Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Long Peace is shattered

Philosophers have puzzled over the extended period of 'Not War' along the border between Ardoberg-Holstein and St. Maurice. Some thought that these neighbors had simply learned to settle their differences without cannon fire and others believed they just couldn't remember what the fighting was about. As we now understand, the lull in the fighting had been due to economy measures implemented by their respective French and English paymasters. Several months ago an English envoy arrived at the court of the Elector with a proposal for a force to join a Hanoverian army of observation on the border of San Maurice. When the spring grass was capable of supporting a campaign and the English contract money had arrived, one brigade of foot and one of horse marched to join the Hanoverians.

When the Elector arrived in the theatre of operations he found the St Maurician army had already crossed the river and was encamped near the village of Snitchel. The Allied army formed up with a brigade of two English and two Hanoverian regiments of foot on the left, a brigade of four Electoral regiments of foot in the center and a brigade of five regiments of Electoral cavalry on the right. The St Mauricians, equal to the Allies in numbers, deployed with their foot in the center and horse on both wings.

The English commander, Lord Muggles, considered the Electoral contingent to be under his command as it was an English subsidy that had brought them to the field. As in past joint operations, the Elector ignored Muggles' presumption and regarded the man as the most tedious of his three brigadiers. The Elector's battle plan was for Muggles to adopt a defensive stance on the left while the Electoral infantry in the center pinned the St Mauricians and the cavalry on the right delivered the decisive blow.

St Maurician Hussars take one in the labanza
Things began well enough as a raw Hanoverian regiment of foot repulsed the charge of the elite St Maurician Musketeers regiment of horse and the advancing Electoral cavalry brigade swept aside a single regiment of hussars in their path. Then things started to go terribly wrong. Von Hassenfeiffer commanding the Electoral cavalry was carried away by the majestic sight of his five regiments sweeping down on the enemy left. He was not unaware of the difficulty of breaking fresh lines of infantry with unsupported cavalry, but he knew his boys could do it! He knew they were unstoppable! His riders would shatter the enemy left and roll up their entire line. As the Electoral horse bore down on them the unintimidated St Mauricians poured disciplined volleys into their ranks and the horsemen reeled back in confusion.

The 'unstoppable' Electoral horse are stopped
The Electoral infantry press the center
The English/Hanoverian brigade, stout fighters, indifferent commander
For the rest of the battle the Electoral horsemen could do no more than launch poorly coordinated and ineffective attacks on the enemy left. Von Hassenfeiffer seemed to have lost control over his battered regiments. On the Allied left the English/Hanoverian brigade was under attack and was resisting manfully, although with little direction from Muggles. Slowly they were being whittled down. The only bright spot for the Elector was his infantry brigade in the center. What began as a pinning attack in support of the cavalry inflicted serious damage on the St Maurician center and left. In the end it was not enough and the Elector was forced to withdraw and leave the enemy in posession of the field.
St Maurician infantry taunt the withdrawing Allied army in their incomprehensible language
A pox upon he who styles himself King of St Maurice. Wait until next time!