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

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Funnyman320

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I'm still around. Good luck with RL, it always comes first!
 

General_Hoth

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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 ;)
 

General_Hoth

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The miracle of Carillon

Montcalm was a noblemen. A marquis! Commander in chief of the King's forces in New-France. He had fought in more than 40 battles and his name along striked fear in the hearths of the enemies of France. And now, he was forced to take place with common soldiers to dig up trenches and installing defenses in front of the fortifications of Fort Carillon. He had less than 3000 men with him, and no one, included himself, could boast of not being either wounded nor hungry. He knew that a vast army was coming toward his lines with each minute that passed. When the redcoats would arrive, he would have less than 1000 men able to man the trenches and try to resist. Yet retreat was impossible: Montréal had fallen, Vaudreuil was missing and Lévis's army was regrouping to cover the Richelieu valley which produced most of the food that the colony eated. His canadian's light troops were trapped behind enemy lines while Boulamarque could very well be ignorant of Montcalm's new order if something happened to his messengers. With no hope of victory, the marquis felt more and more that he was digging the grave of New-France with each blow of his shovel in the earth of America.


A plan of the fortification around Fort Carillon. A powerful position that blocked any access to Lake Champlain to the British but, like nearly all fort in America, could not sustain a regular siege.

At the same time, Brigadeer General John Forbes was inspecting his powerful army as she assembled some miles away from the French eyes. His light troops assured him that there was no french scout in the area but he could not count on that: this war had shown him that the French had eyes everywhere. After he broke the French lines in the long battle near the ruins of Fort William Henry, he had tried to stop their retreat, but the slippery French escaped. He knew they could only be at Fort Carillon, so he assembled his most powerful troops, letting behind all that could slow him: canons or green troops. And now, he finaly got Montcalm in his grasp. His 5800 men, with 16 compagnies of elite Highlanders, 8 of veteran redcoats, 20 of provincial line infantry and covered by 4 compagnies of rangers would surely make a short work of the defeated french army, who had no time to regroup or to receive reinforcement. With a grin, he ordered to advance.



Massed redcoats marching toward the few French manning Montcalm's lines.

And so began one of the most violent battle of the war until now. Massed rank of redcoats marched directly toward the fieldworks of the Frenchs. Montcalm, a master of siegework, had built in a record time a powerful defense to protect it's beleagued forces. His soldiers were hidden behing a thick wooden pallisade while numerous "abattis", ancestor to the barbed wire, disorganised the british lines. As the blowpipe of the Highlanders and the drums of the army sounded loudly in the morning, the Frenchs took position behind their wall.


The desesperatly few soldiers that could still fight were barely able to man the fortified lines in front of thousands of redcoats veterans.

Montcalm knew that his few soldiers that were fit to fight were in no position to repulse the enemy, he thus unleashed his main force: the french artillery. 32 light field canons began to fire at his command, concentrating to the right wing of the british army. Composed of highlanders, the elite force of Great Britain, it was heading right on the position of the few colonials light infantrymen that composed the french left flank. With no reserve, the French could not hope to reinforce them as they prepared to be assaulted by 10 time their numbers, in the weakest part of the fortification. The battle would be lost if they took the line.


The red tide menaced to simply overwhelm the Frenchs

At the head of his men, General Forbes was smiling: the French were too few, they would be overrun in a minute! His troops were marching at pace, fearing neither the powerful cannonade that erupted from the canons on the line or the musket fire that started from the canadians light infantry men. "Get them lads!" he shouted, wishing to take the fight up close and personal. He had no choice, his own musket being completly ineffective against the pallisade. As his troops were closing in, he saw his enemy: the marquis de Montcalm, on a horse, behind the colonials. The marquis looked at him directly and smiled. Forbes understood something wasn't right when Montcalm raised his hat. Instantly, hell exploded: numerous banners appeared behind the french walls and the musket fire became infernal.



