Battle of Neittinge

The Third Battle of the Sarzin Conflict

Our leaders, our years of training and the weapons we bear; they are all meaningless. Has this republic only existed so long as to stand as a fool for the world to laugh at?
— Otto of Neittinge, militaman
  The Battle of Neittinge was a decisive engagement that took place near the quiet town of Neittinge in the Peasants' Republic of Aussel. The military conflict was the third major encounter between the forces of Kilas III of the Aristocratic Republic of Rueken and the free peasants of Aussel under the leadership of chancellor Cilie Vehlow and her generals in the Sarzin Conflict. With the assistance of Czylle ven Mierholz, the Duchess of Valleren, Kilas and his Ruekish forces were able to neutralize the defenders’ high ground advantage with the use of Vallerenian artillery, guaranteeing their victory in the fight.

Prelude

Nearly a month after the Battle of Teuholz, the fight between the militiamen of Sarzin and the Ruekish invaders that started the war, the leader of the attacking forces, chancellor Kilas ven Leiberge-Kattel, landed on mainland Aussel. He had hoped that the Ualish mercenaries he hired would harass his enemy on their eastern border, splitting the defenders’ armies, but soon after making landfall he heard of the defeat suffered at the Battle of the Lipsig Hills.  

Milita Response

After the surprise attack on Sarzin, anglers from the mainland had learned of the event and spread the word of war across the land.   Immediately the militia groups in the Ausselian regions of Tilnessen and mainland Sarzin gathered their weapons and prepared for war.   The militia forces fell under the command of Elger Bork, the general of the Tilnessen Retinue. His professional soldiers collaborated with the irregulars to patrol the north-western shores of the country.

March on Steendern

Unsure whether the Ausselian forces would march from the east to counter the invasion, the Ruekish marched on Neittinge, the first large town on their way to the capital of the peasants’ republic, Steendern.   Chancellor Kilas led his army personally as to not suffer another embarrassing blunder like the one that his forces had been dealt on Sarzin. His aim was to smash any resistance before the defenders could organise their forces into a more formidable army.   The chancellor was accompanied by Czylle of Velleren who was there to oversee the performance of her newly acquired howitzers.
They’ve slipped through our nets yet again! I swear, there must be a treasonous deceiver on our shores, feeding knowledge to the enemy. Once we’ve mopped these invaders up, we’ll scour the land for this cur!
— Elger Bork
 

Disembarked

To the surprise of the Ausselians, the Ruekish forces were able to land their army without being detected. Upon the realisation that the enemy was on their shores, general Elger Bork theorised that a traitor must have given one of the militia groups false information, making them move out of the way of the disembarking soldiers.   After the defenders were able to determine the attackers’ route, they moved to intercept them on favourable terrain before the town of Neittinge. The Tilenessen Retinue and Sarzin militia arrived there first and awaited their reinforcements on top a hill. The militiamen of the Tilenessen region were moving in from the north and the veterans from the battle near Lipsig were approaching from the southeast, but Elger Bork was unsure whether they would arrive on time.

The Battle

Upon spotting the Ausselian forces, the commanders of the Ruekish armies were ready to make their move. They had arrived at the location on the 21st of Kateaqteril, 1540 when the skies were covered in a light layer of clouding, dimming the light of the rising sun.   The battle began at the crack of dawn as a loud thunderous roar awakened the resting defends on the hill. Before all were on their feet, a barrage of explosive shells and shrapnel descended upon them.    

Retreat From the Hill

One of the units most affected by the sudden barrage of metal and fire was a group of lightly armoured militiamen. They had never in their lives encountered neither guns nor artillery, with only some hearing vague stories about them. The shock of encountering the deadly barrage crippled their morale, breaking their spirit to fight and causing their unit to shatter.   Before the sight of their countrymen being torn apart and fleeing from the field could affect the militia under his command, general Elger Bork ordered his forces to move down from the hill. He hoped to spread his forces out as to minimise the effect of the artillery, but told his soldiers to avoid direct combat with enemy units.
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Orange Pumpkin by Jessica Lewis
 

