Well, after nearly two weeks away from the website I’m back, batteries fully charged and ready for an exciting period here at the Wargames Holiday Centre. We have the first of our campaign weeks, the Campaign of 1808/09 in Spain. We’ll also be announcing the winner of our draw from the mailing list which will present one lucky subscriber with a free ticket to the WHC for a weekend.

The village of Essling

The village of Essling with the huge Granary in the centre.

First though we had the battle of Aspern Essling last weekend, the French bridgehead was held one French Corps and a light cavalry division, reinforcements were on their way however in the shape of the cavakry reserve and another infantry corps, along with the Imperial Guard. These were all going to be needed though, as the Austrians under Archduke Charles had brought to bear a huge combined force to smash Napoleon and his army on the banks of the river Danube. Will the French hold out?

The village of Aspern, with the Curch in the middle.

The village of Aspern with the Church yard prominent in the centre.

Here at the Wargames Holiday Centre we manoeuvre our reserves and initially deploy troops on tiles, these are either red or blue backed with the description of the troops they represent on the white side. You will note these from time to time in my photo’s and i just wanted to reming people of why these may be in the photo. Once the tile is visible and within 54″ the figures they represent are put into their place.

Vets defend the church at Aspern

French infantry from Molitors division look to hold the church at Aspern.

To start, the French only have two of the divisions from Massena’s Corps on the field, they also have the support from two light cavalry brigades as well though, Lasalle and Marulaz. The Austrians start arriving immediately and there was no time lost in throwing themselves against the defences of the villages.


The Austrian staff officer Hesse-Homburg, bringing up some of the Austrian cavalry reserve.

The first village to take an assault was the Aspern one, the Austrians moved into range and took the first volley from the defenders, the wily Austrian commander managed to kill off all the skirmisher formations on the outskirts of the village though and quickly prepared for the assault.
Approaching the Granary

The Austrian troops from Rosenbergs corps approach Essling, some of the fiercest fighting was to take place here over the weekend.

The reserves from Lobau island began to arrive for the French and Legrands division from Massena’s corps hastened to Essling. Napoleon, Bessieres and Lannes all arrived and Napoleon hastened to where he thought the fighting would be immediately, while sending Lannes to command at Essling, Bessieres met up with D’Espagne and led two regiments of Cuirassier forward to thwart the Austrian advance guard in the centre.

Carabinier take on Austrian Cuirassier

French Carabinier (Guard Grenadier heavies, doubling as!) attempt to stem the tide of Austrian cavalry.

The heavy cavalry division of St.Sulpice arrived next. In order to replicate the precarious situation with the bridges over the Danube any succssful roll for the French reserves was met with a roll od one d6 from the Austrians, any sixes sent the French reserve back into the reserve pool, “there goes another floating mill through our bridge!” This didn’t happen on the first day though and Gouvion St.Cyr’s division along with Nansouty’s heavies hastened to the fight.

St Cyr's troops arrive to support Aspern

Hesse Darmstadt and Wurrtemburg troops make up the 32 man veterans for St. Cyr’s divison, part of Massena’s Corps.

All the Austrians were here now though all except the Grenadier divisions, ( the photo above shows them, but this was taken later in the weekend) although these were close.