09 August, 2009

Battle of Wavre

The Prussian rearguard at Wavre is attacked by a much larger French force. Can it resist for long enough for Blücher to help Wellington defeat Napoleon at Waterloo?

The thick forests help funnel the French advances directly into Limale (second town from the left) and into Wavre (just off to the right of the photo).

Battle of Wavre

French columns advance on the bridges at Wavre.

French columns advance to Wavre

A second French column marches towards Bierge Mill, taking this small village will help to control the Wavre crossings.

Second French column marches towards Bierge Mill

The Prussian centre controls the crossing at Limale, but is able to reinforce either wing easily.

Prussian centre controls crossing at Limale

The French engage the Prussian garrison at Limale.

French engage garrison at Limale

French cross into Wavre, driving the garrison units back.

French cross at Wavre

French artillery overlook Limelette from the forests.

French artillery overlook Limelette

The Prussians counterattack at Wavre.

Prussian counterattack at Wavre

The French thrown back from Bierge Mill with severe losses, but in the distance the mass French crossing at Wavre can be seen.

French thrown back from Bierge Mill

The Prussian advance into Bierge Mill is outflanked.

Prussians in Bierge Mill outflanked

The French foothold in Wavre is secured.

French foothold in Wavre secured

The French cross at Limale once more, this time pushing the Prussians well back.

French cross at Limale

The Prussians retake control of Limale.

Prussians retake control of Limale

The French heavy battery moves into Wavre.

French heavy guns move into Wavre

French hussars catch Prussians in Wavre in the flank, decimate them and drive them back onto the ridge.

French hussars catch Prussians in Wavre

The French advance beyond Bierge Mill.

French advance beyond Bierge Mill

Stealing a march on the Prussians the French take Limale.

French take Limale

Prussians make a last defence of Wavre. A second infantry brigade is destroyed, and the general commanding is forced to take command of the artillery on the heights overlooking Wavre.

Prussians make last defence of Wavre

Long range fire from the French battery across the river gives French lancers the opportunity to destroy the Prussian battery at Limale.

French lancers destroy battery at Limale

More French lancers drive the screening Prussian cavalry away from Limale.

More French lancers drive Prussian cavalry away from Limale

Fierce cavalry battle outside Limelette, despite several charges, the outnumbered French hussars hold on until infantry can relieve them and garrison the town.

Fierce cavalry battle outside Limelette

The French hold onto Limelette.

French hold onto Limale

Last Prussian charge against French at Wavre bloodies the French but does not change the day's result.

Last Prussian charge against French at Wavre

Several French units were on their last legs, so despite the French winning well by 5-4 (the French break-point was 7) so a close battle.
Next, maybe Ligny?

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