Sunday, 11 March 2018

Aughrim 1691 (Part 5): "Take the Hill and Break their Army Sir!"

The climax of the battle approached. The local Irish Skirmishers faced up against the "elite" Skirmishers of the Dutch Guards William III had brought with him from across the sea (see below):

The Irish lads to their credit "gave them hell" and many a Dutchwoman is now a widow as testament to their accurate marksmanship (see below):

The Dutch Guards however are no paper soldiers and responded to the "first volley" with stoic courage then returned a truly devastating fire back. Irishmen fell all around and acrid smoke filled the air. The Irish ranks were thinned (see below):

The thought of another round of devastating fire from the Dutch was too much for these brave Irish defenders. The Dutch were already the winners and seen actively loading their muskets for another fusillade. This battle had bloodied the Irish too much, too many officers fell and too many horrors confronted the raw lads. They simply broke and melted away (see below): 

The Irish right flank was now in peril as the Dutch and British Skirmishers outnumbered the remaining Irish defenders 2:1 and the local cannon battle was going against the Irish too (see below):

The Dutch and British cavalry were fixed on exploiting any chance of a breakthrough, tying down the Irish remaining "good regiments of horse" (see below):

This turn of events however was eclipsed by the action in the centre. The full weight of the Dutch and British infantry bore down upon the Irish infantry defending the hedge line. It was an imperative that the Irish "first fire" was devastating (see below):

Although many in scarlet and white uniforms fell they seemed insignificant in numbers to effect the mass that was propelled forwards against the hedge line (see below):

What was more, was that the Dutch and British order was good, the officers controlled the men's movements with clear cadence and when called upon to do so, delivered a devastating return fire that clipped the hedge to pieces and left men sprawled on the ground as corpses (see below):

The Irish defense of the hedge line was broken. Irish regiments of line were swept away leaving only one broken and shattered regiment in. Outnumbered 3:1, with their comrades in arms fleeing, it was agreed by all they were the bravest (but most foolish) men on the day. They stood and fought another punishing round (see below):

As the rest of the Dutch and British scrambled over the hedges these noble Irishmen delivered a "high" return volley before being routed by a massed return of fire that crackled mischievously in the air (see below):

All to the Irish was now lost. There were more Irish soldiers routing than standing. The clash of cavalry could be against heard of the Irish left flank (see below) and their right flank was in the process of crumbling (albeit slowly in comparison to the rest of the battlefield). The Irish Jacobite Army was routing and no longer under control of the Generals. Pockets of resistance were isolated acts of heroism so those finely dressed Irish Generals chose their fastest horse and mounted them for an undignified getaway (see below, instead of a line a "deadly L" was formed which always precipitates the moment of disaster):

Thus ended the 1691 Battle of Aughrim (re-fight) decisively in favour of William III of England (or should that really be Holland).


Phil said...

Nice, lovely figures and river!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Cheers Phil
They have inspired me to but a box of 28mm Wargames Factory Malburians
Or more correctly Army of the Sun King
There is a long term goal to fight Blenheim and I feel the need to contribute more than just turn up an droll the dice ;)

Glad you liked it