Friday, August 17, 2007

Situation In Germania: 17 August 1757 (2007)

Scene: Intendant Bastille's Office, Gallian Magazine and Citadel, Frankfurt Am Main
Date: 17 August 1757 (2007)
Narrator: Outside the familiar window overlooking the parade and now completed new jail, Bastille hears the clip clops of a rider come near and then stop below. A dispatch rider has arrived with news. Boots resound on the steps, stop, voices are heard outside the closed door followed by knocks.

Guard: Excuse me M. l' Intendant Bastille, but a dispatch rider, a very high officer, has arrived from Lt. General Chevert begging an audience this instant, if you please. [Bastille nods as a dusty eye patched Lt. Colonel of the Royal des Carabiniers enters. He is none other than....]

Lt. Col. Enigma: "Ah, mon ami. I arrive with vexing news."

Bastille: "Well, before that, please sit and refresh yourself with some cool wine and Germanian partridge. Allow me to pour you some Chevert. All is from Gallia to soothe the palate and digestion."

Enigma: "Oui, there is nothing better. I desire that above all things." [Minutes pass in small talk and companionable eating eventually followed by.]

Bastille: "I believe I may know your news but will not steal your thunder. I take it something is amiss?"

Enigma: "The Kings Army suffered a dreadful rebuff at Salzungen at the hands of Der Erbprinz of Hesse-Seewald. Though things looked very good especially on our right where my Carabiniers dashed into the enemy rear causing mayhem and destruction everywhere, we were eventually repulsed and scattered. Had we but had one more regiment! Well. The rest of the army was defeated in detail. I never saw such a thing. I escaped near a farm and only a day later found myself at the General's headquarters."

Bastille: "I heard rumors somewhat to that effect. What is next, pray tell?"

Enigma: "Lt. General Chevert has returned south to the fortress of Gemünden from whence he marched to engage Der Erbprinz. There he is recovering and restoring the Army and forming a line of battle with his flank resting on the fortress. It is his intention unless ordered to the contrary to offer one more battle there should Der Erbprinz follow up his victory. We do not yet know if he is coming south. Perhaps not with the situation at Minden looming."

Bastille: "Good. This will protect the right flank of Frankfurt Am Main. Meanwhile to the northwest Marshall de Broglie followed up his June victory at Gütersloh and is now fencing with the Britannians commanded by the Marquis of Granby who holds Minden. Now may I offer some cake and another glass?"

Narrator: Thus dear reader, we find Gallian Lt. Gen. Chevert returned to Fortress Gemünden and Marshall de Broglie near Minden. What will happen next? Will Der Erbprinz march south from Salzungen to Gemünden to engage Chevert? Will he march to aid Granby at Minden leaving behind a corps of obervation to watch Chevert? Will de Broglie strike Granby sooner or later? Or will something else occur? Time and circumstance will reveal all. Oh and Bastille is now considering filling the new jail, named after himself, with certain vexing elements in and about the city. Well, that's what he built it for, didn't he? Adieu.


Frankfurter said...

From Gen. Meyer
to: Gen. Intendent Bastille

I have word of a major setback to the corps of Gen. Chevert.
Hopefully, the three battalions of Frankszonians did their duty in a commendable manner ...
how badly were they hit?
Should they be consolidated?
Should the Hurtshog conduct a new recruitment drive or simply pass along some companies from the Nidda forces?
Could you assign some Gallian sub officers and sergeants to drill the militia companies and the three companies of the Reichs Armee here should they be required?

Your Servant,
Gen. Meyer

The letter is delivered by a tall, dark skinned American Indian dressed as a German noble, Lord Moosehunter. He requests a private audience with the Intendant. As the aides and servants retire:

Moosehunter: My Lord, the Hungover forces in the Russel Wald have begun to concentrate. They still appear chronically short of horses, but have enough to move their guns for sure. They can't act offensively, however, till next week at the earliest. Should we request the Imperial brigade across the Main to cross now or let them wait till after the festivities?

Bastille (with irritation): There are sufficient Gallian forces here to accomplish the taks.

Moosehunter (nods): Until Gen. Chevert calls them forward. This local rabble is hardly as dangerous as the Hesse-Seewald professionals!
The Hurtshog has too much invested in Gallian victory right now.

Bastille: And by his declaration, it is my decision, no?

Moosehunter (nodding again): That is correct. Moving on to another matter, our Herr Eberhard Kunegunde: Master of the Secret Police, has been alerted that you may have a list for him?
Do you have any that require ... ah ... delivery ... before tomorrow's festivities?

