Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Opening Campaign

The Commanders
Don Fernandez Gonsalvo de Caracciola y Villigers, Duke of Sesa (1585 – 1628) is a veteran soldier who was competent, experienced, but un-enterprising, he had been on Spinola’s staff in Flanders. His recent appointment to hold the Palatinate was his first independent command.

Manfred Georg, Margrave of Uslar (1573 – 1645) is an important Protestant prince and zealot. Lacking experience, he was a well-read military theorist and had been chief of cavalry for the Protestant Union. After the Union collapsed, he raised his own force and joined the Swedes to support the cause. Given his own command, he marched off to the Palatinate to cut the Spanish Road which supplied the Imperialists with troops and supplies from Italy through Germany and on to the Netherlands.

The Imperial Corps
Overall Commander: Caracciola (Average)

Right Wing: Duke Anholt (Average)
Merode ARK 200 men; Walloon
Eynatten KUR 200 men; Imperial
Des Fours KUR 200 men; League
Nivenheim KUR 200 men; Imperial

Center: Cordoba (Average)
Caracciolo IR 1.200 men; Imperial
Herliberg IR 1.200 men; League
Schoppe IR 1.200 men; Imperial
Schmidt IR 1.200 men; League
Verdugo IR 1.200 men; Spanish
12 Medium and Heavy Artillery pieces

Left Wing: Lindelo (Average)
Losada ARK 200 men; Walloon
Lindelo KUR 200 men; Imperial
Baden KUR 200 men; League
De Magni Forlorn Hope 200 men; Imperial

The Swedish Corps
Overall Commander: Uslar (Poor)

Right Wing: Ruthven (Average)
Baudissin ARK 200 men; German
Soop Horse 200 men; German
Mitzlaff IR 1.200 men; Scottish

Center: Saxe-Launenburg (Average)
Kagge IR 1.200 men; German
Moen IR 1.200 men; Swedish
Baner IR 1.200 men; Swedish
6 Medium and Heavy Artillery pieces

Left Wing: Knyphausen (Average)
Thurn IR 1.200 men; German
Silversparre Horse 200 men; Swedish
Stalhansk Horse 200 men; Swedish

The Opening Moves
The campaign opened with Uslar advancing his Corps into the Palatinate closely watched by Caracciola. The intent of Uslar was to smash the Spanish/Imperialist corps to end the campaign quickly. Advancing along the Nidda River, Uslar decided to capture the Imperial stores in Reichling to shore up his weakened supply line. Caracciola, knowing Uslar’s weakened supply situation from his spies, blocked Uslar’s advance on Reichling at Desfurs Bridge. Caracciola was only able to bring half of his field guns having left the larger pieces in Reichling and had difficulties supplying the rest of the troops due to muddy roads near Reichling.

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