Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Battle of Akbarabad (Its not a trap!)

(On the outskirts of Akbarabad, Hindustan 1796. Summer) Ten years with the Regiment and Noel Boone is now a Major, promotion is slow in John Company's Army going by seniority, not merit! With the Peshwar Lancers rode his squadron in the dust of an Army on the move. Colonel Crenshaw commander of the Regiment trotted up and reigned in his stallion. "Mr. Boone, General Pennington informs us that a large force of Mughal infantry and cavalry are a few miles ahead of us over that line of hills. We will seek and engage." The Colonel pointed to the dull skyline composed of dusty scrub with small rolling hills.

Multiple regiments of Mughal Infantry in the opening moments of the Battle of Akbarabad. The Mughals had 7,928 men, while the East India Company Army had 2,189. (Amazing that computers can pull that off, give it ten years and we will have Armies of  fifty thousand on these war games!)

"We will maintain the Regiment on the left flank of our Army along with Garner's Horse & the 9th Horse. We will be first on the flank, next to our infantry. Good luck!" The Colonel headed to one of the other squadrons to see those officers in charge. Major Boone passed along the news to his Sargent, the Regiment broke out of column formation as the the whole East Indian Company army fanned out.

By late afternoon the Company army was deployed in a line. Calvary on both flanks, six regiments. Infantry in the middle, seven regiments of Sepoy and European muskets. Then on a low ridge three batteries of cannon.

The Sargent to his right said "By the look of that dust cloud that's quite a big mob we are looking to caper with!" Major Boone laughed, "indeed Joseph we finally earn our pay, been ten years since the Dutch War in Ceylon." Then with a stern expression Boone said "keep the line dressed and watch the new recruits." Sargent Joseph saluted. "Yes Sir!"

To his right Boone could see British cannon batteries opening up and continuously fired upon the advancing Mughal Army. The fire was effective with cannon shot after shot screaming through the ranks of Mughals. Sheets of blood, smoke and dust signified each time a shell went home, but onward toward the Brits marched the Mughal Infantry.

East India Company Infantry and Mughal infantry regiments traded musket fire. The action was inconclusive, then on both flanks charged forth Mughal cavalary.

Sargent Joseph said "They are catching hell over there." as camel Calvary charged into British infantry, which was now in square. The Mughal cavalry hacked and fought, but did not break any Company infantry regiments.

Charge of the Left Flank Calvary Regiments! Mughal infantry and cavalry can be seen receiving the charge but mainly breaking and running. The East India Company's regiments Peshawar Lancers, Garners Horse and the 9th Royal Deccan Horse are all in the picture.

Colonel Crenshaw then shouted "Lancers forward, charge!"

Major Boone kicked his horse forward, around him three Regiments of Cavalry walked forward. "Wheel right!" The large formation turned then cantered and finally galloped into the Mughals Cavalry and infantry. Quick brutal fighting, the weight of the Brit charge made itself felt and multiple enemy formations broke and ran. "Its a route!" yelled a Lancer. Into the mob, spearing the terrified fleeing foe rode Boone and his squadron. To his far right Boone saw the other flank of Company Calvary charging in on the Mughals. Victory was complete with the foe flanked and surrounded. Thousands of Mughals died on the field.

Note: The Mughals while having a very large force,  fielded very low quality units, most were garrison type units. Most of these battles I detailed have other actions that take place with multiple stacks of enemy armies maneuvering on the campaign map. I treat most of the smaller battles as rear guard skirmishes and such...counting them as part of the bigger battle.


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