• We will be taking the forums down to perform a site upgrade on 26 January 2020 at approximately 8AM CST (14PM UTC). This downtime is estimated to last between 6 and 8 hours.
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(95429)

Captain
Mar 24, 2008
412
0
www.myspace.com
Looking forward to it Robou, good luck on your exams though.

Hmm, I've never played Vicky (though I would love too) but if I understand correctly a nation already at war cannot declare another war. So that means that any new aggressor in the German-Austrian/Russian war would be someone else. Perhaps Ottomans? We all know the Ottoman Empire would love to knock Austria and Russia down a peg or two.
 

robou

Hijo de Santiago
10 Badges
May 19, 2007
3.584
0
www.ww2italianreenactment.com
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
Looking forward to it Robou, good luck on your exams though.

Hmm, I've never played Vicky (though I would love too) but if I understand correctly a nation already at war cannot declare another war. So that means that any new aggressor in the German-Austrian/Russian war would be someone else. Perhaps Ottomans? We all know the Ottoman Empire would love to knock Austria and Russia down a peg or two.
Oh ho, I have decieved you all :)

Update coming in just a second.
 

robou

Hijo de Santiago
10 Badges
May 19, 2007
3.584
0
www.ww2italianreenactment.com
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
1849: Here's Our Chance!

Since the Austrian victory during the Battle of Vienna back in February, the revitalised Austria Army, no longer trying to fight a two-fronted war when she could barely manage a one front, had constantly been on the offensive. The Battle of Vienna had been followed up with two more offensives; one against the already beaten German troops at Brno and one against Sankt Pölten. It was obviously enough as their goals: create a buffer zone around Vienna which could provide the much needed breathing space the Austrians needed to start winning the war. Of course, there was still around 80,000 Germans to contend with in this area of operations, so a greater portion of the Austrian army had to be utilised so as to give a favourable numerical advantage over superior German weaponry and experience. This, unfortunately, left the troops at Salzburg, still managing to hold up Plfüger’s Guards, and Radetzky’s forces at Innsbruck on their own and facing more Germans than they could handle. However, it was agreed on that the defence of Vienna must be given priority over other areas, leaving the Alps to do as much damage as they could to the Germans for as long as possible.

Austrian forces were slow to move, though, and it would cost them precious time. Only a single infantry corps reached Brno by the end of March and found that the German cavalry had no more fight in them. They took the city without a fight. The advance against St. Pölten was initiated quicker and with more force behind it, but von Müffling’s Corps made a concerted stand in the countryside before the city, each day being pushed further towards the outskirts, but always standing to fight each day and buying time with German lives; he, out of all German generals, was best informed as to what was going on back inside Germany’s borders. He knew how long he would need to hold the Austrians and was willing to pay in the lives of valued regulars for that time. In mid-march, with von Müffling preparing to make his final stand inside the city of Sankt Pölten, the long-awaited reserves finally arrived to fill in the places of their fallen comrades. Lacking the rail systems of their eastern-front countrymen, these troops had had to march from the German border railheads to central Austria and arrived in divisions. However, by the end of March, and what with the wearing down of the Austrians before hand*, von Müffling now outnumbered the Austrians by 20,000 men in his area and was in a favourable defensive position. The battle would have to move to Vienna.

It had not taken much effort to push the Austrians back out of Brno. After it was evaluated that the Germans vastly outnumbered the Austrians, now, wasting a whole infantry corps in a useless fight would be a cost of manpower that Austria simply could no longer afford. Austrian forces retreated towards Vienna, while the other 100,000 men in Vienna prepared to march northwards and bring the Germans to battle and decisively defeat them with superior numbers, which they hoped would overcome German quality and the deadly effect of new weapons.

This culminated in the Battle of Klement, and being as such an important battle as it is, must be described in much more detail than usual. The date is April 22nd, around mid-day. Two German corps, 57,000 men in all, led by General Bausbach commanding, marched silently through the village of Klement. Their goal was to reach Vienna, but instead of a frontal assault on the city as was attempted last time, German troops were to use gains around Sankt Pölten to their advantage. The plan was to march to Tulln an der Donau, a town on the Danube that made, approximately, an equilateral triangle pointing northwards between Sankt Pölten and Vienna. From there, German forces could slip along the Danube under the Austrians noses and force the Austrians to move their defences from the north to the west quite rapidly, something which the Danube would help make a harder job. However, it had not been taken into account that the Austrians might sally out from Vienna. It was lucky for the Germans that Bausbach was smart enough to post scouts on the high hills overlooking the village so as not be unkindly caught off guard. With their elevation advantage, the scouts were quick to notice the arrival of 130,000 Austrians from the south.

