Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Campaign Game 6 - The Big Gun!
This is the background of the sixth of the seven scenarios of a skirmish campaign covering a Russian Invasion of the Colony of South Australia in 1879, in this action both sides are advancing on the same objective and both are determined to be successful;
Russians of the 141st Infantry Regiments 4th Company man their newly constructed redoubt on Hill 15 Thursday August 28...
The Big Gun
The East Siberian infantry rejoiced their victory over the Colonial South Australians after the capture of Hill 15 with resounding cheers but their celebrations and excitement were short lived as Staff Officer Captain Putin instructed them to down their weapons gather tools and fortify the high ground now in their possession.
While the soldiers toiled in blazing heat, naval personnel arrived from the fleet ships. These sailors were bringing up to the front one of the Imperial Russian Invasion forces secret weapons, a Gorloff gun. It was to be placed in a redoubt currently under construction on the hill. This entrenchments location ensured that the rapid-fire machinegun maximised the high grounds fields of fire. The crew and ammunition supplies for the gun were not deployed immediately they would arrive once work on the fortifications were completed. The highly trained crewmen and munitions for the Gorloff gun were as valuable as the weapon itself so their deployment was not treated lightly by the Russian Staff.
The work on Hill 15 continued into the night and fresh European Infantry replaced the East Siberians early in the morning of Thursday August 28. Captain Putin remained in charge of the position so oversaw the relief of his attack force with the season men of the 141st Infantry regiments 4th Company. These men quickly picked up where the Siberians had left off, the redoubt must be ready for daybreak!
As the sun set with bruised egos after their recent defeat the South Australians of the Unley and Norwood Volunteer Rifle Companies watched anxiously as the Russians moved their ‘rapid fire’ gun onto Bill’s Hill. Lieutenants Murray and Torrens were very concerned with the enemy’s progresses, they believed once the rapid-fire gun was entrenched on the heights above them it would be able to wreak havoc on much of the South Australians frontline that ran north to south in line with South Road. While the Officers considered their options a dashing Captain from Lieutenant-Colonel Downes staff arrived to write him a report for him on how the Russian attempt to capture the Hill had fared. It was Captain Darling. He was shocked to see the Russians in possession of the high ground and the dispirited defenders in their original dugouts. He discussed the situation with Murray and Torrens and quickly came to the same conclusion that the they had. He promptly ordered a counter attack had to be launched before the Russians completed fortifying the hilltop! Captain Darling was a man of action and seized the moment. His enthusiasm was contagious and morale of the militia was restored. Darling summoned reinforcements to help in the offensive and the nearby men from the Willunga Rifles eagerly rallied to his call to join with the surviving defenders of Bill’s Hill to form a storming party. The plan was laid out, while the Unley and Norwood Rifles would attack the hill from their South Road positions Darling himself would lead the Willunga Militia in a flanking movement to south of the Russians and take them in the flank, his keen eye has noticed a gully that would allow a discrete move to be carried through dead ground right under the invader’s eyes! The Willunga men would move off at 4:00am and the daring attack would commence some 15 minutes after daybreak. Pocket watches were synchronised and the Colonial Officers moved their troops to their jump off positions…
Thursday August 28, the sun rose with a special brilliance in the clear and bright blue sky to announce the new day. Now bathed in sunlight Hill 15 was still, the Russians having completed their work during the darkness and only a handful of sentries were now on duty. The sleepy peace of the morning was broken by whistles and shouts which roused the Russians. His eyes bleary Captain Putin was awakened by one of the guards and rushed to see what the ruckus he could hear was all about. Russian soldiers were running back and forth in confusion as Putin looked about keenly while coming to terms with the events that were unfolding. The Colonials had rallied surprisingly quickly Putin thought and he could see them advancing from the east as he squinted into the sun. What was more of a concern to him was more Redcoats could be seen approaching Hill 15 from the south west! Where on earth had these Devils come from? He cursed under his breath and immediately issued the order for the hilltop garrison to stand to arms but before he could give any specific commands to his subordinates a bullet struck him! Staff Officer Captain Putin was dead before he hit the ground moments later and command of the defenders fell to the section leaders...
The stage was set, leaderless and surprised the Russians of the 141st Infantry Regiments 4th Company have to come to grips with freshly enthused South Australian Militia lead by a tiger, Captain Darling!
Next Time, some terrain stuff building a redoubt and a new Sarissa building...