Fontenoy - 11th May 1745

This scenario has been developed by Martin Soilleux-Cardwell.

Orders of Battle

The Pragmatic Army

  • C-in-C Duke of Cumberland AC
  • Commander of Hanoverian Contingent (Austrian) Marshal Koenigsegg CC
  • Commander of Dutch Army Prince Waldeck AC

Anglo-Hanoverian Wing, British Infantry Lt General Ligonier CC

'Corps' Troops

  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT

Right Wing Flank Guard Infantry, Maj Gen Churchill DC, Ex(60%)=3

  • Austrian Freikorps                                 M3 [s]
  • 42nd Foot                                          M6 [][] (Semphill's [Black Watch])/von Borschlangers)
  • 6pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Fld PT
  • 12th/13th Foot (Duroure's/Pulteney's)              M6 [][]
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT

First Line, Earl of Albemarle DC, Ex(60%)=7

  • Guards Brigade, right wing                         M6 [][] shock
  • Guards Brigade, left wing                          M6 [][] shock
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT
  • 1st/21st Foot (Royal Scots/Royal Scots Fuzileers)  M6 [][][]
  • 31st/8th Foot (Handasyde's/Onslow's)               M5 [][]
  • 25th/33rd/19th Foot                                M5 [][][] (Earl of Rothes'/Johnson's/Howard's [The Green Howards])
  • 8" Howitzer Battery                                M5 [] Hv How PT

Second Line, Maj Gen Campbell DC, Ex(60%)=6

  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT
  • 3rd/23rd Foot                                      M6 [][][] (Howard's [The Buff Howards aka The Buffs]/Royal Welch Fuzileers)
  • 32nd/11th Foot (Skelton's/Sowle's)                 M6 [][][]
  • 28th/34th Foot (Bragg's/Cholmondley's)             M5 [][]
  • 20th Foot (Bligh's)                                M5 [][]
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT

Third Line (Hanoverians) Lt Gen Ilten DC, Ex=3

  • Inf Regts Alt Zastrow, von Sporken                 M5 [][][] EFD,BG
  • Inf Regts von Oberg, Campen's                      M5 [][][] EFD,BG

British Cavalry, Lt Gen John Campbell CC

First Line Earl of Crawford DC, Ex(65%)=3

  • Earl of Rothes Dragoon Brigade                     M6 [][] Md (1st (Royal) Dgns, 2nd (Royal North British) Dgns)
  • Guard Cavalry Brigade                              M6 [][] Hv (3/Horse Gds, 4/(Scots) Horse Gds,2/Horse Grenadier Gds, Royal Horse Gds[Blues])

Second Line Maj Gen Hawley DC, Ex(60%)=3

  • Austrian Karolyi Hussars                           M4 [] Lt SKO
  • Onslow's Dragoon Brigade                           M6 [][] Md (3rd (King's Own) Dgns, 6th (Enniskilling) Dgns, 7th (Queen's) Dgns)
  • Dragoon Guards Brigade                             M6 [][] Hv (1st (King's) Dgn Gds, 7th (Ligonier's) Dgn Gds)

Hanoverian Cavalry Maj Gen Wood DC, Ex=2

  • Horse Brigade                                      M5 [][] Hv (Horse Regts Leib, von Montigny, d'Acerre, von Dachenhausen)
  • Dragoon Brigade                                    M5 [][] Md (Dgn Regts von Wendt, von der Busch)

Dutch-Austrian Wing

  • Prince Waldeck AC (commanding Dutch-Austrian Wing only)
  • Infantry Gen Cronstrom CC

Right Flank First Line Efferen DC, Ex=5

  • Brigade Efferen, Right Wing                        M5 [][][] shock (Inf Regts Marinen Grenadiers van Dorrh, Marinen Grenadiers van Rijssel)
  • Brigade Efferen, Left Wing                         M4 [][][] NE (Inf Regts Oranje-Vriesland, Waldeck (German))
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT
  • Brigade Sturler                                    M4 [][][][] NE (Inf Regts Salis (Swiss), Bentinck (German), Cronstrom(2))

Right Flank Second Line Burmania DC, Ex=5

  • Converged Grenadier Coys(2), Right Wing            M5 [][][] shock
  • Converged Grenadier Coys(2), Left Wing             M5 [][][] shock
  • Brigade Burmania                                   M4 [][][][] NE (Inf Regts Constant-Rebecque(2), Sturler(2)(both Swiss))