Bausbach was informed and viewed the situation. He could see the ground was excellent for fighting on, but he would have to hold twice his number, perhaps for a few days, before more German forces could come to reinforce him. But Bausbach was a general of the old school, of the class of 1814. It was clear to him that the enemy was here and here it should be stopped and roundly beaten, no matter the odds. Masking one of his corps behind the hills, while sending out riders to order the rest of the Army to his position, he went out to meet the enemy face to face on the plains near the village of Niederleis. In the largest battle fought since Waterloo the German and Austrian forces clashed; 40,000 Austrians against 30,000 Germans, in the first head-on engagement since the fall of Napoleon.

The two forces literally marched towards each other in two long extended lines. The Austrians were lead by a vast military band. Strauss himself had been ordered by the Emperor to adapt his new tune, the Radetzky March**, for use in a military band, and this is what was now played as the boots of 40,000 of Austria’s finest smashed across the plains of their country. Even though many were mere conscripts, they all stood tall and marched in perfect order, slow and steady; graceful would be the word to describe their advance. The expressions could be seen as arrogant, but national pride could be the only thing to blame for that. And what with the gleaming white uniforms, contrasting with the black trousers, it was a sight to behold; quite the opposite of the dull grey of the German uniform.

At about 800 yards distance, the German line halted. Knowing their Potsdam Rifles could easily outrange the Austrian and Russian muskets, they had no reason to close as far in. At 700 yards, with the march about three-quarters of the way through, the German lines, front rank kneeling, presented and fired their first volley. Though not as effective as a British Minié, the Potsdam had an effective range of just less than 700 yards and many Austrians in the front ranks fell. However, the music continued and gaps in the line were filled with more men from behind, still carrying the same pride in their faces though some tunics now turned somewhat more pink than white. The Austrians continued their advance while the Germans tried to thin out the ranks yet further, but the Potsdam, for all its accuracy, was probably more cumbersome than a simple musket to reload.




The German lines give off their second volley.

So it was that, while the Germans tried to reload for their second volley, the Austrians came to a halt at about 350 yards before the Germans***. German artillery**** on the hills above had made up for what time the rifles had lost, but now it was the rifles turn again. Presenting arms as the Austrians smashed their final right foot into the ground, the Potsdams unleashed a deadly volley from well within their effective range. It would be safe to say that hardly a ball missed its mark. Perhaps as many as a thousand Austrians fell in that single sheet of lead, the high calibre bullets happily taking off limbs and ears, and, at that range, possibly going through two or three men each. But yet more Austrians filed up and took up the places of the dead. Now it was the Austrians turn to deal out death. In their own almighty volley, thousands of muskets ripped holes in the German lines. This was immediately followed up by a bayonet charge against the unprepared German lines. In this hand-to-hand combat, a rifle or a musket made no difference, and Austrian numbers quickly showed through and the Germans, after taking perhaps more casualties than necessary, retreated onto the hills, covered by the second Corps.

For the rest of the day, Austrian troops probed the German centre, where a small valley ran through the Buschburg Ridge, which the Germans were entrenched on, towards Klement, and around the left flank. Each time, however, German light artillery and sharpshooters pushed them away. When night fell, the battle subsided. The Germans struck up what simple fortifications they could manage during the night, their numbers seriously hurt by the battle on the plains that morning. During that engagement and the subsequent probes, it is estimated that the Austrians suffered around 10,000 casualties, and the Germans slightly higher; perhaps as many as 15,000 with a fair proportion of that being dead.