Flags of the reinforcement still exposed at the Fort Carillon Museum

Boulamarque arrived at the very last moment and immediatly turned the tide of battle. The veterans of New-France best units filled the trenches and began to fire. The Royal Marines immediatly reinforced the center while the mens of the Royal Bourgogne and the Régiment de la Reine (Queen's own) reinforced the colonials volonteers defending the right. Even then, the highlanders didn't retreat, trying again to overwhelm the defenders with sheer number alone. But it would not be enough. After 8 hours of deadly fusillade and desesperate close combat on the few occasion redcoats reached the walls, Forbes called the retreat.


Montcalm was acclaimed by his men after this stunning victory

The surviving british were not out of problems even after the end of the battle. Time and time again, they were ambushed by the littles groups of canadians light infantry and indians raiding parties that were trying to reinforce Montcalm. An entire compagnie of Rangers were even destroyed by Montigny's forces while they were trying to cover the retreat of the main british force. All in all, Forbes had lost nearly half of his army when he managed to regroup with the forces he left behind. He called for immediate reinforcement in case Montcalm whished to attack him again. Washington bringed rapidly thousands of soldiers. Just in time, as Montcalm was already on the move, wishing to destroy the weakened army of Forbes before rushing back to Montreal. When his scouts told him of the new balance of force, he retreated without a battle and started the long way north to Chambly. There, he would see if Montreal could be retaken or Quebec merely holded.

Diagram of the battle itself



Historian's corner

The battle of Carillon was indeed a miracle in real life. Montcalm defeated a far more numerous army in 1758. I recommend this documentary on the subject
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF6Lwvo1UBQ

Interesting note, the canadians militia and regulars fought on the left flank under a new standart this day


It's the ancestor of the modern day Québec's flag (hey it's me ;) )
 

General_Hoth

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So, long time no see dear readers. I'm a new history teacher and I took an awful lot of my time preparing my classes.! Hope you enjoy this victory as much as I did ;)
 

Mathrim

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It's truly wonderful. Do you have a screen of the battle results? The numbercrusher in me likes these ;)
 

General_Hoth

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Never forget that there are seldom more losses in the retreat than in the actual battle.
 

volksmarschall

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bon travail! I am no longer an invisble lurker! :) And it's nice to see a history teacher still have time for the forums! :cool:
 

General_Hoth

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bon travail! I am no longer an invisble lurker! :) And it's nice to see a history teacher still have time for the forums! :cool:

My personnal motto is always that "Le temps, ça se crée" You can create time"
 

Stuyvesant

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Congratulations on the new job! And on the in-game victory, as well, though I'll wager that the new job is a bit more important. Then again, beating Narwhal at his own game must feel pretty good. ;)

The way you set up the scene, I thought there was no chance that you would beat the British, but the battle report shot shows that the final numbers engaged were pretty close. Either you used some creative license, or those reinforcements really got there in the nick of time. Regardless, a great defensive victory.
 

General_Hoth

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No creative licence, before the turn kicked in, I had less than a thousand men ready to fight. I had to put most of my force in the Fort because my elements would have been nearly all destroyed. I took quite a beating in the 3 battles in Fort William Henry before my retreat...Boulamarque saved Montcalm on this one

But beating Narwal...He have Montréal...You need to have played the scenario before to see how dire my position have become. Montreal is a one region island: it's the easiest place to defend in all America.
 

volksmarschall

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I'm just wondering, since this is a "French and Indian War" AAR, if you ever have read "The Crucible of War" by Fred Anderson. It is absolutely magisterial! And if you've read Gibbon even though French is your primary language, I'm sure you can just about handle anything in English (I'm not familiar with how much English language works are translated into French).

bonne chance enseignement! (I think that is Good luck teaching in French!) I should really brush up on my French (I think it's been 4 or 5 years now! :eek:) since I will need it to compliment my German if I decide to pursue a PhD in European history.
 

General_Hoth

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I bought it at Fort Carillon this summer when I went visiting! Haven't read it yet.

The french better source about this war are the War of Conquest from Guy Frégault and the Memoirs of Bougainville, which was an aide de camp of Montcalm irl and the commander of my lake ontario fleet in this AAR. He got trashed by the british before they took montréal damn them. IRL he would have won
 

Stuyvesant

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No creative licence, before the turn kicked in, I had less than a thousand men ready to fight. I had to put most of my force in the Fort because my elements would have been nearly all destroyed. I took quite a beating in the 3 battles in Fort William Henry before my retreat...Boulamarque saved Montcalm on this one

But beating Narwal...He have Montréal...You need to have played the scenario before to see how dire my position have become. Montreal is a one region island: it's the easiest place to defend in all America.

