SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
Welcome to our home on the Web! Well it's brighter and hopefully better than ever before - well it all works - which is better than before. Don't worry despite this new glossy professional feel we're still the same bunch of reprobates looking to play toy soldiers!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Battle of Hexham, 1745

Olie as Prince Charlie
The Government Lines
A 'what if' battle from the '45 Jacobite Rebellion. We re-fought this battle in October '12 and although we didn't have time to finish the whole game, it was clear that the Jacobite charge was spent and the remainder of the game turns would be the Government Army mopping up the remnants....

.... We used John's government forces and Mikey W's Jacobite figures for this bash and the scenario was moderated by Dave, who used the new 18th Century Principles of War rules.

We all enjoyed the game and decided to repeat it on 9/11/12 with a number of scenario changes :-
More Government Troops

Government Cavalry Brigade
Instead of running the game length ways down the table we'll run it width ways across the table - giving each side more room to manoeuvre.

Government Forces to be given Victory Points the encourage them to seize the Road Bridge near the Jacobite lines - preventing the Government forces just sitting and waiting for a Jacobite attack!

The Jacobite Cavalry Corps
The Lowland Brigade advances through Cow Pens 
Change the rules mechanism to allow for simultaneous movement and firing, in our opinion a fairer system.



Squabbling Barons - Leader Board


Latest promotions up the greasy social ladder that is “Squabbling Barons”.

Rupert (Sir Knight Gown) is promoted to Earl Abuse with 65 points
Mike Whiteford (Sir OverKnight) is promoted to Red Baron with 34 points
John (Sir Spicious of the order) stays the same as Duke Box with 118 points

The reason John has remained static is that the points he took from Mike were used to reduce Mikes ability to climb even further.  This was a new rule I bought in last year to stop allies from going too far too quickly.

The greasy pole stands as follows:

Summary
Total
Points
Nom de Quil
Standing at this time
118
Sir Spicious of the order (John)
Duke Box
68
Sir Ostrasize, cast thee out (Phil)
Count-a-Fit
65
Rupert
Earl a Buse
41
Sir Ron D'Ordye (Mike N)
Baron Knee
34
Mike W
Red Baron
34
Sir Loin de Porc (Dave)
Baron Desert


Thursday, 8 November 2012

The 4th battle of Worral Towers


Once again on the blood soaked fields of Worral Towers (Rupert really must get his man to wash the grass at some point) Knightly combat was fought with an unparalleled fervour of restraint between Sir Over Knight, Sir Knight Gown and Sir Spicious, and for those of you listening in black and white they were Mikey W, Rupert and John.

Mike and Rupert were the protagonists with John being the gun (or should it be Gonne) for hire.  Mike and Rup went a wooing and after failing to entice John by using illuminated manuscript showing him in compromising positions with a stag they resorted to the lowest trick in the book, MONEY!  With a shed load of the stuff borrowed from Shylock the Jewish money lender (Oy Vey my lovely boy!) Mike enticed John to join him leaving Rup to dig in next to a convenient river that had bubbled up from a magical spring dug by Elven princes clad in mithril.  Well actually that’s not quite true because they were in fact a group of navies from Rupert’s estate working on a new cesspit and the magical spring was a tonne of effluent disgorging itself from a blockage further up the pipeline.

Rupert had in his employ Beelzebub chuckles, the former guard slinger at the head of his peasant army.  In the preceding months since their stolid defence of the Toffee apple stall during the third battle of Worral towers Beelzebub and his peasant horde had come over all religious and set up their own sect.  The followers were legion and had proclaimed themselves as the monks of St. Atheist and the subjugation of the original Sinners.  These original Sinners weren’t as some people had thought, Adam and Eve, but the entire population of a small insignificant village not too far away from Handcross.  The story goes that the Dung family, renowned Cattle and Horse thieves, married into the Heap family from this very village.  For many years the Dung’s had terrorised the region around Handcross plundering stud and cattle farms alike.  It was during a particularly fruitful raid when their son in law, Cuthbert, was caught flirting with a particularly good-looking prize Bull that the concept of original sin was thrown out of the window along with the snake, the apple and the book of genesis.  His act was thought so appalling that Cuthbert was shunned from polite society and was made to go back to his village, which was known to be particularly rough and unruly.

