The War Will Not Be Civilized - A French and Indian War double AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Narwhal

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November 1758 – February 1759



Winter 1758 – 1759 was incredibly calm, with little action overall. The English army was recovering from the disaster of Carillon, while I can only suppose the French were reorganizing their force… and bribing the Natives…




1. Mop-up in the North

In the North, Lord Howe carries on taking the network of French forts around Montreal. Even though there is the powerful Montcalm army nearby, the weather will probably make it too costly for the French general to move North, and Lord Howe is especially expert in difficult weather.



As you can see, for all his good work, Lord Howe earned himself a promotion. Lord Howe being of the 2 best English general due to his High strategy [6] and very fast mover trait, this is excellent news indeed !

By December, La Présentation is the last fort on the list




In January, Lord Howe finally headed home.




As an important note, I would use winter to shuffle my best commanders from Montreal [where no offensive action seemed possible to me as long as the city was threatened by both North and South] to Albany [where I am short on leaders after the battle of Carillon] and further South the Duquesne 4th campaign, for which Lord Howe is earmarked.


2. A short naval campaign

In November 1758, an English scouting fleet was engaged by a new French fleet :



At this news, the English fleet was sortied, with order to patrol around the Isle Royale, and destroy French shipping and transports.






This was unfortunately ill-advised, though, as the English fleet was met with very difficult weather, damaged, and quickly had to head back to Halifax for refit.

 
Last edited:

General_Hoth

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I'm begining to work on my next update then! Welcome back old friend!
 

volksmarschall

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Oh, this is back! Great! :D
 

ShadowofGod

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(General_Hoth) I'm looking for a player to do a game as the british for the same scenario! Anyone interested? I will continue the aar next week. I will explain the long delay then

I would be interested to play you. BTW, I live in Vermont, only 15 km. from Lake Champlain and 45 km. south of the border.
 
Last edited:

General_Hoth

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(General_Hoth) I'm looking for a player to do a game as the british for the same scenario! Anyone interested? I will continue the aar next week. I will explain the long delay then

I would be interested to play you. BTW, I live in Vermont, only 15 km. from Lake Champlain and 45 km. south of the border.

pm me
 

Narwhal

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March 1759 – June 1759 – Offensives Against Offensives

After a completely uninteresting turn of March [“Rest & Repair”], the winter is at its close in April and new plans for massive offensives are readied.





1. The counter-siege of Montréal

In Montréal, the English strategy is to wait. With enemies North and South, there is no way the garrison loses without risking to lose the fattest prize of Canada. In addition, the city, surrounded by river, offer outstanding defensive position.
In April 1759 though, it is the French who move offensively, with 2 enemy columns – one in the South led by Boulemaque, one in the North led by the Chevalier de Levis :



A good general would have used this division of force to strike of the 2 columns before they joined up. But Montreal… Montreal… Montreal had to be kept. In addition, the English leaders left to defend the French former capital were not the best, so the course of action became “We are there, we STAY there”. And the French armies could join up in Richelieu, east of Montréal. The 8 000 Englishmen in Montréal readied for battle…




2. Massive offensive on the Champlain

With the French force in Fort Carillon split in two, and Montcalm only keeping a minor force, the English felt they had an occasion for victory.

A massive army mixing regulars and provincials, totaling 11 000 men in total, marched on Carillon.

The force included 2 parts :
- A first column led by Bradstreet, including most of the troops.



- A second column poorly led by Washington followed .



The plan was to join them up in Saint Sacrament, where James Wolfe [a much better general than Bradstreet] would take command for the final assault.



On July 1759, the army was ready in Saint Sacrament, outnumbered the French 2 to 1. Unfortunately, the [inactive] Wolfe was wary of French treachery, and delayed the attack… for how long ?



