Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Raining Under Mecklenheim

Despite the ultimatum, the main gates of the little fortress Mecklenheim were still open on the morning which General von Hohenspitz decided to be best fit for the attack.

The garrison consisted of two fusilier battalions and three militia battalions; these latter had two companies only. The companies were separated and stationed around the outer perimeter guarded by wooden walls. The two regular battalions were divided to 10x24-men groups.

Von Hohenspitz woke up to his old bones aching. "Tis the damn rain!', he cried out. The aide-du-camp waiting outside his tent brought his greatcoat while the other one, with a lower rank, looked after his horse. He's usually been in a good mood so far, seeing how fast his campaign progresses, but the foul weather made him grumpy - and that was something his enemies wouldn't like on a battlefield. He has quickly written some orders and passed it down to the ADCs, then mounted his horse and rode off. The Brigade was already in marching order which the General accepted with a quick nod towards the group of regimental commanders. 
'I have exactly one day to finish this, so I do hope your troops did everything to keep their powder dry', he said, reaching them. The commanders greeted him properly, but it seemed they were as much affected by the spring rain as was their general. 'You received your orders? Good. Then let us begin.'

'The eastern side of the fort will be secured by the united cavalry - the Leib-Dragoner Regiment, the Garde du Corps and the Annelise Küirassieren Regiment'. They were to show up under the palisades at noon, harass the enemy then retreat - to keep Flossian forces away from the main attack site.

The foot followed on road.

Von Hohenspitz, after a messenger from Colonel Schalwerden, temporally leading the cavalry division, reached him with the news that they have occupied their place, rode off and called for a meeting with the garrison commander, who refused to open the gates and chose to hold out.

The fusiliers of the 1st Prinzipalitär Regiment were to guard the west side and march out the woods at 1pm - they past the Brigade's vanguard and took their positions in due time.

After diplomacy failed, the work was up to the guns. The two artillery regiments, guarded by the Jäger battalion of Schlachtgruppe 1, lined up and started bombarding the fort. Von Hohenspitz did not want to waste lead and powder on the walls - he told the artillery commanders to destroy the barracks inside.

The barracks were old, built two centuries ago, and despite the rain the structure soon caught fire.

The fire reached the powder supply and the building collapsed.

Then the flames spread to the log cabin next to the barracks - this building was also destroyed after a successful hit from the Böhnstadter artillery.

The pioneers then started construction on a bunch of mortars which were carried around on carts with the rest of the baggage train.

As mortar shells started falling along with the rain, the Flossians inside the stone walls had to switch positions - but moving around the attacked towers costed many lives.

The time has come for the cavalry to move forward on the eastern side.

Flossian units reinforced the outer walls, then after a short firefight in which the Leib Dragoons lost five men and the Flossians about twenty, the cavalry retreated.

As there weren't any commanders around, confusion ensued and some troops were lost.

The 1st Regiment left the woods and the defenders had a clear sight of how many they ought to oppose. The commander ordered his men to retreat inside the stone fort.

Which led to the opportunity for the Jäger to decimate the marching foe.

Then a group of sappers blew up the main palisade gate.

Lieutenant Colonel Maxim Harlein and his sapper company were the first to set foot inside Mecklenheim. They helped the gunners drag the mortars inside.

And these devices started bombarding again.

At the northern end of the hill there was a relatively safe spot against cannonfire, so most Flossian troops took a shelter there.

The commander expected the enemy to storm the fort, so he ordered the men to battle formations. This costed a couple lives again as it was deducted under cannonnade.

The 1st Prinzipalitär Regiment reached the walls and met no resistance.

However they had seen the Flossians retreating through the rear gates - as no attack came, the commander has given up. His men did their best - the Böhnstadter, however, fought dirty. 'O good sir, you don't even know how dirty they fight', murmured Colonel Herbert von Plischke, and scribbled something on a piece of paper.

The sappers have now seen work again as they detonated the fort's gate too.

And met a wounded musketeer who shot at them before being filled with lead.

An errand from Colonel Plischke reached the cavalry division in time - they left towards the north, then struck at the retreating Flossian column.

The three cuirassier squadrons gave no mercy.

And thus ended the siege of Mecklenheim - just under one day, as von Hohenspitz predicted. He was also a little bit more content now.


Flossian forces - 142 dead; 318 captured/wounded (the fortress commander was given quarters but lost all his lieutenants and the battalion commanders as well).

Principality forces: 7 dead, 6 wounded (the Leib-Dragoner 1st Sqd. lost 5 men in the firefight; the Jäger battalion 3 while shooting at the retreating Flossians; and the Annelise Küirassiers' 2nd Sqd. another five when charging the retreating column).

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