Friday, 13 November 2020

War in Silesia (battle report)

 In the summer of 1434 Wladyslaw III ascended to the throne of Poland and not having reached his majority, matters of state were conducted by powerful clerics and the chancellor of Poland. One issue that festered with the powerful was the contested frontier with Bohemia of the lands known as Silesia. Forces were marshalled and crossed the Wista River. Scouts reported the enemy encamped a half days march to the south. It was decided to rest the troops and attack at dawn.

The voivode (war leader) deployed his heavy cavalry in two divisions, each a mix of knights and czeladz and Polish Light horse were positioned on the left with the war wagons supported by rustics secured the right.   

The Bohemians marched out of their camp to form two wings, on the left all their banners of cavalry and on the right mercenary pike and handgunners.

Miscommunication plagued the early phase for the Polish, but the voivode moved the war waggons forward while the light horse, on the left trotted off to make an excursion of the enemy line.

Unperturbed by the activity on the flanks, the Bohemian commander moved his troops forward with one objective, to quickly close and destroy the enemy centre.

The Bohemian pike moved forward maintaining their formation and expressing some surprise as Polish cavalry remaining stationary. Such was not the case on the Polish right as Polish knights and supporting czeladz crashed into the Bohemian deep formations resulting in both sides tasting brief advantages. Harassing fire from the war waggons forced the Bohemian commander to despatch a banner against them.

Dispelling any thoughts of trickery, the mercenary pike struck the awaiting Polish cavalry wreaking havoc on man and horse with both sides losing casualties. To support this success, the field guns were hastily ordered forward to bring their guns in range of the Polish city militia. Elsewhere, the cavalry battle continued with the Polish suffering more casualties and sensing victory the Bohemian commander and escort charged into an open Polish flank.

From the rear of the Bohemian position, the Polish light horse viewed the battle. Bohemian pike were thinning the ranks of Polish cavalry and artillery fire was forcing the city militia dance, the battle was becoming grim. Seeing the enemy commander’s banner, the rotmistrz cried ‘Na wroga!’ joined the cavalry battle. The clash was brief, but the Imperial banner falling to the ground disheartened the Bohemians and with the loss of their general, the army slipped away from the field of battle.


Note: 

This was the last of three test games. The Polish handily took the first two crushing the Bohemians 6 – 0 in game two. But the final test became a nail-biter as the Polish casualties reached 3 to the Bohemian 2. The Polish light cavalry turned the day.

2 comments:

  1. Splendid units...and period!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Phil.
    New figures are ordered for the Hungarian and these should arrive next week.
    The Bohemian will have a revanche test, but this time with 24 elements in the command.

    ReplyDelete