Saturday, 26 December 2015

Difficult Tidings for Saxe-Märchen

"The French want us to send more troops"

We left the Saxe-Märchen contingent (2 foot battalions, a Dragoon Regiment, and a converged Grenadier battalion) in the field as part of Soubise's French army some 2 years ago, watching the Hesse-Hatlands, with not much happening.

The French had decided, after a few battles,  that the Reichsarmee overall was mostly pretty poor, and the Saxe-Märchen contingent, despite giving a fairly good account of themselves in action,  were lumped into this definition and thus best kept far out of any risk of contact with the enemy.

So apart from some action in 1757, the years 1758 and 1759 had passed quietly for the Saxe-Märchen in the field, watching the borders of Hesse-some-hat-or-other.

This arrangement had so far suited everybody just fine. "In the field" meant French money for time and billetage, no action meant no extra expenditure and no grieving widows for the Old Duke to worry about, and the soldier-boys in the field were quite happy to be billeted on the Hessian farmers. Yes, they got the same ploughing, mowing, sowing, hoeing and reaping fatigues they got back home,  but over here a nice uniform meant the farmer's daughters and wives were far more likely to allow a bit of extra furrow-ploughing after hours.

By and large the opposing French and Hanoverians had ended the campaign season each year roughly where they had started. The threatened English Invasion of Saxe-Märchen and environs hadn't happened, as it was mainly the French who were being offensive. The small amount of Petit Guerre that had occurred near  Saxe-Märchen itself had been competently sorted out by the Grimmwald Jaegers. The young bloods posturing in the Duchess' Own Fusiliers and the Duke's Leib Garde du Corp cavalry gave some semblance of a force for Defence of their (miniature) Realm

In fact it had all been working so well that the Duke had sent the Schönburg Regiment out as well when the French had moved the Swiss battalion originally brigaded with them to more active service. More cash,  less cost, and getting rid of the irritating Colonel Waltz who had been making too many eyes at the Duchess.

But all that was now changing - the disastrous defeat at Minden had impacted the French and their Allied forces' front line strength. So, a List had been made of Reichsarmee units  that could be moved to the 1st line, and the Saxe-Märchen contingent had now been "promoted" to first line service. Worse than that, the Mosel battalion originally brigaded with them had not been moved to 1 st line service, and the French had "suggested" that the Duchess' Own Fusiliers be moved into the field to bring the contingent up to full brigade strength for next year's Great Offensive.

"But it's made up of all the minor nobility and bourgeoisie and burgher's kids" said the Duchess. "They volunteered to serve in the Fusiliers there precisely so you wouldn't send them off to war"

"But mein liebe knödling (my little dumpling)" said the Duke pleadingly, "they are now soldiers, and the French say they want more soldiers"

"There will be a riot if you send them to war, you will have all the good Matrons of Saxe-Märchen on your case. And then the husbands. Do you really want that much trouble?"

"We can send a Militia battalion"

"Oh come on, the Militiamen can barely find their pants on a good day. "

"Maybe take the best men from each battalion"

"Yes, but that would be about 2 companies worth, we need at least four more"

"Well what other options do we have?"

"The French want troops, if we don't send them they will take them"

Just then, there was a knock at the door......

(Got the new Osprey 7YW rules for Xmas, some good Imagi-Nation sized scenarios in the back I'm planning on playing out)

No comments:

Post a Comment