Saturday, November 17, 2012

Grübsheim falls

'Today these walls won't hold us back', von Leuchtenberg exclaimed with confidence. He was determined to take the fort no matter how big the brigade's losses are.

(Click on 'Read more' to see the rest of the post.)

The Pandur Regiment marched north to storm the gate there. They've encountered cannonade from one of the towers but marched through - the price was 40 men down.

Meanwhile, the insiders made up barricades to separate parts of the fort. Bombarding began on the south. 'Hug the walls!', the officer yelled at the militia company; but crawling near the wall did not stop the howitzers' fire.

The walls broke. The company retreated.

'Send those poor men in', told von Leuchtenberg. The reconnaissance was not successful: musketry came from the palings and they had to fall back.

'This was the last few men of the battalion', said Colonel von Werther. 'Like I care', replied Leuchtenberg.

Mortars destroyed the buildings inside. 'Clear the place!', yelled the commander of the fort through the explosions and shrieking of mortar shells. 'Once they've stopped shooting one place, move there immediately!'

All buildings were soon set fire by the mortars. 

The bombarding didn't stop until the inside of the fort was clear.

The Pandur regiment and the pioneers reached the northern gate. The tower defending it had no chance against two artillery batteries.

A massive attack began, the pioneers leading the way.

The fight was bloody and unsuccessful. Some of the towers outside had been evacuated earlier, and now their guns were set up amongst the ranks of the infantry; the Pandurs and the grenadier battalion faced a bloody work to wipe the Böhnstadter off.

When the shouts and musket fire were audible down south, Leuchtenberg launched the rest of the brigade through the broken wall. It was soon body against body, bayonet against bayonet.

A weak spot on one bastions was crushed by their own tower guns.  

The foot battalion stationed inside as reserve formed a line quickly and put up a fight.

The enemy was far superior in numbers... Standing ground and shooting furiously did not help. 

The fight was soon over. There were no Böhnstadter captured.

The inner walls fell to Flossian hands.

A few companies outside were still separated from the Unionists and still fighting.

The last two remaining intact, a fusilier and a militia company, found themselves in a melee. A forgotten corner of Grübsheim they were in. About two dozens of Flossians charged them with bayonets, they repelled the attack.

Then, seeing no other way out, escaped through the ruins of the northern gate.

The militia turned back and killed some left-over pandurs.

They charged the unguarded cannons in their way. 

Capturing most of them, but taking brutal losses. They were heading to Dreichholm then and reached it by dusk. 

Grübsheim was in the possession of Unionist troops after its second day of siege. Funnily, von Leuchtenberg did not bother listening to the list of losses. It was too horrible.


Reaching Dreichholm, the commander of the foot and oldest of the regimental commanders, von Kahlen (Te 7, Tr 11) decided to mobilize immediately. The escaping militia battalion already informed the brigade of the loss of Spülge. Putting this account together with the Grübsheim escapers, Kahlen decided the Flossian foot brigade took too many losses to carry on and attack through the Grühne bridge, thus it was best to force the Dreichholm brigade through at Spülge. Cavalry in itself could not protect the town against a full-force brigade. He planned to march the next day, and sending a courier to Böhnstadt with a message to General von Spülge to hurry up and join them as soon as he can.

Böhnstadt casualties
Not counted

Flossian casualties
Pioneers - of 73,
I. Pandurs zu Fuss 1-3. 264 of 330 dead,  30 intact
4. Grenadiers 41 of 120 dead, 0 intact
VIII. Füsilieren 1-3. 115 of 172 dead, 141 intact
IX. Füsilieren 1-3. 47 of 151 dead, 70 intact
That leaves the brigade in miserable conditions, which means the setting-up of the fresher Electoral brigades must be done with haste.

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