3. The English Never Learn in the South

Meanwhile, the Fort Duquesne expedition was going steady, for it included the elite of the English command :
- Lord Howe and his “very fast mover” trait”
- Sir William Johnson, Indian leader,
- Roger Rangers, with an additional bonus in difficult terrain, and an Indian Killer

“This time is the good one”.



The plan was to move as sneakily as possible [passive posture] to Frederickstowne, which an English patrol had made sure to surround with “English Military Controlled” territories, to make sure it stayed invisible.

When it was done, the French knew it could pounce on Fort Duquesne before the French could even see it coming and regroup their “wall of flesh” for its defense. 26 days only [less than a turn], and they would be there.




4. The French are flanking us !


July 1759 was the month when the English learned they were not the only one taking the initiative. The trick they wanted to play on Duquesne, the French played it on Fort Oswego on the Ontario with a massive army of Indians.



A strong Indian force is now sieging Fort Oswego, which is a massive risk for the English :

- Fort Oswego was the transit point for sending reinforcements to Montréal. When the French started the siege, a significant force, waiting for transit, was trapped inside. Would it be starved out ?



[this pic is from next turn]

- With the all-out assault on the Champlain, Albany is defenceless [2 units of garrison !], or almost. Is Albany the real French target ?

Forces are immediately rushed to the defense of Albany.



Still, there was a silver lining in these problems. With the French in Oswego, Fort Niagara was probably ripe for the taking, and the Iroquois were exactly where needed to use the opportunity…

 
Last edited:

Merrick Chance'

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Mon dieu, it's back!
 

Stuyvesant

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Welcome back, General_Hoth and Narwhal! I must admit it had been so long that I read the AAR, that I wondered if I could get back into it. My worries were misplaced: once I started reading, I was immediately transported back to the war. :)

Thanks for continuing!
 

General_Hoth

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Sonnez le tocsin: New-France in peril

End of 1758,
(ambient music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM5ZSPU9DfM&list=PLE4gNdR-0k81rGgpy1v2rxPoWaQsWQTCs&index=2)

In Versailles, plans were being put in motion that could change the course of the war in America

Deep in the woods, men grunted. Days after days, they walked in the wilds, going at the least appealing direction possible*: straight south. After the stunning victory of Fort Carillon, Montcalm wanted to give another crushing blow to the defeated army that was limping back toward Albany. So his men harrased the rearguard of Forbes army, trying to force them to offer a decisive battle. But on the Virgin Mary's day, August 15th, Montcalm changed his mind when he received two messengers. One was known as Renard Fou (Crazy Fox) and was a scout of the Ottawa tribe. He informed the french Commander-in-Chief that massive collumns of redcoats have leaved Oswego and were heading toward him, with the obvious goal of saving Forbes's survivors. The other messenger was a lieutenant in the colonial militia. Alexandre Fauché. He bringed word of what was happening in Canada. Montcalm realised how much the situation had degraded in the last month: Lévis's forces were not enough to take back Montréal, redcoats were plundering, burning and raping in the hearth of New-France while Québec was protected by a mere 800 soldiers. While Lévis's forces could protect Quebec, they would need to abandon the Richelieu valley, thus stopping protecting the retreat way for Montcalm's main army. The situation seemed hopeless until the young Lieutenant took out a letter from his pocket : “Lisez, monsieur le Marquis. La France ne nous a pas abandonnée”



Canoe were the fastest way to travel back in 1758. French coureurs des bois explored most of North America in small canoes!


In Europe, the situation was indeed grim. Louis XV's armie have been ejected from Hannover while the british multiplied their raids on the coastal cities, even threatening St-Malo and Cherbourg. As defeat after defeat tarnished the prestige of the french's arms, Louis XV ordered to reinforce the one theater were his armies were covering herself in glory and victories: New-France. The people needed hope...and he needed to be able to boast some victories to Madame de Pompadour...