Upon arriving back in Crawley the villagers couldn’t believe that Cuthbert had been stitched up and they were convinced that he would never have committed such a desperate act.  They went out of their way to prove his innocence and invited the people of Handcross to witness a beauty pageant where, so they said, they would behold a spectacle of such beauty and loveliness that Cuthbert’s guilt would be absolved.  Unbeknown to the people of Handcross this spectacle would not be one of wenches and handmaidens but one of cattle, sheep and other farmyard friends.  The people of Crawley would prove that Cuthbert couldn’t possibly fall for such an ugly looking Bull when his true love had so much more to offer.

After witnessing such a horrific spectacle the Kitten torturing Cardinal of Handcross and Staplefield called for a Crusade against the sinful village to cleanse it of these demonic beasts and their farmyard fancies.  Beelzebub quickly seized the gauntlet and after receiving the sacred standard of St. Atheist from the Bishop he set forth on his quest.  As will be remembered that Beelzebub sustained a minor injury during the first battle of Worral towers so receiving the banner without having the use of his long lost arms was quite a traumatic experience for the Bishop.  Not withstanding Beelzebub empathised and using his one gnarled tooth and diseased gums he plucked the standard from the bishops hands and spinning round held it aloft to his expectant followers.  After making an arousing speech, which no one could quite understand, the crowd cheered politely.  Beelzebub was very surprised how well it was received so when he asked if someone could take the standard for a moment whilst he nipped off to the loo he was at a loss as to why everyone just smiled and patted him on the back.

Back on the battlefield the Monks were in lather when they heard that the perpetrators of the original sin would be on the opposing side.  However, they chafed at the bit in agitation when they learnt that Rup planned to go on the defensive rather than attack and they could see their opportunity to purify Crawley slipping from their grasp.

Building a position akin to what in 700 years time would be called the Atlantic wall Rup awaited the onslaught from Mike and John.  From his right flank Johns Longbows peppered Rups own Longbows with a shower of sharp sticks to the point where they routed from the field.  Before their demise Rups Longbows had done enough damage to one of John units to force it to rout as well.  With a gap in Rups line as wide as the Grand canyon John now concentrated his firepower on the feudal levies behind, the only problem was that the sharp sticks were starting to run out so instead of a peppering, his archers gave the levies more of a salt and shake.

Whilst this was going on Mike had been steadily but surely worked his way up both of Rups flanks.  The right flank saw a band of mounted mercenary scum move forward and rout a unit of lowly futile levies before they themselves were pinned by some even lower Welsh Spearmen.  Seeing his chance Rup launched his Knights into the fray routing one of the mercenary units.  Further to the right Mikes other horde of mercenaries crashed into another unit of futile levies.  Swords and maces fell again and again as the knights mashed the levies unprotected flesh to a pulp.  Like a teenagers ripe spot erupting on the bathroom mirror the Knights exploded into the rear of Rupert’s army.  Resembling a pack of wolves on a feeding frenzy they looked around for yet more flesh to devour.

On the left flank the main bulk of Mikes army had been progressively eating up ground and as it swung onto what it thought was Rups soft underbelly it saw before it the Monks of St. Atheist.  Faltering, the army screeched to a halt, horses reared in panic, as each unit waited for the other to move forward.  Like a bunch of underage teenagers plucking up courage to buy a drink at the bar they all looked to the eldest and most experienced in the group, the Teutonic Knights!

Unaware that they were being watched some of the Knights had started slowly retiring from the field whilst the Grand Masters head was turned, others jostled for a position further to the rear.  Those that were in the Masters view looked straight ahead sweating under their great helms and pretending not to notice his instruction to attack.  Having witnessed what the Monks were capable of during the third battle of Worral towers, where they defiantly held their ground around the toffee apple stall against a unit of Feudal Knights, the Teutons were in no mood to mix it with Beelzebub and his gang.

Eventually they became aware that everyone was looking at them in aghast as they played out their cowardly act.  Not wanting to loose face those that had not already escaped the field bunched together trying to get a berth at the rear or further in the middle where they were less likely to come to grips with the monks.  Crossing them selves on their chests and saying as many Hail Mary’s as they could in the short time they had to live they advanced at a deafening walk moving as slow as honour demanded.

