Eric Flint Wiki
Battle of the Wartburg
Timeline: 1632 series
Part of the Thirty Years' War
Date August, 1632
Location Wartburg Castle
Result Decisive NUS victory

NUS Flag.png

New United States

Flag of Spain.svg.png

Commanders and leaders
Mike Stearns
Frank Jackson
Alexander Mackay
Greg Ferrara

The Battle of the Wartburg was the first direct conflict between Spain and the New United States in August, 1632. As was typical in the immediate months after the Ring of Fire, the Spanish were completely unprepared for the technological superiority of the Americans. However, the Spanish attack had a dual purpose that was unknown to both sides: it served as a distraction for a raid on Grantville ordered by Albrecht von Wallenstein.

Before the Battle[]

Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, a one-time ally of Gustavus Adolphus, entered the employ of Cardinal Richelieu of France. Most of Bernard's hereditary lands in Thuringia had become part of the NUS with the tacit support of Gustavus. Upon the request of the Cardinal, Bernard moved his troops to Cologne, clearing the way for the Spanish invasion.

The Drive on Eisenach[]

The Spanish troops quickly seized the Wartburg Castle, and then launched a drive on Eisenach. The Americans, under the direct command of Mike Stearns, made short work of the Spanish invasion.

While the Spanish tercios did plenty of damage to the farmhouses outside of Eisenach, the people living in them had already taken refuge inside the town's walls.

Stearns targeted the Spanish field guns first, which had been left relatively vulnerable. When it appeared that the Spanish were attempting to launch a cannonade, APCs under the command of Harry Lefferts attacked, making short work of the infantry and gunners, and capturing the guns. One American was killed by a lucky shot, but the Spanish suffered greater losses, and began retreating. American cavalry under Alexander Mackay turned the defeat into a rout. The surviving Spanish made their way back to the Wartburg as Stearns hoped.

Stearns met with some respectful disagreement from his subordinates, as everyone quickly realized that the Spanish army could be defeated in its entirety within a short period of time. However, Stearns wanted to push the Spanish into the Wartburg.

Once the Spanish were forted up inside the Wartburg, Stearns again met with confusion from his troops. A bombardment, supervised by Greg Ferrara, was scheduled for the next day. When Jimmy Andersen suggested that an attack at night would sow more confusion in the castle, Stearns made it clear that he wanted those men who were willing to surrender to be able to surrender.

Siege of the Wartburg[]

While there was no artillery bombardment before sunrise, at midnight, Harry Lefferts began a round of psychological bombardment by playing a variety of 20th Century music, including, but not limited to, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and Reba McEntire.

At 2 am, the music shifted to a program selected by Rebecca Stearns. This was launched by Alban Berg's Wozzeck, and followed by works from Modest Mussorgsky, Edvard Grieg, and Sergei Prokofiev, among others.

Inside the castle, priests with the Inquisition did their best to keep their soldiers in line, at one point ordering soldiers at the ramparts to fire their arquebuses at the noise. American snipers responded, killing twenty soldiers and seven Inquisitors.

The musical bombardment continued through the night. At sunrise, Stearns ordered a rocket attack, as well as calls for surrender and promises of good treatment and recruitment.

With no surrender, Greg Ferrara launched napalm with catapults into the castle. Several Spanish soldiers emerged, intent on battle, but were quickly cut down by Frank Jackson's M-60. Those that survived retreated back into the castle, and again were subject to napalm. Finally, soldiers came out, this time unarmed.

The battle at Wartburg was over, but the Battle of Grantville was just getting underway.