25 March 2012

Move Five Orders in the Continuing Battle for Neu Sittangbad. . .

"Ah, there you are old camel saddle!" remarked General von Tschatschke as a disheveled General de Latte emerged into the bright mid-afternoon light of the drawing room.  "Feeling better?"

"The less said the better, my dear von Tschatschke," replied de Latte sheepishly, "The less said the better.  I see your troops have withdrawn on your right flank a full move's distance in my absence."

"Yes, damn bad show that," agreed von Tschatschke.  "Seems my Leib Grenadiers and artillery crew lack fortitude when faced with men in funny hats and brightly-colored girdles atop horses.  Still, they may rally yet."

"Doesn't look good in the meantime though, does it?" observed de Latte.  "Now, how about those orders for Move Five, old shoe horn?"

"I thought you'd never ask," said General von Tschatschke enthusiastically.  Here are mine:

1 ) The 4th Dragoons will move up 24” to plug the hole left by those scallywags the Leib Grenadiers and charge the Mittau Volunteers at the first available opportunity.

2) The Leib Grenadiers will rally and reform into line just to the right of the earthworks before Neu Sittangbad to support the dragoons.  Secondarily, they will attempt to regain the guns if these have not yet been lost.  Thirdly, they will prepare for a fighting withdrawal in the general direction of the toll bridge.

3) At the center of the field, the von Laurenz Musketeers will withdraw  12”toward Neu Sittangbad.

4) The Anspach-Bayreuth Cuirassiers will withdraw 24” to the north of Neu Sittangbad and in the direction of the toll bridge, covering the von Laurenz Musketeers in the process.

5) The single company of the Wolmar-Bock Regiment will remain in the redoubt and cover friendly troops as they make their way through town and toward the toll bridge.

6) The Engineer Battalion across the river will dispatch an officer and sergeant to the bridge, where they will wait for orders to detonate AFTER the rest of the army has crossed to safety.

7) The remaining gunners will rally and attempt to regain their guns, if possible, during Turn Six before joining the withdrawal toward the river and toll bridge.

"I think you'll agree these seem like tactically astute plans, eh de Latte?"

"Steady on, old billiard chalk!  Steady on!" cautioned General de Latte.  "Here are my orders for Move Five:

1) The Mittau Volunteers (who are having a jolly busy time of it) will advance upon the guns. They will form a new line, their left flank resting on the marsh.

2) The Mittau light company shall join them, forming two deep line as they arrive. The will be that part of the line resting on the marsh.

3) The cavalry brigade will form up in the rear of the Mittau Vols in support.

4) The Ermlanders will either open fire on their opposite numbers (von Laurenz) or advance to do so.

5) The Fusiliers will pivot 90 degrees on their right flank to enfilade the von Laurenz Musketeers. Mittau will protect the flank.

6) The artillery batteries on the right will attempt to find firing positions and move up to them.

7) The Battery on my left shall continue pounding the jaegers bottled up in Eisepicke.

7.5) Ooops, forgot O'Malleys. That portion which can fire upon von Laurenz will do so whilst those who cannot will infiltrate further into the woods with an aim to be in firing range by Move Six.

8) The rest of the army shall advance. The von Auflauf and Pioneers making for the centre of my infantry line, deployed in line.

"Clear enough?" inquired de Latte.  "Blimey, we are at the crunch!"

"As a bell," answered von Tschatchke tartly.  "And," he added with a note of distaste in his voice, "I'll thank you not to crow about it."  Seeing a ready opportunity to goad his host further, de Latte continued, the unpleasant outcome of his recent indulgences all but forgotten.

"At the end of this move, I expect my infantry will form a kind of "Z" shape albeit the 'hinges' will be at right angles rather than anything more acute," explained the Frenchman, grinning broadly.

"There's nothing cute about it, old fellow, nothing cute at all!" grumbled von Tschatschke, who produced another Cuban cigar from his inner coat pocket with great flourish and attempted to light it.  "Blast!  I'm out of matches again.  Must take my valet to task about that.  You just can't get find good help anymore, de Latte.  In my day, valets were valets and stayed on top of details like that.  To say nothing of the rest of the household staff.  It's a damn sad state of affairs.  Damn sad, I tell you.  Might just have to let old Totenhosen go after this, but we'll see.  He may redeem himself yet.  I say, de Latte," began von Tschatschke as he fumbled absentmindedly through his waistcoat pockets, "Have you got a light?"

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