The Storming of the
July 2, 1704
Re-fight in 25mm June 15, 2002
This is a 25mm "Age-of-Reason" re-fight
of the Storming of the Schellenberg (select the image for a larger view).
It is early in the War of the Spanish Succession.
The allies fear a union of the French Army of the Rhine and the Bavarian
Army of the Elector Maximillian Emanuel. Austria is fighting in Northern
Italy which has left Vienna virtually defenseless. Fearing that Austria
will be attacked by the Franco Bavarians, John Churchill Duke of
Marlborough marches his polyglot army through Europe to Bavarian in a move
that will be regarded as one history's greatest military maneuvers.
After meeting with Prince Eugene and Prince
Louis of Baden, Marlborough seeks to cross the Danube for further operations
in Bavaria. The obvious crossing point is Donauworth, which is anticipated
and defended by the Bavarians.
is a fortress town situated on the north bank of the Danube. It is dominated
to the east by a 500 ft hill, the Schellenberg, the top of which is flat
and about 1/2 mile across. On the north end of the Schellenberg is a thick
forest, the Boshberg, impenetrable to formed troops.
On the western slopes of the Schellenberg
are the remains of Fort Augustus, dating back to Gustavus Adolphus' time.
The old fortifications run east before tuning south to meet the Danube
(off map to the left). This north east sector is in good repair, but to
the west as far as the city walls, the fortifications are in ruins.
There is a section of dead ground on the
northern slope of the hill. The hill is steepest close to Boshberg.
From Berg, the whole position can be observed.
The Franco Bavarian Army
June 30, 1704: Count Maffei has
been sent with a small force and some guns to speed up the improvements
being made to the defenses. The next day, Marlborough's intentions become
clear and Marshal D'Arco is dispatched to Donauworth with 13,500 men.
D'Arco believes it will be two days before
Marlborough will attack, so tasks his men with speeding up the repairs
to the fortifications, which prior to his arrival have not been conducted
with any haste.
In his rush to work on the fortification,
D'Arco makes some errors of judgment. He has his troops working on the
fortifications without their weapons. As the enemy arrives, he must send
his troops back to the river to prepare themselves. He still believes that
Marlborough will not attack until the next day and retires to Donauworth
with his senior staff for lunch.
Hearing that the Bavarian outposts are
falling back and have set fire to Berg, D'Arco rushes back to the Schellenberg.
D'Arco deploys his troops, with the majority of his 21 battalions, 15 squadrons
and 16 guns deployed between Fort Augustus and the Boshberg.
D'Arco orders 4 battalions to deploy
between the fort and Donauworth's wall and orders a battalion, the Regiment
Nettancourt to deploy outside of the fortifications in front of the fort.
|The Allied Army of the Grand Alliance.
approaches Donauworth from the north on July 1. Seeing a French camp being
thrown up across the Danube, he realizes that once French reinforcements
arrive, he will not be able to take the position. He is determined to attack
the next day before the defensive positions can be finished.
To avoid flanking fire from the guns of
Donauworth, Marlborough realizes he must attack the walls where they are
strongest and most heavily defended. He hand picks 130 men from each
of 45 battalions and forms an assault column of 6000 men (divided into
8 battalions) with the First Foot Guards as the Forlorn Hope led by Lord
Mordaunt. This is supported by 8 Battalions of Imperial Infantry with artillery
to the right.
While the rest of his army forms up on
the right, Marlborough prepares his attack.
ORDER OF BATTLE
THE LEFT WING:
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough - 48 Battalions & 62 Squadrons
The Advance Guard – (A & B)
1st Line: Lt General Goor - 14 Bns
Fergusson's Bde [5 Bns]: 1st Guards, Orkney [2 bns], Ingoldsby, Meredith
Beinheim's Bde [6 Bns]: Goor, Beinheim & Rechteren (Dutch); Hirzel
& Sturler (Swiss/Dutch); & Heidebrecht (Ansbach)
Montfort's Bde [3 Bns]: Imperial Grenadiers (Austria); Erffa's Grenadiers
(Franconia) & Monfort's Grenadiers (Swabia) - from the Right Wing.