In the mean time the Monks had been looking at each other in disbelief.  Why wouldn’t the Knights close with them?  Some smelt under their armpits just in case they were too clean, others put their hands in front of their mouths and smelt their own breath, some asked others to smell their backsides, many passing out in the process, but nothing they did could pin point why the Knights were acting so strangely.  The leaders gathered round the sect’s banner, “Sable on a Toffee Apple Stall gules between three Toffee Apples Azure” to confer and see if they were in a position to charge the Knights themselves.  They deliberated long and hard, but just as they were about to make up their minds the Teutons advanced.

As they got closer the smell from the peasants grew stronger.  The horses couldn’t work out why their masters were making them move at such a slow pace, the smell was wonderful, so wonderful that it reminded them of a prize mare on heat.  The urge to get nearer grew stronger as the inches passed under their hooves.  They bucked and whinnied as their riders tried to hold them back, but it was no good.  Like greyhounds let loose from their traps the horses sped toward the aroma disregarding their master’s pleas to stop.

Unable to control their mounts the Knights clung on for dear life and prayed to mother Teresa to deliver them from the evil that was before them.  They could see the Monks leering at them in anticipation of the fun that was about to commence.  As the horses crashed in amongst the monks the stench was overwhelming.  Some knights just passed out on the spot whilst others were thrown clear of the fray.  The horses went wild bucking in ecstasy.  Some Knights watched in disbelief and their eyes watered as they witnessed a group of particularly excitable horses mount a group of fleeing Monks.  The clever horses pinned the monks to the ground licking them with their tongues until their clothes were ripped asunder.

As this was going on many of the Knights could hear the faint screams of the terrified monks and excited whinnies of the horses in the distance as they quit the field.  Many sought solace at the “Peasant stench recovery centre” having been overwhelmed by the whirlwind of putrid turbulence generated by the melee.  It wouldn’t be until 1915 that such a deadly gas would be used again and even by the standard of the day it was far milder than that used at the 4th battle of Worral towers.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Really tiny British Army Manoeuvers c1900

Recently played game basis Steve's research into early 20th Century British Army Manuals. Played using Principles of War rules and recreating doctrines of the time, a 'Red' force plays a 'Blue' force - both British Army over the rolling Sussex county-side....


Really tiny British soldiers!

Really tiny teerrain













All terrain hand made by Steve.

Battle of Arras, 1940

A game form John's occasional series of linked games covering the German invasion of France in 1940. This game was played over several nights an Mike's place.

British armour taking cover in the streets of a
small French town, awaiting the coming attack.

German artillery positions

German armour arrives on the table

More German armour

German armour pushes on

British Tommies in cover, in a field

Hurrah, more British Armour arrives

___________________________________________________
For the historically minded...
The Battle of Arras took place during the Battle of France, in the early stages of World War II. It was an Allied counter-attack against the flank of the German army, that took place near the town of Arras, in north-eastern France. The German forces were pushing north toward the channel coast, in order to entrap the Allied Forces that were advancing east into Belgium. The counter-attack at Arras was an Allied attempt to cut through the German spearhead and frustrate the German advance. Although the Allies initially made gains, they were repulsed by German forces and forced to withdraw to avoid encirclement.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Khartoum Campaign

From a few weeks back, photos of the Mahdist game played at Rupert's place. The Mahdists had laid a careful trap for the British Relief Column who were travelling south down the Nile to relive the besieged forces at Khartoum.
The Mahdists advance

15mm figures and a fantastic Riverboats model....

The last boat to Cairo
Mahdists confront the British



Sunday, 30 September 2012

Imperial Guard

Any excuse to post some more photos!

Here are some Imperial Guardsmen, depicted here so that Olly can figure out how to use them in an up and coming game.

I chose the basic grey colour, to facilitates quick and easy paining, and then a contrasting buff colour for webbing, packs and pouches etc.

Almost looks like they are on parade in an urban courtyard somewhere....
There are 4 Squads of 12 me, each lead by an NCO, with accompanied by a Heavy Weapons Specialist and a Communications man.
... but actually in a box folder - you knew that though!!