Left Flank First Line Salis DC, Ex=5

Brigade Salis

  • Inf Regt Garde et Voet(2)                          M5 [][][]
  • Inf Regts Zwitsersche Garde                        M5 [][] (Swiss Guards), Aylva)
  • Inf Regts Schaumberg-Lippe, Buddenbroek            M4 [][][] NE
  • Inf Regt Constant-Rebecque (Swiss)(1)              M4 [][] NE
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT
  • 3pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Lt PT

Left Flank Second Line Halket DC, Ex=3

Brigade Halket

  • Inf Regts van Smissaert (Walloon), Branckhorst     M4 [][][] NE
  • Inf Regts Oranje-Groningen, Broekhuysen            M4 [][] NE

Cavalry Prince of Hessen-Philipsthal CC

First Line Schagen DC, Ex=3

  • Brigade Schagen                                    M5 [][][] Hv (Horse Regts Garde-Dragoner, Carabiniers, Nassau-Overkirk, Hop, Sandonville, Buys)
  • Brigade Oyen                                       M5 [][] Hv (Horse Regts Rechteren-Overijssel, Ginken, Schaek, Lynden)

Second Line Schlippenbach DC, Ex=2

  • Brigade Schlippenbach                              M4 [][][] Md (Dragoner Regts Schlippenbach & Massau, Horse Regt Hessen-Homburg)

Reserve Artillery - treat as Infantry Corps Troops

  • 6pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Fld PT

Reserve Cavalry - treat as Cavalry Corps Troops

Brigade Coenders No DC, Ex=3

  • Brigade Coenders, Right Wing                       M5 [][] Hv
  • Brigade Coenders, Left Wing                        M5 [][] Hv
  • Austrian de Ligne Dragoons                         M5 [][] Md

 

The French

  • Marechal Comte Maurice de Saxe AC
  • Infantry Clermont-Gallernade CC

First Line, Left Wing Lutteaux DC, Ex=8

  • Grassins a Pied                                     M4 [s][s]
  • Grassins a Cheval                                   M4 [] Lt,SKO
  • Inf Regt Normandie, Left Wing(2)                    M5 [][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt Normandie, Rt Wing(2) & R. Corsican(1)     M5 [][][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt d'Eu(1)                                    M4 [] (BG) PT
  • Inf Regts Bulkeley(1), Dillon(1) & Berwick(1)       M5 [][][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regts Lally(1), Rooth(1) & Clare(1)             M5 [][][] EFD,PT

First Line, Centre Chabannes DC, Ex=7

  • Inf Regt d'Eu(1)                                    M4 [s] (BG) PT
  • Inf Regt Gardes Suisses(2)                          M6 [][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt Gardes Francais, Left Wing(2)              M6 [][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt Gardes Francais, Right Wing(2)             M6 [][] EFD,PT
  • 6 pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Fld PT
  • Inf Regt Courten(3)                                 M5 [][][] EFD,PT
  • 6 pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Fld PT
  • 6 pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Fld PT
  • Inf Regts Audettere(1) & d'Ouroy(3)                 M4 [][][][] EFD,PT

Fontenoy Vauguyon DC, Ex=3 [][][]

  • Inf Regt Dauphin, Left Wing(2)                      M5 [][] (BG) EFD,PT
  • Inf Regts Dauphin, Right Wing(2) & Beauvoisis(1)    M5 [][][] (BG) EFD,PT

Second Line, Centre d'Estrees DC, Ex=6

  • Inf Regt Royal de Vaisseaux(3)                      M5 [][][] EFD,PT
  • 4pdr Battery                                        M5 [] Lt PT
  • Inf Regts Hainault(1) & Royale, Left Wing(1)        M4 [][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regts Royal, Right Wing(2) & Soissonais(1)      M4 [][][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt Couronne(3)                                M5 [][][] EFD,PT

First Line, Right Wing Montagne DC, Ex=6

  • Inf Regt Diesbach(2)                                M5 [s][][] (BG) EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt Bethens(2)                                 M5 [s][][] (BG) EFD,PT
  • 4pdr Battery                                        M5 [] Lt PT
  • Inf Regt Crillon(3)                                 M4 [s][][] (BG) EFD,PT
  • Dismounted Dgn                                      M4 [s][s][s] EFD,PT (Regts Royaux(4), Mestre de Camp(4) & de Beaufremont(4))