The battle of Rossbach was a total disaster for Louis XV. The Prussians lost 550 men while litteraly shattering France's main army, which lost 3000 men and 8000 prisonners while the 30 000 survivors were completly routed. Frederick was rapidly becoming the great while the french army was becoming the laughting stock of all Europe for she had lost a battle while being confronted to an army half it's size.


So the fleet made a gigantic effort, loosing many ships while covering the transports of new troops in America. As the convoy approched from Louisbourg, the great fear of Vice Amiral de Ranreuil was to be detected and intercepted by the British North American squadron, which was powerful enough to destroy his ships. Fortunatly, the covering squadron that patrolled near Louisbourg never had the chance to detect him. Warned of the possibility of a rescue mission, Amiral Desgouttes, commander of the fleet in Louisboug, launched his ships and engaged the British on the high sea: his two 74 canons ship of the line and his 3 fregates surprised the light forces of 1 fregate and 3 bricks that were blocading the port. Gravely damaged, the british fled to Halifax, never coming near the approching reinforcements.


The french fregate "Aventureuse" took heavy damage while blocking the escape of the british light squadron. The ships of the line of Amiral Desgouttes then closed in, crippling the Royal Navy frigate and bricks.

So, people cheered as the fleet entered the port in Louisbourg. The 12 ship of the lines, 5 fregates and 3 transports flotillas docked, unloading tons of supplies, 16 field artillery pieces, 8 siege artillery pieces, and 4 elites units: the 1er BN of the Royal Roussillon, the 2nd BN of the Enghien Regiment, the 3rd BN of the Royal Quercy and, at the surprise of everyone, the 2nd BN of the Regiment d'Eu, which was part of the Maison du Roy, the Royal Guard of Louis XV: elite of the elite of France's armies. The fleet was there, waiting orders from the Gouverneur Général de Vaudreuil...which was missing. And that made the Marquis the Commander in chief!


The Marquis de Montcalm receiving reports from his natives allies. The natives were nearly all on the side of the french, which treated them as sons and brothers and not as subhumans as were many english colonists

Montcalm smiled as he read the letter: he still had a chance! If he could hold the british at bay in Fort Carillon while the garrison of Fort Niagara reinforced by the indians and irregulars available striked at Fort Oswego to prevent any reinforcement of the isolated force in Montreal, Lévis could take back the city and then bring Montcalm enough troops to take Albany and maybe force the 13 colonies to sign a ceasefire. He ordered his army to fall back to the fortification around Fort Carillon for winter as he sended his orders to every part of New-France. The war wasn't lost yet.


France's arms were maybe tarnished and blood stained but were still unbroken!
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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Those are some strong reinforcements. But I wonder: how long will France (not New France, but Metropolitan France) maintain the will to fight, when it appears to be suffering so badly at home?

You have a window of opportunity, but I think it is starting to close fast...
 

volksmarschall

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Those are some strong reinforcements. But I wonder: how long will France (not New France, but Metropolitan France) maintain the will to fight, when it appears to be suffering so badly at home?

You have a window of opportunity, but I think it is starting to close fast...

Strike now before it is too late!

Oh, yes. The Battle of Rossbach, in a rare instance of Franco-Austrian solidarity, it is certainly not one of the more glorious moments in either nation's military history, especially when you're defeated by an army that just marched to victory...
 

Narwhal

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July - August 1759 – The Great Carillon Pot-Shot




1. Duquesne under siege – again

In July 1759, Lord Howe corps arrived in fort Duquesne with a major force.



Unfortunately, I decide not to assault. I can’t remember why, but I suspect previous failure of assaults even with superior forces made me careful, and I decide to wait one turn for the French garrison to be weakened.

After all, I have supplies arriving [some on the way with escort, see above, some in Philadelphia, see below], and I have little doubt I cannot be chased from my sieging position in due time.



Whatever the reason, one month later, I have a very good reason not to assault… the French switched their more mobile force from Oswego to… somewhere unknown.

2. Counter-march in Niagara

In Oswego, the situation is disquieting, but not abysmal. I quickly open up the port – allowing a small stream of supply to still get in.



