Sunday, March 6, 2011

Well, that didn't last long

Ardoberg Enquirer Special Report: Gallic incursion thwarted

Students of History will recall the First War of the Kantian Interpretation, which began and ended a few short months ago. On that occasion a philosophical dispute was escalated into an international incident by the meddling of the King of San Maurice. The Elector of Ardoberg Holstein reacted in character with a quick, thoughtless thrust across the border to capture the town of Cezanne. After a hastily negotiated peace and some sharp practice by the merchants of Cezanne against their "guests", the Electoral Army was withdrawn.

All men of good will hoped for a lasting peace, but no sooner had the German troops returned homethan the King of San Maurice began gathering his forces and planning his revenge. It remained only to construct a plausible excuse to resume hostilities. So it was that the Elector received from the King of San Maurice a demand for payment for his food and lodgings while he occupied Cezanne. To add insult to injury the bill included charges for several evenings attendance at a bawdy restaging of the classic play "The Lady and the Leather Merchant", which the Elector had most certainly not attended.

There was only one thing for it, and the Elector sent his gallopers off to all garrisons directing the regiments to meet him on the road to Cezanne. Alas, the Gallic King was too quick for him and had his army across the border and marching north by the time the Electoral forces had concentrated. At length the Electoral army of three regiments of horse, six of foot and two batteries of guns confronted the Royal Army of two regiments of horse, four of foot and two batteries of guns near the village of Wagenberg.

The outnumbered San Mauricians marched to contest the enemy crossing of the Schwartzwasser river. A single newly raised battalion of the Marne regiment of foot was still on the wrong side of the river when the Electoral forces appeared. The hapless battalion moved toward the Schwartzwasser hoping to find a fordable place to cross. The rest of the King's infantry deployed along the river bank to cover them while the cavalry and guns raced to block access to the only bridge in the area. The Electoral cavalry bore down on Marne Regiment while the guns began a long range ineffectual bombardment of the enemy infantry across the river. Meanwhile, the Elector's infantry moved behind the cavalry intending to force a river crossing.

The Marne regiment's desperate attempt to find a crossing point failed, so they turned their backs to the riverbank and prepared to face the oncoming Electoral horse. Before the inexperienced fantassins could form line the Ardozolern Curriassers were among them. In a matter of moments the Marne regiment was no more, but their comrades on the far river bank got a measure of revenge by bringing a punishing fire to bear on the horsemen.

The Electoral cavalry withdrew to the rear while the infantry formed up to try to force the river line. The Elector's guns engaged forst one enemy battery and then the other as they tried to deploy to cover the bridge. Both San Maurician batteries took heavy casualties and were withdrawn. At this point the San Maurician commander chose to withdraw from the field rather than try to oppose the crossing without effective artillery support.

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