Monday, October 1, 2007

Battle of Seifriedsburg, Strategic Background

Battle of Seifriedsburg, Strategic Background

Salzugnen , Fulda, Gemunden am Main,
Wurzburg (Wurstinburgers), Frankfurt (Frankszonia)

Schonau, Ascheroth, Weyersfeld, Hollrich, Seifriedsburg, Reichenbuch

Okay, the above list of names etc. are the key points of reference in order to discuss the Battle of Seifriedsburg. The two URL’s are excellent resources for understanding developments. The FEEFHS map is derived from a pre-World War One map and thus shows key sites and routes fairly much as they were in the 1700's (before modern road building swept all over the place). The Multi Map site has not only an excellent road map program, but also has aireal (okay, it’s misspelled, but I prefer to spell it this way) photographs of all the terrain involved ... which will give a very clear picture as to the nature of the defiles and why the battle had to occur where it did.

Now this battle developed as a consequence of a battle between the forces of Gallia / Saxe-Rachstein and the forces of Hesse-Seewald and its allies. Gallia’s General Chevert received another check at Salzugnen and had retreated to the fortress of Gemunden. My three Frankzonian battalions under the command of Baron V. Ballpark which had been vetted to Chevert were the core of the covering force in an advanced position on the route from Salzugnen to Gemunden. Their primary task was to delay the foe while Chevert obtained reinforcements and another general secured the supply routes through Frankszonia (where there is a tremendous amount of resentment over the arrogant occupation and behavior by Gallia, even though the Hurtshog thinks that this presents a great opportunity for Frankszonia).
Woosh, that was a long sentence!
Anyway, to set up the battle, I of course went looking for Salzugnen and Gemunden on the maps ... and found no less than SEVEN (7) places called Gemunden. Moreover, there were two quite logical candidates for the Gallian position on good routes from Salzugnen. Furthermore, since Gen. Chevert had two or three times failed to overwhelm the Bishopric of Fulda and the Fulda gap thanks to the versatility of the Hesse-Seewald / Germanian forces there, both routes looked like good candidates at a campaign drive to bypass the Fulda Gap. Bill Protz, who is the player / creator of Gallia, said that on his game map, Gemunden was southwest of Frankfurt ... which clearly indicated that the site was Gemunden am Main.

Now there were several routes to Gemunden Am Main from Salzugnen. Two follow the canyons created by tributaries of the Main which flow into the Main just south of Gemunden. Their mouths are separated by only a mile or two. The western canyon led directly to Fulda while the eastern canyon linked up to roads which went through Salzugnen. Furthermore, there was a major route on more or less the high ground which goes about five to ten miles east of Gemunden on its way to Wurzburg. A route branches off this highway and comes down to Gemunden from the south. The rough nature of the terrain in the area created a problem in that v. Ballpark’s command could not cover both the route from Fulda and the other two routes. Gen. Chevert therefore commanded him to cover the direct route from Salzugnen while he made other arrangements for the route from Fulda.
Unlike Frankfurt, where the Main flows through an area with fairly large flats around it, the Gemunden region is very hilly, and the rivers basically flow through entrenched meanders ... which means very narrow and steep valleys ... more properly, I think, canyons ... with only a few broad places on the inside of some of the bends. Gemunden itself is overlooked by high river bluffs. Furthermore, a force which was holding defiles on the middle route could easily post itself on high ground which not only commanded that canyon, but also provided easy access down to the route leading to Wurzburg. In consequence, the Hesse-Seewald forces had been working their way down the middle route, and turning the defiles with their superior forces by accessing routes behind them up to the high ground and working down on the Gallian artillery.
When this process came to within an easy day’s march of Gemunden (Schonau is less than 10 kilometers away as the buzzard flies, though much longer on the roads twisting through the canyons), Chevert reinforced v. Ballpark who made a stand at Seifriedsburg which commanded the route toWurzburg and covered the route twisting down the canyon walls to the Schonau defile. Even so, v. Ballpark had already gained almost four days delay in the Hesse-Seewald advance.
On the morning of the battle, a very strong force from Hesse-Seewald drives across the creek bed separating Aschenroth from Seifriedsburg under the cover of morning fog ... as the fog lifts, the Frankszonians and Gallians gather behind their chevaux a frise barricades on the edge of the farmed area on the plateau around Seifriedsburg to look down on the Germanian horde deploying to assault them ....


abdul666 said...

Extremely clear, logical, didactic presentation!

If I understand it well, you play ±solo a battle integrtaed in the Gallia-Hesse-seewald campaign, given that you cannot meet physically either B.P. or J.P. in the Real World™? A model which, I think & wish, would become more common in the Eve Mega-campaign. Not only practical, but creates friendly exchanges between contributors a continent or an ocean apart.
Now... Saxe-Rachstein... where did I read this name?
Best regards,

Frankfurter said...

That's the duchy in Germany which Gallia has rushed to aid ... which claims that it is a target for annexation by Hesse Seewald ...
PS< I probably misspelled it!

Frankfurter said...

still writing the account ... up to six pages now ... more than twenty nice photos!

Der Alte Fritz said...

In the alternative universe, I would point out that the Hesse Seewald forces at Fulda have orders to hold the gap, while the rest of the army marches west to deal with Broglie near Minden. So in all likelihood, they would not have attacked the Frankzonians. Quite to the contrary, we have been digging a rather impressive line of fortifications in the Fulda Gap and have no intentions of venturing forth from said position. Attack ? No thankee.