The Battle of Grosse Alderwurst - the Conclusion

Map of Grosse Alderwurst Marching for days and risking his neck for his Emperor was all well and good, but at the very least you'd think that they would feed this poor soul.   After all, didn't the Emperor himself say that an army marched on its stomach?   Well, Private Bienchamin certainly thought so.   He'd been marching for two days without food.  To crown it all, now the damned Austrians had shown up and decided to fight.

The surviving Austrians had predictably fled in terror as Bienchamin and his comrades ran at them with fixed bayonets.  They didn't have a backbone the last time the Emperor beat them and they still didn't......Bienchamin stopped suddenly in the thick blackpowder smoke.  What was that smell?  It couldn't be surely?  Beinchamin dropped to his knees and began ransacking the Austrian body he'd trod on.  Yes!  By all that was holy yes!  The enemy had just been issued a freshly cooked ration of bacon!

All around Bienchamin hungry French soldiers had made the same discovery.  Amid the swirling smoke the officers were helpless to continue the charge as their starving men eagerly looted the Austrian fallen.

The battle hung agonizingly in the balance.  The French attack columns were poised to roll up the exposed Austrian line.  Although Frontenapie wailed and gnashed his teeth it was to no avail; his dice battalions refused to obey his will.

Finally the Austrian line recovered their collective wits and lumbered into a wheel.  The French attack columns were subjected to a murderous point blank musket volley.  One entire battalion shuddered and disappeared under the devastating fire.

Frontenapie knew that victory now depended on the French cavalry, now just making contact with the Austrian troop.  If the enemy could be driven off the field, it still might be possible to defeat the stubborn General Bäiros.

Colonel Moraine watched his brave cavalry spur themselves into action against the distant Austrian Hussars.  His horse had stumbled just after he gave the order to charge and had injured a leg.   Moraine quickly mounted another good horse, but had lost too much time to catch up to his trotting troopers.  So he simply put telescope to eye to watch another victory.

His spyglass dropped to the ground from nerveless hands.  Stunned, Moraine could only gape as his brave soldiers streamed back towards him in panicked defeat.  Fierce Gallic curses filled the air around the officer.  "Zut!   Zut Alors!"

Expecting a countercharge, the French cavalry broke into a gallop early.   Strangely the Austrian horsemen merely drew their swords.   They remained in a stationary line formation.   The French continued their thundering attack...right into a overgrown ditch right in front of the Austrian Hussars.   The front rank stumbled and fell, causing deadly disorder in the ranks behind them.   And at that point the grinning Austrians picked their way across the ditch and began carving into the confused French cavalry.

The French retreated as rapidly as they had advanced, pulling their lagging commander along with them.   The victorious Austrians smelled blood and continued their pursuit, leaving heaps of French wounded and dead trailing them.   The Austrian officers attempted to rally their enthusiastic troopers, but to no avail.   Soon only a distant dustcloud against the setting sun marked the cavalry pursuit.

As night began falling, both sides fell back in mutual exhaustion.   The battlefield was left to the dead.

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