Monday, August 5, 2013

Through the Dakla Gap

"Ma'am, scouts report a caravan about 3 miles out and closing."
" Major, Please take your command and advance to the caravan and determine whether or not they are the source of that dust cloud on the horizon."
"Yes, Ma'am."

As reported in the last episode the regiment forms into two lines and moves forward.  Reaching the column Major Heinz, in temporatary command of the regiment along with Princess Louisa Marie question the caravan leader about the dust cloud behind the caravan.

 "Abu Said, do you know what is causing the dust cloud on the horizon to the north."
"Yes, Miss, the cloud is from a tribal mass from the hills east of El Shab.  They travel fast and light on foot, we are escaping from our village with our wealth and families.  We left a week ago once we had word that the tribes were rampaging toward us demanding tribute."
"We have soldiers coming along the trail behind us and we will attempt to stop them from destroying you and your families."
"God is great, we will not forget this help."
"Major, send a runner back to the column to move forward with all speed to that low mound just west of us. We will hold them back there."

"I want your wagon drivers and surveyors to arm yourselves and stay with the wagons, our regular troops will reinforce you if we get surrounded."
"Princess, we did not sign on as gunmen."
"I understand that Watkins, but we might need your help if we are to survive the coming battle."
"Officers, this hill will form our forward defense and set the wagons behind us to form a square of sorts.  Captain Moab, you will take your company and refusing our left flank, Major Suliemen you will take your two companies and form the right flank, refusing one company. Majors Hesse and Sewald you will place your regiments in the center.
Majors Heinz and Berg you will take your regiments and the animal a mile or so to the rear out of sight and detail troopers to hold them there, then you will divide to each flank about two miles out and advance when the tribe is about 1000 meters from us.  Charging or firing when close enough to the enemy."

The tribe crossed the horizon about 2000 meters away and quickly spread out to encompass the hill.
The rubs on either flank moved faster than the center and came on to attack the flanks.  The Right flank under Major Suliemen fought valiantly with some help from the drivers on that flank.  Firing began at about 400 meters, two rubs were demoralized before they got to within 200 meters.

Two other rubs advanced and charged the line reaching it to melee the troops.  Outnumbered, Suliemen's troops acquitted themselves well, killing or wounding nearly twice their number, while taking 2 KIA and 4 WIA.
Gunfire from the advancing natives caused only one casualty, most bullets going high over head.

Several rubs lost high numbers of natives to gunfire and dropped out of the fight in the center.  Captain Moab's company did great damage to the charging natives causing massive casualties to two rubs.  While the center rubs were in their final charge to contact the cavalry arrived.  A final volley from the center regiments caused three native rubs to route before contact.

Major Berg's Dragoon regiment fired a volley disrupting the final charge on the right flank; while Major Heinz' lancers charged into the flank of the native attack on the left flank disrupting and scattering the rubs.

The natives scattered back the way they came with barely five rubs left of the nine that began the attack.  More would die before the day was out as the cavalry followed their retreat closely.
The Princesses survey column to El Shab suffered 3 KIA and 4 WIA.
The column would continue several days later after caring for the wounded and burying the dead. A messenger was sent back to Princess Viktoria requesting more ammunition be sent forward to the village just ahead where the column would rest a further four days while the survey crew began mapping the plain.  Another messanger was sent to Abu Said caravan that it was safe to return to their village where the column would be waiting for them.

1) The Sudanese and Egyptian troops (Essex) were recruited in Aswan to bolster the few infantry available to Viktoria.   Also a battery of artillery has been added.
2) Three infantry regiments of Hussars will soon grace the available forces as well as soon as their uniforms are completed.  A battery will soon be added as well. 
3) The Naval brigade will be adding two quick fire guns soon to operate along the rivers and coast.
4) The first regiment has been named an historical unit (Eureka, Pricess Sofia SYW figs) and will be used for ceremonial and guard duties in the capitol. A battery will be included.
5) A unit of Zouaves (in fez, brigade Games figs) has been recruited locally and will soon join up.  Increase to regimental size will occur this fall to both zouave units with the addition of at least three batteries of mountain guns (Tiger) for regimental use.
The next installment will be in late Sept. or early October.