There is also an HQ squad with a variety of troop types ranging form further Heavy Weapons specialists to snipers and 3 x veteran guardsmen enhanced body armour.








Headquarters with Medic, snipers, communications and others...





...including three veteran guardsmen in  








Then there is the Auto-Cannon!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Off the Workbench


Newly painted Israeli Mechanised Infantry Battalion. Figures are 12mm Minifigs, M3 Half Tracks are 1/144 Takara.

Next on the workbench will be  an Eygptian  Armoured Brigade, using 1/144 'New Millenium Toys' models.

Note, I have based the M3s, as they are plastic and the wheels rotate, allowing for the galoots in the club, myself included, they will last longer based than unbased.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Monday, 13 August 2012

Battle of Borodino

Better late than never they say, here are some photos of Johns Battle of Borodino game we played earlier in the year

To the left an overview of the 14' x 6' table that we were able to set-up and use at Rupert's gaff, and leave in place for the 3 week game duration.

To the right another view of the table.




Left lines of Russian troops marching on to the table to support their hard pressed comrades.


Right, key moments of the game, on the Russian left flank, as three French divisions concentrate on one Russian division. The Russians fight a loosing battle as they await support from the Russian Guards Division, that started the game held in reserve



Left another view of the titanic initial struggle, that ultimately bled the Russians dry....


Finally to the right the vast open expanses of the Russian right flank where re-enforcements entering the table were blissfully unaware of the problems to their left!









Sunday, 12 August 2012

SAGA Saxons

Just off the workbench, Gripping Beast plastics, based on 2p pieces and MDF trays with appropriate holes cut for the bases.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Drummossie Moor – April 16, 1746



"What cutting and slicing there was" - Donald McKay of Acomnie

The Armies and their dispositions…

On 16 April 1746, an army under Prince Charles Stuart met an army of his cousin, William, Duke of Cumberland, on a moor outside Inverness. The last battle fought on British mainland soil was not, as is commonly understood, between the English and the Scots, but between the British government and Jacobite rebels. More Scots fought on the government side than fought for the 'romantic' Stuart cause. The battle proved rather one sided as the experience government troops out-thought and out-fought the tired Highland clansmen.

To make the re-fight of the battle a little more interesting each side has a number of options laid out in it’s briefing, these relate to a number of plausible what-ifs that have been well documented over the years.

Orders of Battle:

The Jacobites
Hanovarians
Front Rank:
1.   Atholl Brigade
2.   Cameron of Locheil
3.   Appin Stewarts
4.   Frasers
5.   Lady McIntosh’s Regiment
6.   Farquarsons
7.   McLeans & McLachlans
8.   John Roy Stuart’s Regiment
9.   Clan Ranald McDonalds
10. McDonalds of Keppoch
11. Glengarry McDonalds

2nd Rank:
1.   Fitzjames’ Irish Horse
2.   Gordons
3.   Ogilvey’s Regiment
4.   Drummond’s Royal Ecossais
5.   Irish Piquets
6.   Glenbucket Regiment
7.   Prince Charles’ HQ
8.   Strathallen’s Horse Guards
9.   Kilmarnock’s Horse
Front Rank:
1.   Barrell’s 4th Foot
2.   Munro’s 37th Foot
3.   Campbell’s 21st foot
4.   Price’s 14th Foot
5.   Cholmondeley’s 34th Foot
6.   St. Clair’s 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Foot
7.   Pulteney’s 13th Foot
8.   Cobham’s 10th Dragoons
9.   Kingston’s 10th Horse

2nd Rank:
1.   Sempill’s 25th Foot
2.   Bligh’s 20th Foot
3.   Ligonier’s 59th Foot
4.   Fleming’s 36th Foot
5.   Howard’s 3rd Foot
6.   Battereau’s 62nd Foot

3rd Rank:
1.    Blakeney’s 27th Foot
2.    Duke of Cumberland’s HQ
3.   Coehorn Mortars
4.   Kerr’s 11th Dragoons

Flank:
1.   Wolfe’s 8th Foot
2.   Argyll & Campbell  Militias

Jacobite Officers
Hanovarian Officers
Name
Rating
Name
Rating
Prince Charles Stuart C-in-C
Colonel O’Sullivan 2-in-C