Antoing La Marck DC, Ex=3

  • Inf Regt Piemont, Left Wing(2)                      M5 [][] (BG) EFD,PT
  • Inf Regt Piemont, Right Wing(2)                     M5 [][] (BG) EFD,PT
  • Inf Regts de la Marine(1) & Biron(1)                M4 [][] (BG) EFD,PT

Reserve, Left Wing Comte de Lowenthal DC, Ex=4

  • Inf Regt Touraine, Left Wing(2)                     M5 [][] EFD,PT
  • Inf Regts Touraine, Right Wing(1) & Nivernois(1)    M4 [][] EFD,PT
  • 4pdr Battery                                        M5 [] Lt PT
  • Inf Regt Auvergne(4)                                M5 [][][][] EFD,PT

Cavalry Clermont-Tonnerre CC

Reserve on Left Wing, du Chayla DC, Ex=4

  • Dragoon Regt Egmont(4)                              M5 [] Md
  • Horse Regts                                         M5 [][] Hv (Royal Roussillon(4) & Prince Camille(4))
  • Horse Regt Carabiniers(10)                          M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts                                         M6 [][][] Hv (Gendarmes de la Garde(1), Chevaux legers de la Garde(1), Mousquetiers(2), Grendiers a Cheval de la Garde(1) & Garde du Roi (or Gendarmerie)(8))

Right Wing, First Line Clermont-Prince DC, Ex=3

  • Horse Regts Royal Cravattes(4) & de Fiennes(3)      M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts Fitzjames (4) & Clermont-Prince(4)      M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts de Brancas(4) & Colonel-General(4)      M5 [][] Hv

Right Wing, Second Line Richelieu DC, Ex=3

  • Horse Regts du Roi(4) & Clermont-Tonnerre(4)        M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts Orleans(4) & Tallyrand(4)               M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts Egmont(4) & Les Cuirassiers(4)          M5 [][] Hv

Right Wing, Third Line Herouville DC, Ex=4

  • Horse Regts Berry(4) & Noailles(4)                  M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts Penthievre(4) & Pons(4)                 M5 [][] Hv
  • Horse Regts                                         M5 [][][] Hv (Brionne(4), Chabrillont(4) & Royal Etranger(4))

Artillery covering Antoing west of the Scheldt

  • 12pdr Battery                                       M5 [] Hv PT

 

Of unit and place names

This period generally was one of transition of language, especially the English language which was still taught phonetically, if it was taught at all. The name of a colonel could be spelled a number of ways, for example Skelten and Skelton or Durose and Duroure. The English spelling of French, Walloon and Dutch unit titles and place names were also open to variation. Additionally some texts on this battle were Dutch originals, translated to French then to English. For example I have come across four spellings for the Bois du Bary and three spellings for the town of Antoing. The names I have used in the Orders of Battle are those most frequently used or if several variations take equal precedence, that which I am most comfortable with for purely personal and predjudicial reasons.

Of numbers of men

The strengths of the two opposing armies are both reliably known at ~49,000 for the French and ~47,000 for the Allies, but for a total only. Without contemporary returns or parade states it is impossible to calculate individual unit strengths and the only means of measuring how many VB&G strength points to give each unit is to divide the total strength of the army by the known number of battalions and squadrons. This process ignores artillery personnel strengths and a host of other factors. If the strengths of units in the Orders of Battle look incongruous or is contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, the reason is as given above plus the obligatory merging or splitting of some units within a command to fit the VB&G system. I have however endeavoured to make the strengths of the various commands both consistent with history and maintain balance in respect of the military capabilities of a unit. I have, as usual, been ruthless in eliminating as many 1SP non-artillery units as possible.

Of artillery

The armies at Fontenoy, with one exception, did not use regimental artillery. There were a great number of light guns (3pdr and 4pdr) as opposed to field guns (6pdr and heavier) and so the bulk of the artillery of both sides is shown in the Orders of Battle as Light Batteries (1SP 4"/8" ranged stands).

