Sunday, 17 June 2007

Frundsberg - details (1)

Although a fictitious state, I gradually filled up the history of Frundsberg.

Frundsberg was originally associated with the Hanseatic states and was an Imperial free town. It's prosperity was based on trade and manufacturing. Once the Frei Stadt was established the council of elected ministers acted as it's government. However the system of government was unusual as the number of votes per person was based an individuals payments to the Frei Stadt. Income for the Frei Stadt was derived from two main sources, tolls on goods and services provided by the city and the contributions by merchants and nobles.

Frundsberg is located on the banks of the river Rhine with good access to the sea and also into Central Europe and positioned on a natural communications hub.

During the TYW Frundsberg and its surroundings were spared the deprivations of much of Germany by the policy of the council to pay a contribution to whoever seemed threatening at the time and also enter into a treaty to provide them with goods and services. Of course, the businessmen of Frundsberg ensure that the margins on the business covered the cost of the contribution. The income stream was helped by the brothels and churches providing a mutually profit out of providing pleasure and absolution.

Frundsberg involvement in the AWI

Unlike a number of other German states, the Frei Stadt contracted out a 2 battalions of line infantry and a battalion of light infantry to the French. The troops marched in easy stages to Cherbourg where they boarded ship. They assumed their destination was America, but 2 days into the voyage the sealed orders were opened and the force headed towards the Lancashire coast of England.

Arriving unseen off the coast the fleet anchored and seized the small port of Glasson Dock. This enabled the infantry and some light gins to land, but to unload the cavalry, heavier guns and supplies a major port had to be seized so the force set off to capture Lancaster.

The reality was that the British had spotted the fleets change of direction and an outward bound convoy of Brunswick infantry was diverted into Lancaster to reinforce the local British troops, just in time.

The French forces consisted of 2 battalions of foot, 1 battalion of grenadiers, 2 battalions of Frunsberg line and a battalion of Frunsberg lights and 1 battery of light guns

The British force had 2 battalions of foot, 1 battalion of Grenadiers, plus 2 battalions of Brunswick line and a battalion of Brunswick lights and 1 battery of light guns.

Deciding that the direct back road from Glasson to Lancaster would be blocked and that the main road from the South would be as well the French took a little back road across to Galgate and then to the east of the main road hoping to outflank the British position and storm Lancaster before they could respond.

The British also had a cunning plan, they decided that the direct back road was to obvious so they positioned themselves on the high ground to the east of the main road at Bailrigg intending to hit the French in flank as they passed.

Approaching Bailrigg by the back lane the French were surprised to find British troops already in position, but being partly on the Britsh flank they pressed on feeding their troops into the growing combat as they arrived.

By dusk both sides had fought themselves to a standstill and the French and Frunsberg forces deciding they could only face growing resistance withdrew to Glasson Dock and re-embarked on their ships.

This was fought in one evening at the Lancaster University Wargames club in 1974 roughly on the same position as the fictional battle. I was the umpire and up until the battle both sides movements were on maps.


Frundsberg rediscovered

After 30 years the units of the Frunsberg Frei Stadt have seen daylight again. My father found the figures in a remote corner of the attic.
They were originally based on the organisational structure given in "Charge" and "The Wargame" with the line infantry with 3 x16figure companies. This was later changed when the figures were used in support of the French in a ficticious AWI/SYW scenario where they fought with the French against the British and Brunswicks.

The line regiment beployed as 2 x 24 figure battalions

The light battalion with the attached rifle company.

The figures are all a bit knocked about and the bases on the line regiment have warped