MD13 - Aspern-Essling - "La Grande Battle" (21 May 1809)
MD13 - Aspern-Essling - "La Grande Battle"
21 May 1809
Slowed by having only one bridge to cross, Napoleon had less than a third of his army across the Danube, when Charles attacked.
The Austrians were formed into five attack columns with the Grenadiers and the majority of the cavalry in reserve. The battle started with the attack by the first and second Austrian columns against Aspern. The French, under the command of Molitor, were already deployed in the village and repulsed the first attack, but the second attack briefly entered the town. French reinforcements were brought forward and a third attack was repulsed. By this time, some of the Austrian cavalry had moved forward and came under French artillery fire. The Austrian cavalry launched an attack to silence the French guns and was counter attacked, but the French cavalry was forced to retire when attacked by the Austrian lancers. By this time, the artillery of the third column was in position and was able to support another attack on the village. Napoleon, concerned the village might fall, ordered Marulaz to charge the Austrian guns. The guns, however, were supported by the Austrian infantry, which drew up in battalion masses and forced the French cavalry to retire. The battle for control of Aspern swung back and forth and at the end of the day, both Austrian and French infantry occupied the town.
In a series of uncoordinated attacks, the infantry of the Austrian fourth column could not take the granary, a massive bastion, and pulled back. D’Espagne’s French cavalry, returning from its unsuccessful attack against the guns of the Austrian third column, was ordered to reform and charged the Austrian fourth column as it retired. Again, the Austrian infantry reacted quickly and formed battalion masses, which prevented any French success. Austrian cavalry, then moved forward, and forced the French cavalry to withdraw. The fifth column, having the greatest distance to march, was now in position around 8:00 PM and launched its attack. Using both the granary and the Long Garden as key defensive positions, Lannes skillfully deployed and redeployed his outnumbered troops to these critical points to maintain control of the village against the Austrian pressure.
After this final attack of the day faltered, Rosenberg ordered his Austrians to retire and wait for the Grenadiers and the rest of the Austrian cavalry reserve to arrive.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Charles
• 5 Command Cards
• Move first
Austrian Corps Commanders
Right Center Left
Command 2 2 2
Tactician 2 3 2
• Commander: Napoleon
• 5 Command Cards
French Corps Commanders
Right Center Left
Command 3 3 3
Tactician 3 2 3
• The five town hexes (four town hexes plus the church hex) of Aspern form a temporary Group Majority Group Victory Banner Objective worth 3 banners to the side that occupies an absolute majority of the town hexes at the start of its turn (Temporary Majority Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The 3 town hexes of Essling form a Temporary Group Majority Group Victory Banner Objective worth 2 banners to the side that occupies an absolute majority of the town hexes at the start of its turn (Temporary Majority Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The Long Garden is a Temporary Victory Banner for the Austrian player worth one banner when occupied at the start of the turn (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The two side by side town hexes represent the Granary. A Granary has all the effects of a town, in addition, a unit, on a Granary hex may ignore one flag.
Tags: Banners: 21, Army: Austrian, Army: French, Special Rule: Granary, Special Rule: Temporary VB (Turn Start), Special Rule: Temporary Majority VB (Turn Start), Unofficial, Special Rule: "La Grande Battle"