The Disposition of the Corps du Vin,spring 1757 - Saxe-Märchen forces in dark blue, other Imagi-Nation regiments in light blue
“Gentlemen” said the Duc de Pinotage “I have gathered you into the Big Tent to tell you about our orders from Marechald de Soubise, and thus the disposition of or forces.”
The big tent contained all the notables of the Corps du Vin and it’s ReichsArmee contingent - the Marechals, Brigadiers, Inhabers and various staff worthies. The Duc unveiled a large diagram on a board, and everyone craned their necks to see it:
“I have organised the force like this – I have two French brigades, made up of battalions as follows. On the right, the Brigade Champagne, comprising of the battalions from the
Champagne, Medoc, Royal Italian and the new Beaujolais battalion. In the Centre, Brigade Touraine,comprising of battalions of the Touraine, Provence, Perigord and regiments. A third French brigade, mainly of militia, is due to reinforce us later to cover our lines of communications” Alsace
Murmerings and mutterings of precedence arose, but the Duc had broadly got it right.
“On the left in this campaig is the Reichsarmee Brigade; comprising of the two Saxe Marchen battalions, the Kreis Regt Mosel, and the Swiss Battalion Valais, which will be the senior battalion”
(And probably the only one that can fight, thought the Comte de Syrah, who had accompanied them all the way down the Fluss to their base here……)
Leopold, younger brother of the Duke of Saxe-Märchen and theoretically the commander of their forces, woke up from his hangover doze (darn, these French parties were good) at the mention of Saxe Märchen, saw that the Saxe Märchen forces were in the 2nd line, and that someone else would be commanding the brigade, briefly felt his honour slighted, quickly realised that the 2nd line meant less danger to his person, and no damage at all to pursuing les liasions dangereuse with the ladies of the French camp, and closed his eyes again.
“I have split the cavalry into 2 commands”, continued the Duc – the ChevauLegere Brigade comprising the Chevaulegers Bourgogne, Fleurie and Royal Rousillon,and the Dragoon Brigade, comprising the Languedoc and Schomberg dragoons,and the Saxe Märchen Malthus Leib-Dragoner Regiment. In reserve are the Grenadiers Royaux de Chantilly, the combined grenadiers of all the Reichsarmee regiments, and a Heavy Cavalry regiment, the Gendarmes d’Anjou.
More murmering, especially that Gendarmes had been attached to the command.
“The Volontaires de Fischer have been attached to us, and I have combined them, the Sarkozy Hussars, and the Arquebusiers de Bergerac into a Light brigade, they will be responsible for scouting and seizing forward positions”
“And seizing the Prussian women before we get there” grumbled the Royal Roussilon cavalry commander, who considered this sort of thing his droit de signeur and a perk of the job.
“Soubise's plan isthat the main army will be pressing into
Saxony , the orders for our Corps are to move out earlier and demonstrate on the Northern flank and so prevent any surprises from that quarter, and also seize major crossing and towns to deny the Prussians any logistical support from thereabouts”
At that, the most superb moustache in the Corps twitched agitatedly, as its owner exploded
“Bah – Effort mit dis Axe inter Otter Vase!" harrumphed the gruff Graf Malthus “Votter fokk iss diss “Demonstrate, In myday ve found der fokkers undt ve charged dem undt ve killt dem undtil dey voss all dedt”
“He means he fought with de Saxe, and, er, they would seek out the enemy and try to destroy them where they found them“ said Young Werther helpfully, waking up from his own romantic daydreams about the lovely Charlotte, mistress of the Comte de Syrah..
“And who are you?” asked the Duc
“Furst Werther, sir, son of the Duke of Saxe Marchen”
“Ah - well, you look like a smart young chap – I’ll put you on my staff, you can be my Liaison with the ReichsBrigade – and the Graf’s dragoons.” Said the Duc. "Speak to the Comte, he’ll get you fixed up".
Turning to Graf Malthus then, “I am sure there will be action soon enough, Herr Graf” said the Duc soothingly, ”I can’t see the Prussians - or even the Hanoverians – letting us get away for long with strangling the supply routes from the Northwest.”
The moustache, still bristly, stilled.
Afterwards,the Duc and the Comte de Syrah were comparing notes:
“That briefing went as well as could be expected,
, but what about that old moustachioed firebrand Malthus” Syrah
“Well Pinotage, It did occur to me we could do with having a force of our own, to “demonstrate” on our own exposed flank as it were, and all these tinpot Germans could do that, and get some bloody experience at the same time. At the worst we get to hear the Prussian guns going off earlier and have more time to get sorted out, at best this lot actually do some of the fighting and save French lives”
"Excellent idea, Syrah - and why don't you command it - get you out of all the logistics nonsense and into action again, I'll bet you are itching for that, eh, eh?
Syrah actually rather liked Logistics - as Marechal des Logis you have the power of saying "no" over the field generals,which meant favours owed, and staying comfortably in camp with your mistress (and theirs).....
"Erm, that's a great honour sir, but - who will look after logistics"
"Who indeed", said Pinotage - "maybe Brigadier Minion needs a chance at it, he is always whining about how things could be done better.Yes, Minion is the man.You command the damn Germans, take that young chapWerther in your staff to translate for you."
Syrah wondered how he was going to explain this new twist to his mistress, the lovely Charlotte.