The Allied Artillery:

Cumberland brought with him between 77 and 86 cannon, depending on which historian's research you believe. There are two compelling lists however, one in Skrine who gives 44 British pieces and the other in Colin who lists 34 Dutch guns.

  • British: 1 heavy 6pdr, 9 6pdrs, 4 8" howitzers, 27 3 pdrs and 3 1.5 pdrs.
  • Dutch: 6 6 pdrs, 4 howitzers (calibres not given) and 24 3 pdrs.
  • The Hanoverian infantry were the only units to employ regimental artillery, their 6 battalions having 8 3 pdrs allocated to them.

The several maps of the battle show a number of Allied artillery batteries, enough in fact to account for almost all the above mentioned ordnance. I have omitted the 3 British 1.5 pdr gallopers as being irrelevant and after the Hanoverian guns are 'lost' within their infantry stands we end up with 12 six gun battery stands, close enough for me to worry no further. I have taken a couple of liberties with the Allied artillery, in particular I've 'assembled' together 6 of the howitzers of the Allied armies into one heavy howitzer stand, their only heavy gun (4 British 8" howitzers and 2 of the 4 Dutch howitzers of unknown calibre). The Pragmatic Army's artillery for the wargame order of battle therefore comprises: British 1 6 pdr battery, 1 heavy howitzer battery, 5 3 pdr batteries. Dutch 1 6 pdr battery, 4 3 pdr batteries. Each of the 5 Hanoverian battalions of the third line has 2 3 pdr battalion guns.

The French Artillery:

Again various estimates of how many guns were present are given by a number of writers and these vary from 60 to 100 for the French. The suspiciously round figures for de Saxe's forces indicates to me that no-one has as yet uncovered the true number of guns present on the French side although we do have a number of contemporary plans of the battlefield which show artillery positions and documents which list details of at least some of the artillery units.

I have given the French 70 guns based on the following data:

  • Six 12 pounders emplaced on the west bank of the Scheldt and positioned to give enfilading fire to the defence of Antoing.
  • Twenty 4 pounders, allocated four to each redoubt (Colin lists four such guns in the d'Eu and Chambon redoubts that the British attacked and Waldeck's own account mentions a number of guns in each of the three redoubts between Fontenoy and Antoing).
  • Twelve 4 pounders in two batteries, one in Antoing and one in Fontenoy, shown on de Saxe's map.
  • Eight 4 pounders in front of Regt Vaisseaux in the second line.
  • Six 6 pounders placed in front of each of the following regiments: Garde Francais, Courten and Audetterre in the first line.
  • A number of guns with the infantry reserve. Neither the number of pieces nor their weight is known - I have given this command six 4 pounders.

Of troop dispositions

The locations of the French and British-Hanoverian forces are well documented. The positions of the Dutch while broadly known are not known in detail (we just have lists of units, the line in which they stood and a rather convoluted text from Waldeck of his troops' movements from the camp to the field in front of Fontenoy, which I gave up trying to make sense of due to the old fashioned language and paucity of landmarks). The two units of Austrian cavalry are known to have been either both with the Dutch reserve or split with the hussars on the Bois du Bary flank. The Austrian Freikorps infantry are known to have operated in the Bois du Bary. I have split the Austrian cavalry, allocating the dragoon regt de Ligne to the Dutch reserve and the Karolyi Hussars to the far right of the second British cavalry line where it seems sensible to employ their scouting abilities, near the woods.

Those French infantry units with the (BG) designation indicate that they have Battalion GUns in the redoubt or Town block where they start the battle but if forced out of the town or redoubt the battalion guns are elininated. This seemed the best way of representing the many cannon placed inside Fontenoy, Antoing and the 5 redoubts. Note that several French units have [s] or [s][][] notations. The [s] elements are considered to be the redoubt garrisons.

Of Fortifications

Saxe built five redoubts, each of which was garrisoned by a battalion and (probably) four 4pdr guns. These were thrown up feverishly during the night before the battle only when it was known to which approach Cumberland had committed himself. They consisted of low breastworks surmounted by a palisade. I have classed them as hasty works. Between the Redoubt d'Eu which was sited on the north west corner of the Bois du Bary towards Fontenoy and the Chambon Redoubt, on the far side of the woods about 600 paces distant towards Gaurain was an abbatis which was held by the Irish brigade. I have classed this also as hasty works.

