Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Battle of Arcole 1796, (The Battle Continues) Part Deux!

The story continues....


Third day

On 17 November, Alvinczi withdrew Hohenzollern to Caldiero, closer to his main body. Again, Provera held Belfiore while Mittrowsky defended Arcole. During the night, Bonaparte's engineers floated some pontoons into the Alpone where they built a bridge near its mouth. Augereau's division crossed the bridge and began fighting its way along the eastern dike. A French battalion and some cavalry also set out from Legnago and joined Augereau later in the day. Meanwhile, two of Masséna's demi-brigades led by BG Jean Robert attacked along the western dike.

By early afternoon, Masséna drubbed Provera near Belfiore again. Alvinczi recalled both Provera and Hohenzollern toward the east and began feeding some of the latter's troops into the combat at Arcole. There, the battle went back and forth all day. At 3 pm, a large column of Austrian reinforcements surged out of Arcole and drove back the troops under Robert. Augereau's men on the east bank saw this development and also fell back. By 4 pm, Augereau's rattled division pulled back across the pontoon bridge to the west bank.

Just when the day seemed lost, Masséna appeared with reinforcements from the western flank. With these, he ambushed the Austrians on the western dike and sent them reeling back toward Arcole. Heartened, Augereau's men recrossed to the east bank of the Alpone and renewed the fight. Masséna and Augereau finally battled their way into Arcole around 5 pm. A lieutenant and 25 Guides aided the final attack by riding into the Austrian rear area and blowing several bugles to create the impression of a large force. The French followed up their success by advancing north and threatening to block the main east-west highway. Alvinczi threw in Schübirz's brigade to hold off the French, and this allowed Provera's division to escape.

General Brians (Augereau's) reinforcements and guns come up the Eastern dyke!

My forces (Massena) quickly deploy along the dyke to relieve some of the pressure off of Augereau's forces. Although this was our plan so Augereau could build up for an attack. It also was probably my first mistake? My forces should of just continued to run up the dyke to Arcole!

A close up of the nasty Austrian & Croation lackies. The reverse slope technique will be utilized here to keep out of range (Effective being 200 yds, 8") and it provides medium cover.

Augereau's troops start coming up to form supporting battle lines.

A better view of the situation concerning the French Right Flank!

The troops keep streaming across the historical pontoon bridge that the French built for the battle!

The Austrians start to show their colors planning a counter attack!

Ibid, lol.

The supporting battle lines start forming!

A view from the Austrian perspective of the developing battle!

The situation develops!