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After Action Reports

The wars and battles involving Rechburg will be recorded here:



The battle of Briel.
This battle took place in southern Rechburg between Rechburg and Bergatonia. The Rechburg force was commanded by Prince Leopold the Youngest son of Herzog Constantine, he is rated as an exceptional commander and was fought by 2 brigades of Rechburg Experienced militia, supported by 3 Regiments of Guard cavalry and 2 batteries of light and medium artillery.
The Bergatonia army consisted of 2 brigades of regular troops, 2 regiments of Cavalry and 2 heavy artillery batteries, the Army was commanded by Duke Rupert who is an average General but it included General Lumsdorf who was an exceptional General.




The battle of Briel opened when the Bergatonian heavy artillery opened up on the 15th Rechburg Militia battalion occupying the Buildings of Briel hamlet.
Fifteen minutes later the first units of the Bergatonian 1st brigade launch their main attack they were seen advancing south past the ruined Chateau and were immediately engaged by artillery fire. The Rechburg artillery continues to pour heavy accurate fire on the 1st brigade and for the next 30 minutes causes many casualties amongst the 5 Bergatonian Battalions. The 2nd battalion in particular suffered heavy casualties; some reports suggest as many as 150 men dead and wounded in a few minutes.
The Bergatonian artillery inexplicably now split their fire, one Battery engaging ineffective long range fire on the Rechburg Cavalry while the other battery continues firing into the Hamlet, again though causing minor damage not hurting the units in the Hamlet very much at all.
The Bergatonian 1st brigade launches its first of many attacks against the 16th Battalion manning the hedges just north of the hamlet, these attacks were repulsed by the Rechburgian Battalion  who in the process inflict losses of 200 men, as a consequence the 2nd Battalion routs back.
The 1st and 3rd battalions then launch a joint attack against the Rechburg 16th battalion, again the Bergatonions were repulsed, this time the 3rd battalion broke.
The Bergatonian Brigade withdraws back and reforms.
The Bergatonian Heavy artillery now concentrates both batteries on the 16th Rechburg battalion, causing considerable casualties.
Colonel Goethe the Rechburg Brigade commander pulls the 16th back after they lose around 150 men; the Battalion is replaced in the line by the 18th battalion. The exchange just occurred in time as the next Bergatonian attack goes in against the 18th.


The above picture shows Rechburg artillery on pepper ridge engaging Bergatonia jagers
near the old Chateau. In the area of briel the 18th can be seen moving up to replace the 16th battalion on the front line.
  
Again the Bergatonions were repulsed and the 18th leaps through the hedges and occupies the hedgerow on the opposite side of the road, moving them closer to the enemy but having a better field of fire.
The Bergatonian 1st brigade settles down to a firefight, but the Rechburg 18th battalion firing from behind cover inflicts further heavy casualties still ably supported by the artillery to their rear.
Colonel Gentz is ordered to move the 5th brigade from the right end of Pepper ridge to attack the flank of the 1st Bergatonian brigade, the Brigade was rather tardy in its movement and really did not contribute much to the battle.
Elements of the Bergatonian 2nd Brigade are now starting to be shifted toward the ruined chateau.

General Lumsdorf is killed by artillery fire this is a disaster for the Bergatonions as the general was rated as exceptional and was the best general in their army, now the Bergatonions have difficulty rallying their men, a short time later the battle finishes as the 1st Brigade routs from the field, the Bergatonian retreat covered by the artillery and the 2nd Brigade as well as the Light Cavalry.
The Bergatonions lost 900 men in the battle some 200 may come back from recovered wounds. The Rechburg militia lost 150 men, some of whom will also return. They do not pursue as the cold rains that had been threatening all day finally begin settle in.
Most telling in this battle was the extremely accurate Rechburg artillery fire, as well as the fire from the Rechburg Infantry.

The details of this battle will be told in Chapter 4.

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The Battle was a must win for both sides, with the winter storms fast approaching the winner would shelter in Ulrichsburg, the other would have a weeks march retreating through storms and blizzards.
Battle of Ulrichsburg

1st Imperial Division (General Kyler)
1st Imperial Division (General Kyler)
1st Imperial Division (General Kyler)

                                                             The Battlefield 

Rechburg Force in Ulrichstein
Strength= Pre Ulrichsburg battle / post Battle in men

1st Brigade- (Brigade General Kienmayer)
 1st Grenadier Battalion –Vet -600 men
 2nd Grenadier Battalion Vet – 600 men
17th  Grenadier Battalion Vet – 700 men

2nd Brigade (Brigade General Spiedal)
3rd Battalion – Exp – 700/700 men
4th Battalion – Exp – 700/600 men
5th Battalion – Exp – 700 men
6th Jager Battalion – Exp – 500/300 men

3rd Brigade – (Brigade General Sperrle)
7th Battalion – Exp – 400
8th Battalion – Exp – 600/300 men
9th Battalion – Exp – 600/100 men
10th Battalion – Exp – 400/400 men
18th Jager Bn – Exp – 500/300 men

14th Wartenburg Jager Battalion – Exp – 700/600 men– Attached to 3rd Brigade


1st Art Battery 6x12pdr
2nd Art Battery 6 x 6pdr
3rd Imperial Battery 6 x 9pdr

1st Imperial Cavalry Division (General Vatutin)

