One battalion of IR10 has sent the French gunners scurrying and in turn has itself been routed after an attempt at storming the building. The Austrian gunners are sheltering in a square of IR11 as it braces itself for a close range pounding from the horse artillery to its front. FML Ulm suffers a mortal wound whilst heroically encouraging his men, as casualties are mounting on both sides…
Across the river at Scharding the Austrian Uhlans of Klenaus’ division chase off the French skirmishers while infantry and cannon prepare to pour their fire onto the towns defenders.
The pressure builds on the French garrison in Scharding. A part of the town is set ablaze by the Austrian howitzers, the occupants break and are rounded up and sent to the rear as prisoners of war. Still, another French battalion stubbornly clings to the bridgehead…
The murderous close range musketry and cannister fire continues to thin ranks all around the chateau, the French situation seems desperate when suddenly across the stream they can see the eagles of another French division marching on the heights.
Merde! The farmhouse has fallen!
The French artillery unlimbers to empty a few saddles causing the Austrian cavalry to seek shelter on the reverse slope of the ridge, but still close enough to the advancing French columns to force the right-most into square. Meanwhile a fresh Austrian division has entered the fray, and the French are cut down in swathes in front of its guns!
Still the French come on through the firestorm, inspired by Marshall Lannes, and drive back the first Austrian line. One regiment of Austrian cavalry has been broken by musketry from the French squares.
Meanwhile the Austrians have been successful in clearing the French from the farm, with a jager battalion occupying the house at the far end of the orchard. At Scharding in the background the few surviving defenders fight on tenaciously, driving back an assault by the grenzers and delaying the Austrian attack further as they try to clear space to deploy for an assault on the bridge. The Austrian grenadiers can be seen arriving to the right of the village.
On the heights the initial French assault grinds to a halt as a second Austrian division moves up to reinforce the position. Then, French hopes are revived as finally the bands of the remainder of the corps are heard coming up the road, the footsore grognards picking up the pace on hearing the sounds of battle grow nearer. At the same time Liechtensteins’ troops have finally managed to drive the defenders from Scharding and the bridge, and the two Austrian formations link up with a cheer!
In the left foreground Austrian reserve units cross the bridge. Fresh French troops move into position to attack.
Looks of concentration (or is that consternation?) on the faces of the French commanders…..
….and in they go!
Quality vs. Quantity. What happened to all those Austrians? The terrible 57eme Ligne and the not-very-nice-at-all 10eme Legere make short work of their conscript opponents.
Whilst on the French left Austrian Grenadiers and Kuirassier return the favour!
Beginning of hour 11. The French hussars in the foreground have rallied and returned to the fray. The French division centre right moves to block the Austrians after a short rest. Leichtensteins’ advance guard (top left) has crossed the river after recovering from a hard morning fighting in the streets of Scharding. Fresh Austrian cavalry appear on the French right. The stage is set.
Austrian dragoons crash into the French right, scattering some battalions and forcing others into square. Austrian infantry pours across the stream to take advantage of the disorganised enemy.
With Austrian cavalry all over them and their artillery routed, the resolve of the French is shattered. What will Davout have to say to Lannes when he learns of the destruction of one of his vaunted X LEGION divisions?
Things that make you go hmmmm……