Front Rank (Right/Center/Left):
Lord George Murray
Lord John Drummond
Duke of Perth, James Drummond

2nd Rank: (Right/Left):
Lt.Col Walter Stapleton
Lord Louis Drummond

Plus One
Minus One


Plus One
Neutral
Neutral


Neutral
Neutral
Duke of Cumberland C-in-C

Front Rank:
Earl of Abermarle –

2nd Rank:
Maj-General John Husk

3rd  Rank:
Maj-General Mordaunt 

Plus One


Neutral


Neutral


Neutral


Jacobite Options

The Jacobite forces start the game with 25 Points in the bank, this is added to basis the results of the random event generator!

Points can be spent as follows:

1 point per additional Rebel Infantry Stand brought onto the field, upto max of 20.
2 points to demolish 6” of enclosure walls.
2 points per gun to convert Artillery Scratch crews to French Regulars.
2 points per additional Royal Ecossais, upto a max of 3 additional stands.
5 points to place the McDonald regiments on the right of the line, requires Murray to be 2-in-C
10 points to use Lord George Murray as 2-in-C instead of Col. O’Sullivan.

Additional Rebel Stands
To represent that fact that much of the Jacobite army was in disarray after the abortive night march on Nairn with it’s exhausted troops returning to their billets at about 6 o’clock in the morning. During the morning of the battle troops that had rested returned to the field in dribs and drabs.

Each turn throw 1d6, that number of stands may be added to any deployed Jacobite unit on the field.

Restrictions:

  1. No more stands than the total paid for may be returned to the field.
  2. No Jacobite unit may contain more than 6 stands maximum.
  3. Once battle commences (i.e. Jacobite move forward) no new stands may be added to any deployed unit.
Demolish Enclosure Walls
It was widely assumed that the Jacobite army would have demolished the enclosure walls that restricted their flank movement, preventing them from attempting to outflank the Hanoverian lines. (In fact Lord George Murray requested permission to do this from the prince but was refused).

For each 2 points spent 15cm of wall can be demolished.

Restrictions:

  1. All stretches of wall to be demolished must be done so prior to start of first Jacobite movement phase.
Convert Artillery Scratch Crews to French Crews
The Jacobite army contained a number of trained French Artillery crews to serve it’s guns, one such crew arrived late on the field of battle. Other crews had billeted in Inverness after the night march and did not make it back to the battlefield in time.

For each 2 points an additional gun can be converted to have French crews, throw 1d6 to determine the number of crews that arrive on the field, starting turn, each time a 5 or 6 is thrown a French crew arrives and immediately replaces the existing scratch crew.

Restrictions:

  1. No more crews than the total paid for may be returned to the field.
  2. Once battle commences (i.e. Jacobite move forward) no new stands may be added to any deployed unit.
Additional Royal Ecossais Stands
The Royal Ecossais were garrisoned at Ruthven barracks, but had been requested to meet with the army at Drummossie Moor, however, they failed to reach the battlefield in time.

Each turn throw 1d6, on a throw of 5 or 6 the paid for number of Royal Ecossais stands arrive immediately and join their companions.

Restrictions:

  1.  Once battle commences (i.e. Jacobite move forward) no new stands may be added to any deployed unit.


McDonalds Stand on the right of the line.
The McDonalds believed that that had earned the honour to stand on the right of the battleline, at Colluden O’Sullivan ordered that they were should be deployed on the left and felt slighted by this positioning.

If this option is selected then the McDonalds are restored to what they believe is their rightful position on the right of the line, all other units move to the left accordingly.

If placed on the left of the line the McDonalds will have a -1 dice adjustment when receiving orders through-out the game, if on the right then they have no such penalty.

Restrictions:

  1. If this option is selected then the McDonalds must be deployed on the right of the line prior to first Jacobite move of the game.
  2. To select this option then the Jacobites must also select to have Lord George Murray as 2-in-C.
Lord George Murray as 2-in-C
Lord George Murray, although deeply flawed,  was the best military mind in the Jacobite Officer Corps, he understood what the Jacobite troops could do and how they should be handled. However, he had only ever held junior rank in his prior military carer.