1st Imperial cavalry Brigade – (Brigade General Hube)
1st Heavy Cavalry Regiment -700/500 men
2nd Heavy cavalry regiment – 700/500 men

2nd Wartenburg Cavalry Brigade (Brigade General Jeschonnek)
3rd Hussar Regiment – 700/400 men
4th Dragoon Regiment – 600/600 men
5th Dragoon Regiment – 700/300 men




C-in-C Prince Wilhelm (Exceptional)
1st Rechburg Grenadier Guard Bn - Vet – 700/600 men
1st Infantry Brigade =Bde Gen Dalberg = Average
1st Bn – exp – 700/500 men
2nd Bn – exp – 700/600 men
3rd Bn – exp – 700/400 men
1 Flensburg Gren Bn – Vet – 600/400 men

2nd Infantry Brigade – Bde Gen Aubrey = Average

4th Bn – exp – 700/600 men
5th Bn – exp – 700/700 men
6th Bn – exp – 700/600 men
2nd Rechburg Grenadier Guard  Bn – Vet – 700/700 men
1st Guard Jager Bn – Elite – 700 men

1st Cav Bde - Prince Hans = Good
Newstadel Huss Regt  – Exp – 700/700 men
1st Flensburg Huss regt. – Vet – 700/400 men
2nd Leeds Hussar Regt – Exp – 700/700 men

2nd Cav Bde - Col Westerman = Good
1st Albany Uhlan Regt – Vet – 700/700 men
2nd Dragoon Regt – Exp – 700/700 men

1 Lt Art Batt - destroyed50%
1 Med Art Batt - intact
1 Heavy Art Batt – destroyed.





The Battle of Ulrichstein
“Damn this fog can’t see a bloody thing” Sergeant Franz Loehr muttered to himself.
The sergeant was quite correct the Imperial Army has been marching since 4:30am in a thick pea soup fog. The local guides predicted the fog would lift around 6am but it was now 8:30am and if anything it was worse.
The Imperial army now under General Kyler was moving out of Ulrichsburg with the intention of fighting the Rechburg Protestants who it had been reported by his patrols yesterday as being seen advancing from their base in Dreyburg, later patrols had reported the Rechburgians were last night setting up camp near the old battlefield of Hamelin approximately 5 miles from the Imperial supply base.

General Kyler had decided to march early and catch the heretic army before they could break camp, but that plan was now seriously jeopardised by the fog. He had decided to continue with the plan because defending his base in the unfortified town of Ulrichsburg in a thick mist was foolish in the extreme, if there was to be a battle it was preferable it was away from the town and supply base; it would be even better if he caught the Rechburgians breaking camp.
Sergeant Loehr and his companions of the Imperial 2nd Heavy Cavalry Regiment were on a ridge Colonel Duroc called Walby Hill, unseen by Loehr out in front of his Regiment the light Cavalry were probing into the fog, cautiously looking for the enemy. To the right of his regiment was the 1st Heavy Cavalry on his left below Walby Hill again was a very thick wood someone said it was called Paisley Woods, good god that wood looked more like a jungle
.
Two miles from Sergeant Loehr, Lieutenant Rothenberg of the 3rd Rechburg Battery was waiting by one of the 9pdr guns, his men had just finished unlimbering the battery on Maurberg Hill, he had also just received word from the captain that further out on his right the Guard Jagers were pushing towards Paisley woods, “make sure you don’t fire on them Karl” the captain stressed.

Fire on them, I cant damn well see them, or if it comes to that any bloody thing.

He knew there were Rechburg cavalry on the valley floor behind him , though he couldn’t see them it was nice to know there were friends close by, for standing on the hill in a fog knowing there was an enemy out there was both nerve wracking and dangerous.
Lieutenant Rothenberg was watching out to the right towards Paisley woods, trying desperately to see if he could locate the Jagers, when all of a sudden he realised the fog was lifting and away to the right he could indeed see in the distance the tiny figures of the Guard jager as they advanced into the dense Paisley woods, one moment they were there, the next enveloped by the trees.

                                                      Sun rises on the battlefield

All of a sudden the lieutenant heard someone yell out, “good God cavalry, Enemy cavalry to our front”.

Sweeping his glass back to his front he looked out across the valley in front of him and what a few moments ago had been a blanket of fog was now as the fog quickly cleared away  a panoramic view of the valley that ran from his positions on Maurberg Ridge across to Walby Hill. The only thing that truly ruined the view was the 2 brigades of Imperial cavalry that Rothenberg could see, and they were making straight for him.
The next thing he heard was the Captain yelling
“Man your guns, prepare to fire”.

He didn’t even have to align the guns from his team, he just made sure they had the elevation correct and immediately after the command to fire was heard the Battle for Ulrichsburg was underway.

                                                The first Cavalry attacks go in on Maurberg Ridge
              
The first Imperial forces to see the enemy were the 3rd Wartenburg Hussars, but before they could react to seeing the enemy guns the Rechburg battery on the hill in front of them fired sending a fog of belching smoke out in front, followed moments later by the whining and then thumping and crashing of shot as they ploughed along their indiscriminate path through men and horses.

Sergeant Loehr heard the regimental bugler  play the prepare to charge, the men drew in to form close ranks, knee to knee, the regiment then started cantering across the valley towards the enemy guns. Loehr looked along the line of his troop; they were in the first line and out beyond his own regiment he could see the 1st Heavy cavalry regiment was also preparing to charge.

