Monday, August 7, 2017

What Happened At The Battle of Madras


THE BATTLE OF MADRAS

Date: 5-6 August, 1757 (2017)
Location: Southeast India, The Carnatic, Inland From The Port of Madras
Situation: The Battle
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Regime 1740-1763 known as BAR.
See oldregimerules.com for information about the rules.
                              
Cast 

Guru
Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy
Nawab Basmati
Colonel Armand l'Honneur

BEFORE THE BATTLE

Nawab Basmati,  have you baited the French General?

 I have my Guru. 

We saw how proudly he processed his army before us and now....

He has formed two battle lines on our left.
These will surely advance to engage the English any moment.

And?

As our plan prescribes, we will advance slowly so our allies have the honor to cast themselves first upon the English. This way we will better know if we should engage the foe --- or not.

Good. --- Very good. 
We will rid our world of both the Engleesch and French.


l'BATAILLE DE MADRAS, INDE

What have you to say?

Monsieur l'General, we beg to report....

The enemy is advancing toward us. --- Only us.

Andre, gallop to Basmati. Give him my compliments and my desire that his army should advance at once.

Victor, ride along the first line telling the Colonels to advance at ten of the clock. Have the battery give fire when practicable.

Oui Monsieur. Votre serviteurs.

FAR LEFT FLANK

Captain! Enemy hill tribe horsemen are galloping unhesitatingly in our direction! Even now they are clashing with our forward native screen --- pushing them back.

Return to your squadrons at once. Have them....

Draw sabers and charge!

I can't believe what has happened. 
My dragoons have been annihilated. 
Hold them chasseurs!

Captain! The enemy is going for the battery. 

Why doesn't Albanie fire! What is happening?

The crew was all cut down. The hill tribesmen were ecstatic.

But the foe overextended themselves in their jubilant triumphs. Just as they were about to take stock of their success, our own hill tribesmen reengaged and sent them reeling backwards. Perhaps there was a blood feud to resolve or simply the desire to have a good sword fight to redress the earlier humiliation.

Whatever it was, Battalion de Fischer restored the far left flank. The tide of enemy horsemen ebbed and thankfully returned from whence it had come. Still, it had been quite a shock.

THE CENTER

Batallion Albanie guarding the left of the Army's center.
Two battalions de Bussy are seen in the distance advancing toward the foe.

Late in the morning Basmati sent his green sashed musket men forward because....

The enemy beckoned, hurled insults and postured before them.

 The range between them shortened.

Basmati ordered reserves forward; swordsmen identified by their green sashes, his Household Guard musketeers clad in white and war elephants.

The critical moment of the battle had arrived.

Two battalions of French infantry came up on their left.
2 de Bussy in the upper left and Albanie in the lower right.

2 de Bussy would eventually rout the enemy archers.

However, Albanie retired because the French Left Flank by now was solely protected by Fischer's Battalion falling back under new pressure. Plus new enemy forces were en-route to turn Albanie's flank. Nothing could be done about it. Nothing.

THE RIGHT FLANK

Events just described took place to the upper left of next photos.
Here on the Right Flank Colonel Armand l'Honneur had his own concerns; guarding the army's line of communication and if necessary, retreat. 

Move your grey sashed musket men forward of the abandoned village. 
I will form behind you with my Sepoys.

After the abandoned village was to my immediate left, a horde of the enemy appeared.

En avant mes amis! (Advance my friends)

To my astonishment the enemy hillmen were replaced by a British regular battalion. We pressed the enemy because Basmati's forces had finally come forward. (The Green Sashes mentioned earlier are in the upper left of the photo.)

But....

Minutes later I noticed my French comrades and Basmati's forces begin to retire from the distant main battlefield. Only afterwards did I learn that our Left Flank was in grave jeopardy and therefore, the battle had been lost. My orders required protecting our way out. So I too ordered a withdrawal.


THE RETREAT

This way home Captain?

Oui Monsieur.

Survivors retreat along their line of communication back to Arcot.

Armand, I am delighted to see you again. No injuries?

None Monsieur l'General. I am unscathed thank God.

You have my unlimited thanks for preserving our way home.

What of the Nawab's men?

They retreated by a different route in some haste.

So we are on our own.

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CLOSING REMARKS

(1) Were all of the miniatures fielded germane to Seven Years' War India? No. They did not have to be. Only three were; British and French Sepoy battalions and the archers. The rest were Pathans and Indians we use on the Northwest Frontier. Regulars were actual European units; Fischer's Battalion for example. Two battalions of Grenadiers de France portrayed de Bussy's own men. Jim P., Der Alte Fritz, and I supplied units for the game.

(2) One remark at the game was this is so very different because of the multitude of native units present. Well, they should be numerous but again, don't have to be. 

(3) Photos do not reveal that some Pathans have 1890s rifles. No matter. We didn't notice or care. We use what we have. Close is good enough.

(4) Check out Indus Miniatures for all kinds of Indians suitable for the Seven Years' War. The company has offered a sizeable discount in October for several years.

(5) Six players. Thirteen turns.

(6) This is the 10th Anniversary of the publication of BAR. Hurrah!!! I have some copies left.

(7) Thank you sincerely for looking in. We gratefully welcome your thoughts below at the word Comments, if you please.


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5 comments:

  1. A gallant fight and great narrative. Perhaps if the Irish had been present...? Next time monsieur, we shall be avenged!

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  2. Some fantastic photography there, Bill! Looks like it was a truly great game.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  3. Thank you very much Michael and Stokes!
    I appreciate your remarks very much and moreover the time you invested to look at the story.
    Bill

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  4. Excellent report! My commiserations on the outcome. C'est la Jeu! Love mid 1700-mid 1800 India. Much more challenging than the more popular later period.

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  5. Aaah!!tough to beat Regular British infantry,,,and Fischers Hussars..typical.Great battle ..you'll gettem nexttime.

    ReplyDelete

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