Saturday, 17 October 2015

Ambush at Low Hesket : VBCW

The A6 provides a fast and direct communication route between Carlisle and Penrith and it's the principle route for moving military equipment and troops up and down the Royalist held Eden Valley. The Albertine forces based in West Cumberland know this and have sent a crack force of troops under the command of Lt John Howard to harass and if possible capture Royalist assets.

These forces have infiltrated Royalist held areas disguised as farmers, labourers etc and then rendezvoused at the small village of Low Hesket, where the A6 narrows through the village. They have hit it lucky as having waited through the day for a suitable target a convoy including two valuable 25lb artillery guns is travelling north.

(We set up a 'simple' scenario where the Royalist forces need to break out and get off the far table edge. I hadn't anticipated how hard this would be)

Royalist Convoy stops in the village
The Albertine forces are all Regular troops but out of uniform which has allowed them to get so close to this important transport artery. The Royalist forces are initially stopped by a road block in the village which forces any vehicle to get off the road.

Trap is sprung
The 'crack' Albertine troops have been set up in ambush and immediately the Royalists come under fire. Not surprisingly this forces/encourages the Royalist troops to head North off the road. But here they are ambushed again by more Albertine reserves who have obviously been dug in around the barn.
Cumberland Constabulary reserves heading across the fields
Although the Royalists are more mobile, they have to send their infantry forward to clear the way. Eventually they are able to set up their artillery but this is too late to make a big impact on the battle.

Cumberland Border Troops pinned down in the fields to the north
The rest of the battle was a desperate struggle for the Royalists trying to push forward in the face of concentrated fire. One unit made it in to the buildings by the road but realised this was not going to get them in the clear. They then made a more concentrated attempt to break out to the North but a well aimed shot blew up one of their vehicles in the gap causing yet more delay.

To the south of the road the armed constables eventually forced the ambushers to retreat but again they were unable to force a serious break through as they had run out of time before darkness fell.

Constabulary eventually force a way through to the south
With their objective achieved the Albertine troops started to gradually pull back before they started to take any further casualties. Having lost considerable men and materials the only saving grace for the Royalists was a lucky shot at the end which took out the retreating enemy armoured car.

Smoke rising from the Albertine armoured car in the distance.

A good victory for the Albertine forces showing what can be achieved by experienced troops working behind enemy lines.


  1. Thanks nearly back upto date another under cover mission for Howard next time.