The light Cavalry screen that had been in front moments before, now swept back to the sides out of the pathway of his regiment, making it possible for his regiment to sweep that ridge clear of guns.
The shot from the enemy battery hit his ranks first, but Sergeant Loehr was too fixated on the battery to see how effective the enemy battery had been, nor was even aware that another battery had opened up on his regiment from Wanegram ridge, the 12pdr balls from this battery adding to the severe damage to the ranks of heavy horse behind Loegrs front rank.

They were close he kept saying to himself, “kill the bastards, we’re going to kill the bastards”” he was yelling in  exalted screams, now at the foot of the ridge he turned to see how his regiment had fared in the mad charge across the valley floor, they had taken heavy losses and the lines of cavalry behind him were staggered and there were huge gaps everywhere but they were going to hit the bastards and that was all that mattered.

All of a sudden at that moment the ridge of the hill in front was covered by other charging enemy Cavalry, it was as if they had risen from the bowels of the earth as they poured across the crest in front of him, to make matters worse they seem to be heading straight for him, a regiment of Rechburg Hussars and a regiment of Flensburg Hussars swept past the Rechburg artillery battery and counter charged down the ridge straight into the Wartenburg Heavy Cavalry regiment.

The impact of the charge and the fact that Loehr’s regiment had already suffered heavy losses from shot and canister meant that when they were hit by the 1400 enemy cavalry his own regiment numbered around 600 and were not in a good formation to receive a enemy charge, his regiment simply dissolved into a mass of confusion. The melee was severe and short and the 2nd Imperial Heavy Cavalry Regiment was simply swept aside and routed, the regiment fled back across the valley to Walby ridge and beyond. Sergeant Loehr was one of the 300 men of his regiment killed in the first 15 minutes of battle.
The rout of the the 2nd Imperial Heavy cavalry also unsettled the 3rd Wartenburg Hussars and they retreated as well but they were to reform and return to the battle, the 2nd Heavy regiment was a spent force and left the field.


                                            1st Phase of the Battle, the Cavalry advance 

The 1st Imperial Heavy cavalry Regiment that had been preparing to support the 2nd Regiments charge on the guns, however before it moved the Regiment was pulled up short when its commander Colonel Wagner saw a Rechburg Light cavalry Regiment move onto the extreme right hand side of the ridge. The implication being if he charged in support of the 1st then that enemy Cavalry would sweep down taking his own regiment in the flank, moments later he also saw Rechburg Infantry in the woods.

With some relief a few minutes later Colonel Wagner and the other Cavalry commanders received orders to pull back across the valley behind Walby Hill.

General Vatutin the Commander of the Imperial commander had been told that enemy flags and banners had been seen formed up on the reverse slope of Wartenburg ridge, not knowing the strength of the enemy behind that ridge he called his regiments back, he would give the Imperial artillery time to work over the enemy positions, a duty they commenced with immediate success as the enemy 12pdr battery on Wanegram Ridge was hit by Imperial gun fire.

The two regiments of Rechburg light cavalry after repulsing the enemy heavy cavalry had quickly reformed and returned across to the reverse slopes of the ridge, the Rechburg Newstadel Hussars had suffered very few losses and were 700 men strong, the 1st Flensburg Hussars had suffered moderate losses and only 400 men remaining in the regiment, however they were veterans and remained formed and ready for battle, both regiments resumed their position behind Maurberg ridge, alongside the Rechburg 1st Infantry brigade under General Dalberg.

The Imperial 3/1 Brigade prepares to attack  Paisley Woods, the Rechburg Garde Jager would defend these woods all day. The road leads to Asper Hamlet just visible on the right.

The battle emphasis now shifted over to Paisley woods and the hamlet called Asper which was a few hundred yards behind the woods. Asper Hamlet consisted of only a few buildings of cottages and barns, it would have had a population of around a hundred people fortunately for them they had fled hours ago.


                                          2nd Phase, the Infantry start Positions

The Rechburg Guard Jager had made quick progress through the fog, their commander Colonel Wace had heard a report from one of the cavalry patrols that Paisley woods was a extremely dense woods, and Colonel Wace was convinced that was where his elite battalion could do the most damage. So after seeking the approval of his brigade commander General Simkin he and his men literally ran through the fog, trusting they would not crash into any enemy. They made the woods safely and immediately prepared their positions. 
The Colonel knew they were in a exposed position and likely to be surrounded, but as he smiled to himself it would take at least a Brigade of enemy Jagers to dig him and his men out of here and he was waging the enemy didn’t have a Brigade Jagers; he was right.

The battlefield transcended into relative quiet following the Jagers rush into Paisley woods. The rest of the Rechburg 2nd Infantry brigade took up positions around the Hamlet and in Asper woods, they then waited for the inevitable attacks.

Out on the extreme Rechburg right the 1st Rechburg Light cavalry Brigade formed up behind Stanley ridge, its commander Prince Hans of Flensburg  mounted the crest to observe the battlefield.
Directly in front of him but quite some distance away he could see three Battalions of Imperial grenadiers forming, those veterans he pondered to himself will likely cause us a few problems today.

To this left he could see the 1st infantry Brigade forming up behind Asper hamlet, apart from that all was quiet on his side of the battlefield.

