017. The Bridge at Lodi - JTS Campaign Marengo
017. The Bridge at LodiBy Bill Peters
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|First Side:||French (Nap)|
|Second Side:||Allies (Nap)|
10 May 1796 - Historical - Intended to be played Head to Head - With Bonaparte's forces moving swiftly on Lodi, the Austrian rearguard commander, Sebettendorf rushed his force quickly back onto the town looking to cross the river as quickly as possible and hold the French up as long as possible. They arrived at Lodi exhausted on the night of the 9th of May and then set up a rearguard in front of the town to slow up the French Advance Guard. Sebettendorf set up a defense on the north side of the river. He sent one brigade to the south to watch for a French crossing while other troops were sent off to the rear. The French Advance Guard easily took Lodi (the walls were only 10 feet high and thus the infantry were able to traverse them - in the scenario only infantry in column can cross wall hexsides). However, Massena was not up yet so Napoleon conducted a bombardment against the Austrian guns for several hours. He also sent his two cavalry forces up and down the Adda River in search of a crossing point. By 6pm, Massena's division had come up and Dupas' Carabiner battalion was allowed to lead the assault. Braving the fire the column reached the bridge and where hit by a charge of grapeshot. Momentarily stunned and repulsed they were cajoled into renewing the attack (probably in skirmish order) and used the bridge pilings to get across the Adda. They defeated the IR 39 battalion that held the barricade and pressed on to also defeat the Grenzers. With over 3,000 elite infantry charging his position, and the French cavalry crossing at the fords, Sebettendorf ordered a general retreat. His force fell back in good order on Fontana and beyond towards Crema but over 2000 men were captured during the engagement. Bonaparte's force had been heavily fatigued by the march and were in no condition to conduct a vigorous pursuit. Player Notes: To show some uncertainty on where the French forces will actually cross the river there are several crossing points on the Adda River. Beaumont's cavalry and Rusca's light infantry arrive "on map" to reflect their search for the fords. 2.