It's a non-major offensive turn in Mud. The German player is facing a situation where one of his stacks is next to a counterblow on a very strong Allied stack. Next to it is another and with Alexander in command he knows he'll have to make an attack from an unreinforcible position against two powerful stacks of enemy units.
Seems to me all he has to do is call an Attrition combat and he's baled out of the situation. What am I missing here?
This is correct, the Counterblows do not have the same effect in Attrition Combat.
If you don't like the way it works, do not forget this is not a rule used in the regular game, but an advanced optional rule.