Thursday, 27 September 2007

AWI Frundsbergers ready for another expedition

Following their arrival back at St Malo following the abortive French led expedition to Lancashire the Frundsberg units have taken the opportunity to re-equip and reform themselves.

There are now three regiments in French service commandered by General Hoehmann

#1 Regiment Stummel
#2 Regiment Heimat
#3 Light Regiment Bergstein

Above shows the force parading in St Malo L - #1; R - #2; Rear - #3
Close up showing the difference in cuff colours between the 1st (red) and 2nd (blue) regiments

New flags were issued to both regiments and the old colour has been sent back to the Frei Stadt.
Who knows where the French will lead us next, they are keeping it very secret in case word gets to the British.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Frundsberg Kreigsacademie prospectus

Our courses cover the broad span of military from those beginning their experience in the field of Mars through to the experienced practitioner who wish to learn new skills or to sharpen existing ones.

Typically most courses are run once every three months lasting from one week to three months, The syllabus is construct so that courses follow a gradually progression through the military arts

Here is a sample of courses:

Basic Military Skills for Gentlemen - learn all the appropriate terms used in the profession so you know the difference between a bastard and a bastion.

Basic Command Skills - how to command an infantry company through all the various tactical evolutions (nicknamed by students "how to get the troops to perform without paying the sargeant")

Generalship course - suitable for aspiring generals or heirs-apparent - covers the politico/strategic factors involved in leading nations or

Amphibious Landings - a short one week course examining the perils of landing on a hostile shore (and enemies might be present as well) - General Deloup usually particpates and relates his own personal experience in these operations in the new world.

Our director of studies is the renowned Herr Dr Griffin O'Patrick.

One to one tutition or locally organised course can be provided as required, although in general students gain considerably from sharing ideas with students from other backgrounds.

The Kriegsacademie has a wide range of facilities and bed-linen is changed at least once a week. The academie is supported in its training by units of the Frundsberg army and various generals for whom the Frei Stadt acts as agent.

We also have at outreach programme organised by Frau Verkehr that will teach students the necessary social skills that they may be lacking.

Frundsberg standing regiments

The Frei Stadt maintains a small standing army that acts as both the local defense force but also to provide the cadres for the regiments loaned to other powers. The loaned regiments are named after their colonel whereas the standing regiments are named by location.

The three standing infantry regiments are named after the major cities of the Frei Stadt where the regiments also have their barracks these are Pappenheim, Sonnenbad and Welle. The coat for all units is basically yellow lined red (turnbacks, collars, etc.) with the seniority and regimental distinction shown by the cuff colour: 1st Pappenheim - red; 2nd Sonnenbad - blue; 3rd Welle - green.

The two horse regiments are quartered in various small towns and villages across the Frei Stadt with the Stocwold regiment in the north and the Pidnem regiment in the south. A Stocwold squadron is quartered in Pappenheim and a Pidnem squadron in Sonnenbad. Uniform colours and facings are similar to the infantry with the Stocwold regiment having red cuffs and the Pidnem with blue.

The artillery corps is based in Pappenheim and a battery is outposted in Sonnenbad, Their uniform is yellow coats lined red with black cuffs for the gunners and grey for the artillery train.

Note: usually when units are loaned to other powers they are uniformed in order of seniority, so Yellow coats lined and faced red is the most commonly seen Frundsberg uniform.

Frundsberg details (2)

For those of you who have yet to enjoy the amenities of the Frundsberg Frei Stadt, here is a short description.

The country borders the east bank of the Rhine and from north to south is split into four regions: the Stocwold hills; Flussweih river valley; Pidnem hills and the Sommerland. The Flussweih flows east to west into the Rhine and on it are situated the two main cities, Sonnenbad and Pappenheim.

Pappenheim is the main port and commercial centre of the stadt, with extensive manufacturing facilities. Sonnenbad is the cultural centre where many people from all over the empire and beyond come to take the healing waters and socialise.

The southern slopes of the Stocwold and Pidnem hills are renowned as fruit growing areas and their beverages are well known. In the Pidnem hills are many mineral deposits and also substantial coal deposits. The famous Rachedd valley has given its name to the renowned local cheese.

The Sommerland was originally swampland but years of toil have drained it and turned it into the most fertile areas of the Stadt.

To the north is the Electorate of Glowstein, south the Duchy of Pommaine and to the east the Landgravate of Ishirwelt.

But your main interest is probably not our geography, the Frei Stadt has a reputation for providing high quality military services. These comprise:
  • Provision of all types of military equipment, in particular the foundries of Pappenheim produce a range of cannons, muskets and rifles.
  • Hard wearing uniforms produced from the wool from the sheep of the Stocwold and Pidnem hills
  • Overlooking Sonnenbad is the world famous Kriegsacamedie, where officers can attend various courses to improve their military art. link
  • The Stadt can also provide high professional military units for hire and also acts as agents for a number of generals . (separate posts to follow)

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Problems on the Danube

(xxx-1683) Report from Colonel Sturm to the Stadtrat

Sirs, I have the pleasure to announce a stirling performance by my regiment in its first action at Oberfeld.

