Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Siege of Grübsheim, Day 1

The Flossian army had prepared to storm Grübsheim. They had a full brigade of foot with two artillery batteries and a pioneer battalion. Von Leuchtenberg studied the outlay of the defensive works:

Grübsheim is near a lake on the left bank of the River Grühne. The lake is connected to the walls with a canal and supplies the moat surrounding the fort with plenty of water. There's one crossing on the canal guarded by three towers. More guntowers are placed around the walls, marked as dark red dots on the sketch above.
The fort itself is a star-shaped one with an outer wall which ties the two ends of the moat together in the south. 'This is where we'll attack', announced von Leuchtenberg. 'After the outer wall is crushed, all we've got to do is take them out by force. Send the Pandurs over that crossing and see if they can pass,' he ordered Colonel von Werther. 'Take the pioneers if you'd want to, but make sure they pack up some siege weapons for the rest of the brigade.'

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

This bridge Leuchtenberg wanted to be taken has been guarded by a Böhnstadter militia and fusilier company.

There weren't many ways inside the fort. Two walls mostly surrounded by water and heavily guarded. The outer rampart southwards and a narrow passage through the moat on the north, defended by towers and artillery.

Early morning, the Flossian camp was already emptied. Campfires left burning, some soldiers couldn't even finish their breakfast.

The pioneers set up artillery depots before heading to the bridge on the canal.

Followed by two battalions from the Pandur regiment.

The artillery depots started production soon.

An artillery battery opened fire on the tower south of the bridge and the battle began.

The outer fort suffered heavy bombarding from the other battery, a foot company and the dragoon squadron retreated behind the ridge the defensive works were built upon.

There was an abandoned artillery depot inside Grübsheim too, where the commander have found a few barrels and carriages. Three cannons were made ready for action.

The outer walls required more and more workers to repair. If the Flossians manage to breach the walls, the moat would be usfeul no more.

A few of the two regiments ordered to stay in the valley south of the rampart went too close to one tower...

After four or five effective shots, the fusilier battalion lost 30 men.

The Flossian mortars built in the depots began their work, and soon, one of the two towers inside the rampart has been destroyed.

Gunpowder in the tower near the brigde caught fire after the enemy cannonade and exploded.

The pioneers launched an attack on another tower and blew it up.

They've only lost seven men while retreating after they lighted the fuses.

Cannonade was now aimed at the foot companies north of the bridge, they fell back, out of harm's way.

The rampart's walls had been breached after siege howitzers joined the bombarding.

A vain attempt to restore the breach has been made, with many masons lost.

Those three guns from inside were much needed, so they were ordered to go south.

The breach has been widened so more troops would fit in the attack.

The Böhnstadter made a stand on the ridge inside.

As the breach made perfect sight for the cannon which just arrived, they fired two rounds each, six balls of lead into the Flossian ranks... The fusiliers enraged and began their attack without waiting for orders.

Two volleys were exchanged, the Principality's lines quickly melting.

Then the charge began and almost everyone were killed. The rampart fell.

The pioneers crossed the bridge, thinking the Böhnstadter foot left...

It was not such a surprise they didn't.

The bloodiest fight of the day started: most of the pioneers, armed with picks and axes charged home, broke the two Böhnstadter companies while suffering huge losses themselves.

Then the remaining few bombed the tower.

The Pandur regiment could now cross safely.

The two companies left behind joined them too. 

The events left the fort's commander concerned, but he knew he still wouldn't stand a pitched battle against the Flossians. There was no way retreating and leaving the still relatively safe walls.

Grübsheim had been weakened by the end of the first day of its siege. What will tomorrow bring? Will Dietrich von Spülge be quick enough?

Losses (deceased, total loss)


  • 83 out of 90 dragoons killed, 7 captured
  • 24 of 36 militia killed, 12 captured
  • 52 of 72 fusiliers killed, 20 captured

  • 51 of 72 militia and fusiliers killed, 21 captured

Total: 210 killed, 60 captured

  • 32 of 100 pioneers killed
  • 47 of 64 fusiliers killed
  • 139 of 194 fusiliers killed

Total: 218 killed, 140 wounded

'In the end, our losses are high; a whole regiment of men', said von Leuchtenberg, 'but, gentlemen, this is how a siege goes.' 

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