Sunday, December 9, 2012

Letters are exchanged

 Herzog Constantine II
Herzogtum von Rechburg

I am writing this letter the day after the battle of Ostwald, you will by now no doubt have read my reports sent yesterday by courier, on the battle and its disappointing results.  I have no real explanation why our troops did not perform with the usual Élan, the circumstances were ideal for a complete victory. We outnumbered the enemy both numerically and in quality, yet when it came to the fighting the men simply seemed to lack their usual “killer Instinct” of battle.

Other errors that culminated in an average result were my own, I would be the first to admit I was too cautious and deprived myself of the very instrument I needed for the breakthrough that of course being the Guard cavalry.
The reason I deployed them away from the battle is one of the reasons I am writing today. Yesterday I was in a dearth of information regarding the forces of the Duchy of Neider. Just prior to the battle I was told they were only hours from marching on my flank, hence the need to detach a viable force to at least slow them down while I fought the battle here at Ostwald.
Inexplicably an hour or so before the battle, the Neider Army just disappeared and I have since learned they had withdrawn from Bergatonia, however yesterday I had to assume this sudden movement was to go wider around my flanks and to cut communications with Rechburg.

Obviously father something has occurred that I am not aware off, why would the Neider Army simply turn around and march away home, they certainly were at the point of gaining a great strategic advantage?

The other matter I am writing for and off even greater concern is after I sent the battle report off to you I received a visit from a Franconian General Alexis Schnellendorf.
He was an arrogant boastful individual however he came under a flag of truce with a message from King Juan.
The message warned me that if I continued to make war on Bergatonia either by advancing further or even by remaining in Bergatonia that Franconia would be at war with Rechburg. I did point out that it was in fact Bergatonia that declared war on us but that seemed to have little sway with arrogant bastard.
He claims to have an Army taking up positions around the Bergatonian Capital, details of which I have no knowledge.
I sent him off “with a flea in his ear” but I am equally concerned that yet again events are unfolding before me from which I have no knowledge, if there is a Bergatonian/Franconian Army waiting for me at New Madrid it will mean I am most likely outnumbered, so before I act there are several things I require of you:

a)     I would appreciate some guidance on how to react to these new events, in particular to all information that pertains to events happening outside my area of control, for example has our situation changed so much that you desire a war with Franconia? Are we at war with Iberia yet? And finally as mentioned what is happening with Neider.
b)    I know I have all the forces you can spare, but father you may need to apply pressure on our allies to gain some additional forces, particularly if a Franconia Army is indeed a few miles from me. It is imperative I have some reinforcements. Rechburg quite simply cannot fight this war alone; our army is very quickly becoming depleted, particularly when we fight inconclusive battles such as that fought yesterday.

Meanwhile I will remain here until I have word from you, I will reorganise the army and for now prepare some defensive positions. I have sent patrols out in search of information but as I am sure you will appreciate the Cavalry at the moment are a spent force and will need careful handling until we can rebuild their confidence.

I remain your loving Son
Prince Wilhelm.

Written this 6th day of March, at Ostwald, Bergatonia

While Prince Wilhelm waited he re-organised his army and prepared his positions. He had reports back from long range patrols that confirmed the presence of Franconian infantry around New Madrid. A few days later he received a missive from his father.

Dear Wilhelm
My dearest son first let me say just how proud we are all are off you, I know I have not given you easy tasks but then when have I ever been easy on you. As I have explained to you so many times that as heir to the Rechburg throne you will always be required to make difficult decisions. When the time comes to make those decisions, the one thing you must do is try and have all the information to help you in finding an answer. However sometimes those answers are simply not available at the time and you must your decisions based on your own logic and intuition ergo your position prior to the battle.
The moves you made before fighting the battle at Ostwald were perfectly acceptable given the void of information as to events outside your control, so please do not be too harsh on yourself and never, ever second guess the decision once made.

As why troops fight very well in one battle and not the next can often simply be explained by either lack of recent experience or even too much recent experience.
Don’t forget Wilhelm these men have just fought a winter war; they did not have the opportunity for proper rest and recuperation. They were then required to march hundreds of miles from Ulrichstein to southern Rechburg, all on bad spring roads, so my guess is your men are tired. However having said that it is up to the commander to enthuse his men. You should go amongst them and show them you care and make changes that will help them; do these things which are small in nature but will pay dividends in results and you will find you have a much more reinvigorated army.

