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Madonna dell'Olmo - 30th September 1744

A Volley & Bayonet scenario by Steve Darrell. Background The Franco-Spanish army attacking Piedmont was engaged in the siege of Cuneo (aka Coni). The first parallel was opened on September 12th and on the 16th the siege artillery began firing. The Piedmontese army was stationed at Saluzzo, hoping to be able to interrup the siege. The garrison of over 3,000 regulars plus militia was commanded by Leutrum, a general with a good reputation, but the attackers were making good progress by 25th September and a relief operation was becoming vital if the town were to be saved. The original plan for the Austro-Sardinians was to reconnoitre the Franco-Spanish position on September 29th and attack the following day. The reconnaisance was to coincide with an attack by Piedmontese militia on the Franco-Spanish magazines and hospitals at Borgo San Dalmazzo. However, the approach march from Saluzzo took a day longer than anticipated and it was impossible to communicate with the militia commander. This meant that the Bourbon army was undistracted when the militia attacked the 2 battalions protecting the Bourbon base and they were driven off with heavy loss. The Battle Charles Emanuel decided to carry on with as much of the plan as possible, conducting a reconnaisance on September 30th. However, the battle was opened by a premature attack by the Croats in the AustroSardinian army around noon. Charles Emanuel was unhappy about this but realised that it was too late to do anything but support the attack. He reinforced his left from his right, but the attack on the redoubt north of Madonna dell'Olmo was still beaten off by the Spanish. On the Bourbon left the French cavalry charged, but were beaten off. This flank did not favour cavalry : accounts differ, but there were either chevaux de frise used by the Austro-Sardinians or irrigation ditches which disorganised the French charge. In the centre the French artillery punished their opponents severely. This was followed up by an infantry attack which led to a long see-saw struggle. By late afternoon Charles Emanuel realised he had no hope of relieving Coni and organised a withdrawal. This was conducted well and there was no effective Bourbon pursuit. The Austro-Sardinians lost between 4,300 and 4,400 men. Depending on whom you believe, the Bourbons lost around 2,700 or 4,000. However, while the main battle raged, the Piedmontese had been able to remove the

badly wounded from the fortress and introduce reinforcements into it. In addition, the Bourbon siege works east of the Gesso had been effectively destroyed. Conti realised that Coni could now hold out until the winter snows. The Bourbon army raised the siege in mid-October. Notes The battle goes by a number of names, including Coni and Cuneo. I'm never sure of the correct name for Charles Emanuel's state at any given point in history : Sardinia, Piedmont or something else. I've used Sardinian and Piedmontese pretty indiscriminately, so I'll apologise now to any purists. The game starts at 1200 hrs, the Austro-Piedmontese moving first. The game ends at the end of the 1900 turn. The Austro-Piedmontese are trying to relieve Coni. Rather than try to specify victory conditions, I'd prefer to leave it to the players and the umpire to determine if they've done this. Map The map, intended as a 4 foot by 4 foot table, is here. North is in the top left, approximately. Part of the besieged town of Coni appears in the southern corner.

Orders of Battle

Franco-Spanish, AC Conti Right Wing: Corps, CC La Mina, Ex = 9 * IR Spanish [S] M5 [ ][ ] (Converged grenadiers and dismtd cav) * IR Spanish [S] M5 [ ][ ] (Converged grenadiers and dismtd cav) * IR Cordoba [S] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Jung-Reding : Asturias [S] M5 [ ][ ] * IR Saboya : (part) Victoria [S] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Toledo : (part) Victoria [S] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Lyonnais (right) [F] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Lyonnais (left) : Beauce [F] M4 [ ][ ][ ] * Pavia [S] : Frisia [S] : Languedoc [F] M5 [ ][ ] MC * Artillery 1 M5 [ ][ ] PT, Light * Artillery 2 M5 [ ][ ] PT, Field Left Wing: Division, DC Chevert, Ex = 8 * IR Poitou [F] M4 [ ][ ][ ] * IR Flandres : Foix M4 [ ][ ] * Artillery 3 M5 [ ][ ] PT, Field * Converged Heavy Cavalry [S] M5 [ ][ ][ ] HC (Guardias de Corps, Prin. de Montesa, Dragoon de la Reina) * Commissaire-General : Chabot [F] M5 [ ][ ] HC * Conti : Royal Piemont [F] M5 [ ][ ] HC * Quercy [F] Inf. Skirmisher M4 [ ] Sko * Isle de France [F] Inf. Skirmisher M4 [ ] Sko * Anjou [F] M4 [ ][ ] * Artillery 4 M4 [ ] PT, Field, Battery 2nd Line: Division, DC Campo Santo, Ex = 6 * IR Grenada : Iberia [S] M5 [ ][ ] * IR Navarra [S] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Mallorca [S] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Conti : Stainville [F] M4 [ ][ ][ ] * IR Gardes Lorraines : Vivarais [F] M4 [ ][ ] * Principe : Numancia [S] M5 [ ][ ] MC Austro-Sardinians, AC Carl Emanuel III

