The Herzog observes French linen manufacture on the eve of the Battle of Streck

“These pig farmers have no place on the stage of European events,” declared the Herzog Braunschweig-Wolfenbutten. “We must support the one man in Europe who has stood up to them!” And with this, a war was begun.

With the August maneuvers just concluded and the troops of the Herzogtum still concentrated, Wolfenbuttel moved quickly across the frontier to confront the forces of the Cardinal-Elector of Treves-sur-Rhin. Further to the east the Herzog’s cousin, the Landgrave Erzgeirkreis, mobilized his forces in support of Hardin to oppose the Russians, a lynchpin in the Pork League. Hardin himself, braced to receive the invasion of the Ottoman host of the Sanjakate, a notorious BLT man; while to the west, Sackville-Baggins made warlike preparations against the Duke of Gros-Holsten, another supporter of Hardin.

Wolfenbuttel’s forces advanced by easy marches across the lands on the Cardinal, finding the French deployed in a defensive position across the rich dairylands of Streck. To the Herzog’s right, the proud regiments of the Cardinal’s infantry, to the left the cavalry, and in the center, the guns.

Wolfenbuttel’s cavalry plunder the Cardinal-Elector’s baggage in search of interesting cheeses

It was on the right of the French infantry that the Great Captain Wolfenbuttel saw his opening. “Infantrie Marsch!” The drums beat and the bands played a particulary fine selection of light opera themes. The regiments of the Herzog marched in a double column round the exposed flank of the French line. A quarter turn to the left and the battle was opened.

The fusilade begun, the cheese eaters hardly had a chance. Brave men to be sure, but ill prepared for Wolfenbuttel’s onslaught. Their line wheeled to face, but was soon buckling under the pressure. At the critical moment Colonel Rochefort commanded a single bayonet charge for the honour of his army. The drums beat and the charge went home led by the French guards. The Herzog’s line held.

On this event, Colonel Rochefort sent a courier forward to the Herzog to call a parlay. Wolfenbuttel received the man and sent him back to the Colonel with a particularly fine set of Braunscheig hoisery and the words: “You have done all that honour demands of you, Sir. I grant you the honours of war.”

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