The town of Kutaisi is a considerable habitation along the great northwestern highway from Tiblisi, lying on the west bank of the River Rioni, nestling within a bend of the stream. An outlying farm connected by bridge to the town, lies on the opposite bank. A separate bridge crossing carries the main highway into the town. The river is crossed a third time by the road south, on the way to distant Baghdati on the road to the even more distant Kars. Some distance to the north of town a fourth bridge takes a minor road across the river, whence it eventually connects with the road to Ghori, and the Kavkaz mountains beyond. It is at this place, that Count Ignatieff chose to take a stand.
The main body of infantry garrisoned the town: 5th Regiment covering the bridge south, and 6th and 7th watching over the bridge crossings to the east. His powerful cavalry stood ready to strike at any crossings the enemy might make north (7th and 8th) or south (5th and 6th) of the town.
Before resuming the narrative, I have to state here that the accidents of terrain design, especially of rivers, meant that the map I generated had to be reworked a little for things to 'fit'. Here's the map as generated:
It turned out that the river sections simply wouldn't 'go'. So I had to make certain adjustments that led to the elimination of the marshy ford just north of the town, and the creation of a bridge crossing at the top edge of the map. The forded sections having been decided by a die roll (straight sections only, requiring a '6'), the northern one had to be replaced by a bridge. The resulting table looks more like the emended map:
The force that Ameer had with him had been somewhat diminished by the sharp encounter the week before, but remained nevertheless a formidable army with which Count Ignatieff's Kavkaz Column had to deal.
Turcowaz: Kars Command
Izumrud-Zeleniya Kavkaz Corps:
2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment:
15 Units; Median = 8. Units activated per turn = 8/9/10 ('Good' Commander)
39 SP: Army Exhaustion point -13SP; Rout Point -20SP
|Turcowaz 4th and 5th Divisions fronting up to |
the river line.
This was to reckon without the Zeleniyan cavalry, standing either side of the gun line, some distance beyond the river. Suddenly 36th Turcowaz Infantry found themselves assailed in flank by vengeful lance-armed light cavalry. Such a rude irruption ought to have occasioned a sharp repulse - and so it did, Turcowaz infantry seen fleeing across to their 'own' side of the river. But it was too late. 36th Infantry held up the Zeleniyan light horse just long enough for the 37th to burst into the redoubt at the point of the bayonet and wipe out the garrison.
(I admit here that the fog of war descended a bit in this sector, lacking a vital picture of this front between the garrison with 1 SP left still occupying the strongpoint, and what is clearly the 37th Regiment (4SP) subsequently installed (see later). What I have described seems to me a plausible account of events.)
The remaining pictures show the gradual Zeleniyan withdrawal.
Breakdown of the 'Butcher's Bill':
5th Infantry (3SP) -2SP
6th Infantry (4SP) -2SP
7th Infantry (3SP) -3SP (destroyed)
8th Infantry (4SP) -4SP (destroyed)
Other arms - no loss
Total loss: 11SP
Net loss 7SP (2/3rds rounded, having lost the battle)
4th Division (16SP) -3SP
5th Division (17SP) -1SP (surprising this, as they bore the brunt of the urban fighting in the centre)
6th Division (15SP) -7SP (equally surprising - the other way!)
Machine Guns (2SP) -2SP (company silenced by Zeleniyan artillery, but too late to save 7th Infantry)
Cavalry (5SP) -2SP
Other arms - no loss
Total loss: 15SP
Net loss 8SP (1/2 rounded, having won the battle)
To be continued...
|Retreat of the Kavkaz column -|
Situation at nightfall 4 June 1875