Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Battle of Kagul, July 1770

The allied forces of the Khanate of Crimea and the Ottoman Empire consist of 35,000 Ottoman infantry and 35,000 Ottoman cavalry commanded by Grand Vizier Ivazzade Halil Pashaand. The Ottoman army is represented by 160 units. There are also about 70,000 Crimean Tartar cavalry, these start 10 miles off the battlefield.
The Russian First Army consists of 38000 men under the command of General Pyotr Rumyantsev. The Russian army is represented by 90 units.
In all there are over 2000 15mm figures.
The Ottoman players placed their camp and defence line, then both sides set up simultaneously with a screen across the table.

This picture shows Ottoman camp (centre left) with the heavy cavalry in the foreground. The Russians are on the right.

This picture shows the Ottoman light cavalry (centre right, with the levy infantry behind them. Their heavy cavalry is in the foreground with Sekhans in the rough ground. The line of chained guns is in the distance, with chevaux de frise in front and the camp behind. Kagul is in the foreground. The Russian squares can be plainly seen on the left.

A close up of the previous picture from behind the Ottoman position.

The Ottoman attack has begun. The light cavalry attack the outer most Russian square while the heavy cavalry move round the flank.

The Ottoman Spahi heavy cavalry on their right flank move to attack the Russian square. The Suvalieri cavalry on the left of the picture are reluctant to attack.

A view of this attack from the Russian position. Russian hussars can be seen in the foreground. The Russian gun line is in the centre exchanging ineffectual fire with the Ottoman guns in the background. Sekhans advance on the Jagers in the rough ground and the Suvalieri cavalry obey their orders at last.

Back to the Ottoman left flank. The Spahis have been delayed by the stream. The light cavalry continue to press their attack; these continous attacks are beginning to disorder the square. Meanwhile Russian dragoons and cuirassiers push some of them back and prevent others from penetrating between the squares. Some bashi-bazouks are about to charge the next Russian square from the broken ground.

The Russian square breaks, to the amazement of the Ottomans, the light cavalry pour in and Russians flee to the rear. In the foreground, the first bashi attack is driven back.

On the Ottoman right flank, the Russian horse grenadiers have moved up to support the beleagured square, diverting a number of Spahis. Meanwhile the Russian cuirassiers have swung wide round the square and are about to charge. At this point, the Tartar army began to arrive. Seeing the lines of cuirassiers between them and the Ottomans, they decided that looting the Russian baggage was the best course of action.

The Ottoman Suvalieri charge the gun line, overrunning one of the guns. The Russian square behind the gun line prevents any more guns being taken while the Russian hussars valiantly stop the Suvalieri from moving between the square and the rough ground. The jagers contiue to skirmish with the Sekhans.

On their left flank, most of the Ottoman light cavalry have been driven off by the dragoons, who are now about to attack the second line Ottoman levies.

The Russians begin their long delayed attack in the centre. The square advances against Ottoman guns backed by Janissaries. On the left, the next wave of light cavalry is entering the field.

As the battle nears its end, the cuirassiers sweep away the remnants of the Spahis.

At the end of the battle, as no attempt had been made to take the Ottoman camp, the battle was judged an Ottoman victory (particularly as the umpire was also an Ottoman player!). However as the Ottoman heavy cavalry on their right flank had been almost destroyed and those on the left flank appeared intent on joining the Tartars in raiding the Russian baggage, it was judged to be only a marginal victory.

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