After the failure of the night march on Nairn, Prince Charles preferred to take the council of Colonel Cornelius O’Sullivan, an Irishman in French service, who though an excellent organiser, was used to dealing with regular troops and not the strong willed highland clansmen.

If this option is selected then the Murray retains his position as trusted advisor to Prince Charles, Colonel O’Sullivan is dropped from the list of available Jacobite Officers. The Jacobite Front line will then be split between the Drummond brothers, Murray will operate at his published Plus One command bonus.

If option is not taken then Murray will operate at a Neutral command bonus level, commanding the right flank of the Jacobite front line.

Hanovarian Options

The Hanoverian forces start the game with 25 Points in the bank, this is added to basis the results of the random event generator!

Points can be spent as follows:

1 point per stand to increase regular infantry battalion Strength from 3 to 4, to represent increased training. (e.g. A battalion of 4 stands costs 4 points, all stands mush have same strength).
2 points per additional Infantry Stand added to the 3 stand battalions to make them upto 4 stands each.
3 points per additional Horse/Dragoon Stand added to the 3 stand battalions to make them upto 4 stands each.
3 points to position a 6” wide broken ground / boggy ground template 12” from your front rank, to reflect the Hanoverian’s better choice of ground to fight over.
Increase Regular Strength from 3 to 4
To represent that fact that much of the Hanoverian army was given additional bayonet and musket training on how to deal with the Jacobite threat

Restrictions:

  1. All stands in the same unit must be increased to a strength level of 4, no unit may have a mixture of strength 3 and 4 stands.
  2. All units must be selected for training prior to the deployment of the army.
Increase number of stands in under-strength infantry units
To represent that a number of units were under-strength at Colluden but waiting for replacements from Aberdeen, the Hanoverian player has the option to bring these in early if desired.

Restrictions:

  1. No single unit ay have more than 4 stands.
  2. If unit is to be increased in strength from 3 to 4 then this has to be paid for for the additional stands separately.
Increase number of stands in under-strength horse / dragoon units
To represent that a number of units were under-strength at Colluden but waiting for replacements from Aberdeen, the Hanoverian player has the option to bring these in early if desired.

Restrictions:

  1. No single unit ay have more than 4 stands.
  2. If unit is to be increased in strength from 3 to 4 then this has to be paid for for the additional stands separately.
Boggy / Broken ground
Due to the speed at which the Hanoverian army approached Inverness, and poor scouting by the Jacobites, there was considerable areas of poor ground between the opposing armies that would impact the Jacobites’ ability to manoeuvre.

Restrictions:

  1. Each piece of boggy / broken ground must be placed working from the centre of the Jacobite line towards your right flank, only when this ground outflanks the Jacobite line can you place boggy / broken ground to the left of centre of the Jacobite line.
  2. All terrain pieces must be within contact with 10cm of their adjacent terrain piece.





Battle of Bothwell Brig' 1679

The Battle

The Covenanters established their camp on the south bank of the Clyde, north of Hamilton. The rebels numbered around 6,000 men but lacked discipline and were deeply divided by religious disagreements.
They had few competent commanders, being nominally led by Robert Hamilton of Preston, although his rigid stance against the ‘Indulged’ ministers only encouraged further division. The preacher Donald Cargill and William Cleland, the victor of Drumclog, were present, as were David Hackston of Rathillet and John Balfour of Kinloch, known as Burley, Hackston & Balfour were among the group who murdered Archbishop Sharp on 3 May.

The government army numbered around 5,000 regular troops and militia, and was commanded by James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, he was supported by John Graham of Claverhouse and Viscount Linlithgow.

The battle centred on a narrow bridge across the Clyde, the passage of which Monmouth was required to force in order to come at the Covenanters. Hackston led the defence of the bridge, but his men lacked artillery and ammunition, and were forced to withdraw after around an hour.
Once Monmouth's men were across the bridge, the Covenanters were quickly routed. Many fled into the parks of nearby Hamilton Palace, seat of Duchess Anne, who was sympathetic to the Presbyterian cause.

Around 600 Covenanters were killed, while some 1200 were taken prisoner. Government losses are not known, though they took heavy casualties forcing the bridge at the start of the battle.


