For Immediate Release
Contact: Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger
Society Page Editor
Die Krankenstadt Tageblat
The Army of Zichenau on the Move North
Stollenian Diplomats in Hissig, The Electorate of Zichenau Called Home.
Krankenstadt, Grand Duchy of Stollen -- (11 February 1772) – Diplomatic relations between Stollen and Zichenau have again broken down, and the Stollenian ambassador to Zichenau, Wolfram Erich von Himpelchen und Pimpelchen, has been called home by his government today. The latest round of talks between Stollen and Zichenau failed to reach agreement yesterday afternoon over how to settle the growing dispute between the two countries. Speaking to reporters as he exited his house in Hissig, capital of Zichenau, this morning, Herr von Himpelchen und Pimpelchen remarked, “This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. What country ever went to war over several unfinished Christmas chocolates that had single bites taken from them and were replaced in the box? It’s preposterous!”
General Phillipe de Latte and His Army March on Neu Sittangbad
Nevertheless, Zichenau’s Princess Antonia III and her ministers have called for war and an immediate invasion of the Grand Duchy of Stollen to settle the matter. Princess Antonia has again placed the notorious French mercenary-adventurer, General Phillipe de Latte, at the head of a formidable army that is now marching north toward the Blau Zwischen River that separates the Electorate from the Grand Duchy. The precise destination of the Zichenauer army is not yet known, but Stollenian agents report that de Latte may be leading his men toward the small garrison town of Neu Sittangbad, which straddles the Blau Zwischen and sits on a sliver of Stollenian territory that extends to just past the southern bank of the river. It is widely thought by Stollenian ministers and generals that the Zichenauers will attempt to make a crossing into the Grand Duchy at Neu Sittandbad, where they presumably hope to set up a base for further military activity against Stollen.
Stollenian Army Caught in Winter Quarters
Despite some advance warning, and the events of recent weeks, the Stollenian army has been caught off guard since most of its troops are in their garrison towns and quarters for the winter season. Its composite units have been broken down into their smaller components and scattered widely around the Grand Duchy. Only the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own) Grenadiers, Stollen’s equivalent of Household troops, remain at full regimental strength in the capital, where they guard Krankenstadt Palace and certain other official buildings when they are not in the field.
Scratch Force Assembled under General von Tschatschke and Sent to Frontier
Nevertheless, General von Tschatschke, the Flamboyant Silesian, has been charged with meeting the threat posed by General de Latte and his army of Zichenauers. While precise details are not yet forthcoming, an anonymous source from within the Stollenian War Cabinet reports that von Tschatschke has been able to assemble a scratch force quickly and station it in and around Neu Sittandbad while the craven General von Drosselmaier, recently recalled to Stollenian service from his family estate outside Reval, assembles a larger army in the North of the Grand Duchy.
Stollen’s Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II Nonplussed
For all of this political and military activity, Stollen’s Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II remains somewhat puzzled. When reached for comment late last night, as he returned home from a late-night ball and was assisted up the steps and into a side door of Krankenstadt Palace, the tipsy Grand Duke observed, “I don’t understand this at all. I mean, if the Princess Antonia doesn’t want those tainted chocolates, why doesn’t she simply buy a new box? Or give them to me, and I'll eat them. By the way, have you seen my new tasseled loafers? They’re Italian!” The Grand Duke next hiccoughed loudly, stumbled up the steps, and was caught under the arms by a member of his staff. Rumored to be the long suffering English-born valet Gerald Arthur Hives, the unidentified gentleman’s gentleman dragged the flagging Irwin-Amadeus inside and closed the door without comment.