Army Troops * Hussars * Infantry Picquets * IR Pallavicini [A] * IR Grenadiers * Artillery 1 Left Wing: Division, DC Ducker, Ex = 3 * Grenadiers * Warasdiner Croats [A] * Inf. Skirmisher * Inf. Skirmisher 1st Line: Division, DC Marquis d'Aix, Ex = 8 * IR Guard [P] * IR King's : Fusiliers [P] * IR Monferrat : Pinerolo [P] * IR Guibert [P] * IR Reydt : Schulenberg [P] * IR Savoy [P] * IR Grenadiers * Artillery 2 * Artillery 3 2nd Line - Foot: Division, DC Pallavicini Ex = 8 * IR Piedmont [P] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Baden-Durlach : Lombardy : Turin [P] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Kalbermatten [P] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Clerici [P] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Andibert [P] M4 [ ][ ] * IR Nizza : Casale [P] M4 [ ][ ] * Saluzzo [P] M4 [ ][ ] * Tarantasia [P] M4 [ ][ ] M5 [ ][ ] M5 [ ][ ][ ] M4 [ ][ ] M4 [ ][ ] M4 [ ][ ][ ] M4 [ ][ ] M6 [ ][ ] Shock M5 [ ][ ] PT, Field M5 [ ][ ] PT, Field M6 [ ][ ] Shock M5 [ ] Sko M5 [ ] Sko M5 [ ] Sko M4 [ ] Cav. Skirmisher M4 [ ] Sko M4 [ ][ ] M6 [ ][ ] Shock M5 [ ][ ] PT, Field

2nd Line - Horse: Division, DC della Manta, Ex = 3 * Converged Heavies HC [P] * Piemont : King's MC [P] * Altessa : Queens's MC [P] Notes Austrian and Piedmontese foot units have battalion guns. French and Spanish foot units don't. To be honest I don't know if this is accurate, but the Spanish at least tended to be very short of guns and given how much battery artillery is present giving the AustroSardinians battalion guns gives a more likely looking ratio of guns for the two sides, and also helps balance the game given the Austro-Sardinians have a tough task. Nationality is denoted as follows, where I've been able to determine it (though I wouldn't guarantee all of them). [S] Spanish [F] French [P] Piedmontese [A] Austrian The names of the Franco-Spanish commanders are conjectural in that I don't know who commanded which part of the army, though all were present with the army during the campaign. Conti and la Mina were the commanders of the French and Spanish respectively, though Conti was I believe in overall charge. The Spanish M5 units in Madonna dell'Olmo may have been largely grenadiers. According to Wilkinson there were 4 battalions of unspecified type; according to Maurizio Bragaglia there were 3 battalions of grenadiers and 3 squadrons of dismounted dragoons and hussars. The rating is a bit of a guess. All Austro-Sardinian linear stands have chevaux de frise. These have the following effects : 1. Stationary foot get a +1 morale bonus if behind them when attacked by cavalry. 2. Hits from cavalry attacking across chevaux de frise are subject to a saving roll. 3. Chevaux de frise take 1/2 move to set up and 1/2 move to remove. If anyone has any better ideas, let me know. I went with this option rather than disordering terrain to protect the Austro-Sardinian foot as it seemed more likely to give an interesting game. As mentioned in the notes on the battle, you could use ditches in front of the Austro-Sardinian deployment instead (or as well). Deployment M5 [ ][ ] M5 [ ][ ] M5 [ ][ ]

Franco-Spanish Right Wing: The two M5 "Spanish" regiments are in Madonna dell'Olmo. The light arty. bttn. is in the redoubt in front of the town. The other infantry except Cordoba are between Madonna dell'Olmo and Picca Pietra, the French being nearer the latter. The field arty. bttn. should deploy with the French. The line should angle slightly to join the "tops" of the two towns. Cordoba and the dragoons should deploy behind the other troops, Cordoba behind Madonna dell'Olmo, the dragoons to Cordoba's left. Left Wing: Poitou and Flandres : Foix should deploy in Picca Pietra. The artillery battalion should deploy next to the town. Anjou deploys to the right of Tetto San Giacomo with the artillery battery. The cavalry deploy between these two bodies of infantry. 2nd Line: From right to left, the Spanish infantry deploy first, their rightmost unit behind the left of IR Cordoba. Then the dragoons deploy, then the French infantry. Austro-Sardinians Left Wing: This deploys in front of Madonna dell'Olmo and the redoubt, and within 4" of it. 1st Line: These deploy along the long straight section of road, starting at the bend in the road just north of Madonna dell'Olmo. The guns should not be deployed together. 2nd Line - Foot: These deploy behind the first line. 2nd Line - Horse: These deploy to the right of the 2nd line foot. Army Troops: The skirmishers deploy in and next to C. Rovero village. The other units deploy between the extreme right wings of the two main infantry lines. Numbers and Scales In order to make the units fit in the space and to reflect the historical weakness of the Spanish foot units (never more than 500 per bttn and often much lower) I've reduced the number of Spanish inf. units a little. It's possible the overall numbers I used are too high (though they're in both Chandler and Wilkinson). There is some disagreement about the number of Bourbon cavalry. Looking at Wilkinson's map would give them more cavalry units over on the left. I didn't give them these since while they had a cavalry superiority it was all that dominating; also the orbats as given reflect the overall numbers more easily. If you believe they should have more (but perhaps made little use of their numbers because their left wing cavalry was unable to deal with the terrain and/or the chevaux de frise) you might want to re-jig things to

increase their horse. The game could certainly be played in battalion scale, and you'd probably have to do this if you reduced the numbers much. This might make life easier in some ways - there'd be more than one arty. unit in the redoubt, which would allow the defence of it to look a bit more sensible. Sources 1. "The Defence of Piedmont 1742-1748" Spencer Wilkinson, 1927 Pallas Armata reprint, 1994. 2. "The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough" by David Chandler Spellmount Limited 1990 (reprint from 1976) 3. "The War of the Austrian Succession" by Reed Browning Alan Sutton Publishing 1994 4. Nafziger orbats 5. Information kindly provided by Maurizio Bragaglia on the Italian Wars Yahoo mailing list.