Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Cavalry Trap

The action converges on Veldhuizburg now, as autumn draws on and a crossing over the Schelve becomes the principal prize for Aschenbach arms. Bitzhelm is well prepared for defence, with one of his remaining Infantry battalions in the works for defence, while his still-numerous cavalry (which never really got into action at Dolderburg) are also close at hand in the surrounding countryside.

The Aschenbach General Grenwitz has approached south on the Dolderburg road, and has commenced siegeworks with camps, parallels, etc. However, on his own he lacks the numerical strength necessary to properly seal up the town, and so his ineffective works can only screen the eastern approaches. In the west the land is still open and teeming with squadrons of the rival cavalry, who spend days in running skirmishes - Aschenbach trying to contain the besieged
close in to the works, while Luftberg tries to constantly break through the cordon and raid out on the supplies trundling down the Dolderburg road to Grenwitz's troops.

Miserable stuff for the besiegers, being thwarted like this. Von Krumper's approach gives cause for hope, however. He'll bring the numbers needed to clamp the western areas shut and
allow the siege proper to begin. However, Veldhuizburg - with it's back to the Schelve - is still not quite trapped thanks to the bridge Southwards. As Bitzhelm's Infantry fill the Garrison to capacity, the Cavalry will simply pull out southwards over the river. Grenwitz has plenty of time to ponder all this, at great length, and devises a suitably inventive plan.

He writes to Krumper, explaining the problem and suggests the following: As Krumper approaches to within a few miles of the scene, he sends his pontoons southwest to the Schelve and gets his Cavalry across, with orders to cut the Road and bottle up Veldhuizburg from the south. This way the garrison will be overloaded with useless Horsemen when Krumper's troops finally lock down the siege with a full investment - which will probably result in Veldhuizburg's rapid fall through starvation through the excessive pressure on the supplies.

Krumper decides to risk it - a cavalry-heavy fight beckons, as once his pioneers are spotted at work the Luftberg cavalry will struggle to disengage in the fields west of Veldhuizburg, fall back through the town, and then escape down the South road. Failure will probably doom Bitzhelm's whole force to siege & surrender, while failure risks a prolonged siege against a small rearguard which could well bring disaster if Aschenbach tries to persist with it through the rapidly oncoming winter.

1 comment:

A J said...

An intriguing situation, fraught with danger on all sides. Looking forward to more!