Assault on Geiersburg Fortress
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|Assault on Geiersburg Fortress|
|(Imperial Civil War)|
The Lippstadt League fleet outside of Geiersburg, led by the Berlin
|Date:||797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE)|
|Result:||Decisive Imperial victory|
The Assault on Geiersburg Fortress was the final battle of the Imperial Civil War, fought in 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE). It resulted in the Lippstadt League forces taking heavy casualties and losing the majority of their remaining troops, ultimately ending with the death of Duke Otho von Braunschweig.
Imperial Order of Battle
The order of battle of the Imperial loyalist forces was as follows:
- The Lohengramm Fleet, commanded by Fleet Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm, flagship Brünhild
- The Mittermeyer Fleet, commanded by Admiral Wolfgang Mittermeyer, flagship Beowulf
- The Reuenthal Fleet, commanded by Admiral Oskar von Reuenthal, flagship Tristan
- The Black Lancers, commanded by Vice Admiral Fritz Josef Bittenfeld, flagship Königs Tiger
- The Mecklinger Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Ernst Mecklinger, flagship Kvasir
- The Kesler Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Ulrich Kesler, flagship Forseti
- The Müller Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Neidhart Müller, flagship Lübeck
- The Kempff Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Karl Gustav Kempff, flagship Jotunheim
Lippstadt Order of Battle
The Lippstadt League order of battle was:
- The Braunschweig Fleet, commanded by Fleet Admiral Otho von Braunschweig, flagship Berlin
- The Merkatz Fleet, commanded by High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz, flagship unknown
- The Flegel Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Flegel, flagship Wilhelmina
- The Fahrenheit Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Adalbert von Fahrenheit, flagship unknown
With the loss of the Littenheim Fleet, the total remaining strength of the Lippstadt League Forces was approximately 100,000 ships.
After the Imperial Civil War began in April 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE), the Lippstadt League suffered a number of setbacks in its offensive operations. The Staden Fleet, which was attempting to take control of the Imperial Capital of Odin was intercepted and destroyed by the Mittermeyer Fleet at the Battle of Altena. That was followed up by the loss of Rentenburg Fortress, and the death of armored grenadier commander High Admiral Ovlesser, who was (falsely) suspected of treason and executed by Duke Braunschweig's chief retainer, Commodore Ansbach. Finally, Marquis Wilhelm von Littenheim, who had gone on a campaign to subjugate the rebellious frontier sectors, was defeated by High Admiral Siegfried Kircheis at the Battle of Kyffhäuser. The 50,000 ships of the Littenheim Fleet were destroyed or had surrendered, and Littenheim's base of operations, Garmisch Fortress, also fell to Kircheis. (LOGH: 'Bloodshed in Space', 'Courage and Loyalty')
The only Lippstadt success was the Battle of Schann-tau, in which forces under the command of High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz forced the withdrawal of the Reuenthal Fleet, but it was only a minor victory. In total, it had lost over a third of its military strength, including its deputy leader, Marquis Littenheim. Most of the remaining ships of the Lippstadt League Forces were gathered at Geiersburg Fortress after that. In an attempt to lure out the high nobles from Geiersburg, Wolfgang Mittermeyer's fleet paraded itself outside the range of the fortress's main guns. When Baron Flegel and some other hot-headed nobles left the fort to attack, Mittermeyer withdrew after a short exchange of fire. The ploy worked: after the nobles returned to the fortress, Mittermeyer attacked again, and this time Braunschweig himself came out at the head of the whole Lippstadt fleet. (LOGH: 'Courage and Loyalty')
When the Lippstadt forces exited Geiersburg Fortress and opened fire, Mittermeyer retreated in order to draw them in towards the rest of the Imperial fleets. Adalbert von Fahrenheit saw through this and ordered his fleet to slow down, which prompted Braunschweig to do the same. However, Mittermeyer's ships fired again, causing the Lippstadt forces to follow him again. He succeeded in luring them into the trap, with Lohengramm and the rest of the Imperial fleets attacking them from all sides.
The sudden Imperial assault dealt the Lippstadt forces heavy losses, with them ultimately being forced to begin withdraw towards Geiersburg. The Imperial fleets continued to pursue them, including those under the command of Ernst Mecklinger, Fritz Josef Bittenfeld, and Karl Gustav Kempff. Ulrich Kesler advanced from the rear to cut off the Lippstadt fleet's escape as it got closer towards Geiersburg. Concentrated Imperial artillery fire destroyed the two shield ships of the Berlin, Braunschweig's flagship.
At that point, Fahrenheit began moving his fleet in a different direction, off of the customary flight path, followed by Flegel. Oskar von Reuenthal and Neidhart Müller also joined into the battle around that time against the surviving Lippstadt forces, which had taken 70% casualties. Mittermeyer and Reuenthal nearly succeeded in destroying the Berlin, only to be stopped at the last minute by Merkatz, who was left behind at Geiersburg initially and entered the fray to save Braunschweig. The timely intervention allowed him and the remaining Lippstadt ships to return to the fortress. (LOGH: 'Courage and Loyalty')
Shortly after launching a nuclear strike on Westerland, a planet owned by a relative of Braunschweig on which an uprising had occurred, the duke decided to launch the remaining ships for a final battle.
The Lippstadt fleets initially attempted five unsuccessful charges which were blocked by the fleets of Vice Admirals Mecklinger, Müller, and Kesler. Togehter they then halted the Lippstadt force's sixth offensive as it began, dealing them heavy casualties, at which point all Imperial fleets charged forward. Giving the aristocrats' forces additional losses, they drove the enemy back towards Geiersburg.
Around the same time, mutinies began inside Geiersburg, with loyalist soldiers seizing the main armory. Lohengramm then ordered boarding parties to enter the fortress and help take control of it. Baron Flegel wanted to challenge Lohengramm or one of his admirals to single ship-to-ship combat, but was shot by his subordinates. (LOGH: 'The Fall of Goldenbaum')
The battle saw the destruction of most of the high nobles' military strength, marking the end of the Imperial Civil War and the Lippstadt League. The Westerland attack that occurred in between the two engagements eliminated any support that the nobles had among the Imperial people. Following the assault, Braunschweig was forced to commit suicide by his retainer, Ansbach. Merkatz wanted to kill himself also, as his oath of loyalty to the Goldenbaum Dynasty did not permit him to surrender to Lohengramm, but was prevented from doing so by Lt Commander Bernhard von Schneider, who convinced him to defect to the Free Planets Alliance.
However, Ansbach later managed to assassinate High Admiral Kircheis, who had finished liberating the frontier sectors and arrived at Geiersburg after the battle was over. (LOGH: 'The Day Before Destiny')