Lt General Lumley - 17 Sqns
Wood's Bde [10 Sqns]: Wood , Wyndham , Schomberg , Cadogen
 & Lumley  (English)
Ross's Bde [7 Sqns]: Erbprinz Dragoons  (Hesse-Kassel); Ross's 
& Hay's Dragoons  (English)
Lt General Hompech - 20 Sqns
Schulenburg's Bde [8 Sqns]: Schulenburg Dragoons  (Hanover); Erbach
 & Baldwin  (Dutch)
Auroch's Bde [6 Sqns]: Schmettau Dragoons (Ansbach) & Leib
zu Pferde  (Hesse-Kassel)
Noyelles's Bde [6 Sqns]: Noyelles , Voight  & Leib zu Pferde
The Main Body:
General Charles Churchill – (C)
Lt General Ingoldsby - 8 Bns (Left)
2nd Line: Wither's Bde [4 Bns]: North & Gray, Derby, Fergusson
& Marlborough (English)
3rd Line: Pallandt's Bde [4 Bns]: Erbprinz Hesse-Kassel, Varenne
& Wulffen (Prussia); Schwerin (Mecklenburg)
Lt General Herbeville - 8 Bns (Right)
2nd Line: Bernsdorf's Bde [4 Bns]: Bernsdorf, 1/Rantzau, Tozin, &
3rd Line: De Luc's Bde [4 Bns]: Hulsen, De Breuil, de Luc & Tecklenburg
4th Line: Lt General Horn - 8 Bns
Seckendorff's Bde [4 Bns]: Leib Grenadiers, Hermann & Sternfels
St Paul's Bde [4 Bns]: St Paul (Hanover); Wartensleben, Stuckrath
& Schopping (Hesse-Kassel)
Lt General Orkney - 13 Bns
Hamilton's Bde [5 Bns]: Churchill, Webb, Howe, Hamilton, & Rowe
Wilken's Bde [4 Bns]: Leib, Prinz Wilhelm, Erbprinz & Grenadier
Rantzau's Bde [4 Bns]: Gauvin, D'Herleville, 2/Gardes & 2/Rantzau
Lt General Bulow - 25 Sqns
Hesse-Homberg's Bde [7 Sqns]: Grieffendorf Dragoons  (Saxe-Gotha);
Sachsen-Heilburg  (Dutch) & Bannier  (Hanover)
Erbach's Bde [7 Sqns]: Hardenberg Dragoons  (Saxe-Gotha); Erbach
 (Dutch) & Spiegel  (Hesse-Kassel)
Villers' Bde [11 Sqns]: Bothmar Dragoons , Villars Dragoons 
& Bulow Dragoons  (Hanover)
The Artillery (D) was commanded by Colonel Holcroft Blood and
consisted of 36 guns & 4 howitzers (6-12pdrs, 10-9pdrs & 20-3pdrs),
deployed facing the Schellenburg on the hill just south (on the map just
above) of the village of Berg.