Both Fontenoy and Antoing were prepared for defence with a breastwork around the south and east perimeters of each village. Fontenoy (which before the battle would have a second town block south of the single block I have used in the game) had the southern part of the village burned to deny the attackers cover. The churchyard with it's stout four-foot high stone wall was the key to the defence of Fontenoy and it seems from accounts, that the destruction of the southern portion of the village was intended to clear a fire break or killing ground in front of the churchyard. While the Dutch launched two main attacks and one lesser one, all of which reached this bulwark, none got over it.

Antoing was described as the toughest part of the French defence, protected as it was by the 6 heavy guns to it's north-west and the marshy bank of the Scheldt. Furthermore the town had a castle mound atop which was a stone motte or tower inside a curtain wall.

I did consider making Fontenoy harder than normal to assault but decided against it since the Dutch, reckoned to be the least motivated element of the Pragmatic Army, managed to break into it three times. Antoing however seems a different class of place and so I have put in effect a specific rule that any unit charging the south-east perimeter of Antoing will roll one less attack dice than normal, in addition to all the other normal rules which favour the defence of a stone built town block.

Of Generals

All the Allied command stands in the game are the correct people, in their correct places. About half to two-thirds of the French ditto. A few French commanders were known but not where or what they commanded. I have slotted these in where there were gaps. A couple of French commands were left over with no suitable names to insert and so I 'stole' a couple of commanders from the Rocour order of battle (1746).

Of Victory conditions

The game starts at 8:00am and ends at dusk at the end of the 8:00pm turn for a total of 13 turns. The Allies have the burden of attack and move first. To win the Pragmatic army must break through to lift the siege of Tournai which is reached by the three roads which exit the French side of the table on the north to the east of the Scheldt. To break through the Allies will have to drive de Saxe's field army away and to achieve this they must exhaust 7 of the 11 French commands while maintaining 7 of their own 14 commands unexhausted. At the time of writing this I have yet to play the game. I expect it to be a very tough job for the Allies. I personally feel Cumberland took the wrong approach march and should have attacked de Saxe several miles away from the north east or east of Tournai, not here in the south-west.

Maps

Key:

  1. Fontenoy
  2. Antoing
  3. Vezon
  4. Hameau de Fontenoy
  5. Pierone
  6. part of Ramecroix & Gaurain
  7. Hameau de Bourgeon
  8. Mauberge
  9. Hameau de Notre Dame
  10. Hameau Guerone
  1. Chambon Redoubt
  2. Redoubt d'Eu

Key to deployment:

  1. Lutteaux
  2. Chabannes
  3. Vauguyon
  4. d'Estrees
  5. Montagne
  6. La Marck
  7. Lowenthal
  8. du Chayla
  9. Clermont-Prince
  10. Richelieu
  11. Herouville
  1. Churchill
  2. Albemarle
  3. Campbell
  4. Ilten
  5. Crawford
  6. Hawley
  7. Wood
  8. Efferen
  9. Burmania
  10. Salis
  11. Halket
  12. Schagen
  13. Schlippenbach

Note that all French units are listed in the Order of Battle from left to right within their respective commands. All Allied units are listed from right to left.

V&B Terrain Rules:

  • All streams are normal.
  • All woods are open.
  • All swampy ground denotes Marsh.
  • The 5 redoubts are classed as Hasty Works, as is the Abbatis between the two named redoubts.

 

Design Notes

I was concerned when I saw the map and realised it would be crowded, but I have done some measurements (along with some pretty ruthless converging of infantry units into one stand - a couple of the French regiments are 4SP) and they will fit - just. I am concerned about what will happen when guys start routing though!

Mind you the Allies have 13 turns to travel only 2.5 feet of table so they can take their time, which means losing half moves here and there to rally guys isn't a big deal time-wise.

The Allied commands are fragile though, and those M4 Dutch look a bit sad. I think the French will win but it looks like one of those games which will repay to play it a few times - I'm sure there is a winning Allied formula in there but I don't think an Allied team will find it first time around.

Perhaps a better game would be to use these forces but play on different terrain - the area more to the north east with the assumption Cumberland didn't make his circuituous approach march (he was worried about keeping his left wing closed up on a magazine at Mons). All I have to do now is find a 1740s map of the environs east north east of Tournai!


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