Targeting the Battery

Charge freemen of Aussel, cut those thunderous machines down before they unleash another volley on our brothers!
— Captain Vetsig of the Steendern Cavalry
  As the general and his forces trotted down the hill, the Steendern Cavalry, a unit within the Tilnessen Retinue, attempted to manoeuvre around the enemy. Their captain, a local man born and raised in Neittinge, looked for the source of the devastation. Eventually they had found their target, but their intentions were known to Ruekish. Duchess Czylle commanded her pikemen to cover the artillery battery from cavalry charges, preventing it from direct charges.  
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Potatoes by Marco Antonio Victorino

Cavalry Blunder

For a brief moment the captain of the cavalry squadron saw a gap in the lines which he hoped would allow him to break through and charge directly at the men manning the guns. He was aware of the tremendous risks involved, but believed that without a well-executed risk, there was no hope of victory.   As his forces were midway through the charge, the Ruekish countered them, forcing the captain to order a quick charge against the nearby unit of archers instead. Not all of his men heard the command, ending separated from the rest and quickly entangled in an unwinnable fight.   The rest of the lightly armoured cavalrymen were no better off than their lost companions when a volley of arrows came down on them, killing many before they could reach the bowmen.   One of those to fall was the captain of the squadron, causing panic to grip the unit upon the realisation of his downfall. With their leader dead and the enemy’s lines unbroken, the cavalry turned around and routed.
 

Gathering of the Militias

While the cavalrymen were fleeing to the hills north of the battlefield, the Tilenessen militia approached from the east, aiming to regroup with the rest of the army. The Ruekish were aware of the incoming wave of reinforcements and turned their guns on them, shelling the path ahead of the Ausselian soldiers. While a couple of the explosions landed close to the militiamen, the incoming forces were able to spread out and minimise casualties.    

Forming the Lines

With the bulk of their forces gathered, the Ausselian light infantry tried to spread their front line thin, hoping to envelop their enemy with their superior numbers. With all the units lined up in position, general Elger could see the trouble his forces were in.   Their enemies had access to far better gear and without an overwhelming numerical advantage, the defenders were fighting a hopeless fight.   Before he could consider calling a retreat, the loud sound of the horn of Lipsig blasted from the south. Reinforcements were nearby, and although the general was unaware of their numbers, the sound of the horn kept him on the battlefield.
 

Indecisiveness

Seeing the failure of his cavalry, general Elger Bork realised that victory was uncertain and the best he could do was to weaken the invading forces enough to prevent their march south.   While he had remarked to one of his soldiers that a retreat might be necessary so they could fight another day, the command never came.   Indecisiveness and the burden of command weighed on his heart as he was unsure which decision would save more lives. Without the will to act, he chose to stay and fight.
 
The general knew what was coming. Some of us openly questioned his actions, urging for him to call for a retreat. That only weighed him down in the end. Too many burdens kept him tied to the battlefield.
— Albrecht ven Heinge, Ausselian soldier
 

Broken Spirits

As the two forces closed in on each other, the Ausselian militiamen charged in, tossing their javelins before making impact. The first blow had little impact. Only a handful of the invaders had been unlucky enough to get hit in exposed gaps in their armour. Seeing the enemy stand firm and ready to fight crushed what little morale the local defenders had.   The Ruekish, undaunted by the numerical advantage of their foe, pushed forward. They knew that their superior armour rendered the Ausselian peasants useless. The battle had quickly turned into a brutal slaughter.

Arrival of the Lipsigers

While the Ausselian lines were crumbling apart and their militiamen fled the field of battle, a group of reinforcements had reached the hill which had been shelled at the start of the battle. What general Elger Bork had hoped was a considerable force of heavily armoured veteran forces was but a single company of archers.   Their arrival did little to raise morale, and soon they found themselves the target of the howitzers. Despite suffering a few casualties, the archers routed the Ruekish archers and completely destroyed a company of heavy infantry.
 