THE RIGHT WING:
Prince Louis of Baden - 24 Battalions & 90 Squadrons
The Foot: General Thungen - 21 Bns
1st Line: Lt General, Graf von Frise - 10 Bns
Fuchs' Bde [6 Bns]: Baden  & Salm  (Austrian); Bibra &
Bevern's Bde [4 Bns]: Tollet  (Austrian); Bevern & Bernsdorff
2nd Line: Lt General, Graf von Furstenburg - 11 Bns
Wald's Bde [6 Bns]: Erff , Schebelin  & Wald  (Franconia)
Reisbach's Bde [5 Bns]: Torte (Franconia); Reisbach  & Roth
The Horse: General, Count von Styrum - 90 Sqns
3rd Line: Lt General. Baron von Bibra - 22 Sqns
Prinz Alexandre's Bde [10 Sqns]: Styrum Dragoons  (Austrian) &
Fechenbach Dragoons  (Wurzburg)
Cusani's Bde [12 Sqns]: Gronsfeld  & Hohenzollern  (Austrian)
4th Line: Prince von Wurtemburg - 22 Sqns
Mercy's Bde [12 Sqns]: Mercy  & Alt-Hanover  (Austrian)
Erff's Bde [10 Sqns]: Helmstatt Dragoons  (Wurttemburg) & Castell
Dragoons  (Austrian)
The Reserve: Lt General. Count de la Tour - 46 Sqns & 3 Bns of Grenadiers
Fugger's Bde [17 Sqns]: Xanthe  & Alt-Darmstadt  (Austrian);
Aufsess Dragoons  (Franconia)
Bayreuth's Bde [15 Sqns]: Leutsch  (Saxe-Gotha); Oettingen Dragoons
 & Erbprinz Wurtemburg  (Swabia); Bayreuth  (Franconia)
Bibra's Bde [14 Sqns]: Bibra  (Mainz); Cusani  (Austria) &
Osten  (Holstein)
Montfort's Bde [3 Bns]: Imperial Grenadiers (Austria); Erffa's Grenadiers
(Franconia) & Monfort's Grenadiers (Swabia) - to the Left Wing.
Franco Bavarian Army
FRANCO-BAVARIAN ORDER OF BATTLE
Officer Commanding: Count E D'Arco - 23 Battalions & 35 Squadrons
Brigadier de Montandre's 'French' Brigade: 3 Bns (1)
1st Line: Bearn  / 2nd Line: Nivernais 
Major General Lutzelburg's 'Bavarian' Brigade: 6 Bns (2)
1st Line: Leib Grenadiers , Leib  & Lutzelburg 
/ 2nd Line: Boismorel Grenadiers , Leib  & Lutzelburg 
Major General Maffei's 'Bavarian' Brigade: 8 Bns (3)
1st Line: Mercy , Maffei  Kurprinz  / 2nd Line: Mercy ,
Maffei  & Kurprinz 
Major General Lee's 'French' Brigade: 3 Bns (5)
1st Line: Nettancourt  & Toulouse  / 2nd Line: Nettancourt
Donauworth Garrison: 3 Bns (7)
De Bordet's Bde: Toulouse  (French) & Croonders  (Bavarian
Artillery (4): 8 Guns posted in the Angle (in the center of the
Franco-Bavarian Line) and 8 in Ft Augustus. These guns were all 6pdrs.
THE HORSE AND DRAGOONS
Monasterol's Dragoon Bde [9 Sqns]: Deployed in direct support of the
Fontbeausard's French Dragoons , Monasterol's Bavarian Dragoons
, Santini's Bavarian Dragoons  & Listenois's French Dragoons
Lt General Torring-Seefeld - 26 Sqns (All Bavarian): Deployed behind
Weickel's Bde [12 Sqns]: Arco's Kuirassiers  & Weickel's Kuirassiers
De Costa's Bde [14 Sqns]: Wolframsdorff's Kuirassiers , Costa's
Kuirassiers  & Locatelli's Hussars 
Thanks to Iain Stanford for the OOB
TO THE GAME
TO AGE OF REASON PAGE
|Eyewitness Account of
the Storming of the Schellenberg 2nd July 1704
by by Colonel Jean de
la Colonie, one of the defenders.
The enemy's battery opened fire upon us
and raked us through and through. They concentrated their fire on us, and
with their first discharge carried off Count de la Bastide, the Lieutenant
of my own company with whom at the moment I was speaking, and twelve grenadiers,
who fell side by side in the ranks, so that my coat was covered with brains
and blood. So accurate was the fire that each discharge of the cannon stretched
some of my men on the ground.... Hardly had our men lined the little parapet
when the enemy broke into the charge, and rushed at full speed, shouting
at the tops of their voices, to throw themselves into our entrenchments....