Up on Wanegram ridge Prince Wilhelm and his staff watched the battle unfold, he was extremely pleased to see the Imperial cavalry being forced back, but he knew they would return. Down in front of him he had seen that audacious Colonel Wace run into Paisley woods, the Guard Jagers were often referred to as Wace’s foot Hussars because they ran everywhere, Prince Wilhelm knew they would give a good account of themselves.
What was concerning him was the enemy artillery, they were damnably effective and already the 12pdr battery was badly damaged and the horse artillery down in front of Asper Hamlet was taking a pounding, but they had to take it regardless, if he pulled the artillery out too soon he would simply be over-run.


 Imperial 3/1 attacks continue on Paisley Woods, the 2/1 Bde moves around  
                                       the right flank of the woods.

The 2nd Phase of the attack now developed when the Imperial Commander General Kyler ordered his infantry forward, the first to move was the 3/1 Brigade with the attached 14th Wartenburg Jager Battalion. This Brigade had been severly mauled in the Battle off Hamelin only 3days before, of the 5 Battalions in the brigade only 3 were anywhere near full (18th Jager,8th & 9th) strength at 600 men each. The Brigade had the 14th Wartenburg Jager Bn of 600 men attached to it.(detached from 4th Wartenburg Bde .  The first infantry to go in were the 14th Jagers, they advanced into Paisley Wood to clear the Rechburg Guard Jagers out, but were unsuccessful losing around 100 men in the process and routing out of the woods running as far back as Moorgham Hamlet before they stopped.
Then the 18th Jagers pushed down the Asper roadway intending to drive into the Asper woods, however the 5th Rechburg Line Battalion advanced out from the Asper village and pushed the jager back, The 5th Battalion was then in turn attacked by 9th Imperial battalion, the Rechburg 5th losing 150 men were routed by the Imperialist who lost about 100.
The 9th Imperial Battalion was then joined by the 8th Battalion as they advanced on towards Asper. Formed up outside Asper village the 2nd Rechburg Garde battalion stood to face the combined attack, the Rechburg Grenadiers were repulsed with the loss of 100 men the Imperialists continued the advance also losing 100 men between the 8th and 9th Battalions. The Imperial Battalions now approached Asper Hamlet, the 4th Rechburg Battalion had now moved from the rear of Asper to take up positions within the small town. The Rechburg 6th Battalion now moved into reserve immediately behind the town as did the 1st Bn of the Grenadier Garde regiment, moving off Wanegram ridge in behind the Hamlet alongside the 6th.
By now the 2nd Rechburg Garde Battalion had reformed behind the town and was preparing to move forward once more.

Further out to the Rechburg right, the 3 Imperialist grenadier battalions (1st, 2nd & 17th) advanced in column from Offus Ridge towards Stanley ridge, all that opposed them were the two regiments of Light cavalry. Seeing the Grenadiers moving Prince Hans commander of the 2nd Light Cavalry Brigade ordered both Regiments up to the crest of Stanley ridge. Prince Wilhelm also noticing the Imperialists advancing down his right flank ordered the Horse artillery battery from in front of Asper village down to the southern edge of Asper woods, quite close to Bishops peak. From there the Horse artillery started to cause significant casualties on the Grenadiers, who being in columns suffered over 100 men in 15 minutes. The Grenadier advance stopped and they withdrew back to Offus ridge once more.

While the Infantry attacks were taking place outside Asper the Imperialist Artillery had their defining moment by destroying the last guns of the Rechburg 12pdr battery.

Having seen the Rechburg big guns finally silenced General Kyler decided to launch the next Infantry Brigade (2/1) directly at the hill the 12pdr battery had occupied - Wanegram Ridge.
The 2/1 Brigade advanced down the imperialist right hand side of Paisley woods moving between the woods and Walby Hill.
While advancing past the woods the battalions of the 2/1 Brigade suffered considerable casualties from the fire being directed at their flanks and rear by the Rechburg Guard Jagers entrenched within the woods.
As the 2/1 advanced on Wanegram Ridge General Kyler also ordered the Cavalry to renew the attack on Maurberg Ridge.
Maurberg ridge was now defended by the last remaining intact artillery unit, a 9pdr battery, the woods that covered the central part of the ridge was defended by 1st Line Battalion, behind the woods was the Leeds Cavalry regiment and at the foot of the ridge behind the battery were the two remaining regiments of the 1st cavalry Brigade the Newstadel and the Flensburg Hussars.
Immediately behind the 9pdr Battery stood the 1st Flensburg grenadier Battalion a veteran unit.

The 1st Rechburg Infantry Brigade (less the 1st Flensburg Gren Bn) that had been stationed behind Maurberg ridge was in the process of moving to the right to support the defence of Wanegram Ridge and Asper village.

The battle had been going two and half hours and General Kyler had clearly decided to commit his entire centre and right flank in an effort to break the Rechburg line which was being spread by these constant attacks.

As the Cavalry attack neared Maurberg Ridge they started to suffer from the Rechburg artillery once again, the 1st Heavy Cavalry regiment in particular suffered heavy losses. It soon became evident to General Vatutin that the Rechburg Cavalry were ready and waiting for him on the reverse slope of Maurberg ridge. To attack the guns and in turn be attacked by the Cavalry while his regiments were already starting to show signs of nervousness was far to risky for him to contemplate. Unable to go forward left him the only option available to withdraw behind Walby Hill and await the results of the infantry attack.


