The Battle of the Bultr Birdge (2209 a.a.H), sometimes known as the First Battle of the Bultr Bridge was a battle during the First War of the Power, between the Expeditionary Forces of the Whide Axis and the Dark Legion of Demons, which resulted a decisive defeat of the Dark Legion, which opened Hannian and Dol-Sorne to the Whide Axis.
After the defeat of the Legion in the Battle of the Cold Plains, the hastily arranged forces to counter the Whide Axis armies were in disarray and retreating in disorder, either to the the north to the Five Kingdoms or dispersing in the Barlans, with the largest remains of the army retreating to the south, to the southern bank of the Barlans river, while at the wake of the news of the defeat, rebellions by humans, elves and kanovs began to be raised.
The demons decided to stop the Expeditionary Forces of the Whide Axis in the ancient elven bridge of the Vanilion Road, the Vuhulrien bridge in elfic, Bultr in Kanov or Bulttro in Hannian, hoping to use it as a bottleneck to the elven forces that had already shown superior capabilities in the open field in the Cold Plains.
Rearranged in new units to fill the ranks, the Demons massed 34 legions, being most of the ad hoc formations, with about some ∿204,000 warriors, as marched to the south against the legions a force of some 130,000 elves and men.
The defeat on the Cold Plains had seriously battered the morale of the Dark Legions and their allies, who thought the demons to be invincible, and now gave such qualities to the elven enemies, having their resolve weakened.
The Battle Edit
In the initial clashes, in the northern bank of the Barlans, the forward forces were rolled by the Whide Axis Cavalry, and broke ranks retreating into the Bridge: the retreating forces clashed into their own reinforcements on the bridge, and entangled into a leaderless mob, the battle at the north bank of the river became a bloodbath, with the same bridge serving as a bottleneck to the own forces of the Dark Legion who wanted to do precisely that to the Whide Axis.
Seeing the futility of sending reinforcements, the demon commanders ordered a retreat to the southern bank, sacrificing the troops still entangled on the northern bank.
Following the retreating legionaries, the Whide Axis made a first attempt to cross the bridge: while the Dark legions on the south were able to stop this cavalry charge, enough Whidean infantry followed to take a small bridgehead on the southern flank.
The demon commander, furious because of this, sent the forces that had broken ranks earlier that day and retreated to move forward to attack and expel the Whide Axis from the bridgehead: Tired and already defeated, the attacks lacked vigor and determination, and failed: Defending from the bridge, while the legionaries clashed with each other, each attack going over the previous wave, the small line of men and elves had the warriors be continuously be replaced by fresh soldiers.
At dusk, the demons retreated their forces for a respite, returning in the darkness of the night for renewed attacks.
Altarin, Emperor of the Elves, seeing he couldn't bring sufficient forces across the bridge, ordered a fraction of the army to march to the shores of the delta of the Barlans river, where gathered the elven fleet, loading a landing force during the night, being undetected by the Dark Legion scouts.
During dawn, a force of about 30,000 men and elves had crossed the river across the delta, and began to march to the rear of the Dark Legion, while further forces still on the ships sailed up the river, covered in the mist of the morning.
Coordinated with Wind Riders who relayed the orders of Altarin, as the Dark Legions ceased their attacks to the Bridge with the rising sun, the Whide Axis attacked.
Their heavy cavalry charged across the bridge, and as the legions went to reform the line, they were surprised to find the elven fleet in the river, raining down projectiles at them, and landing further forces. The apparition of the fleet was a surprise: the attack from the rear by the landing forces, was a catastrophe.
As the word of enemy landings behind their lines, with the attacks from the bridge and the river itself, the vassals and allies of the Dark Legions broke ranks. Seeing their flanks deserted, the legionaries followed: the retreat turned into a rout.
The armies of the Dark Legion in central Aels suffered a decisive defeat, and were largely disbanded. While the Kanov allies and vassals retreated to the Titanizk mountains, the demonic commanders tried to organize some semblance of order in the retreat to the south.
But the Whide Axis forces didn't repeat the mistake of the Cold Plains, and pressed the retreating forces in a series of battles across Hannian, in which any major force of the demons was soundly defeated in detail by the Whide Axis, who used Wind Riders to track down demonic forces, who had their retreat complicated further by the spontaneous revolts of the local human and elven populace.
Because of the dispersed nature of the retreat, accounts of the battle about the losses of the Dark Legion aren't very reliable, with the kings of La Cruz estimating loses of the Dark Legion above 185,000 warriors in the battle itself and the following rout and retreat all over Hannia, while elven accounts spoke of losses of the Legion in order of some 80,000 to 120,000, while Whidean losses would have been around 5,000 men and elves, and always under 10,000.
The complete collapse of the Dark Legion in the region lead to the dark legion administration of Hannian, following in the wake of local revolts.
Hannia, liberated, quickly began to provide volunteers and forces to serve as replacements for the Expeditionary Forces of the Whide Axis.
With the sound, complete victories of the Whide Axis in the Cold Plains and the Bultr Bridge, the High Elven generals of Altarin expected a quick victory in Dol-Sorne: however, the local commanders, reinforced with some of the survivors of the defeats and some Abilian legions, decided to try to hold the region, to give time for new armies to be gathered: this would lead to the campaign of liberation of the Hannian Duchies and Dumia, with smaller scale actions and sieges, that while ultimately failing to stop the Whide Axis, it delayed them, as due the accords between the Kings of the Five Kingdoms and Altarin, Dol-Sorne was to become imperial territory, and the High Elves wanted to ensure elven dominance in the region.