Monday, September 26, 2011

Military Times 2011-10

Then, on the order, by platoon, the volleys crashed out along each battalions line. 'Down dropped the whole of the French front rank,' records Fortescue, 'blue coats, red coats, and white, before the storm. Nineteen officers and 600 men of the French and Swiss Guards fell at the first discharge; Regiment Courtin was crushed out of existence; Regiment Aubeterre, striving hard to stem the tide, was swept aside by a single imperious volley which laid half of its men on the ground.' And it continued. The first French line was shattered, and the British pushed forwards. But as fast as de Saxe hurled the regiments of his second line and his reserve into the redcoats' path, they too were shivered to fragments by volley-fire they could not match. Ligonier's attack had reached 300 yards into the French position before it was brought to a halt by a combination of stiffening resistance in front, relentless cannon fire on the flanks, and a succession of furious charges by the French cavalry.