The drums on the east bank began to beat as the sun rose over Osgiliath, providing light but little heat against the early morning chill. Men who had spent the night freezing on the battlements in anticipation of a night attack, made ready to repulse the long awaited assault. The men of Gondor knew that they were outnumbered. Several nights ago Faramir had led a small patrol across the Anduin to observe the enemy forces. Crossing in boats, the small team of Rangers used their superior fieldcraft to slip past the Orc sentries and managed to establish an observation post overlooking the main Orc encampment. They had witnessed several thousand Orcs making preparations to cross the Anduin and the Rangers immediately withrew to prepare for the assault.
Boromir had taken several hundred men from the garrison up north to Cair Andros and there were few reinforcements left in Minas Tirith so the men of Gondor knew that once again they were on their own.
The Rangers man the walls while the infantry including a unit of elite fountain guards, wait in reserve behind.
An Orc siegetower dwarfs the buildings in East Osgiliath.
Whipped forward by their captains, the Orc host advances.
Led by their hot headed captain, the axemen of Lossarnach sally forth to intercept the Orc ram. The Axemen cut down hundreds of Orcs but are overwhelmed as the Orc vanguard arrives and only a well timed sally by a company of spearmen is able to save them.
The Orc vanguard assaults the walls with ladders and the Rangers pull back to let the spearmen take their place on the walls.
Orcs continue to swarm across the Anduin despite heavy casualties from the Rangers bowfire.
The Rangers form up and deliver volleys of arrows over the wall. They had trouble disengaging from the melee on the walls and suffered many casualties.
With the men on the walls hard pressed to hold back the Orcs, Faramir orders the infantry reserve to sally forth. The elite veterans of the Fountain guard present their spears prepare to enter the fray.
In a repeat of the previous battle, the Orcs are taken in the flank while waiting to ascend the ladders.
Faramir leads his Rangers and a unit of spearmen forward through the central gate....
... and into the Orc ranks.
Surrounded on all sides, the Orcs are cut down before the walls.
The exhausted company of spearmen on the walls have sold their lives dearly, killing dozens of Orcs for every man lost. However they are eventually crushed by the weight of numbers and are killed to a man.
Orc Archers use their elevated position to fire upon the Rangers below. Suffering heavy casualties, the Rangers withdraw into cover.
The second company of Spearmen ascends the enemy ladders and attacks the Orcs who have taken the walls. The Spearmen avenge their comrades by slaughtering every Orc atop the walls. The Orcs try to flee but are speared or thrown from the walls by the vengeful spearmen.
The carpet of bodies on top of the wall.
The carnage before the walls.
The shoreline is strewn with Orc bodies, the victims of the unforgiving bowfire from the Ithilien Rangers. Streams of their black blood flow into the Anduin.
The men of Gondor prepare for a renewed assault but the Orc reserves are unwilling to engage.
As the Orcs withdraw, a victory of sorts has been won. The streets are packed with the wounded and overworked healers struggle to provide them with aid. Faramir walks among the bodies and is heard to remark that one more such victory would utterly undo us.
While the Orc assault has been blunted, it is unlikely that the men will be able to repulse another.