I believe we did more work than the rest of our forces on the field, and we arrived as the battle was ending. Half of our men never even made it to the battlefield!
— Jekel Kantz
 

Sacrifices

Seeing his results in the battle as a complete failure, Elger Bork stayed back with his heavy infantry forces, giving the militia a chance to escape. The Lipsigers used the opportunity to put as many arrows in the Ruekish as they could before they had to call the retreat.   Elger Bork’s unit fought valiantly for a while, but the enemy were too numerous. Eventually, when most of the Ausselians lied dead on the cold bloodstained dirt, the soldiers surrendered. Elger had his neck sliced in the fighting, but the cut was minor and the Ruekish provided him with medical aid after they had concluded the battle.
Ausselian flag
Ruekish flag
Included under Conflict
Conflict Type
Battle
Battlefield Type
Land
Start Date
Kateaqteril 21, 1540 AA
Location
Belligerents Leaders
Rueken-smol.png
Kilas III
Rueken-smol.png
Czylle ven Mierholz
Strength
Total - 1344
1344 Ausselians
  • Lipsig Defense Force
  • Tilnessen Retinue
  • Tilnessen militia
  • Sarzin militia
Total - 707
707 Ruekish
  • Nordhei Army
  • Vallerenian Army
Casualties
Total - 585
585 Ausselians
  • Lipsig Defense Force
  • Tilnessen Retinue
  • Tilnessen militia
  • Sarzin militia
Total - 191
191 Ruekish
  • Nordhei Army
Remaining
Total - 759
759 Ausselians
  • Lipsig Defense Force
  • Tilnessen Retinue
  • Tilnessen militia
  • Sarzin militia
Total - 516
516 Ruekish
  • Nordhei Army
  • Vallerenian Army

Battle of Teuholz
Military Conflict | Dec 31, 2020

The Battle of Teuholz of was a small conflict waged between the forces of Rueken and the local Ausselian militia on the island of Sarzin. It kicked off the Sarzin Conflict.

Battle of the Lipsig Hills
Military Conflict | Dec 24, 2020

The Battle of the Lipsig Hills was the second major fight in the Sarzin Conflict. It involved the allied forces of Aussel and Pessen who defended against a horde of Ualish mercenaries.

Sarzin Conflict
Military Conflict | Dec 31, 2020
 

Aftermath

The battle had been a devastating blow for Ausselian morale and enthusiasm for the war effort. News of the defeat caused chancellor Cilie Vehlow, the wartime dictator of Aussel’s popularity to plummet. There were many who believed that the end of their peasants’ republic was at hand.   Over on the Ruekish side, morale was good, but chancellor Kilas ven Leiberge-Kattel doubted his chance at a victory in a battle for Steendern itself. He and his ally, duchess Czylle of Valleren, argued about their next course of action, but eventually the two of them settled on a plan.   Kilas marched his army into the town of Neittinge, ransacking it for all its valuables and destroying much of the settlement. With that task concluded, they embarked on their ships and returned to Rueken. The chancellor hoped to build up a larger army that could deal a decisive blow against the peasants, securing his victory and dominion over Aussel.
 
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Potatoes by Marco Antonio Victorino
 

Prisoner of War

General Elger Bork of the Tilnessen Retinue had been provided medical aid and taken prisoner by the Ruekish after the battle.   After the sacking of Neittinge they robbed the rest of his men who had been taken prisoner of all their gear and dispatched of them as they were lowborn peasants whose families weren’t going to afford a reasonable ransom.   The general himself was of more value and so the Ruekish took him to Eekberge, the capital of Rueken. There he would stay for several years until he managed to orchestrate his escape in 1543.

Comments

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31 Dec, 2020 04:04

Well made as per usual, and the map showing the phases of the battle is also very neat idea! ;w; You got the best conflict-articles I've seen WA, hands down. x3


Can I have a cookie? | Come and snoop around Melyria
31 Dec, 2020 15:23

Thanks for the kind words! :3

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
31 Dec, 2020 15:11

I wonder how different the battle would have been if Elger Bork had called the retreat. This is really well written and fascinating. There was one bit where you said 'the Elger Bork', if you're looking for typos. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
31 Dec, 2020 15:23

Thank you for reading and catching my typos! :D

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