                                        The Imperial cavalry Retreat from Maurberg ridge.

Meanwhile the 2/1 Brigade under General Spiedal continued their attack towards Wanegram ridge, once the Imperial Cavalry withdrew the Rechburg artillery turned on the units of 2/1 Brigade, 4th Battalion suffering at least a hundred men killed or wounded. The 2/1 Brigade slowed and waited for the 3/1 Brigade to go in on their attack on Asper village. The Imperial lowering of morale was beginning to have en effect on the entire army by this time.

The 3/1 attack down the road towards Asper village was going well, they had certainly suffered losses but so far the 8th and 9th Battalions had swept all before them General Sperle realised that the 9th was becoming too weak having suffered many losses he ordered the 8th Battalion to attack the Rechburg 6th Battalion alone. The 6th Rechburg was stationed alongside the village in column. The 8th Battalion was repulsed in some disorder. The Rechburg 6th then counter attacked the Imperial 8th Battalion and catching it totally unprepared and disordered routed it from the field, the 8th battalion losing 200 men in the melee.

                    The height of the Imperial attack on Asper Hamlet, just before the 
                                 Imperial 8 & 9th Bns were routed. 

The Rechburg 6th then went on to attack the 9th  Imperial Battalion and routed that unit from the field, again causing very heavy casualties, reports suggest as many as 300 men killed in 9th alone. With the 8th
and 9th Battalions both routing down the roadway the other Imperial units started to become shaken. Morale had become very fragile and Commanders found they were having trouble controlling their units until General Kyler decided that his army would take no more punishment and he ordered the retreat.

The Imperial army slowly left the field, their retreat covered by the artillery and the Cavalry. The Rechburg army was too exhausted to pursue.

The losses were quite heavy for both sides

Imperials Lost 1400 Infantry and 1100 cavalry and 2 Battalions and 1 Hvy cav regiment rout.
Rechburg lost 1000 Infantry, 300 cavalry and 1.5 Batteries of artillery. They had 1 Inf battalion rout.

                  ****************************************


Firstly I must apologise for the extreme poor quality of the photos, sadly the Camera I was using for this battle was simply not up to the task.

This Battle was a minor battle or large Skirmish in the struggle for Ulrichstein, unbeknownst to the contestants in this battle the main Battle had been determined with a Rechburg victory a few days prior to this contact. Normally I would not have recorded the battle simply because it was so small  but I have decided to include the skirmish because what happens from this point with the Wartenburg  units may have consequences for the story a little further on.


The Skirmish near Penie in Northern Ulrichstein
Rechburg
Imperial Army



Order of Battle
Maj Gen Hans von Walmoden

3rd Brigade (Col Wilhelm Hebelstreight)
5th Regiment (1400 men) = 7th& 8th Bn, both experienced.
6th Regiment (1400 men) = 9th and 10th Bn, both experienced
2nd Medium Art Batt
3rd HA Battery

2nd Dragoon regiment (700 men) = experienced

General Romer

3rd Vallahalla Lt cav Bde (Bde gen Meyer)
6th Hussar Regiment (700 men) – experienced
7th Uhlan Regiment (700 men) – experienced
4th HA Art Batt

4th Wartenburg Infantry Brigade (Under direct command of Gen Romer)
11th Battalion – 700 men – experienced
12th Battalion – 700 men experienced
13th battalion – 700 men experienced.


Strategic Situation



When Herzog Constantine sent Prince Wilhelm into central Ulrichstein, he also ordered Maj General Hans von Walmoden into Northern Ulrichstein, with the express purpose of taking Newhausen.
There were three principal Imperial supply bases in Ulrichstein, they were Quedinburg the capital, Ulrichsburg which the Prince Wilhelm captured just a few days ago and Newhausen which was captured unopposed last week by General Walmoden.
When Archduke Ferdinand took over command of Ulrichstein, the very next day he was informed that Newhausen had been taken by Rechburg forces. He immediately dispatched a force under the command of General Romer to retake the town.
Neither side could spare large forces for the north, it had been clear from the outset that the main battle would be fought in Central Ulrichstein, so whatever force each commander did send was likely never going to be enough but neither could really afford to send more.
The Rechburg commander General Walmoden had been in Newhausen for four days and he was a worried man, he had almost no communications from either the Herzog or Prince Wilhelm, then a few days ago he heard news of the Battle at Hamelin and the Rechburg victory. At the same time he was informed that an Imperial force was on its way to Newhausen coming from Quedinburg. Walmoden was not the man to sit and wait so he decided to advance south to Penie, where he intended to ambush the Imperial force that was marching towards him.
Having reached Penie and still no sign of the enemy he began to believe they may have turned back, perhaps to reinforce their main army which must be still around Ulrichsburg. General Walmoden was about to order his force to return to Newhausen when a report from a traveler claimed to have seen an army camped between Penie and Stendal.
He could not tell how many but assumed there were thousands, but as was usual in Ulrichstein at this time of the year, when the traveler had passed through there had been a very thick fog so he could not be sure.
General Walmoden decided to gamble, he issued orders for the army to break camp early in the morning, they would advance out of Penie to an ideal ambush location in an area known as Neustadt ridge. They would wait the day there in ambush and if there was no sign of the Imperials he would return to Newhausen tomorrow.
As usual the Rechburg camp rose at 4am in the morning, to find themselves in a very thick fog, throughout the camp you could hear sergeants bellowing out to their commands trying to form some sort of organisation from chaos.

