Saturday 17 November 2007

The Battle of PikaStrudel 1740 (3rd Belgravian Wars)

Further extracts from the History of Wittenberg by Brother James of Alt-Wittendorf ...

The preceding day had been very wet and both sides had had great difficulty moving their artillery trains due to the muddy roads.

1) The river crossing begins ...

The Wittenberg Army started across the river at Wollen aware that Monrovian troops had been seen by scouts in the town of PikaStrudel.

The Wittenberg forces:
Commander - Field Marshall, Duke Frederick of Wittenbuffel - with King Leopold III
Cavalry: Guard du Corps; Uhlan Pulk
Infantry:Guard Grenadiers; Fusilier Battalion; Grenadier Battalion; Line Infantry Battalion; Jager Battalion

The Wittenberg troops crossed the bridge and deployed slowly, the Field Marshal was being unusually cautious, he had no artillery to use and wanted to get across the river safely and in good order. He had his suspicions this looked too easy.. Where were the Monrovians ?

2) The Monrovians

General von Stricknein had taken the main body of his forces back to their main camp, but left some troops to monitor the river crossing. He had them encamped to the west of Pikastrudel, out of sight of the river crossing.

Commander - Major General von Rootsbeer
Cavalry: Sierpinksy Hussars
Infantry:Jager Battalion; Battalion of Line Infantry; Grenadier Battalion

Von Rootsbeer hearing from his scouts that the enemy had crossed the river, ordered them to break camp and march post haste to the positions already allocated to them.

3) The Battle ...

Both sides deployed ...

The Wittenberg Uhlans charged the Monrovian Hussars, the Uhlans broke and routed. The Hussars carried on and came up against a battalion of Grenadiers, a sharp volley of musketry decimated the hussars and the remnants broke and ran,

The Wittenberg Fusiliers moved forward to take on the Monrovians; the Monrovians gave a fierce volley in reponse to an ineffective volley from the Fusiliers. The Fusiliers broke and ran.

Up came the next Wittenberg battalion, again their volley was ineffective and Monrovians gave a fierce volley in reponse. The Wittenberg line battalion held their ground, but casualties were mounting ..
The attacking infantry were taking too many casualties. The Field Marshal ordered the withdrawal, saying to the King - Your Majesty we must retire, we won't get anywhere without artillery..

4) Afterwards

The King of Wittenberg was disappointed, he had wanted to capture Pikastrudel. The Field Marshal was not happy, the Wittenberg infantry had been a unstable, musketry was poor - there was more work to done yet before they would be ready for a major battle.

The Monrovian commander was pleased, he had held off a large force and taken few casualties. He wasn't happy though at losing the pontoon bridge equipment. Where were those three dragoon regiments who had persued him ? He hoped they had gone home.

What the Monrovian commander didn't know was that the three Dragoon regiments had crossed the river under cover of darkness and were on their way to raid a important Monrovian military target.


Ed said...

Thanks for the report, and even more for the nice pics!

Ed v. H-F

Bluebear Jeff said...

Wonderful photos (as always) and a good account of the battle.

I was particularly taken with the buildings in Pikastrudel. They look great! And your backgrounds are wonderful too.

I very much appreciate the care you go to in presenting your troops and good-looking terrain. Thank you.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

abdul666 said...

Very enjoyable report and pics (as always). Indeed I noticed long ago your taste for great terrain pieces, and your 'good nose' to unearth original buildings!


MurdocK said...

I definately like the backgrounds and the buildings!

but where are the dead? ;^)