Monday, September 22, 2008

Siege of Flussburg

The technical explanation of siege progress, to which the previous correspondent (the Captain Conrad von Prittstik) did not have, is covered below. About 2 weeks, or a quarter of the total time allowed, has passed for the Luftberg siege of the Aschenbach fortress.

1. Kleintrink Bastion
2. Kaisertreu Bastion
3. Zaub Bastion
4. Vogelhof Redoubt
The black blocks are batteries, red arrows are lines of fire (solid if established, dashed if proposed)

The plan above shows how things stand at present, following about 2 weeks of siege. Luftberg proved to have a good eye for distances, and correctly estimated a starting location for his first parallel which was just outside defending cannon range, thus sparing his men a turn of being showered with cannonballs.

The plan derived by the Elector and Major Ungaurn is to force a breach between the Kaisertreu and Zaub bastions (2 and 3 on the plan above.) The Kaisertreu central bastion could be pretty easily enfiladed by digging around the eastern face of the fort, but to flank the Zaub bastion would require a pretty extensive bunch of works to the south. It was decided to instead keep flanking it as plan ‘B’ for the present, and instead use the anticipated howitzers to shell them out. Some calculations with ranges revealed that this would need some mortar batteries at the very edge of the glacis to lob shells into the bastion.

With the first parallel completed, an approach was dug and then the second parallel extended in a southward direction. The trench line now projected out slightly to get the enfilading line on the Kaisertreu, so the Elector ordered a redoubt to be built for protection of the batteries. In honour of the army’s greatest victory, it was dubbed the Vogelhof Redoubt. The defenders’ guns made construction as unpleasant as possible, but before long it was completed and packed with troops, plus lots of inspiring flags to encourage the men.

The second parallel was also extended northwards, with a similar angle to envelop the defences. The extension was necessary for enfilading the Kaisertreu, but the intention was also to create some ‘jumping off’ trenches for raids, plus allow a diversionary attack when the breach was assaulted to spread the defenders thin. However, as it extended round the required distance and before any protective redoubt was completed, the defenders decided to launch a sortie to disrupt the digging.

Around 8 bases of troops packed the covered way, before sweeping out of the sally ports and attacking. Sadly for the Aschenbach forces, the vigilant defenders spotted the activity almost instantly and began to prepare to receive the attack. A runner was sent to the batteries across from the threatened sector, and with unexpected speed there were soon shots raining down on the flank of the approaching Aschenbach troops – things were going badly wrong for them!

Diagram of the sortie in solid red lines, the dashed trench section is under construction, and the dashed red line shows the flanking artillery battery fire.

All the same, the attackers pressed on and crashed into the defending workers, and a heated exchange took it’s toll on both sides. A group of Aschenbachers even managed to turf the defenders out of a small section of existing trench, and held it long enough to overturn it – much more than was originally planned. Finally though, they were forced to retire back with honours even at six bases lost on each side. All the proposed digging works had been halted, and when redone the next day with heavy guards of Croat skirmisher screens and Grenadier reserves. The works are now complete, and the Kaisertreu is enfiladed, although with considerable delay and cost to both sides. The Feldmarschall von Krumper will not be attempting another sally soon however, what with the losses it took from the unexpected enfilading artillery fire. He reckons currently on one future sally once the batteries are positioned with the aim of spiking some guns, and hopefully a further counterattack on any Covered Way lodgement.


Capt Bill said...

Good stuff,"Well Done."...Bill

A J Matthews said...

An excellent account of the seige's progress. I'm looking forward to seeing what transpires.

abdul666 said...

A very enjoyable account of perfectly credible, "technically accurate" action: compliments and thanks!
Looking forward for the unfolding events.

Frankfurter said...

Looks to me like the siege works might be vulnerable to counter sapping ...
and does the fortress possess a mine system to blow away some of those batteries?