Throwing caution to the wind, the infantry on General de Latte's left flank wades into the RIver Elbow, with one platoon storming the bridge, while the Stollenian infantry waits beyond, its muskets at the ready. Meanwhile, the aristocrats continue their carousal in the village of Clauswitz beyond. Listen closely, and you'll hear Maestro Bacharach's musical combo striking up Sir Roger de Coverley!
Shortly after 6pm on the evening of 4th August 1773, the Battle of the Elbow turned into a full-blown affair. General de Latte's cavalry brigade had finally been able to concentrate on his left flank at the western end of the battlefield. It was, however, unable to do much thanks to the mass of confused men and riderless horses before it on the south bank of the Elbow.
As the broken independent company of the Wolmar-Bock Regiment makes its way to a rear area, the remnants of de Latte's cavalry brigade form up into two lines. What a pity they've nowhere to go! You'll notice the good General and Major di Biscotti arguing this very point with the cavalry brigade commander in the background of the photograph above.
Unfazed by the problems of his hussars, dragoons, and cuirassiers in their thwarted attempt to ford the river, General de Latte gave the signal for his entire front line to cross the river by any means possible. This move was in accordance with the general orders he had issued to his officers prior to the battle. The infantry regiments in his center advanced and were immediately disordered as they waded into knee-deep water, which in some places came up to the men's chests. Still, the River Elbow was noticeably calmer here than had been the case further to the west a short while before.
In the center of his position, half of de Latte's infantry advances and wades into shallower and calmer waters while the other half is held in reserve. You can just make out the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II on the hilltop in the background. During a lull in the cannon fire, he was heard to exclaim, "I say, Hives! There's a large, puffy white cloud up there that's shaped just like my thumb. Fancy that! Isn't Mother Nature a funny thing?"
About the only thing that might be said for de Latte's army at this point in the early evening concerned that squadron of the 11th Hussars that he had previously left behind to guard his right flank. Seeing an opportunity, and hungry for glory in the eyes of his superior officers, its young captain led a charge against just a handful of enemy Jaeger zu Fuss. The latter turned their attention toward the thundering cavalry, cocked their rifled muckets, and waited.
Finally, at the eastern edge of the battlefield, the third squadron of de Latte's 11th Hussars charges part of General von Tschatschke's Jaeger zu Fuss.