Wednesday, 5 December 2012


The Battle of Wunderdorf, June 1756

Wherein the army of the Palatinate of Saukopf-Bachscuttel, led by General Graff von Barry-Eylund encounters the army of the Burgravate of Nabstria, commanded by General Tonyfruttipandi.

     As summer arrives, the Seven Beers War continues to rage. Rallying the Nabstrian army after its setback against Grand Fenwick, General Tonyfruttipandi leads his forces to meet an invasion by Bachscuttel. The Nabstrian commander is happy to be on campaign: rumours have told him that in Falkensteinburg, the Nabstrian captial, his secret past has been discovered. It transpires that the man known as General Lord Tonyfruttipandi, graduate of the Scholae Militaris and soldier of fortune, is actually Meester Luigi Tuttifrutticandi, a wandering sous-chef.  Recognising that only a victory can save him from some hot poker-related Burgravial displeasure, the General marches swiftly eastwards to confront the forces of General Barry-Eylund. Outscouted again, the army of Bachscuttel finds itself with the burden of attack. The objective: the hamlet of Wunderdorf, four miles inside Nabstria and the perfect base from which the Palatinate's troops can pillage anything that isn't nailed down; and then, after a rest, steal the stuff that is nailed down too.
     (Above) Anchoring his left on Wunderdorf, the wily Tonyfruttipandi deploys his infantry into two lines. Thanks to its rough handling in May by Fenwick, the Nabstrian army now has three battalions of conscript infantry. These are placed in the front. To the rear are the Garde du Corps (green flag) and the trained troops. A battalion of irregulars holds the hamlet: another holds itself ready on the right to move forward into woods and from there threaten the flank of the enemy advance. The cavalry are divided between the two flanks. With his guns in the centre, Barry-Eylund responds to the Nabstrian deployment by placing six battalions of infantry in line on his left. On the right, four cavalry regiments and two battalions of irregulars are deployed. Four infantry battalions are placed in reserve columns. Exhausted by his exertions, Barry-Eylund has some hot milk and a nap.
     With loud cheers from both sides, the battle commences. On the right of the Bachscuttel line, the cavalry, commanded by Alain, Comte de Finay, advance against the Nabstrians, supported by the two irregular battalions. (Below)

     Soon, the pressure on the Nabstrian left begins to mount, as the combination of the irregulars and cavalry begin to  push back the Nabtrian forces. Inexplicably to Tonyfruttipandi, and with some ungentlemanly snickering from his adversaries, his hussar regiment rides into the nearby marsh rendering them as much use as a cat-flap in an elephant house. It is a moment of mounting military crisis, and Tonyfruttipandi, General and some-time chef, does what he always does when facing a complex battlefield problem: he asks himself 'What would Delia do?' The answer is obvious. The pressure on his left is temporarily relieved when the Bachscuttel horse are forced to a peremptory halt by an unexplained marsh: 'That's not on the map!' claims the Comte de Finay sniffily. In the centre, the Nabstrian commander throws his entire infantry force forward in a bold counterattack - with loud 'huzzahs' (and some weeping from the ranks of the conscripts), the drums roll, and the Nabstrian battalions march steadily forwards (below) 'God and Nabstria!' troops cry; 'Charge! Charge!' shout others; 'I resign! Help! Help!' murmur the front ranks.

     (Above) Barry-Eylund snores loudly, turns in his bed and says 'No more turnips mother: the squirrels have eaten my nuts.' This his adjutant interprets as an urgent order to send forward the four reserve battalions currently behind the guns: they will form line to the left, placing themselves in a position to enfilade the open flank of the advancing Nabstrians. As their enemies advance, the Bachscuttel battalions prepare to fire, recognising that in an extended musketry duel the lethal Nabstrian volleys are likely to tell. (Below) However, the ensuing fight is disastrous for the Nabstrian infantry and their position collapses quicker than one of Tonyfruttipandi's souffles.

    As volleys roar along the line, two Nabstrian conscript battalions are soon put to flight. Worse, the Bachscuttel reserve battlions deploy into line and then push against the open flank of the Nabstrian infantry, bayoneting the wounded and any Nabstrians that seem quite small. With thoughts of hot pokers looming large in his mind, Tonyfruttipandi orders up the elite von Gank Horse for a desperate charge: if they can just break through the Bachscuttel reserves .....

(Above) Alas, it is all to no avail. Turning to face the elite Nabstrian cavalry, the Bachscuttel infantry succeed in driving them off. Amidst the swirling smoke of the main infantry firefight, the last of the Nabstrian conscript battalions is broken; and then the Burgravial Garde du Corps; and then another of the three remaining infantry battalions, along with Sir Theodore Creasey. The battle is lost for Nabstria! As the Burgravate's remaining forces stream from the battlefield, Tonyfruttipandi rides his horse disconsolately back towards Falkensteinburg, his experience an object lesson in the fact that an ability to create mouthwatering frangipans is no substitute for military competence, no matter how light the pastry.


  1. Loved it. A good read and a good chuckle.

    1. Adam - glad that you liked it and thanks for leaving a comment!

  2. Alas for Nabstria! The Burggrave will not be pleased!

    1. Here in the Sanjak of Zenta, we are always interested to see infidels smiting one another. The infantry attack was bravely mounted by Nabstria, but the Burgravate was badly overmatched in quality and numbers.