The First Sikh War battles

by Dave Vallance

Here's a rough outline to the 4 battles of the first war..1845-1846

Mudki - 18th December 1845 
first battle, Sikhs under Lal Singh (remember him?)
bump into Sir Hugh Gough's advancing force (now known as the Army of the Sutlej) near the village of Mudki ..British win (huzzah!) and 3rd Light Dragoons win battle honour for charging down the Sikh gun lines





Ferozeshah - 21st - 22nd December 1845
  
Lal, having been given a bloody nose, retires to the village of Ferozeshah, where he digs in, throwing up earthworks around the village, in a horseshoe shape. He realises that his troops cannot manouevre in the open as at Mudki as well as the British, , so from now on the Sikhs develop the tactic of throwing up earthworks etc, with their heavy artillery well placed, and await the British attack..this tactic is now the norm for the remaining battles..a Sikh fortified defence attacked head on by the British and Sepoys.

Anyway, Sir Hugh Gough wants to attack straight away, but he is reined in by the Governor General, Sir, Henry Hardinge, who although acting as a subordinate. insists that Gough waits for another team to arrive, under Sir Charles Littler, who has been bottled up in the town of Ferozepore (not shah) which is on the River Sutlej, the border between us and the Sikhs, and to the north of Ferozeshah.

 Littler has been bottled up by another Sikh army, under their C in C, Tej Singh, but Littler manages to get out during the night and joins Gough.

Gough attacks on the 21st , wins with a Phyrric victory, drives the Sikhs out, but as the water in the village has been contaminated by the Sikhs, he is forced to retire to his start lines to get food, ammo, water etc.. during the night, the sneaky Sikhs retake Ferozeshah, and start bombarding the Brits again with their guns that the Brits hadnt spiked etc.

Gough, wants to attack during the night, but is again reined in by Hardinge (yes there is an 'e' at the end of his name, its not a typo)

The next morning, Gough attacks again and retakes Ferozeshah in a hard fought battle...we win again (another huzzah!!). however we are exhausted, thirsty, tired (having been shot at all night by the Sikh artillery) and down to our last rounds..when....Tej Singh's army turn up!! Oh crap, we are in deep shittings! 

Off we go again...the knackered Army of the Sutlej stand too, realising that they've got to fight again against a fresh Sikh army...however, Tej retreats when he sees British cavalry heading towards the flank....remember the plan to destroy the Khalsa from previous mails? Tej realised that he could beat the Army of the Sutlej, but the plan is to have the Khalsa beaten..."treachery, treachery", is the cry from the Sikh soldiery..The Brits and Sepoys breath a big sigh of relief.....now there comes a 'what if?' What would happen if Tej attacked?

Could this have led to a general Indian uprising?

Aliwal - 28th January 1846 - 'the battle without a mistake'
well we won't be doing this game!

Another Sikh force under a Ranjoor Singh was trying to cut off our supply lines and Gough sent Sir Harry Smith to stop him, which he did (shall we have another huzzah?) at the village of Aliwal.

16th Lancers charge and break a Sikh regular infantry square, another battle honour

 Sobraon - 10th February 1846

By now the Sikhs had retreated back to the River Sutlej, this was
their last stand..again earthworks on a semi circle, their rear on the river itself with a bridge of boats going across, artillery on far bank proving support..another frontal assault, Gough by now had some heavy seige guns which he used effectively, but when told they were running low on ammo, his famous quote of "thank god, at last I can get at them with the bayonet" came about here. Once the lines were breached, by cavalry no less, and help arrived, the Sikhs headed for the river , some swimming, some trying to cram across the bridge which collapsed...now it became a turkey shoot for the Brits..the Khalsa was effectively destoyed and the remainder surrendered..the First Sikh war was over...

All of these battles were hard fought affairs, the British being surprised and impressed by the unanticipated courage and determination of the Sikhs. Many British officers thought that Ferozeshah was ' a very desperate affair'.. the Sikhs actually claimed it as a victory. If it was a British victory, then it certainly wasnt a decisive one. General Gough also admired the martial qualities of the Sikhs . He one said "Never did a native army having so relatively slight an advantage in numbers fight a battle with the British in which the issue was so doubtful as at Ferozeshah"

Check out Dave's excellent Sikh Wars Introductory article <here>