The Imperial Command
The Imperial force under the command of General Romer himself a Wartenburger was having some issues, the Wartenburg Infantry were beginning to straggle and it was becoming evident they were exhausted, he had to admit a great deal had been asked of them.
The Brigade had only been summoned two months ago to take part in the usual post campaign season maneuvers, these exercises this year had been held in Wartenburg.
The exercises had been interrupted and the entire force gathered there was ordered to march to Ulrichstein to repel a Rechburg Invasion, the reasons why Rechburg would attack only became apparent to the men later as they marched through Protestant areas of Ulrichstein that had been ravaged by a marauding army of the Diocese guard. The march was undertaken with some difficulty simply because  during the exercises there had not been any need for campaign baggage trains, the Imperial command they did not have the time to organise and create the supplies before they moved, thus it was intended they would take Ammo caissons and fodder, the normal supplies being issued at depots along the way.
 In fact for the Generals it had been a bonus, in that the men could march quicker for the men it had been less than satisfactory as the depots that were meant to have supplies were rundown or the contractors had purchased low grade meat and grains to increase their own profits or finally they had simply been pillaged by Ulrichstein rebels.
Once they reached Quedinburg they were then ordered north to Ulrichsburg, the weather was beginning to deteriorate, thus the conditions were even beginning even further for the men.
General Romers “Wartenburgers” were on reaching Ulrichsburg ordered to turn around and immediately march back to Quedinburg. Archduke Ferdinand had learnt that a Rechburg force had taken Newhausen and General Romer was to recapture the town.
On reaching Quedinburg, Romer had been given two Imperial Cavalry regiments and a horse battery to complement his small infantry force of only 3 battalions.
He was then ordered to march immediately for Newhausen, however by the time his men had reached Artheway the straggling had begun, the men had been marching solidly for 4 weeks with limited rations and no rest, so General Romer ordered two days rest while ammunition caissons were emptied of ammo and every wagon in the Artheway area had been confiscated and sent back to Quedinburg to load up with supplies. By the time the wagons came back they came with a severe rebuke from the Archduke and he ordered Romer to resume the march or be replaced.
Ironically at the same time as the Archduke’s rebuke arrived General Romer received a secret dispatch from his own lord Prince Konstantin, the missive instructed him to be prepared to march back to Wartenburg with the Wartenburg contingent. Romer was not privy to why he might have to march back to Wartenburg but it was clear there was some issue with the Imperials; however the message hugely complicated the entire operation he was meant to be on.
He had 3 battalions of Wartenburg Infantry here with him, but there was a Brigade of cavalry with Prince Ferdinand in Ulrichsburg and he was not sure how to get them replaced without serious complications. Finally General Romer decided the secret instruction was only warning him to be prepared to move, so the best thing for him was to recapture Newhausen and then consider his options.
Instead of the two days and despite the Archdukes rebuke he allowed his men to rest for four days, it had taken that long for the wagons to get back, the men to resupply their packs and the ammo reloaded on the caissons. The remaining wagons were then packed to the limits with the remaining supplies and the small army continued their march.
 For two days the army marched in bad weather either very thick fog or rain, however finally they straggled into Stendal. The march into Stendal also produced another problem General Romer was not prepared for, his column had been twice attacked by small groups of protestant rebels; this was not something he had been warned about. What was even more worrying was Stendal was what would have normally been a firm Catholic area of Ulrichstein thus safe from Rebel attacks, the fact that rebel bands were this far east merely showed that the vacuum created by the desertion of the Diocese guard had emboldened the Protestants to move east in search of revenge for the wholesale massacre of their own people.

This new threat however meant that Romer had to detach cavalry to protect his flanks and rear, thus his advance guard was totally inadequate as he resumed his march out of Stendal on his way to Penie.



                   Rechburg forces on the field of battle and Imperial taking position

Rechburg Command
General Walmoden had risen early this morning, he was hugely disappointed and a little worried. He had been told by Protestant sympathisers that Imperial troops were in Stendal, but he had been receiving similar messages for three days and he had waited and waited but now he knew it was time to return to Newhausen.
He had stretched his mission brief to the limit to have marched this far south in search of an elusive enemy, but now he had to move back to cover Newhausen in case it became threatened from the east. The Kingdom of Vallahalla was just a few miles from Newhausen and it was also an Imperial state, though it had shown no signs of taking part in this war Walmoden could not negate the fact the Vallahalla army could quickly move and seize Newhausen.

                                         Rechburg units arrive on the field of battle

General Walmoden cursed the fog it made preparations for the march much more difficult as units struggled to find their place and besides the cold and wet just seemed to get into every muscle and bone.

Walmoden turned to his aide, “Doesn’t the bloody sun ever shine in this part of the country”

His aide equally cold and frustrated merely said “I doubt it General, look at the damn trees the moss just hangs from them in huge clumps, to bloody cold for me”

The General nodded, “Yes well let’s get back to where the sun shines.”

