Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bitva u Barva

While the troops of the Duchy of the North were busy in Saxe-Bearstein holdings, Stinz and Polkfurt forces of the Duchy of Mieczyslaw had invested Norden fortress at Barva.

Reeling from their losses in the south, the Duchy of the North was determined to return Barva to their control.

They launched a seige lasting some 56 days, going as far as the second parallel, when news of a relief column and field forces arrived. Hurredly the North commander Gen. Otto Fasjovik determined to intercept the relief supplies and defend his seigeworks.

Sent by the szlachta was Wiekszy Przewodnik szlachta Wierzchowski, with the task of re-supplying the defences and protecting his convoy were the Wstras Wzgórzowo Huzarzy and Luski Dragon along with the elite Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie, and the veterans of the Owijac-Drewna Korpus and Wojskowo Piechota. Still invested and covering the postern gate of the fortress were the Wstrasowo Dragon and a raw untested Skrzypcowo Piechota. To command the cavalry was Kierownik szlachta Mosiadzowski and leading the foot and monitoring the waggon trains was Ugodzic Wstrasowski. Two field batteries were also included with a force of Mysliwi to ensure the safe arrival of these vital supplies.

These forces were deployed to the flanks, with the cavalry massed to the north east and lines of infantry near the town, the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie had their western flank refused to cover a possible arrival route of the Norden forces.

From the start Wiekszy Przewodnik szlachta Wierzchowski was determined to oversee the battle personally, to this end he also brought out the cavalry Wstrasowo Dragon and the medium field pieces were ordered to be manhandled in any way possible out to the west immediately.

By turn two the Norden forces started to arrive, it was a good thing that the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie had 'flank-refused' as it was in this sector that the first action of the Norden Cossacks was to fall...

The cossacks were at once commanded into a headlong charge into the steady ranks of the elite Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie. Not a single one was to reach them for hand-to-hand though as they were all shot dead --> to a man before the levelled muskets of this elite unit.

On turn 4 the veteran Norden Snow Rangers appeared to the north of the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie (location #2) along with their light artillery in train. Even before this gun could unlimber they had taken casualties from the battery attached to the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie. This battery was to miss only one time all day!

The following moments saw this arriving battery of Norden gunners try and unlimber and set-up, while doing this they were blasted to smithereens by the lively fire of the north flank battery attached to the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie.

Facing the Snow Rangers directly were the Luski Dragon, a new unit of veteran riders, they were to be sorely tested this day...

With only these small forces to call upon, Gen. Otto Fasjovik was saddend to see the Cossacks flee, then commanded that the Snow Rangers press on and force an issue with the Luski Dragon before the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie could be commanded to turn again to flank...unfortunately they were still in range of the north battery, which now turned its lethal firepower onto their ranks...raking them several times before they could reach effective musket range of the Luski Dragon.

Upon reaching range, though long, they then delivered a truly lethal blast that put the gunners heads down for a moment, while dropping many of the Luski Dragon horses, sending the unit into momentary confusion.

The Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie faced another rapid charge from a unit of dragoons called Krooks Crooks, these men did reach sword range as they were blasted by concentrated fire. Though badly mauled by the fire of Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie, Krooks Crooks did manage to push back the Duza Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie and followed them up with a continued charge. The second contact was the last for Krooks Crooks as only one small portion (single figure stand) was routed out from the fight.

It was now turn 7 of the battle and more Norden forces had arrived, a trotter force called Torkels Dilemma had appeared on the north ridge over looking the north road into the fort. To the south a raw force called the Tundra battalion had mustered and was slowly advancing on the medium battery that had been pushed out from the fort.

Wierzchowski was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time...at last the Mieczyslaw forces could start to dictate the direction of the battle! At once the Wstrasowo Dragon (from the fort) and Wstras Wzgórzowo Huzarzy were launched into headlong counter-charge of the advancing Torkels Dilemma, the Norden trotters were caught scattered and in single squadrons along the base and slope of the north hill! They were butchered.

Wstras Wzgórzowo Huzarzy tried to catch the last fleeing part of Torkels Dilemma only to come up short due to the blown horses and the slope of the hill...Wstrasowo Dragon was turned about with one last task to accomplish: attack the Tundra battalion from behind!

The final acts in the battle came in the south. While separated from their commanders on the north side of the convoy the elite Norden Snow Leopards were the last to arrive. They marched slowly while sending their attached artillery ahead to the crest of the ridge. This gun was (like its northern counterpart) blown to bits before it could fire off a shot while unlimbering. The rest of the Snow Leopards looked out on this vista ahead of them to the north.

The head of the convoy had reached the Y in the road and the heavy waggons had turned north with the first mule teams turning south.

At long last the Snow Rangers had shot to death and scattered the Luski Dragon, only now there was a Mieczyslaw Brigadier Ugodzic Wstrasowski on hand to command the artillery to swing around and fire in to the flank and rear of the Snow Rangers, who could at last see the convoy...moving steadily out of range!

The Luski Dragon paid the maximum price for their battle honors this day, sacrificing themselves so that the convoy could proceed unhindered and not fired upon by the Snow Rangers.

Final acts were done by Wstrasowo Dragon, racing south around the small wood, they came upon the Norden Tundra battalion, whom had faced withering fire from the fortress guns, then at nearly point blank range begun to fire back at the gunners with musketry...the gunners had died nearly to a man when the Wstrasowo Dragon had come upon them from behind and charged!

Seeing that the convoy would all arrive intact, Gen. Otto Fasjovik broke his seige and boarded ship for the north...leaving the Pomeranian lands to the tender mercies of The Duchy of Mieczyslaw


Bluebear Jeff said...

You have several absolutely wonderful photos in this article.

Good show!

-- Jeff

tidders said...

Nice battle report. Great photos.

-- Allan

MurdocK said...

Thank you gents, I was able to keep reminding myself to 'take' the pics...I missed a few good spots during the battle (like the second charge against the Duza Firma and the big tangle brawl at the ridgeline) but I beg forgiveness as I was too busy working out how to stay alive during those times.