* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In the candlelit tent, Prinz Heinrich cursed and called for another glass of genever, feverishly examining his map (and brushing off the crumbs*). Having ventured so deep into Skyrian territory, it looked like the evil Kirchwasser had trapped him, coming between him and his magazines, and eluding his carefully prepared position behind the mighty Vysehrad**. Well, nothing for it but to force a way the whitecoats, and lunge northeast for home and safety.
Brooding over the inkstained mess, he decided to stand to in front of the village of Sadbach, deploying his dragoons on the right, the cuirassiers, and securing his heavy batteries on the small hill in front of the village. If the Skyrians hang back, his superior mounted arm should be able to smash their cavalry, then expose their flanks.
The morning dawned bright and clear, and the Kruppfalz forces shrugged out into line. On the left, Von Semmel's brigade of cuirassiers hovered nervously, wih Bismarks' infantry covering the hill, Pirchs brigade of foot forming the right, and Lavoissier's Dragoon brigade in close columns covering the far right.
The Pride of KruppfalzVon Kirchwasser, however, was disposed to a less supine posture than usual, and was preparing his own attack, with his right wing formed of both his cavalry Brigades (von Riesling and von Traminer), posting his Muenchener allies on the far left under Sylvaner, then Kerensky's Kalugan brigade, with Tokay and Hoch's solid Skyrian brigades filling in between them and the cavalry
The Scowling Skyrian hordes, leering with positively Stollenian malevolence
Heisenberg's artillery company, uncertainly eyeing the village of Sadbach
Before the good Prince could even complete his deployment, the rude Skyrians launched themselves headlong at him. On his left, he saw the Riesling and Traminer cavalry brigades galloping headlong at his rather weaker wing of cavalry. Heinrich cursed vilely***, and dispatched a frantic galloper to transfer the Dragoon brigade behind his lines.
Von Semmel (off) bravely shouting encouragement to his men from the shelter of the infantry
The PAZ reporter narrowly avoiding the hastening Dragoon brigade
While the Dragoons hastened, the first clash of swords roared over the field, with von Riesling leading his brigade (von Kornburg's Kurasserie) in pushing back the Seelhorst regiment, while Seydlitz' Cuirassiers, ably assisted by their escorting horse battery, held the Kurfurst Kurasserie to a bloody draw.
the Kurfurst regiment riding into canister range (top)
In the centre and right, Pirch's infantry brigade thinned out to cover the enormous hole left by the departure of the Dragoons. Pirch somberly regarded the weight of opposition and extruded the Ostergotland regiment, both to cover the Jagers filtering through the woods, and - hopefully - to act as a salient into the flank of the looming masses.
After a brisk exchange, one of the Ostergotland battalions fell back in disorder, but their steady accuracy had severely punished the Jager, who took to their heels, never to recover.
The Ostergotland firefight with the Miskeny Jagern
Brigade Hoch advancing on the Kruppfalz artillery, with one battalion of the Rakoczy regiment repelled by the weight of fire
After a savage passage of swords, the cavalry duel resolved itself - the Seelhorst Cuirassiers fled the field, while the Kurfurst Kurasserie was destroyed by the Seydlitz Cuirassiers, who in turn were taken in flank and driven to headlong flight by Kornberg's Kurasserie and the O'Reilly Dragoons. With the arrival of Lavoissieur at the head of his Dragoon brigade, the situation stabilised somewhat, while the Kerensky and Hoch infantry brigades poised to assail the Kruppfalz lines.
The Skyrian horse, victorious but bloodied, poised to attack the open flank
While the valiant Kalugan regiments followed Kerensky's bravely pointed arm into the assault, the Skyrian horse renewed their attack, with somewhat unfortunate results - Kornberg's Kurasserie falling back from the flailing sabres of the Kalkreuth Dragoons, while the O'Reilly regiment found the canister fire from Fahrenheit's horse artillery too hot to charge into, and refused point blank. Better success awaited Kerensky's men, however, putting one battalion of the Oldenburg regiment to flight immediately.
The desparate intervention of the Kalkreuth and Bayreuth dragoons (bottom)
The Ostergotland foot duelling with the Rakoczy regiment
On the Krupp right, Pirch had progressed from phlegmatic to sombre to depressed(*4), at the sight of 4 battalions of Skyrians (Tokay) and 4 battalions of Muencheners (Sylvaner) pressing forward undeterred. He glanced with some small tinge of satisfaction at the Ostergotland battalions, who were putting paid to the damn Magyari foot, but - time and distance, time and distance, he muttered - not in time to open a flank and save the rest of his men, he considered.
The Erprinz Regt and the Sobiesky Fusiliers putting up a brave fight against the masses of their opposition
On the left, while the O'Reilly Dragoons were stalled in front of the horse artillery, then shot to pieces, von Riesling put his hat on the point of his sword, and led the Kurasserie in a series of stunning charges, first driving back the Kalkreuth Dragoons in confusion, then smashing the 2nd line, the Bayreuth Dragoons, in their turn.
von Riesling leading Kornburg's Kurasserie in joyous pursuit of the scattered Dragoons
The remnants of Traminers cavalry brigade fleeing the field
The action by the hill became general, with the (Krupp) Oldenburg regiment being crushed fairly quickly, but the 2nd line, Livgarden, put up a stouter resistance to the Kalugan masses. To their right, the Butyrsky Fusiliers exchanged fairly desultory volleys with the advancing Deutschmeister Regiment.
von Riesling clashing with the rallied Dragoons (bottom) while the Krupp lines falter (above)
Over with Pirch's foot, the Erprinz regiment put up a stout resistance, holding off the Skyrians, but after a valiant struggle, numbers proved too much for the Sobiesky foot, and they took to their heels
Last stand of the Erprinz
With his right dissolving, his left shattered, and his centre failing, Heinrich had a final swig of genever, then turned his horse and headed for the bridge, his only consolation being the rallied Dragoons finally destroying the last of the Skyrian horse by attrition, leaving them to cover the rout.
*The food, not his brigadiers!
** A pun on Die Moldau, of course :)
*** His pet daschund , Vilely
*4 Indeed, he'd quite lost his phlegm!