I expect my army to hold the siege of at least 3 turns !




As the French obviously decided for a siege on Oswego, I carry on my indirect strategy… take Fort Niagara, while the defenders of Fort Niagara are, I assume, around Fort Oswego.




Unfortunately, I underestimated the French, as there is still a garrison in Fort Niagara – and rather a strong one :



The rare English Indians take a serious and durable dent in their number, with one third of them killed or MIA. This hotheaded strategy backfired incredibly. The flexibility of my army is still going down.

What will force the French to break the siege though is not the situation in Niagara, but the one in Duquesne. In July 1759, half of the forces sieging Oswego have disappeared, last seen heading South… There can be only one target : Fort Duquesne !



In Fort Oswego, the troops ready for the sortie…



3. Hold at all Costs in Montreal

In Montreal, the French finally start their first serious counter-attack to free their capital. It is ill-prepared, though, and the French underestimated the French number… with a 3:2 ratio on attack, across a river, the assault is easily repulsed by Amherst at the defense despite 2 assaults [second assault below].



Unfortunately for the French, the Montreal province produces enough supply for my army, especially since General Amherst has the “supplyman” trait – they have no choice if they want to chase me but to throw me into the walls of Montreal, and then siege me.

They push their attack the following month in desperation – to no avail :


By the end of the month, their last assault is a disaster, with 18 elements wiped out for insignificant French losses :



Montreal, it seems, will stay English for the time-being. But it all depends on whether the English coming from Carillon can replace the supply line lost of Oswego.



4. Assault on Carillon

My main army is finally active in July... it is time to assault.



I have 11 000 men, perfectly led Wolfe, against 5 500 equally well-led French led by Montcalm, and also perfectly. Wolfe wanted to avenge the humiliation of 1758, Montcalm wanted to repeat the glorious victory… The first day of battle, on the 8th of July, was inconclusive :



Neither was the second day, though the English grieved the lose of Frederick Haldiman :



The third day of battle was equally inconclusive. Enraged, Wolfe ordered his commander to personnaly lead the assault for the 4th day of battle, but the result was not better, except that at their turn Stanwix and William Howe would fall that day.



Finally, on the 5th day, the French exhausted by the English rage and surprised by their unwillingness to stop, the French gave up and retreated, though for this the English would have to lose 2 more generals Litteltown and George Washington… Bradstreet, MIA since the second day, was neither found, either.



The battle was won, the Union Jack was floating on Fort Carillon, but at which price ? 3 500 Englishmen laid dead, among those 6 of the 10 English commanders, while the French had lost only 2 000 men, with an estimated 1 000 more in pursuit. With the loss of Stanwix the Fort Defender, Howe the partisan and more importantly Washington the trainer, the English command would be crippled for a long, long time :







This was costly, incredibly costly, but a victory is a victory, and now we can at least I can hope to join-up with Montreal…

Meanwhile, in Montreal, Forbes was made Commander-in-Chief [3 stars] after his incredibly more economic defense of Montreal…
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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Ugh. That was not the greatest turn ever. True, you won at Carillon, but the cost in troops (and irreplaceable leaders) was very heavy. Good to see you holding on to Montreal of course. Overall, I must admit I'm surprised how heavy the going was this turn. I thought the tide was turning more strongly in your favor, but clearly that's not the case just yet.
 

General_Hoth

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Tout est perdu, sauf l'honneur


Never before did the French and British fought on so many front at once in North America and in such number. In fact, it was exactly the right strategy for the british, as the next events were about to show.


