From Sven Diamond, ADC to Count Akraxin

One longs for the days of Charles XII. It’s not that service to Russia is bad, but some of the practices of the Europeans offends the sensibilities. These kinds of things would not have happened in the army of Charles XII. No, they would not have happened!

A recent incident in the battle with the army of the Kurfurst Braun will illustrate my point. At the height of the battle a commander of one of the prized grenadier battalions of the Kurfurst became overly enthusiastic and charged our infantry through some difficult going. They were so disordered when they made contact that they were pushed back easily and then disintegrated in the retreat. This was clearly a morale blow to the Kurfurst and his army and shortly thereafter a rider was dispatched from the Kurfurst’s headquarters under flag of truce, most certainly to ask for the honours of war. I watched the Count’s delight at this turn of events as his subordinates began to congratulate him. “Grant them the honours!” he said, and turned to retire to his quarters.

But at about this time, another rider bolted from Braun’s presence, this one dressed oddly in Turkish attire. (It is odd, because I thought the Ottomans were on our side). He stopped the first rider and in a rather animated manner pointed towards the Kurfurst’s cavalry regrouping on our right flank. The rider turned around and the Kurfurst’s cavalry prepared to assault our infantry. When we recalled Count Akraxin his fury was hardly to be contained. He sent orders to cover the right and prepare for the cavalry attack. Making preparations in time the cavalry were repulsed with great loss. At which point Braun again dispatched an emissary who did indeed ask for honours. This time it was not to be. The Count was furious, made it clear that the battle was not over and the pursuit would not be lazy. Our armies finished dispatching Kurfurst Braun’s forces and our cavalry pursued relentlessly for two entire days after seeking out and dispatching as many of the enemy as possible.

I would like to think that in a Scandinavian army more consistency would be found, hopefully followed by less carnage.

But sadly this is only one example of the kind of temperamental behavior the rest of Europe displays in its making of war. Another horror has come to my attention. As you know it seemed that it might be possible to recruit one of the nobility from the camp of the Ecksitz coaltion. This evening I have learned that the colonel dispatched to escort Koreckzi for negotiations about the possibility of joining our cause has so offended him that Koreckzi has challenged him to a duel! A duel! It is amazing such practices are still tolerated but I am told we must honor the request. The colonel, a rough customer named Stalin, is somewhat uncouth. Although I don’t know the specifics, I’m not at all surprised that offense was given. So sadly, there will probably not be time for any kind of negotiations between us and the General as the duel is to take place at daybreak, and it appears the armies will clash shortly thereafter.