At Passau the regiment was brigaded with two Austrian regiments Wendt and Hoch & Deutchmeister under the command of General Kremnitzer. Our artillery was formed into a battery with some Austrian guns. We then marched to the the main army escorting a large baggage train of supplies with the Danube to our right. Each day we alternated positions in the column and on the day in question the order of march was Wendt, Sturm then Hoch & Deutchmeister. We were marching across the Oberfeld when what appeared to be a broken down wagon on the road ahead moved aside to reveal Ottoman cannon. They were part of a force commanded by Mutapha bey which also had 2 regiments of Janissaries, 2 bodies of Balkan rabble, some skirmishers and two regiments of light horse. (initial positions below)

On spotting the artillery our guns unlimbered to clear the road, and as our infantry statrted to deploy a mass of Infantry and cavalry emerged over a hill to our left front We formed a brigade line just in time. All the cavalry swung to their right and then attacked the H&D. Our supporting fire prevented some of the cavalry from engaging, but the fire from H&D was hesitant and they ran from the cavalry. Our regiment then faced left and delivered a devestating volley into the cavalry before they could attack the fugitives. General Kremnitzer then sucessfully rallied the regiment as the Ottoman cavalry fell back to reform. At the same moment the two regiments of janissaries attacked the Wendt regiment. (below)
The charge was pressed home with extreme agression as our cannon cut swathes through the janissary ranks. One regiment faltered due to the fire, but the other pressed home and cut the brave Wendt regiment to shreds with the remenants fleeing behind the baggage wagons.

At this point General Kremnitzer joined the regiment leading them forward in a last ditch attempt to repel to Ottomans. The shock was too much and the remaining janissaries fled the battlefield. (the Frunsberg charge is shown below)

Just after this heroic charge we saw more troop movements behind the Ottoman lines and the Ottoman cavalry made another attack on H&D. This time the regiment remained steady inflicting musketry casualties and driving off those who came within reach of the pikes. As the Ottoman cavalry withdrew to lick their wounds again we saw that the distant troops were not more Ottomans but our gallant Polish allies coming to our aid. (The poles can be seen top left below)

The Ottoman army then fled in panic pursued by the Poles.

As well as the valiant performance of my regiment, the artillery performed well, as well as causing major losses to the janissaries using grape, they also drove off the enemy gunners at a point when they were causing casualties on the brigade using flanking fire.

Other notes:
1) Game played using a version of my SYW rules modified for the period, still very much in development at this stage, but does involve command dice.
2) I also modified the melee combat results with a recent idea, that the losers losses are in proportion to the scale of difference in the modified dice scores.
3) The Frundsbergers were treated the same as the other imperial infantry.
4) Further actions will depend on the availability of suitable plastic figures for the Ottomans.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Lowenstein Kuirassiers depart


Colonel Lowenstein paraded his regiment for the last time this morning before marching off to catch up with the infantry. This follows a foot parade yesterday when the regimental standard was blessed by the local church leaders.

The regiment will march directly to it's destination near Vienna by easy stages as barge transport is not convenient for the horses.

The Austrian painter recorded the event and then left, muttering something about visiting some Bierkeller in Munich on the way back to Austria.

Some more pictures are on my main blog

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Kuirassier regiment formed


Yesterday in the centre of Pappenheim (the commercial capital of the Freistadt) the recruits for the Lieb-Kuirassiers were assembled to swear an oath of allegiance. Like the Sturm infantry regiment they are formed of cadres from the Frei Stadt's two standing horse regiments plus volunteers. The latter have travelled from all over the Empire enabling the recruiting officers to select the best.

As for equipment, the kuirassier armour was fortunately available due to some contractual disputes with an elector. The Emperor had objected to the supply of the equipment and paid a quiet bribe to ensure that Baron Krupp found some faults with the contract. The equipment was then put into store as verified by the Imperial accountants. Of course the Baron ensured that the deal was actually completed by shipping the required equipment from an associate in the Netherlands.

Although raised as horse regiments both the standing cavalry regiments train with kuirassier equipment whenever it is available. This training also acts as a final test for the traders so they can guarantee the equipment.

The careful observer might note that the emperor seems to have paid twice for the cuirasses, firstly to prevent delivery and then again to raise the regiment. But that's business.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

On the march!


Report from Colonel Sturm to the Stadtrat

The troops are in good heart and we have just embarked on barges for the final stage of our move to Austria. As you have probably heard independantly, Vienna is now besieged by the Ottomans and we will now join the relieving force.

