7152Re: [WarOf1812] Re: War of 1812 Naval Battles
- Sep 1 6:04 PM--- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
>The Saranac Bridge used to be the longest uncovered
> --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
> . Without the support of Downie's squadron to
> defellade fire support, it would have been a
> Fitz these men had been under more intense fire than
> this in Europe, thyey would over came the artillery
> and pushed on.
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
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
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
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
"We coulda done it if the Boss hadn't
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..."
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