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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Battle of the River Alma Part 2 - The assault of the Light Division

Lord Raglan decides to start the battle by ordering the Light Division forward to assault the Russian positions. In reality he then gallops off to a position close to Telegrah Hill and loses touch with the action. In my battle I keep him in the area of the village where he can command the assault. The Light Division begins to wade through the Alma river and British guns deploy on the home bank.

At first the Division advances in good order but soon they come under fire from Russian skirmishers and the more deadly batteries in the redoubts; the casualties start to mount. By the time they clear the river they have lost around 200 men. The rifles engage the Russian skirmishers and a brisk firefight ensues. The Russians are armed with rifled muskets and so they hold their own for a while.

By the third move the Light Division is in trouble. the Russian guns are pouring fire into the exposed ranks struggling up the slopes and the whole Division becomes unformed.

However some respite is gained as the Rifle Brigade beat off the Russian skirmishes, who with mounting losses move up the hill. The Light Division continues its advance against a hail of murderous fire, losing over 100 more casualties.

Soon the Rifle Brigade are in range of the Russian gunners in the Great Redoubt and the suppression from their Minie rifle fire briefly silences the guns. However, some Russian infantry move against the left flank of the Division and the gunners begin to man the guns once more.

Realizing that the Light Division is in peril, Lord Raglan issues orders for the 1st Division to advance in support. (In reality Lieutenant General Airey, Raglan's Quartermaster General, gave the order - as by now Raglan had no idea what was happening).

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