Generalleutnant de Casside was looking for a change. In the service of Wolfenbuttel for only a few short months, he had already had enough. The late nights attending the Herzog, the endless philosophical discussions, the electric blue uniform regulations, the marathon snail eating luncheons…it was all just too much. Korecki, the Herzog’s cavalry commander and de Casside’s sometime friend, was rarely sober enough to even mind; but de Casside as chief of staff, a gentler soul perhaps, doubled as ringmaster in the electric blue circus more often than he could long endure.
Lately he had taken to lobbying for the infantry command to gain a little more distance from the Herzog’s excesses. To his surprise Wolfenbuttel listened: As the Braunschweiger army drew up to face the forces of the Landgraf at Recklinghausen, de Casside was assigned command of the infantry.
The Braunschweiger army, fresh from winter quarters, was not all that it had been before the Pork War. The elite infantry units had been frittered away in the late battle vs. Sackville-Baggins. Wolfenbuttel was privately concerned that his forces were in no shape to attack the forces of the Saxon Landgraf that had been carefully husbanded throughout the last war and hardly risked at all. Surely it was time for a well planned defensive fight where the pork fed Saxons could be forced to attack at a disadvantage?
But the Landgraf would have none of that. The Saxons drew up in a well considered defensive position in the Recklinghausen Forest; their right covered by the course of a small river crossed by what passed for the main road in the region; their right, more exposed, was carefully refused back protecting the village the Braunschweigers aimed to take to force a decision. The Saxon cavalry was formed in column behind the their infantry line, the Saxon artillery was dispersed to bolster the line.
Wolfenbuttel placed his infantry in march column under GL de Casside to approach the Saxon left. Korecki’s horse was drawn up facing a regiment of Saxon horse left covering the Landgraf’s flank. The Braunschweiger guns were placed on Herzog’s left on the further bank of the river, while the rougher ground between the guns and the horse was covered by three freibattalions.
To open the battle, the Braunschweiger horse was given its head, quickly advancing to drive the Saxon horse behind their infantry. This cleared the way for GL de Casside to march the infantry up against the Saxon left. The Landgraf responded by closing his line of bayonets and marching his horse off to his right with an eye towards crossing the small river by the main road and threatening Wolfenbuttel’s left. Later the unengaged part of the Saxon infantry joined in this demonstration to the right, but ultimately the Landgraf’s attention was diverted and the move never reached fruition.
In the center Wolfenbuttel pushed his freibattalions forward in an attempt to harras the redeploying Saxons. This move met a strong response from the Landgraf who pushed infantry forward to meet the freikorps in the broken ground in the center. The movement brought Wolfenbuttel’s irregulars under fire from the Saxon battalions, and one of the units melted away under the pressure; but Saxon progress was checked when they discovered marshy ground blocking the way forward.
At this juncture, the left flank of the Saxon line erupted in an intense fusilade that dominated the fighting until the battle’s end. Wolfenbuttel’s trained regiments pressed hard against the Saxon elites.
De Casside fought the infantry well. Twice a passage of lines maneuver was utilized to replace tiring troops at the front with a fresh supporting line. The Saxons were hard pressed, but the Landgraf skillfully brought guns forward to bolster his line. Volley, rally, charge, the fight went on and on. As the Braunschweigers began to lose monemtun, Saxon cavalry came forward to charge. The line held. The Braunchweiger horse was also brought up to fill a gap as three of Wolfenbuttel’s units collapsed in turn.
But the Saxon line was failing faster. Two elite infantry units were in turn cut to pieces along with an elite cavalry regiment and line regiment. The Landgraf fell back towards the objective. De Casside drove his men forward.
A short time after this, the Landgraf sent word to Wolfenbuttel that he would like an armistice. The Herzog, appreciating the fragile state of his forces, accepted. Possibly de Casside thought otherwise: Another few moments and the Braunschweiger foot may have put the Saxons to rout. But we will never know.
Generalleutnant de Casside left the Herzog’s service after the battle.