He was interrupted by the sound of a rider approaching out of the fog; the dispatch rider was rather pleased to have finally found the general after what had been a very frustrating wander through the fog.

“Sir Colonel Wenzel reports he hears significant sounds to the south of his positions, he is sending out scouts but he wishes to advise you sir that it sounds like an army”

The General looked to his aide,
“Franz get the units turned around, we may not be going to Newhausen just yet, I will send word once we know what a army sounds like or if it’s just a  bloody farmer with a herd of cattle”

Turning to the Dispatch rider “Take me to Colonel Wenzel’s position,” the General and his staff rode of heading south.



General Walmoden rode along the road struggling against a tide of men and units that were all preparing to march back north to Newhausen and now were facing the wrong direction, as he rode along he kept yelling instructions,
“Turn around we will likely be going south for a while yet.”
 The whole army was in a state of confusion as he arrived at Colonel Wenzel’s positions.

“What have we got Colonel?”, Walmoden asked.

“My piquet’s reported sounds like a large body of men on the march sire, but then it has gone quiet again, but this damned fog muffles sound so much they could walk in here shake your hand before you were aware of them. I have just sent a patrol out and …..”

The colonels message was interrupted by gunfire not far down the road. General Walmoden turned to Colonel Wenzel
“Deploy your Regiment across the road here, it’s vital you buy time for me to deploy the army”
The Colonel saluted and immediately turned to his bugler, General Walmoden rode as fast as he could back to the nearest unit, which was a horse battery,
He yelled to the battery commander,
“Those woods over there are called Buchanan woods, I want you deploy on the southern outskirts of the woods and prepare to receive the enemy.”

He turned to the next aide beside him
“Ride back to Colonel Hebelstreight and tell him we are about to be attacked from the south, he is to deploy one battalion in Meckers wood, and one Battalion on the road parallel to the artillery up  there in the woods, deny the enemy the road and support the guns. He is to send two battalions around Buchanan woods and deploy them alongside the artillery on their other flank, if not needed they will be used to advance later when and if needed. I want the other battalion up on Neustadt ridge, in the southern edge of the woods up there.
The 9pdr Battery can deploy on the ridge but on the northern edge of the woods, they are to watch in case the enemy is moving around our flank there.
I will be with the Horse artillery.”
His aide had just finished writing out the instructions, Walmoden signed them and then the staff officer was gone.

General Walmoden looked back north along the road.
“What a bloody mess”. He sighed, and then rode back to rejoin the horse artillery.

Just to the north of the woods the 2nd Rechburg Dragoon Regiment had just deployed in line. As the Colonel looked over his shoulder he could see the artillery battery forming up in the edge of the woods behind him and the first of the Infantry were forming up on the road.
All of a sudden one of Colonel Wenzel’s aides yelled an expletive, just in front of them and coming out of the fog was entire regiment of Uhlans.

Almost simultaneously both cavalry commanders ordered their regiments to charge, the Rechburgians were in a definite tactical disadvantage being a line of Dragoons against a column of Uhlans and it was only moments after the order to charge was given that the two regiments crashed into one another, the Uhlans simply smashed their way through the Dragoon Regiment, the 2nd dragoons losing around 300 men the Uhlans losing just a few.
The dragoon Regiment routed from the field, taking Colonel Wenzel with them as he desperately tried to rally them, they would eventually continue their rout of the field of battle.
Amongst the few Uhlans killed had been their Brigade commander brigade General Meyer and their Colonel. With their bloodlust up  and no one to control them, they looked for another victim and saw it as the Rechburg artillery battery just inside the woods in front of them, the Uhlan Regiment charge continued.

General Walmoden had watched on in disbelief as he watched his cavalry regiment be destroyed so quickly and so easily. He knew the Uhlans would next look to the battery that he was standing beside as their next target; they were after all the Uhlans closest enemy.
Almost as if not to disappoint the General the leading rank of Uhlans formed and continued their charge.
General Walmoden watched with a certain detachment as he watched the gunners quickly align the guns and fire.
The Battery commander coolly and calmly kept his men busy with reloading the guns, the first rounds had emptied many saddles and now the battery waited with canister as the Uhlans charged towards them the battery commander gave the order to fire at the last possible moment and in that instant, the entire column of Uhlans seem to shudder and stop, it was then hidden by the smoke from the guns for a few moments, when the smoke cleared the Uhlans were in retreat leaving around 200 dead in front of the battery.

The action was 20 minutes old and in that time two Cavalry regiments had been routed and out in the field in front of General Walmoden lay over 500 men dead, Rechburgians and Imperials.
General Walmoden rode over to the battery commander, keep your guns trained on that gap pointing to the gap where the road ran between Meckers wood and Beckers hill, fire on any enemy trying to come through there.
He then rode over to the road where the 7th battalion was deployed in line, he found the Battalion commander,
“I want your men in Meckers woods,” he said pointing to the woods not far away, “You are to hold on to those woods like your life depends on it, because believe me it does.”

He turned to another aide,
“I want the 6th regiment to move around Beckers hill, but they should prepare to pull back if the enemy are too strong”.

Walmoden cursed the fact he had lost his only Cavalry regiment, he had lost the eyes of his army and now he had to be careful he didn’t stumble into something much bigger than he could not handle.

