Saturday, September 8, 2018

Usdau, East Prussia, August 1914

East Prussia, 27 August 1914, Action around Usdau. The opening words of this scenario from the scenario book 'All Fine Men', Shawn Taylor assisted by Robert Dunlop, for Great War Spearhead.

So, Andy, Jon and I, a Friday evening, two 20mm armies, and beer. The action sees a Regular German division attacking a Green Russian division.


The field of battle before deployment, the village of Usdau seen front left (three village sectors). The Russians will be deployed on the high ground on the left, the Germans attacking from the right.

Russians deployed, and the Germans advancing on the right

The German commander flank marched a regiment onto the open northern flank of the Russian position

The Russian forces defending Usdau, a Brigade of infantry supported by a regiment of 76mm artillery in three batteries

Usdau

Action opens between the Russian right flank Brigade in Usdau, and the flank marching German regiment. The German regiment is supported by a regiment of 77mm field guns

The German commander has also advanced a regiment frontally against Usdau. Meanwhile a third German regiment has advanced and captured the village of Meischutz at the top of the photo

Casualties mount early on for the German flanking regiment

The regiment advancing directly against Usdau comes under small arms and artillery fire too

At this stage the Russian commander commits his reserve Brigade, planned to enter the table behind Usdau

The volume of fire coming down on the Russians intensifies too

The action to the front of Usdau

The overall view of Usdau with the flanking force on the right

Casualties are mounting in Usdau

However casualties are also mounting for the flanking German regiment.

Usdau under fire

The frontal attack on Usdau now takes casualties

The flanking German regiment passes its first compulsory morale check

But the Russian defence around Usdau comes under increasingly heavy artillery fire from three regimens of German field artillery

Defenders in Usdau are being overwhelmed with fire 

The German frontal attack pushes up onto the high ground in front of Usdau

The German flanking regiment passes its second and last morale check.. the artillery keeps on firing

After repeated attempts, the German right flank regiment finally receives a change of orders and advances against the Russian left - but too late (this regiment failed 6 attempts at an order change.. Jon was not having a great night with the dice!!)

The frontal attack against Usdau has faltered - taken from behind the German lines

The German artillery (77mm field guns) had fought hard, but to no avail

The Russian reserve brigade massed behind Usdau
A fascinating battle. Jon genuinely had dreadful luck with the dice, evidenced by the inability to get his right flank moving, and also by the relatively low casualties that his artillery inflicted on the Russians. The Russians on the other hand seemed to have a charmed evening with the dice.

At this stage the attack was called off. The German division did not have sufficient strength to force the issue. Usdau would have to wait until the 'morrow to fall.

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