Excellent, that things came together just right for you to win this defensive victory. But yes, when I said 'beating Narwhal', I was speaking strictly about this single battle. As far as the greater war is concerned... Well, let me put it this way: just from reading the variety of AARs that loki and Narwhal put together, I fear Narwhal greatly. I can't even imagine agreeing to play against him in a game, let alone winning. So you've already done far better than I ever could, regardless of the final outcome. :)
 

General_Hoth

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Merci! Next on the French and Indian War: the battle for Montréal!
 

volksmarschall

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Merci! Next on the French and Indian War: the battle for Montréal!

Although Montréal is not Quebec, I most certainly hope this forthcoming battle does not mirror the Plains of Abraham! :( Montcalm deserved better imo OTL, as he is largely forgotten despite his miraculous achievements under the circumstances that he found himself in. And I will certainly add those additional titles to my wishlist of books! :)
 

unmerged(149861)

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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 ;)

Did you find yourself an opponent? I'd be interesting in throwing my hat into the WiA ring.
 

General_Hoth

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I got a WIA game and 2 AJE game going, plus the AAR when Narwhal will come back to the living world. send me a pm ;)
 

volksmarschall

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We are hungry for more! ;)

But as long as we don't have to eat cake (though dear Marie never said this)...I'm sure we can wait! :cool:
 

Narwhal

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August 1758 – October 1758 – Confusion in the North




1. The disaster of Carillon

In August 1758, the assault on Fort Carillon was launched.

“Assault” is saying much. The English were only expecting token resistance, if any resistance at all. The last time the enemy had been seen he had 2500 men against close to 6 000 men, and if anything the French would be moving North to free Montreal.

Little did the know that the French had indeed reinforced their position. The battle was a disaster :




The unpreparedness of the whole English attack had worse consequences. The attacking force had been split in 2 : the infantry first, the guns then with some escort, and while the main force had retreated, the guns and its escort had been left behind in the retreat, and stayed where the French were :



On September 1758, the guns and its escort managed to escape the French without battle… by fleeing [forced move] in the mountains in the South-West, without supply or cohesion.



One month later, the force was still trapped in the mountains, the winter weather not helping :




It would take November for a small number of survivors to finally be able reach Albany :



The disaster of Albany had costed the English dearly.

2. Enlarging the Montreal pocket


In Montreal where the Union Jack was now flying, wild plans were made. Most of the French force was now known to be in Carillon - except a strong garrison in Quebec, so the elimination of the other French forts was expected to be easy. L’Isle aux Noix, as one of the few ports on the Champlain, was the first target.





In September, as a reduced French force moved North toward Montreal, the English prepared for ambush along the way.




The objective was to destroy this force before it could be used to reinforce Quebec.

Meanwhile, reinforcements were readied in Fort Oswego, to make Montreal unseizable :






3. A new front near Baltimore ?

In Baltimore, yet another expedition is readied with Fort Duquesne yet again as a target :



But before the English could move to the French, the French move against the English, with a strong force closing in September



This force, though, would vanish in October… Most probably, it would be met again in the next year, with this time a full season to campaign. Again the French Indians, someone with the experience of the Roger [the rangers] will be necessary… His job done in Montreal, he is conveyed South toward Oswego, for action in the Baltimore region.



4. A new fleet

In October 1758, a new fleet calls in Boston…

 

Narwhal

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Hello guys,

Sorry for the super long delay. I am especially sorry for General_Hoth, who has put his soul in his AAR. I got extremely super busy recently [long story short : I changed job, and my new work hours are like 9H - 22H+, SO by significant one is not super happy with me doing AAR in the little time we have together, and even though it got better, the longer you put an AAR aside, the harder it is to start it again.

ANYWAY, "le temps ça se trouve", as said the General, so I am back !