Bastille: I will consider this.

Moosehunter: Also, the Hurtshog has a personal request.

Bastille (irritated again): Yes?

Moosehunter: You have doubtless prepared for the swift security and withdrawal of the visting Gallian nobles. He would appreciate it if the Princess Stuftliana and the Urpprinz and their necessary party be considered as well. The doctors assure us that they are hardy enough for the rigors of such a journey, and Gallian hosting of their persons should offer significant advantages to both Gallia and the family Fahrtz.

Bastille (surprised): This is a major matter. I'm not sure ...

Moosehunter (reassuringly): We should have at least until Tuesday to act, and perhaps a more ceremonial departure with suitable carriages or by ship as would be appropriate for an exchange of state visits would be more suitable.

Bastille: and more obvious a target!

Moosehunter: ah, yes, speaking of which, we are placing some companies of the Porcelain Dragoons at your disposal over the weekend ... these men were originally Bavarians and their regard for Gallia is solid. The Hurtshog feels that such might be better suited for suppressing any incidents during the festivities than a purely Gallian force and unlikely to be susceptible to the blandishments of our mutual enemies.

Bastille: I'd have to put them under Gallian liutenants to ensure their coordination.

Lord Moosehunter: We can drink to that! (offers a flask)

Bastille: Perhaps, you'd prefer some Cheveret?

Lord Moosehunter (devoutly, while returning the flask to his coat): I would be honored, m'Lord.

Gallia said...

Narrator: Later that same day an Aide de Camp arrived from Lt. Gen. de Poyanne by the name of Lieutenant Christien. The gentle reader may recall, and if he does not, this kind reminder should suffice, that the aforementioned Lt. General has been posted near Frankfurt Am Main for a month with some 25,000 Gallian soldiers of all arms. It is about their sudden activities described in the dispatch for Monsieur l'Intendant de Bastille about which we are about to lean as we read:
Mon trés cher l'Intendant Bastille, I have the honour to report that my corps stole a march during the previous two nights using legerdemain arriving at the Russel Wald per our plan. At sunup my 25,000 men were arrayed in such a way as to prevent the escape of most rebel forces mobilizing there.

Calling for their surrender resulted in honorable refusal as expected. Thereupon I ordered the attack. In an hour the rebels were captured and dispersed. Considerable stores of munitions and food were also taken.

I thought the above plan practicable given the sad news of Lt. Gen. Chevert's battle at Salzungen. Removal of the foe in our rear area seemed to be the sound plan to better protect our interests.

On the morrow I intend to march into Frankfurt Am Main and encamp in the usual place. If it would please you Monsieur I offer a military procession through the streets of the city not unlike the style of the ancient Romans to impress elements still vexing us into submission or at least retreat. I have upwards of 8,376 dispiritied prisoners who will accompany the procession but who will not be allowed in the city.

Awaiting your pleasure with my news I am now riding for the city as I remain,

Votre Obeissant Serviteur,
Lt. Gen. de Poyanne
Gallian Corps d'Armée

Gallia said...

Narrator: The dispatch from de Poyanne has enlivend M. de Bastille into a rare smile. He immediately sends Lt. Chistien back to the Gallian general with this note.
Mon trés cher Lt. Gen de Poyanne,
I beg to ask you will accept my sincere congratulations about your coup in the Russel Wald. Moreover, with confusions everywhere here in Frankfurt Am Main I am obliged by duty to say your arrival here on the morrow is propitious and vitally needed. A procession through the streets en-route to your encampment in the usual place will surely impress everyone - friend, foe and fencesitter alike.
I approve it heartily and also thank the Lt. General for disallowing the prisoners to enter the city though a few might do wonders.

After the repulse of M. de Chevert at Salzungen, your reinforcement of my garrison will undoubtedly quell any mischief planned by disaffected elements remaining here.

May your fortune continue Monsieur as I remain a most grateful and
Obeissant Serviteur, Bastille
Gallian Intendant
In The Citadel
and Gallian Magazine at
Frankfurt Am Main

PS If you bring along the rebel foodstuffs, I am sure the royal family here would be obliged to deliver same to loyal solders in our service since their digestions handle the sausages and the like better than we.

Gallia said...

Narrator: Meanwhile at Fortress Gemünden (east of Frankfurt Am Main) Lt. General Chevert has been reassembling and reorganizing his Corps d'Armée.
Chevert Thinking Aloud:

The men are still coming in from the vexing affair at Salzungen. Let me see....

The fortress of Gemünden on my flank is secure enough with the reconstituted if battered battalions from the battle. Should Der Erbprinz arrive, I mean them to stay inside as a thorn in his plans.

