Sunday 15 April 2018

Battles with the Bavarians, Breton, Saxons and the Frisians, 535 - 539 AD

Theuderic confronts the Bavarian threat.
Theuderic confronts the Bavarians on a battlefield reminiscent of many previous; plenty of wood, marsh and lakes. The clearing between wood and marsh would allow sufficient deployment for both armies and each side formed their battle lines with reserves positioned as a second or even third line.

Theuderic moved his mounted force far to the right allowing room for troops from the third line to extend the main battle line. Theuderic placed greater reliance on the performance of his Riparian troops and these would form his centre and right flank.

The Bavarians charged first catching the Franks by surprise; both sides inflicted casualties. The decisive moment of the battle came with the loss of the Bavarian king thereby creating a moment of confusion. Theuderic seized his chance to charge home with his cavalry encouraging the Bavarians to flee the field giving the Franks a clear victory (4g – 1).

Childebert engages the Bretons
Childebert viewed the non-compliance by the Breton as a rebellion and the Breton were more than happy to discuss the matter with the sharp edge of sword and spear. Half the Breton force was mounted giving them an advantage with their mobility. Childebert extended his infantry line reinforcing the left flank with extra troops. The Frankish cavalry formed a reserve ready to counter any attack attempted by the Breton cavalry.

Seeing no flank attempt on his left, Childebert quickly advanced his line to overwhelm the Breton infantry.

Both lines were heavily engaged with the Breton gaining a slight advantage of casualties inflicted. Sensing the moment right for committing the Frankish cavalry, the Breton cavalry suddenly appeared as an apparition. This gave the Breton tribal infantry time needed to crush their militia routing the remaining Frankish infantry to gain a clear victory (4 – 1).

The Saxons meet Childebert for the second time
Smarting from the defeat dealt by the Breton, Childebert was forced to meet the Saxons near their encampment at Bayeux. With the shoreline protecting his left, Childebert used the marsh to cover his right flank.

The Saxons adjusted their battle line as they approached to match that of the Franks; as they were in no hurry to attack.

The Saxons destroyed the Frankish shield wall in quick tempo sending a shock wave to the cavalry forming the Frankish reserve. The breakthrough on the left was the last step needed to see the battle could not be turned around. Childebert sounded the general retreat leaving the Saxons the field (4 – 0).

 Chlothar battles the Frisians
Unaware of Childebert’s defeat from the Saxons, Chlothar decides to confront the Frisians on similar ground. The Franks used a novel deployment of a small first line supported by a longer second line not far from their camp.

Somewhat surprised by the unusual deployment the Frisians were determined to take the battle to the Franks if need be. As expected, the first line moved to new positions on either flank giving the Frisians no choice but to clear both woods before moving ahead.

After clearing both woods, the Frisians engaged the main battle line of the Franks. The gaps created by Frankish casualties were quickly filled by the cavalry reserve. Repelling the cavalry strengthened the Frisian resolve to continue with the slaughter of the Frankish militia and tribal infantry; the loss of the latter tipped the scales for the Frisians giving them a convincing victory, but not without some losses (4 – 2).

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