Although the bridge was destroyed, a ford further up the Bugaroff valley offered another possible avenue for a Russian turning movement. Lord Raglan took the possibility of a Russian push in this area very seriously, and sent General Sir Lancelot Stark-Raven to secure the crossing. Sir Lancelot took control of the 9th and 63rd and was given a battalion of the Rifle Brigade and an artillery battery to reinforce him. He quickly built two redoubts covering the ford, and established his camp on the next ridge back from the crossing. Not far away the camp of the Guards Brigade was set up, and beyond that the Light Brigade and the main British lines.
A month passed and Stark-Raven's Brigade kept a dedicated watch on the crossing, skirmishing with Russian jagers on a relatively regular basis.
Then, one Tuesday morning while the Rifle Brigade was on picket duty, something more than a few jagers was on the far bank of the Bugaroff. It was General Pavel Onegin-Offagin and his Caucasus Brigade, supported by 2 batteries of artillery.
The Russians were coming!
|A bird's eye view of the battlefield, showing the position of the two redoubts and the camp of the Anglian Regiments|
|The British artillery in their redoubt|
|Another shot showing the objective flag|
|The Rifles moved to the bank of the river in order to skirmish with the Russians as they crossed.|
|The Caucasian Jagers begin to skirmish forward, supported by artillery|
|The view from the redoubt occupied by the Rifle Brigade's supports|
|Commander of the Russian attack General Ivan Gotanich oversees the operation.|
|Aleksander Verdlunchko leads his reserve brigade up in support of the attack.|
|Onegin-Offagin supervises the jagers as the Caucasus regiment marches along the road.|
|The rifles begin to take casualties from long range fire.|
|The Russians move forward.|
|The jagers skirmish across the Bugaroff ford.|
|Screening the Russian column comes at a cost. Luckily the stubborn rule keeps them in the fight.|
|Stark-Raven gets his Brigade moving.|
|A long range perspective on the battle.|
|The jagers continue to suffer as the main body of the Russians cross the ford. They are sensible enough to focus on the Rifles and stay away from the canister firing artillery in the redoubt!|
|'Help is coming boys - Hold On!'|
|The first battalion of Russian infantry is across.|
|It's a race - will the Brtish get there in time?|
|Onegin-Offagin leads his 1st battalion towards the assault.|
|Rolling a 6 for morale and the jagers are still in the fight!|
|Bottleneck at the ford as the reserve brigade catches up to the advance guard.|
|In a brave and daring charge the Russians charge the redoubt and destroy the artillery. Too late the 9th reaches the ridge crest.|
|The Russians continue to cross the river.|
|Now occupying the redoubt the Russians are subjected to a volley by the 9th.|
|The 63rd unleashes a volley and the Rifles stand their ground. Now is the time for the British counter-attack.|
|The Russian cavalry begins to arrive.|
|Shock! Horror! The Norfolks are repulsed! The 1st Caucasus hold the redoubt, despite heavy casualties and being staggered.|
|The brave jagers withdraw from the battle to allow Verdlunchko's battalions to deploy. The Rifle Brigade's fire is disappointing to say the least. They should have withdrawn, but stay to fight it out.|
|The Dniestr and St Petersburg regiments charge the rifles who are savagely beaten and forced to withdraw. The 2nd Caucasus battalion charges and defeats the 63rd, staggering them. Things are not looking good for the British.|
|The British continue to withdraw towards the camp ridge. They don't have the strength to retake the redoubts - they need to hold on until reinforcements arrive.|
|And here they come! The Guards Brigade under Sir George Paddington-Beere begin to arrive.|
|The cavalry continue to advance|
|The British line begins to form.|
|The Russians begin to reorganise for the next push. The Caucasus Brigade will hold the redoubt ridge line while Verdlunchko's troops lead the next assault.|
|The cavalry reach the Bugaroff.|
It would be tempting for Gotanich to send forward Verdlunchko's Brigade now, but the British reinforcements make that a dubious move. I'd say that he will wait for the cavalry at least before making an assault on the next ridge-line. But he is well back at the moment in the middle of the reserve column. Will the impetuous Verdlunchko take things into his own hands? We will find out in part two.