The main road to the north and Salzungen is blocked by the unengaged Frakzonians. Will they hold? I doubt it but perhaps they will do their duty as an advanced screen. I do not intend that they do more than slow Der Erbprinz to give us time in the rear to be more ready. Their officers know their duty, but do their soldiers?

To the rear we have two lines of infantry and cavalry resting and recovering. Another week or two should suffice to repair their morale and circumstances.

Plus there is de Poyanne with his 25,000 near Franfurt Am Main - a useful reinforcement if I am pressed.

Narrator: We are now left with the following summary to wit:

1. Chevert is recovering at Fortress Gemünden east of Frankfurt Am Main.

2. Lt. Gen. de Poyanne, unbeknownst to Chevert has scored a coup against rebel elements in the Russel Wald and is now upon his march to encamp in Frankfurt Am Main.

3. l'Intendant Bastille is in near euphoria, well, euphoria for him anyway, with de Poyanne's imminent arrival.

4. Marshal de Broglie far to the north is covering the Britannian Marquis of Granby.

5. Where is Der Erbprinz?

6. What of the Masquerade? Doubtless Bastille and de Poyanne will collaborate to make it a peaceful affair. We hear Bastille has arranged for triple pay for the garrison to search out vexing troublemakers on the day of the Masquerade.

7. Have we heard nothing from Lady Diana Pettygree and her particular friend Lady Cherish Masquerade.

8. And Lt. Col. Enigma, the eye patched, scared and severe faced officer of the Royal des Carabiniers. Methinks dear reader he has ties to the Gallian ______, but I cannot say what.


Frankfurter said...

An assurance to Gallia:

The three battalions sent to Gen. Chevert under Graf v. Ballpark are quite reliable. The Graf himself is a brave and hardy soul with a sound record. I.R. Chicken is a tested formation which withstood crossfire, gallantly advancing between enemy formations in order to cover the advance of the Black Skirts. The Battalion d'Hottatrot is also a tested unit which now has a reputation for aggressive initiative to uphold.

While I'm a tad upset that you beat me to the punch (I had enough figures to game out the Russel Wald scenario after I'd written up the Masquerade ...) the Hurtshog will be ecstatic at the news. By themselves, the rural nobles aren't really that much of a threat ... and can be readily quelled after the masquerade.

As for round up during the festivities, I was working on a scenario of an urban riot / uprising (because of the refusal to hire Frankfurter laborers)... I'd rather not complicate my story line for the masquerade with it ... and the Frankfurter secret police already have a nice selection of "usual suspects" they intend to deliver between the masquerade and the departure of the Ladies ...
who have been receiving many visits from the happy couple with their baby ....

By the way, will those troops be arriving Friday or Saturday? There are some royal progresses through town scheduled for that day, and coordination and even better, participation with them would enhance the occasion ....

Gallia said...

Mon trés cher Arthur,
1. l'Corps de Poyanne arrives Frankfurt Am Main 19 August due to rain slowing the march.
2. The magazine at Frankfurt Am Main is considered to be of enormous importance. Thus the trio of Bastille, Enigma and de Poyanne were tasked with it's security. Bastille as we've observed sees mischief behind every bush and bend in the road, as it were. Enigma, well, we don't talk much about him. de Poyanne is a cavalryman in his heart and does not sit idle very well. I suppose you could still do your battle with a thought that your forces could be one of the blocking brigades as the rebels try to escape de Poyanne's troops charging in from all other angles. We apologize for spoiling your battle but offer the previous sentence as a possibility to rectify it all.
Votre Serviteur,

Frankfurter said...

Not to worry ... I want to concentrate on writing the dance scenes etc. next week.
If Alte Fritz doesn't object, I could do the delaying action of the Frankzonians down here and see how it turns out.
If my wife plays the Hesse Seewald troops, I'll probably be skunked again ... she's winning over 60% of the time right now ... even when I've slanted the scenarios ... can't seem to beat her dice rolls! Anyway, I've enough red coats to represent the northerners at least ... and still have a good battalion of French figures to use with my Frankszonians ...

Bluebear Jeff said...

Saxe-Bearstein remains an interested (if neutral) observer of these actions and counter-actions.

Good show, chaps!

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

Frankfurter said...

I've worked the idea of a round up into the dance story line ... along with consequences ... and secrets revealed ... I just don't have a good grab on the flirtations and more enjoyable intrigues, durn it!
If the wife feels better today or tommorrow, she'll give me a hand it setting up a few ...