Before taking a seat amongst his three colleauges, Magnus Walther von Presser, the oldest elector of the Union on the Flosse read through a list his adjutant just put on his desk.
Current Armies of the Union
list by Manfred Sillinghoffen, by the orders of his Excellence the First Elector
(One regiment of foot is 3 battalions by standard, cavalry regiments are 2 squadrons.
Brigades are strictly organized and not only operational units.)
6. Rückelburg Brigade - under direct command of Field Marshal von Leuchtenberg
At quarters in Rückelburg
I. Pandurs zu Fuss 1-3. (4) Col. von Werther
4. Grenadiers (7)
VIII. Füsilieren 1-3. (3) Col. Eisberg
IX. Füsilieren 1-3. (3)
5. Klaußstadt Cavalry Brigade - under direct command of Elector von Strutzenheim
At quarters in Klaußstadt
I. Garde du Corps 1. (6) under direct command
II. Leib-Dragoner 1. (5) Major Schilswig
III. Karabinieren 1-2. (2) Lt. Col. Fichte
IV. Hussaren 1. (3) Major Mösenberg
7. Landwehr Brigade - no appointed commander
(Insurrectionist, regiments take a week to form)
3 regiments of Landwehr foot with two battalions, 1-6. (2)
Light cavalry regiments 1-3 (2 sqds of light cav. and 1 carabiniers)
Militia (pike) battalions (196 men) I-VIII.
Artillery regiment A, 1 battery at present, 2 reserve
Selbständig Grenzer battalions 1-2.
V. Rgt 1. battalion Pionieren (7), bat. 2-3 reserve
Von Presser's Leib (foot) bat. 1-3 (5)
When declaring war, besides the regular brigades, all four electors should raise a mixed brigade with
one cavalry and two foot regiment plus a field gun battery.
'Fine', said von Presser outloud as he finished the list. 'I'm going to make some proposals to my fellow Electors.'
The cause the Electors' Council gathered was quite serious. A civilian living on the other side of the Böhnstadt-Flossian frontier rode to Rückelburg with the news of major Böhnstadter operations (at least a brigade, and the Principality had only two) near Schrimpsdorf and Rotsdorf. They, the Council and the people wanted war no doubt, that was the reason of regular troops participating in frontier raids. The only question was how to begin. If they do not follow diplomacy, Leuwenthaal, formally an ally of both the Union and the Principality would intervene; then there's a chance for Glambria entering the war too.
The Council was seated around an U-shaped table when von Presser entered the room. They've also invited the head of the Union's army, Feldmarschall Otto von Leuchtenberg to dispute the case; the commander was standing at the moment, between the two branches of the table. He held a piece of paper in one, and a long cigar in his other hand.
'As Herr Presser is here now, too', he said, and started reading his papers. 'We have taken more information from our guest the baker, and made it quite clear - a smaller reconnaissance in Störkburg tells us as well -, that the Schultzdorf brigade is at full force in Störkburg and participates in some sort of military practice. Now these are the options we came up with at the headquarters:'
Current armies gather at Geistwold in two weeks, attack Spülge and Grübsdorf, prepare to force pass through the river Grühne and maintan bridgeheads for further operations until the Electoral brigades are ready. In the meantime, raids near the Rotsdorf/Mecklenheim/Strutzenheim border continue as distraction.
Goal: To prove military superiority and get the Flossian border stand up on river Grühne;
Pros: No major military force in the area; no immediate necessity to cross rivers, close to hinterlands;
Cons: Not enough regular force for a two-way attack, must set up Landwehr first (risk of spies); getting too far with raids would result a straightforward Böhnstadter attack and declaration of war before due time.
Armies gather at Grübsheim, begin immediate attack on Rotsdorf/Störkburg and declare war on Böhnstadt.
Goal: to drive out the Schultzdorf Brigade from Störkburg and capture the Military Academy;
Pros: A quick victory and shattering major threat to further operations;
Cons: No adequate military commander to match Hohenspitz; meeting the enemy at full force & fortified.
'So either take the risk or go for the certain one which would not result in anything good for our cause', summarized up Elector Michheim. 'What I really worry about is this Hohenspitz fellow, he has quite a reputation.'
'Let me, your Excellence,' said Elector von Strutzenheim, 'I'd go forward with attacking the Schultzdorf Brigade where they are. Only thing we know is part of their force guards the border near Rotsdorf; what if we are granted a permission from Glambria, cross their borders first and attack from the west? Or cross the mountains with our light cavalry and burn everything we find?'
'The cavalry commander speaks of you, sir', von Leuchtenberg told. 'The cavalry brigade and the light cavalry regiments combined could not face a full-strenght regular brigade. And there's Störkburg itself with its fortifications; it would require a division which we, at the moment, do not have.'
'Either way, we must waste time to gather more troops', said Lothar von Könstrelle, 'so why not start a full-scale attack after. Declaring war could wait until we are at Grübsheim already; they could do nothing more than face us.'
'May I suggest a vote then', von Strutzenheim said. 'That would be two for Störkburg, one for Spülge: the Feldmarschall do not have a vote in the Council, and then, even if Herr von Presser votes for Spülge it's still an even.'
'Not an even', said von Presser in a low tone. 'I'm the First of the four: when the vote is even, my vote decides, hope I don't have to make you remember that, Herr Alfred.' He held a break, drank a glass of wine. 'Now then. Setting up four brigades in two weeks: nearly impossible. The militia is worthless. We have a good half of a cavalry brigade and a complete foot brigade to which artillery or pioneers did not yet join. See the list my assistant just made.' He give the army list to Bishop Michheim on his right. All the electors read them through hastily.
'What I propose is the following', von Presser cleared his throat, 'First. Von Strutzenheim fills up the cavalry brigade. Another heavy cavalry regiment must be ready in a month with two squadrons. We have plenty of veteran officers and sergeants from the war with Leuwenthaal to hasten up the training. The Garde du Corps will be filled up with another squadron, but make them count, hear me?' Von Strutzenheim nodded. ' The rest of the brigade - the light cavalry troops, hussars, dragoons, carabiniers - must have three squadrons per battalion in two weeks if that could be implemented. With that von Strutzenheim would complete his brigade and succeed in his task of raising one. Both this brigade and the 6th Rückelburger foot will march to Geistwold, where they will be joined by the complete artillery regiment and a battalion of pioneers. When all the forces are in Geistwold, we send the declaration of war to Böhnstadt. The cavalry then would attack Spülge and drive the enemy troops out of it, while the infantry and the cannons march on Grübsdorf and besiege the fort.
Second. Elector Michheim will gather up the Landwehr Brigade, take two light cavalry regiments and march to Grübsheim. The Böhnstadter would not dare an attack on their own; by the time the news of us taking their lands on the left bank of the Flosse reaches von Hohenspitz he could do nothing.
While these three brigades gather enough troops to operate succesfully, the rest of us will work on setting up another foot and cavalry brigade which will make up a division with the Militia and will be sent where they are required the most.'
'You must have been thinking a lot on this plan, your Excellence', the Field Marshal exclaimed. 'That I did', von Presser replied, 'and apparently you did not. Let's vote now, gentlemen, and General, you could join us if you may. Who's with me on the main attack hitting the Flosse? ', the First Elector held his right palm up. Michheim raised his hand, and Könstrelle followed after some hesitation. Stupid, stupid man, thought von Presser. 'And, of courtesy: who votes for the two present brigades attacking Störkburg and Hohenspitz himself?'