Saturday, October 8, 2011

Battle of Zollmen

It was the winter of 1741 when the forces of the King of Polonia and Elector of Munchausen crossed the Enteburg border and pushed into the Duchy of Munchausen-Spurhund-Jungen. The Elector had decided to reclaim the duchy despite he having returned it to the Good Elector Donal at the time of the Polonian Succession in return for the Good Electors support.

The King of Polonia thought himself safe to act as the Enteburg army was he trapped on the other side of the Alps in Italiaca and he would be able to claim Munchausen-Spurhund-Jungen before they could return.

Fortunately after a succesful campaign in Italiaca the Enteburg army had returned home to winter before returning to Italica again. Once the alarm had been raised General Pz Bernhardt von Habischwald rushed his army to Munchausen-Spurhund-Jungen catching the Munchausen forces unawares outside the town of Zollmen.

View across the battlefield

The Forces

Army of Enteburg - General Pz Bernhard von Habishwald
3 Guard Infantry Brigades
1 Grenadier Brigade
7 Infantry brigades
5 Cuirassier Brigades
1 Horse Grenadier Brigade
2 Pandour Brigades
1 Freikrops Brigade
1 Heavy Battery

Army of Munchausen - ErbPrinz Manfred von Kleiner Munchhausen
3 Guard Infantry Brigades
1 Grenadier Brigade
8 Infantry brigades
3 Cuirassier Brigades
3 Dragoon Brigades
2 Heavy Batteries

Munchausen's left flank

Munchausen's Centre

Munchausen's Right Flank

The Plan

Having caught ErbPrinz Manfred's army unprepared Pz Bernhard's plan was to leave Pz Lothar von Pappenheim in command of 4 infantry brigades, 3 cuirassier brigades the irregular infantry and the battery of guns to hold the Munchausen's front line in place whilst he took the rest of the army and attacked the flank.

Pz Lothar's troops

Irregulars skulking in the woods

The Battle
Despite the best laid plans of Pz Bernhard two of the Munchausen commanders had not been idle Duke Florian von Ondruschka und Reindl and Count Florian von Busch moved their commands forward to engage the Enteburgers .

von Busch's advance

Count von Busch, commander of the Munchausen Cuirassiers led his command forward to cover the guns whilst the sluggish infantry moved forward behind him, This move forces the Enteburg guards to shake out into line instead of moving rapidly to enter the town of Kessendorp on the extreme left of the Munchausen line. It also forced the Enteburg cavalry under the command of Mj General von Blick to move towards the centre throwing the carefully laid flank attack plans into disarray.

Duke Florian advances

Not to be outdone Duke Florian von Ondruschka und Reindl, sent his command forward to hold the waterline lead by the Grenadiers of the Army. He hoped that he could take an advantageous position and force the Enteburgers to fight him mid stream. Unfortunately he did not count for the effectiveness of the Enteburg artillery who sent a hail of gunfire upon the advancing grenadiers.

Pz Lothar watched the artillery go about the methodical destruction of the grenadiers then he ordered the Kaiser Seigfried Cuirassiers to attack the weekend units with predictable results.

No more grenadiers

The artillery then turned their sights upon the 2nd Grosskirch Fusiliers and continued its clinical dissection of the Duke's command.

The guns of doom target their next victims

Meanwhile Mj General von Drake having seen the Munchausen dragoons had sat in place for most of the battle sent his irregulars forward to harass the dragoons, Pz Lothar could only watch on as the swift moving troops advanced upon the oppositions cavalry in the open.

Irregulars advance in the open

On the Enteburg right the cavalry faced off against each other, whilst a solid line of Enteburg infantry advanced into the gap between Zollmen and Kessendorp.

Enteburg advances towards the Zollmen Kessendorp gap

ErbPrinz Manfred gave orders for the Munchausen Guards to occupy the area between Zollmen and Kessendorp, whilst Prince Vitali von Aab's column was to occupy Kessendorp. They where to face what seemed to be the main thrust of the Enteburg attack. The ErbPrinz spent much of the battle personally overseeing the guards movement.

