>> Tuesday, 16 February 2010
The Russians deployed with a strong double line of infantry flanked on the left with Kuirassiers, dragoons and a regiment of Hussars. Most of that wings light cavalry, together with some dismounted Pandours deployed in the infantry line facing a steep hill.
On the right they deployed one regiment each of Kuirassiers, dragoons and Horse grenadiers. An additional regiment of dragoons lacking horses joined the infantry line. In front they deployed four regiments of Cossacks and Kalmuks, the field being most open on that flank.
The Prussians deployed in two lines of infantry as well, but the second line was less solid as several battalions were placed in support of their strong right wing cavalry.
On their left they placed two Kurassier regiments and a dragoon regiment, supported on their left by the Garde du Corps Kuirassiers.
The Prussians began a measured advance on their left but were countered by the Russian left wing cavalry. The Russians had correctly assumed that if they stayed in place the Prussian infantry would have driven them from the field. Instead, they launched attacks against the Prussian cavalry in a desperate battle of attrition.
On the Prussian left, they sent forward a battalion of frei korps skirmishers to harass the Russian cavalry.
In short order these fled before a ferocious Cossack attack. Seeing the Russians pushing round their flank the Prussian heavy cavalry moved forward to engage.
The Cossacks attempted to flank charge them as they manoeuvred, but one regiment of Cossacks were driven off by canister from the Prussian guns, and the regiment which charged the flank of the Garde du Corps was routed by them, despite the Prussians taking damage from supporting bow fire from the Kalmuks.
The Garde du Corps chased the routing Cossacks across the front of the Russian centre, but choosing to then attack a battery of Russian guns rather than rally back were destroyed by accurate Russian canister shot.
This flank then settled down to relative inactivity with the Prussian cavalry skirmishing with the Kalmuks, but feeling unable to attack the well placed Russian guns and foot.
On the Russian left, the Prussian numbers gradually wore down the Russian cavalry. Soon, they had forced the Russian cavalry from the field – but the Russians had prevented the wing from collapsing long enough to force a draw.
Neither sides center had engaged, the Russians because of the risk of exposing their flanks to the Prussian Kuirassiers and the Prussians because of the weakness of their center infantry. Neither side could realistically claim outright victory, both sides had taken losses, but neither side was crippled. However, what Frederick would feel about the loss of the Garde du Corps must be left to your imagination!
(Pictures by Lawrence and Richard)
(Figures mostly by Old Glory - Prussians, and Lancashire/Essex - Russians)