|Battle of Grantville|
|Part of The Thirty Years' War|
|Commanders and leaders|
The Battle of Grantville was the result of a Croat raid on the town of Grantville in August, 1632. The Croats were in the employ of Albrecht von Wallenstein, who in turn, had coordinated the attack with Cardinal Richelieu of France, both of whom saw the New United States and its alliance with Sweden as a threat to the Catholic cause. Wallenstein was unique in his ability to understand the American mind-set, and ordered the Croats to specifically target Jews (Richelieu's idea) and Grantville High School, which Wallenstein correctly realized was an important center of knowledge for the town.
The attack came simultaneously with an attack on Suhl by Octavio Piccolomini and on Eisenach by Spain. The NUS used the largest part of its military to protect both sites, leaving Grantville relatively (though by no means completely) vulnerable.
The Initial Attack
The first hint of the coming raid came when Rebecca Stearns was accosted while walking by the road by four Croats. She killed one with a shotgun, and disabled two others, but only the timely arrival of Jeff Higgins saved her. Higgins dispatched the other Croats, and flagged down an approaching school bus for Rebecca. He misunderstood her direction to take the students away from the high school, and instead ordered them there immediately.
Word of the incident spread quickly. The authorities began evacuating the residential areas on the outskirts of town. Police Chief Dan Frost, Gretchen Richter, and several police recruits headed for downtown Grantville. Higgins used the school buses as barricades around the school. The Croats split into two groups; 700 men went to attack the residential areas, the other 1500 moved on to the high school.
Unknown to everyone else, Gustavus Adolphus, in his guise as "Captain Gars", had pieced together Wallenstein's plan, and was a matter of hours behind the Croats. However, distress calls had gone out to Michael Stearns and the rest of the NUS military. They would still be 3-4 hours away.
The Battle at the Center of Town
The Croats hacked down four tree-trimmers on their way into town. They also killed Irene Flannery, an 81-year old widow who'd refused to evacuate. As the Croats went from house to house, they grew increasingly frustrated with their inability to find people to kill, and set fire to the abandoned houses.
Chief Dan Frost placed his deputies and recruits in the various buildings along Main Street, and then stood in the middle of the street. When the Croat cavalry saw him, they began a charge. Frost started shooting with his pistol. The various armed citizens in the surrounding buildings joined in. Only eight Americans were injured, and none were killed. As was common in clashes between contemporary military and Americans, the Croats were thoroughly slaughtered.
With the cavalry held at the center of town, Frost, Gretchen Richter, and his deputies climbed aboard a bus and headed for the high school. Gretchen's brother Hans drove, and managed to get the bus to the school in one piece.
The Battle at the High School
Through some luck, Julie Sims was in the high school just prior to it being fortified. A small number of firearms were also available, including two .30-06 rifles.
The school buses served as a stumbling block to the Croat attack. When the officers gathered, Sims and Dr. James Nichols began picking them off. However, Sims's shooting was far more efficient, and soon Nichols settled for simply loading for Sims.
Concurrently, the bus carrying Frost and his recruits was coming up the road. They came across a group of Croat stragglers and immediately began picking them off.
Nonetheless, a group of Croats were able to get around the buses, and broke into the school. They fanned out. One group made it their mission to break into the gymnasium. Another group began a gun battle with teachers on a stairwell. Although former principal Ed Piazza was badly injured, the Croats took the worst of the exchange.
The Croats vandalized the library, and then began searching in earnest for a battering ram so they could break into the gym. Concurrently, Gustavus and his men arrived, and charged into the fray. Fortunately, Julie had met him, and had very good eyesight, so she was able to recognize him even without a telescopic sight. Croats fleeing from Gustavus ran out the main entrance, and were immediately gunned down by Chief Frost and his recruits, who'd arrived at the school and taken positions.
The last major conflict was in the gym proper. The Croats finally broke through, and were met by Jeff Higgins and current school principal Len Trout. Higgins fired his shotgun at the Croats, wiping out the front line. When he reloaded, Trout took over. Trout was not a marksman, however, and although he put down another five Croats, he was quickly hacked down. Higgins had reloaded, and again fired until empty. He was reduced to hand to hand combat, and received a shoulder wound. He survived when Gustavus and his men entered the gym, and Gustavus personally killed Higgins's would-be assailant. Gustavus's men offered no quarter to the Croats even after they had surrendered.
Although Piazza and Higgins received substantial wounds, they survived. Gustavus himself received a cut along his ribcage. Only Julie Sims recognized him immediately, and chastised him for his reckless behavior. Rebecca Stearns soon confirmed for everyone else present that this captain named Gars was indeed the king.
Michael Stearns realized that the NUS would have to enter into a partnership with another power, and that Sweden was the logical choice.