Face off in the gap

As the Enteburg infantry moved steadily forward it became evident that the Munchausen cuirassiers position was becoming untenable, with the Enteburg cavalry in front of their position and the steadily moving Infantry coming up on their flank count von Busch was left with a dilemma.

Munchausen cuirrasiers retire

He decided discretion was the better part of valour and chose to withdraw behind his own advancing infantry. He left with jeers from the Enteburg forces who where rapidly moving up on his position.

Grenadiers de Ente and the Witzboldfeld fusiliers advancing

The infantry on the Enteburg right repositioned itseld in order for the Grenadiers de Enteburg to take on forces garrisoned in Zollmen with the assistance of the Witzboldfeld fusiliers, what ensued was a fierce firefight between the Enteburgers and the 1st Kliener Munchhausen Fusilers.

Despite their defensive position the Munchausen forces came out by far the worse in this firefight eventually only a tattered remnants was left as the Grenadiers charged into Zollmen taking the strong point.

Enteburg forces press around Zollmen

It was around this point the main line of Enteburgers met with the fresh Guards column in the gap, the Munchausen guards had moved steadily into position under the ErbPrinz's watchful eye.

Munchausen Guards (Witzboldfelders subbing in)

After a stiff firefight the Munchausen guards pushed through driving von Fasan's 'Witzbolfed' fusiliers from the field as well as von Gansleber's musketeers. This was to prove the highlight of the battle for the ErbPrinz as by this stage his right flank had become decidely wobbly. On the far left of his line things where looking a bit shaky as well with the Enteburg Guards pushing into Kessendop and occupying half the town with fresh reinforcements coming through.

Enteburg Guards assault Kessendorp

Liebguard zu Fuss push into Kessendorp

Over on the Erbprinz's right flank their had been a series of disasters, after Duke Florian attacked he lost two of the three brigades under his command, he did succeed in routing von Hahn's after they attacked him in the town of Pentricch and his remaining brigade held the town for the rest of the battle until surrounded they surrendered at the end of the day with the Duke at their head. The Good Elector Donal had watched their bravery and allowed the entire brigade to be paroled and return to Munchausen.

Archduchess Stephanie's Cuirassiers glorious charge

von Kottstorfer however had seen his entire dragoon command destroyed by the Enteburg cavalry under Pz Lothar. Archduchess Stephanies Cuirassiers rode down the Kleiner-Munchhausen Dragoons at first contact it then became a matter of mopping up the remaining dragoons before turning the flank.

von Busch moves to the right flank

General von Busch had not been idle he had brought his troops across to face off against the victorious Enteburg cavalry, he now had a numbers advantage as Kaiser Seigfried cuirassiers had been destroyed in the combat between the dragoons and the Enteburg cuirassiers.

View from Enteburg left

As a new cavalry battle developed the Pz Louis Musketeers and a Brigade de Marche made up from the remnants of the McDucks Highland Musketeers, de Souris's Helvetian musketeers pushed forward towards the Dunkelfurt fusiliers.

Infantry centre's collide

The infantry moved up into combat, after several volley's it became apparent that the veteran Enteburgers were winning the firefight. With a cheer the mix of Dal Riadans, Helvetians and Enteburgers charged the Munchausen line and....

Enteburg infantry victorious

Smashed their way through the remaining Munchausen fusiliers this proved to be too much for the Munchausen forces, they had been driven from Zollmen, Duke Florian was surrounded in Pentricch, the Enteburg guards where pushing into Kessendorp and the fresh cuirassiers of von Blicks column had moved to support Pz Lothar's troops.

von Blicks reinforcements

Final Result

The Munchausen forces had been driven from the field with significant losses, only a lack of light cavalry on the Enteburg side had stopped a total rout.

Munchausen losses
5 Infantry brigades
1 Grenadier brigade
3 Dragoon brigades

Enteburg losses
2 Infantry brigades
1 Freikorps brigade
1 Cuirassier brigade