Battle of the Crapper
Timeline: 1632 series
Part of The Thirty Years' War
Date June 30, 1631
Location Field outside of Badenburg
Result Decisive Grantville victory, decimation of one of Count Tilly's armies; defeat of Ernst Hoffman's army
Scottish Green Regiment
Mercenary army under Count Tilly Mercenary Army under Ernst Hoffman
Commanders and leaders
Mike Stearns
Frank Jackson
Alexander Mackay
Andrew Lennox
Ernst Hoffman
300 American volunteers, 250 Scots cavalrymen 2,000 mercenaries 500 mercenaries

300 American volunteers, 250 Scots cavalrymen 2,000 mercenaries 500 mercenaries

300 American volunteers, 250 Scots cavalrymen 2,000 mercenaries 500 mercenaries
300 American volunteers, 250 Scots cavalrymen 2,000 mercenaries 500 mercenaries
The Battle of the Crapper (or properly known as the Battle of Badenburg)was the first major military engagement between the time-lost people of Grantville and a native army, in this case, a band of Catholic mercenaries under the command of Count Tilly. The battle earned its vulgar name from a disused outhouse where Gretchen Richter had hidden several young women and her infant son, Wilhelm, from the threat of an attack.

Before the BattleEdit

Although citizens of Grantville had done battle with local troops prior to the Crapper, the citizenry had elected to reorganize themselves first, creating an emergency committee and appointing Mike Stearns the committee chairman (and in effect, head of state). They were soon met by Captain Alexander Mackay, a Scottish soldier in the employ of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Impressed by the Grantivillians honesty and technology, Mackay proposed an alliance to defend and liberate the nearby town of Badenburg. Stearns accepted.

In preparing for the battle, Stearns brought out nearly 300 American volunteers with rifles. He also recruited science teacher Greg Ferrara and his students to build rockets. Finally, Stearns' Army Chief of Staff, Frank Jackson, donated an M-60 Machine gun he'd stolen from the United States Army after his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Mackay brought 250 cavalrymen to the field. Finally, Stearns recruited the supposed protector of Badenburg, Ernst Hoffman and a band of 500 of his Protestant mercenaries. When Mackay expressed some concern, Stearns made it clear that he wanted to crush both Tilly's men and Hoffman's parasites. Mackay was impressed with Stearns's cold-bloodedness.

Deployment of troopsEdit

Jackson and Stearns deployed the main American strength in the center of a fortified position across the road to Badenburg about half-a-mile from the town walls. Riflemen dug in, and the M-60 was offset to enfilade the attacking tercio of about 2,000 Catholic mercenaries. To the right was Hoffman's battalion, and on both flanks, Alexander Mackay and Andrew Lennox's cavalry detachment, who were to sweep around the enemy flank in pursuit and bag the lot as prisoners.

The Battle Against Tilly's MenEdit

Jackson gave the order of attack, with the M-60 firing first, mowing down the oncoming tercio. Riflemen quickly began firing themselves (indeed, the riflemen did more damage than the M-60). To the credit of Tilly's men, they bravely continued their advance, even as they watched the men in front of them being mowed down. However, once the Americans launched their rockets, the combination of previously unseen and inexplicable weapons broke the mercenaries two minutes after the battle had started.

Mackay and the other Scots under his command were terrified by what they saw.

Hoffman's men proved useless almost immediately, and began a retreat in the face of a Catholic band. Stearns ordered his riflemen to start firing on Tilly's men. Mackay and his cavalry rode out to round up the survivors.

The Battle Against HoffmanEdit

After the initial retreat, Hoffman realized the Americans had broken Tilly's army. As Stearns expected, Hoffman managed to rally his men and ordered them to loot, pillage, and rape amongst the Catholics baggage train and camp followers.

Stearns dispatched "the Four Musketeers" (Jeff Higgins, Eddie Cantrell, Larry Wild, and Jimmy Andersen) to warn Hoffman off, although Stearns conceded that probably wouldn't work. He also ordered Higgins not to engage Hoffman's men militarily until reinforcements arrived. Stearns also realized that the four probably wouldn't listen to him either, and ordered Jackson to move his men as fast as possible.

Jackson proved correct. When Higgins and the other three came upon Gretchen Richter and several other women standing outside an outhouse (where Richter had hidden her son and her sister), waiting for their fate, he quickly grew smitten with the beautiful Richter as well as horrified by the terror of the other women, and rode off to confront Hoffman, with the other three right behind him. However, they had no plan, and were soon surrounded by Hoffman's group, who were clearly just as confused as the boys.

Fortunately, the rest of Grantville's military arrived in their newly modified Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), which completely baffled and terrorized Hoffman's mercenaries. Panicked anew, the mercenaries scattered. Riding in one APC, Stearns ordered his driver to chase Hoffman down. Thrown from his horse, Hoffman ran around for five minutes before he collapsed. The battle was well and truly over.


In the days that followed, many of the Catholic camp followers, including the Richter family, and mercenaries who were unwilling conscripts, were made citizens of the New United States. The remaining captured mercenaries of both sides were declared outlaws. They had their pictures taken for wanted posters, and were ordered to leave within two days or face immediate death on sight.

Jeff Higgins proposed marriage to Gretchen Richter the evening after the battle. She accepted, and quickly grew enamored with some of the more revolutionary ideas Grantville had brought with them.