; but the Cossaques and some husssars, immediately as they were perceived, bore down upon them. The cuirassiers, apparently like men stupified by the magnitude of their own enterprise, and unprepared for success, rushed with a considerable detour, through the rear of the camp, and then turned towards the right of the Russian right wing, but their bodies successively tracked the course, and only eighteen escaped alive.

Wilson, R., Brief Remarks on the Character and Composition of the Russian Army and a Sketch of the Campaigns in Poland in the Years 1806 and 1807 , London, 1810, p. 103.

Duke Eugen von Württemberg, in 1807 he was an ADC to General Bennigsen, the C.-in-C. of the Russian army:


Even this assault of French masses, which left Eylau on the left, had failed completely. It is true that some French cavalry divisions penetrated the Russian infantry line, but hey were cut off behind them by the Russian cavalry of the left wing, under Galizin, who came quickly…

Württemberg, E. von, Memoiren des Herzogs Eugen von Württemberg, Frankfurt am Oder, 1862, T. 1, S. 169.

Under "Galizin" Württemberg means Lieutenant-General Dmitry Golitsyn.

See also memoirs of Russian officer Denis Davydov, in 1807 he was an ADC to General Bagration. There is an English edition:
Davidov D., In the Service of the Tsar against Napoleon, 1999.

See also the following modern books:
James R. Arnold, Ralph R. Reinertsen, Crisis in the Snows, 2007.
Frédéric Naulet, Eylau (8 février 1807), 2007.

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