The second charge went ahead, followed by the Aschenbach infantry which deployed out into line. Von Fleiger’s dragoons were once more repulsed, this time causing chaos as they fell back through the deployed blue ranks behind. However, with Kleintrink at their head the Cuirassiers were not to be denied this time and they smashed Raab’s dragoons aside. In the confusion, General Van Der Dijk was knocked from his horse and captured, but this misfortune was outweighed moments later – General von Kleintrink himself was unhorsed in the scrap, his horse falling on him and crushing his leg. The old scrapper had to be rescued by his retinue and borne off to the rear for an urgent date with the surgeons, while his command went leaderless.
Milling in confusion, the horsemen of both armies tried to reform but now found themselves subject to the full and undivided attentions of the infantry of each army. The lines exploded into a hail of musketry, and saddles were emptied by the dozen. Ludwig had made his line worryingly thin, flying in the face of the conventional wisdom that Luftberg infantry needed a reserve line to resist an Aschenbach attack. The advantage though was that he was now subtly angling his line inwards, enveloping the Aschenbach cavalry and infantry with interlocking fields of fire that meant the whitecoats could co-ordinate their fire and ‘gang up’ on unfortunate enemies.
The Cuirassiers of Von Kurbitz (KR2) found themselves being pounded by three enemy regiments, and were wrecked by the disorganising fire. Luftberg’s cavalry were similarly battered and finally pulled back, but the infantry proved able to resist the charges of Von Flunck’s dragoons on the end of their line.
The critical point became the left of the Luftberg line, closest to the withdrawing wagons, where the curving infantry line had just seen off the enemy Cuirassiers. The Aschenbach infantry regiment of Moglich (IR5) moved up to attack, aiming to break through the Luftbergers and turn their line. The croats swarmed round their flank and fired on them, while out of the smoke came the counter-charge from Radetzky (IR1). Trying to fend off the Croats proved to have thrown them off-balance as the Luftberg charge crashed into them and they fled from the fight!
Von Zaub, now in command of this sorry mess, realised it was a lost cause. His cavalry were so badly disordered it would take hours to reform them, his infantry were outnumbered and facing a solid enemy battle-line, and there was no way of catching the rapidly-distancing wagons. He ordered the remaining regiments to pull back and disengage.
General Ludwig had fought and won his first encounter, saving the escape route for the whole army and even beating the formidable Erich Von Kleintrink to do it. Heading back to rejoin the wagon train, the troops of Bartok’s IR9 expressed the whole army’s feelings and cheered him to the echo.