The next day, both sides were reinforced. The Austrians accounted for their losses with an extra division, while the Germans brought in two more corps, bringing their numbers from a paltry 44,000 up to 80,000. The day was surprisingly quiet, each side nursing the wounds of the previous day. The Austrians made more small attacks, this time towards the right; trying to seek out a weak point in the German lines. They could find no such place, unless they tried a long forced march around the far right, but the likelihood of that not being detected was small, and German artillery would be more than happy to ruin the effort. However, that night, von Müffling arrived to assess the situation. It was quickly identified that this was the main Austrian, and that the rear areas would be badly defended. Of course, the direct rear was Vienna, and that was still protected well enough for an assault to be pure folly. Instead, it was decided that a further 100,000 men would move to reinforce Bausbach who would try and break the Austrian army at Klement and force them back to Vienna, while von Müffling would take his forces and move to occupy land south of Vienna as far as Graz. The recent breakthroughs at Salzburg, Innsbruck and Linz would assist in this, and Austrian attention, albeit momentarily, would be moved southwards. Enough of a distraction, it was hoped, for Bausbach to make a concerted effort to push the Austrians southwards, right into a ring of German troops that would force a surrender of a sizeable amount of Austrians and force a peace. It was a well laid plan, but previous plans had failed to achieve much, so would this be any different?




The first stages of the Battle of Klement



Notes:
*von Müffling managed to cause around 8,000 casualties while only sustaining 4,000 himself.
**composed by Strauss the year before (1848) to commemorate the Field Marshall’s victories over the Italians revolutionaries and his reputation on the dance floor (hence the military march with a ball-room feel to it)
***400 yards was customary for the Austrian army, and this may have simply been a miscalculation, but most hold that the music had not yet finished and they could not finish marching before it had stopped. Hence the Germans were able to fire a second volley by the time the Austrians halted.
****Interestingly, German artillery was assigned divisionally, just like the Russians. Rather than sending Artillery of an independent corps of Artillery to forces when they needed it, such as the British and Austrian forces did, the Germans and Russians assigned several pieces of artillery to each division, ranging from light 6lbs guns to one or two 18lbs guns. Only artillery heavier than 18lbs (designated siege artillery) was independent of the divisions.


 
Last edited:

Eöl

First Lieutenant
37 Badges
Mar 22, 2008
277
12
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
Heh that was good, battle descriptions really are you forte aren’t they?
 

unmerged(95429)

Captain
Mar 24, 2008
412
0
www.myspace.com
Great update Robou. Get those funny sounding Austrians! Haha.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.805
689
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
tremendous update, one of my favourites yet :) hope you take our austria for good
 

Avatar018

Second Lieutenant
13 Badges
Jun 26, 2008
176
0
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
Like everyone else said very good update. If the war continues like this you should have Austria on their knees begging for peace very soon. Still don't know what that second county is that is supposed to be attacking. I read something about Ottomans? Maybe it's the US:D
 

volksmarschall

NE PLVS VLTRA
31 Badges
Nov 29, 2008
5.818
266
minervawisdom.com
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
God certainly doesn't like the Austrian Empire anymore. Just do us all a favor, just destroy Austria nice and quickly and get the war over with! :p Some of us can't stand reading you smuther our heritage into the dust! ;)

I know if I was back in Austria I would die fighting your Prussian battalions! :p
 

Woody Man

SWMH Bretwalda
112 Badges
May 12, 2004
4.808
405
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Lead and Gold
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Ship Simulator Extremes
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
Great job on the update!

And with regards to Austria, may I say Grossdeutschland?
 

unmerged(95429)

Captain
Mar 24, 2008
412
0
www.myspace.com
English Patriot - You may. ;)

Speculation: Ottoman's would likely join Germany, Italian States are already against you. Perhaps it's Spain then that will rally against you, they were historically Hapsburg and they are Catholic. I couldn't see the U.S. getting involved in a Central European war that doesn't affect them (no trade being affected). Maybe there will be an amalgation between this war and the Anglo-France war? Catholic France would certainly join Catholic Austria (fearing German power) and Protestant Britain would side with (mostly) Protestant Germany (to open another front that directly threatens France). If France is in it I could see Belgium allying with France, Netherlands allying with Germany (to reclaim Belgium). Hmm So many variables!
 

TRP

♦ Totally Random Productions ♦
1 Badges
Mar 6, 2009
2.136
1
  • Darkest Hour

unmerged(95429)

Captain
Mar 24, 2008
412
0
www.myspace.com
I second that. Strassbourg to Memel, Kiel to Triëste!
I third that. Triëste though will have to be renamed. Perhaps Bismarckshafen? :D
 

comagoosie

Perennial Dreamer
52 Badges
Apr 14, 2007
8.756
23
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Rise of Prussia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
Nice Paint skills :D

Anyways I am surprised to see that even with the superior weaponary, artillery, and the defensive position you took 50% more casualties than the Austrians. Now how does that make you feel?