The summer of 1759 would be forever known in the history books as the turning point of the Seven Years war in North America. It would also be a favorite of film maker to this day, with it's large battle, individual heroism, glorious defeats and massive victories. The situation was indeed dire for New-France: Montcalm and his outnumbered regular force were busy digging trenches around Fort Carillon as Wolfe's 12 000 red coats were approching, Lévis was mobilising force to force a landing at Montreal but he feared he didn't have the manpower to win against a entrenched british army. At Fort Niagara, the Chevalier de Rigaud was preparing a colonial force to strike at Oswego, aiming to cut Montreal from the british supply line. From Fort Duquesne, alarming reports were coming: the british were preparing yet another attacks and reinforcement were needed. Deep in the south, the cherokees and their allies were supplied from Nouvelle-Orléans in Louisiana and were fighting a cruel war of ambush and surprise attacks with the colonial militia. Everywhere, New-France was ablaze and she didn't have the mean to fight everywhere the fire that menaced to engulf the colony.

The french military was diverse and well adapted, but lacked the number the British could bring to bear.


The biggest weakness of all was the command chain. The fall of Montreal was even more disastrous that it seemed to the colonists. It severed the communication between the numerous front and , worse of all, the Gouverneur-Général was MIA. Nobody had any trace of the Marquis de Vaudreuil. Gravely wounded in the assault as he tried to organise a last stand around the Place d'Arme, grateful indians allies that were fighting alongside the garrison evacuated him and sent him to a village to be healed if it could be. Montcalm did assume general command, but he was isolated, far away from Canada and weeks away from Duquesne or Niagara. He wasn't able to react fast enought to the british offensive as Vaudreuil had in the past. Military historian still debate today if he could have crushed the british in Montreal if he had canceled the oswego expedition and sent reinforcement at Levis or abandoned Carillon to merge his 5000 veterans with Levis's troops. But this wasn't a video game: he couldn't order those vast change of plan in time so he sticked to the original plan...which backfired violently.

The number of troops the british could bring to bear in battle was becoming increasingly overwhelming for the beleaged population of New-France, who already had mobilised 30 000 men on a population of 100 000 (historicly accurate: the biggest mobilisation rate of occidental history)


First, Montcalm counted that his veterans would be able to push back again twice their number at Fort Carillon. With 32 canons and 5500 regulars, the first assault was indeed bloodily repulsed. The second one was even easier. At the third day of battle, Montcalm begun to worry. The british had more reserve and they were causing mounting casualities in his small force. The fourth day, as the redcoats launched attacks after attacks, the french needed to use countercharge three times to save their trench lines. Finally, in the fifth day, the french army was forced to shoot their last ammunition before sabotaging the canon and retreat toward Fort Saint Frédéric. Montcalm himself had broken his sword during the close combat of the final day. A young colonial officer engaged him with his saber, broking his delicate rapier before Montcalm shot him in the head with his pistol. Thus ended the defeats of Georges Washington, one of the most promising colonials soldiers of the era. In the end, the french covered themselves in glory but had to fight their way back to safety with bayonets as nobody had any ammunition left. Fort Carillon, the gateway of Nouvelle-France, had fallen.

Highlanders reaching the trenches lines on the third day of fighting. At this point, the french were already counting their bullets. In the end, the french were broken only when they couldn't shoot anymore on the red lines.


Second, Levis launched his attack before the reinforcement that had arrived in Louisbourg last winter could be unloaded in Québec. Fearing that the attack on Oswego would not succeed, the chevalier de Lévis wished to gain a foothold on the island of Montreal before reinforcement could arrive in Montreal. Boulamarque would then take the new troops from France and reinforce him, allowing him to crush the british garrison. Everyone was aware of the formidable advantage the redcoats had, defending the shore against makeshift raft and canoes. For many days, the battle raged, small group of soldiers coming ashore only to be shot at by compagnies of british soldier while canon ball were decimating the raft that were trying to land reinforcement. Finally, Lévis sent Bougainville, Lignery and all his canadian irregulars in a surprise night attack that finally gained a foothold on the island. When the morning appeared, 7000 french soldiers were in order of battle in a compact formation. 8000 british were deployed behind their fortification while their 30 canons sent salvoes after salvoes on the exposed franco-canadian army. Hundreds were killed has Levis tried to force the enemy lines and force them to retreat to the city or accept an open field battle. Such was not the intention of General Forbes, for he was fully aware that Lévis was a better general than him, that his troops were of better quality and would have a better morale if they could storm his trenches and neutralise his artillery. He was thus able to shift his more numerous force to withstand the furious french assault while blocking french reinforcement with his artillery. Lacking ammo and supplies, Lévis finally understood during the night that his army was defeated and that he needed to regroup to fight another day, with the addition of Boulamarque's command. Under the cover of darkness and with the help of the colonials soldiers, he evacuated the beachhead and fell back to Fort Chambly, leaving thousand of dead behind him.


