The best weather had passed, the rains had begun, and still Sackville-Baggins could not be brought to battle. Wolfenbuttel’s forces had marched and countermarched through all of October and looked forward to winter quarters and a good rest. If only one more battle could be won and the Pork War prolonged into another round.
Sackville-Baggins had good reasons to bide his time. His inexperienced forces had been hard handled at Linz. His cavalry in particular was in wretched shape and could not be trusted to hold the line against the Braunschweiger horse. But there was no choice. The Anglo-Hanoverian army had to make a stand to support its allies, and the plains in front of the town of Onsabruck seemed as good a place as any.
The Anglo-Hanoverians deployed there solid foot in a compact formation behind the town where a single battalion of conscripts was placed in garrision supported by artillery in good defensive positions nearby. The cavalry was placed in reserve behind the infantry, ready to respond to any Braunschweiger approach march.
Wolfenbuttel placed his horse under Generalleutnant Korceczki on the right behind a rise to observe the Anglo-Hanoverian line. His infantry was formed in a large column aimed at the enemy right. Generalleutnant de Casside, new to the army, was retained close by as chief of the Herzog’s staff.
Wolfenbuttel directed the infantry approach march to avoid the marshy ground and a small stream to the left. Speed was of the essence in opening the battle and no delay would be tolerated. The Braunschweiger infantry grumbled forward. Sackville-Baggins’ right did not look like an easy nut to crack with his line refused back towards a suburb of Onsabruck towards the southwest. But at least the Herzog would have numbers on his side as he brought the whole of his infantry into position opposite the enemy right.
With the line deployed the grenadiers spearheading the Braunswcheiger approach opened a lively fusilade against the Hanoverian horse to their front. The rest of the line maneuvered cautiously, delaying their assault on the Anglo Hanoverian line. Sackville-Baggins for his part rearranged his infantry, simultaneously closing up his right flank against the suburb to the southwest, while on his left he stretched his line to meet the threat of the Braunschweiger horse. These preparations were still underway as the delaying Hanoverian cavalry broke and the Braunschweigers pushed their lines forward.
In the heat of the monement a German colonel in Sackville-Baggins’ service called his regiment out to advance into an exposed position in front of Wolfenbuttel’s line. Sackville-Baggins immediately called the unit back to its assigned place but not before the Braunschweigers had opened an ineffectual fire on it. The line was repaired just in time as the Herzog’s infantry came into range all along the front. A deady exchange of fire was opened. The exchange proved much more deadly for the numerically superior attackers than for the well positioned defenders.
Wolfenbuttel’s options narrowed. His musketry was having no sustainable effect against the enemy line despite his numbers. There was no point in any delay. The Braunschweiger infantry would need to repair the situation with the bayonette. The drums beat the charge.
The Herzog’s attack was held all along the line. The von Kleist Regiment managed to overrun a single Hanoverian battery, but elsewhere no headway could be made. A fighting retirement was ordered with hopes of repairing the line. The battle raged on. It was clear that it was only a matter of time before the Herzog’s infantry would entirely collapse. Sackville-Baggins seemed ready to offer terms to preserve his own forces, but Wolfenbuttel was not finished yet. He nodded to GL de Casside that he meant to loose Koreczki against the unengaged enemy left where the Herzog’s horse fronted an elite unit of Highlanders beside a unit of German conscripts. The Braunschweiger horse, husbanded throughout the long campaign season, spurred to the charge.
The Germans broke, but the Highlanders held fast. Even Wolfenbuttel had to face the bitter truth: Sackville-Baggins had broken his assault.
“Send word to the Viscount, de Casside, I am ready to accept his gracious terms.” The Herzog retired to his coach with his medical staff. The battle was over.