The additional uniforms and equipment have come in useful as we have raised over a 150 extra men enroute. Each evening when we halted I sent recruiting parties to the local towns stressing the importance of our mission and the need for true sons of the fatherland to support our cause. This message was supported by a toast to the Emperor and the recruits knowledge that pay for the Frundsberg forces is always regular and on time.

Musket practice has been sucessfully completed while we were travelling by barge on the Rhine, this included target shooting using a small skiff towing a target raft.

We also had a minor incident where vagabonds from the other side of the Rhine attempted to raid our anchorage. The sentries were alert and raised the alarm and many of the raiders were killed and the remainder fled back across the river. I atribute this success to my advice to the officers and senior NCOs to share their military experiences with the troops so that they properly understand their responsibilities and the consequences of failing to carry them out adequately.

We expect to disembark close to Passau and then make our way to the main army in conjunction with other units.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Frundsberg Infantry march out

Within a short time the infantry regiment for imperial service has been raised and equipped. It was based on cadres from the Frei Stadt's standing regiments filled out with volunteers from Frundsberg and the surrounding states. In addition to the foot there is also an artillery detachment. Colonel Sturm has been appointed to command the regiment and hence force it will be known as the Sturm Regiment.

The regiment will now progress to the imperial camp near Vienna, the first part of the journey will be by barge down the Rhine then marching via the Schwartzwald to the Donau and then travelling by barge for the rest of the journey.

Although this will cost more than simply marching the whole way the Stadtrat considers this to be the overall most economic options as it will reduce losses due to fatigue etc. plus the troops will be paid by the Austrians as soon as they arrive there. Firearms training can be carried out on board the barges and sufficient ammunition has been provided for this purpose.

Friday, 7 September 2007

The Pommaine war

To the south of Frundsberg lies the Duchy of Pommaine. Research in the archives reveal limited evidence of the thankfully short war between the Frei Stadt and the Duke. The origins of the war lay in the development of new fermentation techniques across Europe, which resulted in the Duchy laying claim to be the sole German producer of sparking apfelwein.. This claim being supported by French subsidies used by the Duke to increase the size of Pommaine's army.

Pommaine issued an ultimatum to Frundsberg to cease sparkling cider production or its forces would enforce "its legal" rights". Meanwhile the Frei Stadt forewarned by its spies (always a useful fringe benefit of being a trading state) had hired additional units from Hesse and other neighbouring states to strengthen its army.

The Pommiane strategy was for an advance by three columns through lower Frundsberg with the objective of destroying all the orchards.

Frundsberg, however opted for a dramatic and risky strategy of placing the majority of the army to the east and fighting a delaying action in the west and centre while the main army swept in from the east and destroyed each Pommaine column in turn. This strategy was based on lower Frundsberg being a fertile drained area leading west to the Rhine and the higher ground was to the east. All that was needed was for the bridges over the drainage canals to be destroyed in sufficient time before the Pommaine forces could capture them.

The Frundsberg plan work better than they hoped, the destruction of bridges would disrupt trade so these actions were delayed as long as possible. The defending Frundsberg forces, mostly light cavalry and some infantry acting as pioneers, were coordinated by a signalling systems set up centred on the Glasserberg, a high hill overlooking the levels. Throughout the whole period, visibility remained good allowing the Frundsberg forces to destroy almost every bridge before the Pommainers reached them.

One day after the Pommaine offensive had started a signal was given for the main Frundsberg army to attack. Their assault hit the right flank of the eastern Pommaine column with overwhelming strength and shattered it beyond recovery. At this point, rather than continuing to attack the two remaining columns, the army struck deep behind the Pommaine front at their second city of Bruckewasser. Although this attack crossed similar terrain to that in lower Frundsberg the bridges were generally undefended and captured by advance parties of dragoons. The Frunsberg army arrived in front of Bruckewasser as summoned it to surrender rather than suffer sack an pillage. There was no hope for the small Bruckewasser garrison as the remaining Pommaine forces were several days march away.

The Duke of Pommaine arrived with some intermediaries from other neighbouring states and agreed to renounce his claims and pay substantial reparations. As always, the Frei Stadt managed to turn a profit from war, even if, as in this case, they were directly involved.

Note, the actions were actually fought as a solo campaign and no actual battles were fought with figures. The Frundsberg forces were weaker but of better quality, the Pommaine army was still overall superior, but I may have been biased somewhat when playing!

Frundsberg infantry flag


In preparation for the mustering of the new units the Frei Stadt commisioned the painting of new standards for the regiments going on imperial service. Here is the first draft for the infantry regiment

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Frundsberg mustering


At the request of the Imperial diet the Frei Stadt has committed to providing a contingent of troops to assist in fighting the Ottoman menace. Of course to help offset the costs the Frei Stadt has agreed a reduction in tolls on the Lower Elbe. Apparently the Austrians have sent an unemployed painter to record the exact details of the mustering of the troops. The painter appears to have meglomaniac tendencies, but has been easy diverted from his task by a local innkeeper Herr Braun and his daughter.

Watch this space