The early morning sun broke over the horizon and shone brightly on the town of Pieve del Cairo and the glittering steel of bayonets and canons. The Italian Commander Mollard again faced the Austrian Commander Benedek. Mollard followed up and closed with Benedek after a few days marching to engage the Austrian commander in battle. Their last meeting went well for the Italians and Mollard had high hopes for another victory.
Both armies arranged themselves before battle.
The Austrian Commander Benedek (aka James) looks over his deployment and secretly wishes he had retreated farther.
The calculating Italian Commander Mollard (aka Garland) is never happy with his deployment but will the best he can.
The Austrians gain the initiative early and moved forward under their effective artillery fire.
The battle began on the Austrian left and the Austrian light troops took heavy casualties from very effective Italian rifle fire.
The Italian Bersaglieri pushed forward in the center in attempt to engage the Austrian Cavalry.
View from the Austrian center at the Italians.
The Austrians deploy in the town and wait for the Italians.
The Austrians crest the hill and take devastating fire from the Italians and their artillery.
The view from the Italian right at the Austrians moving forward.
Looking down the Austrian line after the unit commander was killed and all of the units went out of command, halting the advance on the Austrian left.
The Italians follow up on the wavering Austrians and push forward.
The Bersaglieri in the center take heavy casualties.
The second in command for the Austrian left asserts command and halts the Italian advance.
A bloody melee ensues in the middle of the battle field.
The result being the Italians holding the tree line and destroying two Austrian units. The Austrian morale chip count has shrunk dangerously low.
The Italians pour on the fire at the retreating Austrians after fail a tactical morale challenge.
The last Austrian hold out, the town on the Austrian right. Accurate and deadly fire from the Italians routed the Austrians.
The crushing Italian victory filled the newspapers and taverns up and down the Italian countryside and the Italian ranks swelled with new volunteers.
The after battle talk between myself and the two commanders, I had to ask the James why he attacked. Since being on the defensive, one would think that an army would stay in place and wait for the enemy. His response was he wanted to be bold and take the fight to the enemy. He agreed that it was a mistake and his campaign has taken a hard hit because of it.