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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Might and Reason - Austria and Prussia

The Prussians were at it again, driving deep into the heart of Austrian territory in order to cement their grip on Silesia. But they were surprised this time by the speed of Austrian movement - perhaps due to their consistent under-estimation of the quality of their command. The King was not in command and after the battle many soldiers commented that today they did not meet the "same old Austrians."

The Austrians, under the command of rejuvenated Colloredo, drove at the flank of the Prussian army but their progress was effected the a river which blocked them from their target. Every possible bridge and ford was used to quickly bring the Austrians to the same side as their enemies. However, by the time sufficient troops had been marshalled on the opposite bank the Prussians, with their usual efficiency of Winterfelt, had turned their army to face their foe.

The orders could not be withdrawn and the Austrian army ploughed into the Prussian lines. Col. Piccolomini led with his command - Hungarian musketeers, German Grenadiers and the Salm-Salm infantry regiment ... with more following. See picture.

Fighting was soon heated across the entire line. Huge cavalry clashes were opened on both flanks with hussars leading the way followed by heavier types behind. This raged on for some time.

On the Austrian right the cavalry were helped by Grenzers sniping from the woods until they were driven off by a strong infantry thrust led by the valiant Manstein.

It was unfortunate that his infantry were so outnumbered by the infantry pouring across the bridge. However, in the centre the real damage was being done by the unstoppable Blue wall ... a mixture of Kalckstein, Prinz Henri and Knobloch regiments pushed forward strongly. On the left too the strong Prussian cavalry wing had gained the upper hand over Hadik and his command.

And it was here that night fell ... much of the Austrian army withdrew across the river having fought their Prussian foes to a stand-still. Many of their infantry and cavalry unit were severely depleted from the struggle but so were the Prussians. Unless reserves could be secured quickly by both sides a battle of that size may not be fought again during this summer.

But then again the high command was eager to prove their superiority after todays drawn encounter ....

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