Now as to events that are all happening very quickly and I am assuming even by the time this courier has arrived events will have moved considerably.

The Duchy of Neider
 Duke Anton Louvois or perhaps more importantly I belief his wife Duchess Matilda did not have their hearts in a war in which  I assume they felt there was literally no profit in it for them. Further more I assume they felt they were becoming drawn deeper into a Franconian grasp for power and influence; something Anton has tried to resist these last few years.
The Britannic Government and their ally the Hollandaise Government gave them a nudge towards neutrality by warning them that should Neider join Franconia in a war against us then Brittania would be forced to declare war and blockade all the Neider Ports, thus in not time Neider would be in desperate economic straits as well as the threat of invasion from Hollandaise.
As you know Wilhelm Duchess Matilda has always been against the Franconian alliance and it seems over the last few years poor old Anton has slipped further under her influence. The choice between fighting in a war where there was no gain to them, and becoming involved in a larger war where all they have done for Neider over the last few years would be cast aside, was no choice really.
At this stage Neider has declared it neutrality in the war, we are waiting for the Franconian response and if they should resort to threats or war against Neider then Brittania and Hollandaise will offer support. So for the moment there is no threat from the direction of Neider.

The Empire of Franconia
In regard to the matter concerning Franconia, no I would prefer not to be in a war with them, but it seems they wish to be in a war with us, clearly there is no running away from this; retreating back to Rechburg merely brings Franconia to our borders.
Britannia has warned Franconia that if they attack our forces they will be at war with them as well, and to reinforce the point the Britannic navy is sailing off all the Franconian ports.
My advice for you Wilhelm is that according to the information you gave me this Franconian General who delivered the demands to you is merely displaying Franconian Bravado. Obviously we are in a state of war with Franconia based merely on his statement that if we are in Bergatonia we will be at war with Franconia; it simply behoves one side or the other to commit themselves to the fray.
So I urge you to stay and reorganise then advance on the Bergatonian capital, we need to end this matter quickly.
I have forwarded the Franconian threats onto to Lord Anders the Britannic ambassador to see what the Britannic reaction will be.

The Empire of Iberia
The Iberian Empire tried to force their way through a Britannic naval blockade with a large convoy of troops escorted warships, however after a brief skirmish the transports headed back to a Franconian port and seem to have disembarked there.
I cannot Imagine King Juan is any too pleased to have a horde of Iberian locusts marching across his land so it will be worth noting what happens, especially of course should they march north either against you or Neider.
In all honesty I now do not believe Juan will want Iberians in neither Neider nor Bergatonia as it is clear he is attempting to put them under his own control.

I received a small message from your sister; it is still hard to think of my little girl as Queen of Hapburgia. She is doing well and is already pregnant, so Ferdinand will be beside himself I think. She tells me King Ferdinand is marching with his army into Wartenburg; I have also heard rumours to the effect that both Franconia and Buchenwald are sending forces to Join Konstantin in Wartenburg.
It occurs to me Wilhelm that our King Juan is immersing himself in a war of Imperial conquest, as such he may ultimately spread himself to thinly.

Now son, in regard to reinforcements, quite simply Rechburg has none, we are training the new recruits but it will be months before they are ready for service. I have urged the Britannic ambassador to plead our case for Britannic troops and he think he will be able to help, the Britannic Government already have a Brigade of infantry in Hollandaise so if we can convince them to release them to you perhaps god willing they will be of help. Our other allies are already committed to the war by sending forces to watch Danemark, as well as protecting Ulrichstein.

I will finish off Wilhelm by offering god’s blessing to you, Leopold and your army, know this, in my eyes and the eyes of our people you can do no wrong.

Your loving and devoted father

Constantine II

Prince Wilhelm placed the letter down on his campaign table, pondering to himself he considered his situation.

At least I now know the extent of the situation, we are or will be at war with one of the largest Empires in Europia, my army is damaged and the prospects of any reinforcements are next to nothing. Before me I have an enemy that could be up to twice my numbers, clearly it is foolish for me to consider attacking them, so I must devise I way of drawing them onto my army instead.

He cleared the letter of the table and rose from his chair to gather the map of Bergatonia, as he sat back down, he paused smiling to himself,

Imagine my little sister with child. As for Ferdinand I wonder how his fortunes are progressing in Wartenburg.

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