The English infantry led this attack with
the greatest intrepidity, right up to our parapet, but there they were
opposed with a courage at least equal to their own. Rage, fury and desperation
were manifested by both sides, with the more obstinacy as the assailants
and assailed were perhaps the bravest soldiers in the world. The little
parapet which separated the two forces became the scene of the bloodiest
struggle that could be conceived.... It would be impossible to describe
in words strong enough the details of the carnage that took place during
this first attack, which lasted a good hour or more. We were all fighting
hand to hand, hurling them back as they clutched at the parapet; men were
slaying, or tearing at the muzzles of guns and the bayonets which pierced
their entrails; crushing under their feet their own wounded comrades, and
even gouging out their opponents' eyes with their nails, when the grip
was so close that neither could make use of their weapons....
At last the enemy, after losing more than
eight thousand men in this first onslaught, were obliged to relax their
hold, and they fell back for shelter to the dip of the slope, where we
could not harm them.... The ground around our parapet was covered with
dead and dying, in heaps almost as high as our fascines, but our whole
attention was fixed on the enemy and his movements; we noticed that the
tops of his standards still showed at about the same place as that from
which they had made their charge in the first instance, leaving little
doubt but that they were reforming before returning to the assault. As
soon as possible we set vigorously to work to render their approach more
difficult for them than before, and by means of an increasing fire swept
their line of advance with a torrent of bullets, accompanied by numberless
grenades, of which we had several wagon loads in rear of our position.
These, owing to the slope of the ground, fell right amongst the enemy's
ranks, causing them great annoyance and doubtless added not a little to
their hesitation in advancing the second time to the attack. They were
so disheartened by the first attempt that their generals had the greatest
difficulty in bringing them forward again, and indeed would never have
succeeded in this... had they not dismounted and set an example by placing
themselves at the head of the column, and leading them on foot.
Their devotion cost them dear, for General
Stirum and many other generals and officers were killed. They once more,
then, advanced to the assault, but with nothing like the success of their
first effort, for not only did they lack energy in their attack, but after
being vigorously repulsed, were pursued by us at the point of the bayonet
for more than eighty yards beyond our entrenchments....
They arrived within gunshot of our flank,
about 7.30 in the evening, without our being at all aware of the possibility
of such a thing, so occupied were we in defence of our own particular post....
But I noticed all at once an extraordinary
movement on the part of our infantry, who were rising up and ceasing fire
withal. I glanced around on all sides to see what had caused this behaviour,
and then became aware of several lines of infantry in greyish white uniforms
on our left flank.... I verily believed that reinforcements had arrived
for us, and anybody else would have believed the same. No information whatever
had reached us of the enemy's success, or even that such a thing was the
least likely, so... I shouted to my men that they were Frenchmen, and friends,
and they at once resumed their former position behind the parapet.
Having, however, made a closer inspection,
I discovered bunches of straw and leaves attached to their standards, badges
the enemy are in the custom of wearing on the occasion of battle, and at
that very moment was struck by a ball in the right lower jaw, which wounded
and stupefied me to such an extent that I thought it was smashed. I probed
my wound as quickly as possible with the tip of my finger, and finding
the jaw itself entire, did not make much fuss about it; but the front of
my jacket was so deluged with the blood which poured from it that several
of our officers believed that I was dangerously hurt. I reassured them,
however, and exhorted them to stand firmly with their men.... I at once,
therefore, shouted as loudly as I could that no one was to quit the ranks,
and then formed my men in column along the entrenchments facing the wood,
fronting towards the opposite flank, which was the direction in which we
should have to retire. Thus, whenever I wished to make a stand, I had but
to turn my men about, and at any moment could resume the retirement instantaneously,
which we thus carried out in good order.
Jean de la Colonie. Chronicles of an Old
Campaigner, 1692-1717. (London: 1904), pp. 182-192.