Still, it is inevitable that you will win.
 

unmerged(141095)

Sergeant
2 Badges
May 3, 2009
96
0
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
I'm with the Grossdeutchland calls here, time to wrap up Austria and nullify any threat they pose so you can respond to the bigger threats that Russia and France pose.

How are your relations with Britain holding up?
 

robou

Hijo de Santiago
10 Badges
May 19, 2007
3.584
0
www.ww2italianreenactment.com
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
To All: You so lucky I have so much study leave. Enough time for revising, writing updates AND playing further on in the game (which took a long time as there were a lot of events and even new nations to mod in). As such, update will be in the works today and be up, if not tonight, then tomorrow.

Eöl, Kampf_Machen(1), Enewald, Hardraade: Hmm, that wasn't as good as I could have done, I feel. I was a little rushed for time and space. The first three hundred or so words I had not actually envisaged beforehand, and I try to keep updates to two A4 pages. What I was crying out in my head to do was to write it narratively, because that would have been marvelous, but I feared I did not have time, didn't want to spend too long on a single battle (I mean, come on, we have been through over 30 pages and have covered under 16 years) and some people would not like to read a narrative in a history-book AAR. Thoughts on that for future reference will be taken into high account.

Avatar018, Kampf_Machen(2): Heh, I said I had decieved you all. The war getting bigger was simply in the size of the conflict. To go from battles of no more than 40,000 men total to one of almost 300,000 is quite a change of character to the larger. Frankly, the USA entering the war would be annoying, but I still have 60,000 men in the Americas (albeit locked up in Garrisons) not including the Mexican Imperial Army; I could hold 'em down. As for the Ottomans, they are in a defensive alliance with me :).

English Patriot, TRP, Kampf_Machen(3!): Not while Austria still had a field army of that size. But we can soon be rid of that. And then whats to stop me. Though some diplomacy, politics and badboy will get in my way, no doubt.

Ascalon: Thanks and welcome!

comagoosie: yes my paint skills... well... shall we call it an edwardian loss? :D We'll cover failings of the military, in which Klement will play a major part, after the war is done.

Gwynn: Britain is pretty much neutral, but is not going to be friendly to a Germany who is tearing up Europe. I'll have to tread carefully with that one. Thankfully Britain and France are still slogging it out with no end in sight.
 

unmerged(95429)

Captain
Mar 24, 2008
412
0
www.myspace.com
Ah so then there will be no more combatants? Ah well it's just as well, that last battle was pretty effin' brutal. Still take all the South German and Italian lands. It's what good ol' Emperor Henry the III and Otto the Great would have wanted! :D
 

robou

Hijo de Santiago
10 Badges
May 19, 2007
3.584
0
www.ww2italianreenactment.com
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
1849: A Pyrrhic Victory

Life for soldiers fighting at Klement was not pleasant for safe. Although fighting on the scale of the ‘Battle of the Plains’, the first day of the battle, had died down. For over a month, now, the Germans had sat atop the Buschburg Ridge and the Austrians made camp behind the village of Niederleis. For over a month the two sides sat watching each other, waiting for their opponents to make a fatal error. There were frequent, almost daily, skirmishes, mostly towards the flanks, to try and find gaps in the lines, and over this period of time it caused a draining effect on both the morale and numbers of both armies. Casualties were, understandably, very high. The Germans had suffered over 40,000 dead, wounded and captured; the Austrians more, perhaps as many as 50,000. The nature of this warfare of skirmishing made these losses, not unnoticeable, but simply necessity.

However, the Germans had slowly been stacking up men and guns behind the ridge, out of sight of the Austrians. That the Austrians failed to pick up on the fact the Germans were planning something was negligent, yes, but there was little the Austrians could do to remedy the situation had they known. Vienna told them, quite bluntly, that there were no more troops to send. What few were left had been sent to try and stabilize the situation further west. With the arrival of 50,000 German reserves, finally the Germans outnumbered the Austrians and decided that now was the time to act on it, as per Generalfeldmarschall von Müffling’s instructions to engage the enemy.

The night selected was May 28th. Unfortunately, with summer finally showing itself, the nights were shorter and the possibilities for launching a surprise attack were slimmer than Bausbach would have liked. However, he had the men and the will to attack the Austrians and he would do so until they were forced to leave. On the day of the 28th, Bausbach kept to the norm and sent out a skirmishing party which found no special weak points in the Austrian defences. The trenches, at this stage, were rudimentary, but they were still dangerous. The Austrians, however, had not tested them against a general assault and did not seem to understand what was about to hit them.

