056. The Battle of Rivoli - JTS Campaign Marengo
056. The Battle of RivoliBy Bill Peters
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|First Side:||French (Nap)|
|Second Side:||Allies (Nap)|
14 January 1797 - Historical - Intended to be played Head to Head - Player Note: The French move first in the scenario - there is no Austrian move in the 1st turn - but the Allies/Austrians are the first player for victory purposes. The relief siege of Mantua was the main goal for the Austrian army for some time. In order to accomplish this they concocted a plan that would call on elements of their army already to the east of the city to move on the besieged citadel and tie down large numbers of Bonaparte's army. Meanwhile, Alvinczy and a newly rejuvenated force coming from the Tyrol would descend from the north and strike the few troops that the French had near Lake Garda and drive down onto the Adige plain thus completely outflanking the French line. Had this been done in Summer it may have succeeded but this was Winter and the mountains north of Rivoli and east of Lake Garda were cold and desolate of any fuel for the troops. The six columns that drove south had no idea of their mission. They were given geographical goals and orders to await the arrival of each flanking column. Thus Lusignan's 1st Kolonne, the right-most column moving down the mountain line found the going rough and he decided rather than see his men freeze to death that he would descend down to the lakeshore. This left the 2nd Kolonne under Lapthay without a clue as to how to proceed. 3rd Kolonne under Köblös made a strong attack on a moutain town (Ferrara) and without aid from 2nd Kolonne to their right were unable to hold it. Jourbert did retreat the following day (13th) and Bonaparte, already knowing of activity to the north, sent Massena off to reinforce his position. The Austrians surged (or is it blundered) forward in the cold and in a fatigued condition arrived on the plains of the Tosso. A rash attack by Köblös was thrown back and both sides settled down for the night. The following day found Lusignan south of Lumini in a position to march on the French left flank. Meanwhile, the 5th Kolonne was poised to hit the French right flank. The only obstacle was the 39th Demi-Brigade which along with the fortificaitons and steep ridge would give the Austrians a tough fight for the key position. Early attacks by the French to regain some lost ground brought on the beginning of the action and the Austrians in the S.Giovanni area began the assault around 6am. Joubert commanded the right flank with Berthier in the center and Massena on the left. The various Austrian columns would on their own initiative launch attacks throughout the day but never in concert to use their superior numbers. The Allied player will note that a complete column (the 6th under Vukassovich) is conveniently for the French completely out of the fight (other than artillery support) on the other side of the Adige. It is no wonder that Weyrouth, who drafted the Austrian plan, would later go on to be party to another faulty plan at a little village in Moravia called Austerlitz.