Imperial Command
Meanwhile General Romer was having his own dilemmas.
He had reports of enemy being seem in front of his army, but every time he sent cavalry out they lost sight of the supposed enemy. He decided to rest his army here until the fog cleared, meanwhile he would use the cavalry to scout the area. He was on a ridge called Pierespont Ridge, but he couldn’t see a thing because of the fog. Down below his just visible through the fog were the 7th Uhlans, they  were in column on the road, he decided to push them a little way further down the road, the map showed a cluster of hills and woods, all an excellent place to be ambushed in, so he had decided it was a time to be cautious as least until the damned fog cleared.

He was just in the process of writing orders for the Uhlans when there was some musketry fire that in itself was not unusual as the sentries were always nervous in the fog. But the in the next instant the 7th Uhlans just disappeared down the road and into the fog.
He turned to his aide and yelled.
“Where the bloody hell are they going?”
Before the aide could answer there was a resounding clash off a battle being fought in the fog, General Romer was shocked for a few moments, he looked around him and he saw the 6th Hussars on the reverse slope, he quickly summoned a dispatch rider,
“Order Colonel Siemens to take his regiment over to Longridge hill, he is to report if there are any enemy there, but he is not to engage, do you understand?”
The dispatch rider acknowledged and rode off to the Hussar regiment, then General Romer summoned his aides,
The 11th and 12 battalions are to move into Meckers woods and the 13th will move into Beckers woods.
The Horse artillery will deploy up here on the western edge of this ridge covering that gap between Meckers woods and Beckers hill.



His attention was then drawn to the fact that whatever action the Uhlans had initiated was over, a dispatch rider in the uniform of the 7th uhlans, rode up the slope to General Romer.

“Sir, General Meyers compliments. He wishes to report a Rechburg Dragoon regiment is deployed in front of Buchanan wood, and though he could not see clearly he believes there are other Rechburg troops on the road between Buchanan wood and Neustadt ridge. He is engaging the dragoons sir”.
The dispatch rider had no sooner finished with his report when there was a resounding clap of artillery fire, even through the fog General Romer could see the blur of red in the distance. There was another round of fire and then silence, a few minutes later the remnants of his 7th Uhlans routed down the road below him.

“Damn Meyer, I will have his damn head for being so bloody stupid, damn the man”

Some minutes later a Uhlan lieutenant rode up the slope and reported to General Romer, the lieutenant was clearly exhausted and wounded.

“Sir we have routed a Rechburg dragoon regiment but we were hit by an artillery battery, I don’t know who gave the order to charge the battery sir, but we all went forward and have suffered severely for it. The regiment is reforming sir,” he pointed down the reverse slope, “they are down there sir.”

General Romer nodded, there was little point rounding up on a mere lieutenant,
“Would you ask General Meyer to report to me please lieutenant?”
“The General is dead sir, he and the Colonel died in the cavalry battle”

“What the bloody hell was the General doing fighting in a bloody battle in the middle of a bloody fog, good bloody god what an imbecile”

General Romer switched his attention to his front, the fog was slowly lifting and now he could see his two battalions the 11th and 12th heading towards Meckers wood, a dispatch rider rode up, he was from the 6th Hussars.
“Sir, Colonel Boland begs to report he has seen a Rechburgian 9pdr artillery battery on the northern edge of Pierespont ridge, he is not engaging”
General Romer for the first time today decided to use his telescope now the fog was moving away, he could just make out the Hussars sitting on Longridge Hill, for now they could remain there until he knew what he was up against.
So far he knew there was a enemy artillery near or in Buchanan wood, possibly infantry of the road around Buchanan wood and now artillery up on Pierespont ridge, but that was all he knew.

Down below in Meckers woods he could see the 11th battalion moving into the woods, but he could also see Rechburg blue, they had infantry in there as well.
The 11th Wartenburg battalion and the 7th Rechburg battalion clashed in the woods, the melee lasted some 10 minutes, the 11th being repulsed, they were replaced by the 12th battalion that now charged the Rechburg 7th. This Melee was considerably more vicious than the previous one but the result was the same, the 7th Rechburg held and the 12th Battalion was repulsed losing around 100 men.

General Romer was about to order the battalions back in to the attack when a dispatch rider rode up, he was from the 13th battalion up on Becker’s hill

The dispatch rider saluted and handed General Romer a message.

Two enemy Battalions moving around the flank of Becker Hill, shall I engage.

It seemed to General Romer the enemy definitely out numbered him and as he could only see parts all the various aspects of the battlefield he was definitely finding it difficult to control the battle, it was like trying to play a game of chess but only seeing 4 or 5 spaces of the board.
He decided that he tried to conform to his original orders, he was definitely blocked and with 2 Infantry Battalions already shaken, and another about to be outflanked he decided caution was called for, he was also aware of the secret message that he had received, he needed to save his Wartenburg units.
Turning to his staff officers he said, “the infantry are to pull back immediately, The artillery and cavalry will be the rearguard.”
The battle of Penie was over, the retreat back to Stendal could begin.

The Rechburgians lost 200 cavalry and 50 Infantry and had one Cavalry rout off the field.
The Imperials lost 200 cavalry and 100 Infantry.

Following this battle the Imperials retreat back to Stendhal  from there General Romer is receives another secret directive from Prince Konstantin, he is to gather the Wartenburg contingent and return to Wartenburg immediately regardless of any further orders from Hapburgian authorities.



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