Capitaine de Lacorne, of the Compagnie Franche de la Marine, charging at the head of his men toward a battery at the left of the British line during the battle of Montréal. In spite of incredible act of heroism (he was awarded the order of Saint-Louis for the act), he wasn't able to take the position. Nevertheless, he forced Forbes to engage numerous reserves to hold the battery, thus preventing them of cutting the retreat line of Lévis, as Forbes intended.


Thirdly, the siege of Oswego had begun and nobody thought that the fort could hold against the might of 8000 soldiers and natives allies. Until a bad news arrived: Fort Duquesne was under siege and needed massive reinforcement to hold. De Beaujeu thus took with him all the irregulars and indians allies and rushed to Niagara to merge with reinforcement there and then run to Duquesne. He arrived just in time, ambushing a massive raid of Iroquois warrior, trying to burn Fort Niagara in the back of the force that was besieging Oswego. They were litteraly butchered, greatly reducing the menace they reprensented for the village of New-France. Regrouping, the canadians and indians prepared to march to the rescue of Fort Duquesne, were colonel Michel Chartrand de Lotbinière and his colonials marines were besieged by a far more stronger force.


Coureurs des bois, indians and the garrison of Fort Niagara inflicted a massive defeat on the Iroquois Confederacy's remnant when they tried to take the vital logistical base from where the french were preparing to rescue Fort Duquesne.

New-France was in peril, and the only reinforcement she could now muster were the 5000 men that just arrived from France. With the Royal Navy blockading, it was highly improbable that reinforcement of that size could reach Québec in time.


But one thing was sure: France would strike back.
 

volksmarschall

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Dieu sauve Nouvelle-France!

Well, I'm also pleased to now know the mobilization of New France was the largest mobilization in the history of the Western Hemisphere!
 

Stuyvesant

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But this wasn't a video game: he couldn't order those vast change of plan in time so he sticked to the original plan...which backfired violently.

Nicely said. :)

So, two defeats and once victory. The defeats strike me as more important, unfortunately. You've got a good number of reinforcements, I assume they are all concentrated which should help you, but overall the feeling is now that the British are starting to win (though I have to remember the heavy losses Narwhal incurred to get here).

Good luck. Your Canadiens certainly have their honor.
 

General_Hoth

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Dieu sauve Nouvelle-France!

Well, I'm also pleased to now know the mobilization of New France was the largest mobilization in the history of the Western Hemisphere!

LAtest historiography estimate at 100 000 french settlers the total population of New France. Half of them are men. 30 000 militiamen were mobilised in 1758-1759. It's huge. No wonder New France was in famine during the last years of the war.
 

Narwhal

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Impressive update General. I too ignored the mobilisation rate was soooo high.

Still, so far, what caused me the most pain is the "Wall of Flesh" protecting Fort Duquesne...
 

General_Hoth

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A thing to consider: the logistic. A vast portion of the mobilised colonist were not employed on the Front Line or in garrison duty but in supplies duty, starting from montreal with convoy of canoe, supplying the numerous forts and indians tribes of New-France. A massive undertaking that forced them to stop cultivating. Famine was the real threat during the war because there were not enough men in the fields!