It was 11 o’clock when it was finally judged that the night was dark enough to begin the attack. It took a further half an hour to move the assigned 50,000 men over the hill and into their own forward trenches without creating too much noise. At 11:45 the order was given and the German’s opened up fire from the ridge with every cannon they had, regardless of effective range or power. The Austrians were taken by surprise; their forward trenches took the worst of the bombardment, but some of the German 18lbs guns were aimed at the Austrian camp and managed to cause confusion, ripping up tents and blowing their occupants to pieces. About thirty seconds later the German infantry climbed out of their trenches and began walking toward the maelstrom. The pace was slow enough to let the artillery do their damage but quick enough to reach the trenches in time enough to take them before the Austrians began getting organised.

After eight minutes, the infantry were too close to the trenches to allow the artillery to continue firing, and only the 18lbsers were left to harass the Austrians. At two hundred yards distant, with the Germans only barely visible, the Austrians began firing. In the pitch dark night-time, the red and orange flashes of musket fire were quickly noticed. The Germans halted, despite now taking casualties, and levelled their rifles towards the flashes. An almighty volley ripped forward, catching men in the shallow trenches and clearing the rest out of them in fear. The Germans rushed forward to occupy the trenches. However, during this run the Austrians were also sending in reserves and the broken German formations were riddled with point-blank musket volleys as they jumped into the trenches. With muskets and rifles fired off, what followed was a brutal hand-to-hand combat in and around the trenches, and what with the darkness; it was a very confused battle. Pistols¹, sabres, bayonets, rifle butts and hands became the weapons of choice.




The reinforcements advance over the bodies of fallen comrades of the night before, too late to be of any use.


The battle raged all night, the Austrians taking the trench but only forcing the Germans a few yards before they took it back. It was dawn before German reinforcements came up but by then the battle was finished. The Austrians, knowing that fighting further would only be a waste of men, had already packed up, amidst the constant shelling by the heavier guns, and the main force, or what remained of it, had left during a lull in the fighting. Only a single rearguard division was left to hold the line. The Battle of Klement was over, for the cost of over 30,000 dead and countless more wounded and captured. Overall German casualties stood at almost 90,000 men, the Austrian number being unknown but most probably higher, making Klement one of the bloodiest battles in history. It would not easily be forgotten by Austrian and German alike.

However, the Austrians were not finished. For a further month the Austrians delayed Bausbach from entering Vienna, trying desperately to find better terrain to fight a defensive battle on, but Bausbach pushed them off before they had time to dig in. When the Austrians finally reach Vienna, with little fight left in them, it was agreed to abandon the capital and retreat southwards to the mountains. On July 3rd, Bausbach entered Vienna in silence, apart from the treading of German jackboots. He had done his duty to Germany, and had followed orders, but he had lost his reputation in the meantime. Out of a force of 200,000 men placed at his disposal, after 2 months of dogged fighting he had but 40,000 men fit for duty. He was removed from command of the Army of Bohemia two days later and sent to the colonies; though he was not stripped of his rank. It was a pyrrhic victory for the Germans if there ever was one.

That is not to say that this affected the war in the slightest. With Vienna taken, no matter the casualties, the main Austrian force, though now no more than the remnants of the army it once was, had been caught in von Müffling’s trap. As attention had been forced upon the fields of Klement, von Müffling had launched the important part of the operation. He had smashed his own 80,000 men into Austrian lines south-west of Vienna, breaking their resistance and had advanced almost freely southwards. By the end of May he had advanced as far as Judenburg, and by the end of June as far as Graz, Maribor and Klagenfurt. Now the Austrians were on the retreat he had them trapped against himself from the south and west, von Brandenburg, who had replaced Bausbach, from the north and the Hungarian border, neutral only diplomatically, to the east. They closed the gap tighter and tighter over the next month and when Austrian commanders learned they had nowhere to run, they prepared to fight. But when it came down to the combat, the Austrian army laid down its arms to the oncoming Germans. Out of 70,000 Austrians, only 5,000 refused to surrender and fled northwards only to be captured by von Brandenburg later in the month. With the secured surrender of over 16 divisions of the Austrian army, it was the clear, there was no war left to fight.


Notes:
¹ The Germans had bought a number of Colt Revolvers which proved themselves most useful. More on this later.