Count Esterhazy-Hardin, eager to regain some of his lost reputation after the disastrous battle of Groka, turned on the slow moving forces of Viscount Sackville-Baggins. Baggins, who had failed to turn up to engage the army of Friedrich-Wilhelm von Manhumpel, leaving it to be turned back by the forces of Holy Mother Russia at the battle of Hoseausmaulwurfsfellburg, had little battle experience but had taken the time to drill his foot in the superior British platoon fire drill giving a decided edge in a firefight.
Ezterhazy-Hardin, whose conduct in the battle against Mehmed-beg Ahmed Pasha’s Ottomans, had been rumored to be influenced by the arrival the day before of a large delivery Scotch whisky from his friend Captain James Lockhart, was clear of mind and dressed in his best Hussar finery for the day’s work.
Viscount Sackville-Baggins deployed his strong infantry forces in a long line with his left flank lying past Linz, his center thru the walled gardens and town intself extending quite some distance, in echelon, to the right. His relatively weak Horse was drawn up in two ranks to the extending the line to his foot’s right.
Esterhazy, sensing an opportunity, placed his cavalry on the far left with his foot in the center opposite Baggin’s right. The Austrian artillery anchored the right flank. Baggin’s left and the village was unopposed.
After a brief bombardment from the Austrian artillery, Viscount Sackville-Baggins took the initiative and moved his left flank infantry forward across the wall gardens around Linz hoping to force the infantry fight. Sensing Baggins was not as placid as first thought; Esterhazy gave up on the bombardment and launched his army forward.
The Austrian horse quickly closed on Baggin’s horse while Baggin’s infantry formed their line and advanced on the Austrian Infantry and guns. Esterhazy won the race, his horse, massed in deep lines and led by the Guard O’Donell Cuirassiers crashed into the thin lines of British and German horse, destroying one regiment, beating another and capturing some supporting artillery. The gallant Count Joseph Bunge, leading O’Donell’s horse was cut down just as he saw the enemy break. The Austrian horse, full of fury at the death of their gallant notable, and flushed with victory, launched a second charge against the disorganized British horse and its conscript second line. Nothing could stop the charge with a full three enemy regiments running from the field.
Desperate to engage with his foot, Viscount Sackville-Baggins ignored his crumbling flank and launched his infantry against Esterhazy’s line. A vicious firefight erupted, but wait! The Baggin’s first volleys had a high rate of misfires and generated an inordinate amount of smoke blinding his infantry’s vision. The gallant 87th, Keith’s Highlanders, holding the right of Baggin’s line fell in droves to volleys from the regiments of Harsch and Herzog Karl. Their morale broken Baggin’s army retired from the field to fight another day.
Interesting side note, Esterhazy-Hardin’s army captured vast quantities of gunpowder left behind by the retiring army. It was found to be Ottoman gunpowder sold to King George and sent to Baggins for use on campaign. Austrian tests revealed the gunpower generated many misfires and produced an inordinate amount of smoke. Esterhazy-Hardin had the army use it for fireworks to celebrate the victory!