Friday, February 14, 2014

Strutzenheim's Onslaught

 As there still are technical difficulties with Cossacks, your humble scribe will describe the battle that happened at the town of Strutzenheim by using the map of the area.
 Strutzenheim lies at a crossroads - the main Störkburger road runs east-west, and the northern road joins in at the town centre. There is a small mill and a church bar some dwellings of the locals, and the town hall at the crossroads. 

Bishop Michheim defended the place with six battalions of militia, but only three were properly armed. The rest had old pikes, spears and rusty swords. His commanders were no better trained than him, however, holding defensive positions - and that for a limited time only - did not require much tact.
The militia formed two lines: one ran from the church gardens surrounded by heavy shrubbery to the bottom of the mill, consisting of the three musketeer battalions. The rest formed the reserve, one unit right behind the centre battalion on the town square, the other two, ready to march out, further west on the road. To the north-west and west lay some not too steep hills, but steep enough to obstruct sight and delay any enemy movement. Some hilltops were even wooded with light woods.

 As written by the great almanach of warfare, Joakim Kapistranus' 'How to Win Thy Battles: A Hundred Ways to Ensure Glory and Avoid Defeat', General von Hohenspitz set up his outnumbering forces in two infantry lines, the artillery and support placed in between, the 1st regiment forming the fore and the 2nd the rear. The two grenadier battalions of the 1st were placed between the musketeer battalions in a checkered manner. The heavy cavalry formed up the left flank as that one seemed more open, supported by a battalion of the Leib-dragoons: the other two dragoon battalions and the Freelancer Companies were supporting the right. From the General's position it could not be seen that the churchyard cannot be penetrated as the shrubbery around it is very thick.
The Freelancers and a company of the Jäger battalion were sent on a reconnasiance mission, and this further strengthened von Hohenspitz's point to take the town by sheer strength. At about noon - the church's bell did not toll - the General ordered the artillery to start bombarding the main square. The guns did not do any damage at first, but as the barrels heated up, the Flossian militia began to suffer casualties. After six barrages, the General ordered the 1st Regiment to advance, supported by the Jäger, and the 2nd to follow up.

The 1st Regiment marched against the militia's line and delivered two shattering volleys. Seeing his troops waver, the Elector sounded retreat. The Grenadiers fell in and close quarter combat began, the reserve troopers taking part in it as well. Their morale held up but they were outnumbered and had been soundly beaten out of the town square and the relative protection of the wheat fields.
Eager to attack, Colonel Schalwerden on the left flank sent multiple inquiries to be permitted to charge or outflank the town, which in the end von Hohenspitz gave. However, the heavy cavalry ran straight into the bushes surrounding the church yard, and the militia's fire was so unexpectedly intense that they had to fall back and regroup. By the time a second charge could be conducted, the Eugen Jäger and the 4th Grenadier battalion of the Prinzipalitär Regiment cleared the yard, and the enemy, although still fighting and organized, kept retreating. 
A messenger sent to von Hohenspitz made the situation clear, so now the General let his 'rabid dogs', the light cavalry units of the Freelancers loose: as the enemy neared the hillside, the Freelancers fell on and caused further casualties. One company has been put to sword immediately, but the rest gained ground and reached the forest just in time.
The victory, thanks to the steadfastness of the Flossian militia, had not been a landslide as von Hohenspitz expected. They took only a few prisoners, while the General admitted he could have mapped the area more tediously to avoid his heavy cavalry to be bogged down.

-Böhnstadter victory-

Not counting the wounded, the casualty list follows:

Flossian casualties
1. Landwehr battalion = 44 dead/captured
2. = 39 dead/captured
3. = 3 dead
4. = 8 dead
5. = 46 dead/captured
6. = 26 dead/captured
With a little re-organization, it would take little time for the Landwehr Brigade to join the fight again.

Schultze-Böhnstadt casualties
1. Eugen Jäger btn. = 10 dead
1/1. Prinzipalitär foot btn. = 1 dead
1/4. Prinzipalitär Grenadier btn. = 13 dead
3/1. Leib-Dragon btn. = 5 dead
I/2. Anneliese Cuirassiers sqd. = 5 dead
Freelancer 1. sqd. = 11 dead

No comments:

Post a Comment