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7152Re: [WarOf1812] Re: War of 1812 Naval Battles

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  • Fitzhugh MacCrae
    Sep 1 6:04 PM
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      --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
      > . Without the support of Downie's squadron to
      > provide
      > defellade fire support, it would have been a
      > slaughter.
      >
      > Fitz these men had been under more intense fire than
      > this in Europe, thyey would over came the artillery
      > and pushed on.

      The Saranac Bridge used to be the longest uncovered
      bridge in New York, 212 feet long by 18 feet wide.
      assuming they packed it shouolder to shoulder, each
      rank is only 6 men wide. The bridge is being raked by
      heavy cannonfire (figure one round per 90 seconds for
      a 24 pdr, use that as an average as the heavy guns
      included both 32's and 18's as well as 24's) My map
      (photocopy of the one at West Point) shows 19 heavy
      guns that can bear within an arc of 30 degrees,
      centered on the bridge. All 19 guns are within 500
      yards of the south end of the bridge. This works out
      as one heavy shot hitting a tightly packed column of
      men from the one angle that will cause the most
      casualties about every 5 seconds.
      The math is simple - the bridge is a deathtrap. Since
      it was made of wood and all military stores had
      already moved south of the river, one cannot but
      assume that the bridge was left up for a good
      reason.Powers isn't going to get across with any
      substantial forces there.
      Lets go over to Robinson's brigade.
      Once Robinson pushes aside the 4000 or so militia in
      the woods (do-able) he comes out on the flats on the
      south side of the river.
      So far, so good.
      Now he has to assault uphill across about 350 yards of
      open terrain to reach what appears to be the main
      American line - 6 redoubts and small forts on the
      ridge crest, each one within comfortable range of the
      next.
      Back a little on the reverse slope (I make it an
      average of 30 yards) are the earthworks, connecting
      each strong point. The six strongpoints have a total
      of 31 heavy guns, including three 18 pdr columbiad
      shell guns. The earthworks connecting them contain 17
      field guns, probably mostly 6's, with a scattering of
      12's. The defense line is held by mostly regulars.
      Assume that most of the heavy guns are distracted by
      Powers doing a sacrifice play at the bridge, and thus
      19 guns do not fire at Robinson's brigade at all
      during their approach.
      That means 13 heavy guns are able to shoot at Robinson
      from anywhere from about 1000 yards out to 30 yards,
      with the fire from the fieldguns masked due to the
      military crest being in the way.
      Keep in mind that the earthworks that connected the
      strongpoints are not visible from the British line of
      sight, because they are back on the reverse slope.
      Assume powers's sacrifice is not for naught, and two
      thirds of Robinson's brigade actually makes it up to
      the crest....
      Where they discover that they are standing 30 yards in
      front of earthworks manned by a brigade of regulars,
      with lots of field guns loaded with cannister.
      The smart ones will put themselves on the north side
      of that crest as fast as they can.
      Unfortunately, they are in a prime position to take
      heavy flanking fire from the nearest strongpoints
      there.
      Assumingt that Prevost was smart enough to support
      Robinson (and this takes a great stretch of
      imagination), they might eventually bull their way
      throughh the line somewhere. Of course, they have to
      take each and every redoubt, or anyone who bulled
      through is caught in a crossfire....
      Assume that they do, at the usual butcher's bill for
      that kind of fighting (assume Prevost is a genius and
      the follow-on brigade is bring scaling ladders so that
      they can storm the redoubts - and if you get that far,
      write me back channel with the name of your pusher,
      'cause he has some really good s__t).
      Assume all of the above - the British break the line,
      take all of the redoubts, burn the supplies, and march
      home claiming a victory.

      A few more victories like that, and we could have
      moved the new US capital to Montreal!!
      When Robinson and Powers said that the direct attack
      approach was practical, they were playing the same
      time-honoured game of all sub-commanders ever since
      Ugghh the Neanderthal took some of his buddies and
      tried to run those upstart Cro-Magnon out of the
      neighborhood.
      "We coulda done it if the Boss hadn't
      yaddayaddayadda".
      This is called CYA, and it is an ancient military
      tradition. Even Elting said that Robinson was talking
      for posterity, not reality.



      "...and every victory is followed by a retreat..."

      Fitz


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