The Battle of Trimini (part 1)

"...and gentlemen in Trimini, now abed, will think themselves accursed they were not here." muttered a French pikeman to his comrade - who just gave a customary Gallic shrug.

Before dawn broke the reports of enemy activity were becoming more alarming by the minute. So many reports were coming in that both the Swiss and French pike squares, which had been stood-to, began a shambolic approach towards the picket lines. Minutes later the boom of French cannon in the forward lines signalled to all that something was afoot.

The plan of the Imperialists and their Venetian allies was plain to see: A massed infantry attack in the centre would be supported by a double envelopment by cavalry. The Allied army came on with great speed and within the hour the French pickets were falling back before the onrush of Landsknecht and Romagnol pikemen as the outer earthworks were overrun. Only a charge by the French pike square checked the Landsknechts who advancing on open ground. The fighting was fierce and the French put up a most gallant resistance, even under the devastating fire of supporting organ guns, before finally giving way and taking to their heals. Elsewhere the allied pike were pressing forward against light resistance, but were slowed whilst extricating themselves out of the earthworks. The Swiss plugged the gap.

The Venetians meanwhile were advancing around Trimini and an assault was looking imminent. In the main French camp all was chaos. Before the first hour was out only the Swiss managed to show some discipline, form up, and move out of camp (removed 2 locks) towards the sounds of the fighting. On the allied left the Venetian stradiots and mounted arqubusier met with no resistance and, as the Landsknechts crossed the earthworks, were at the outskirts of the French camp even as the Swiss were leaving it.

On the right, the presence of the French stradiots (who had quickly taken position there) and mounted crossbowmen slowed down the advancing allied cavalry wing with desultory skirmishing, advances and evades.

Next week we shall continue the action.


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