Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Majadas

After the battle of Ceceres on Day 8 the French fell back.   Wellesley dithered, perhaps unable to decide whether to pursue Victor or push on to Madrid.  The unmolested Victor took advantage of an unusually good supply situation to also sit around doing nothing a days march south of Wellesley.  When Wellesley finally ordered his force south after Victor he found that Victor had just left, moving south. 

Victor had moved south because he'd found out that Cuesta's Spanish army had reached Majadas and cut his line of communication to Madrid.  On day 15 Victor found Cuesta deployed just west of Majadas with his left flank in a village & his right protected by mountains.  Cuesata had been there long enough for his batteries to be in redoubts & the village streets barricaded. Wellesley is a days march behind him, so this battle is a must win for Victor.  Defeat will mean disaster.

The Spanish army had 5 6 battalion infantry brigades, 3 cavalry brigades of 4 regiments & 5 batteries. the French had 5 infantry brigades of 4 or 5 battalions, 1 cavalry brigade of 5 regiments & 6 batteries. The numbers were with the Spanish, but so far we have found that the quality difference makes it hard for the Spanish, even at 3:2 odds.
 The Spanish are on the left.  The French are making a general advance on the whole front.
The French light cavalry has arrived last having been the rear guard facing Wellesley.  The French infantry is advancing behind a screen of light infantry.  Unlike Sebastiani last week, Victor seems to have been reading his infantry manual.
Victor has attacked left and centre.  On the far flank the Spanish have made noises abut a counterattack, but there's no sign of it.  Initially the French attacks did not go well.  On the extreme left it turned into a dour struggle of attack & counterattack.  On the left of the vineyards there was success, but the Spanish cavalry stopped exploitation as the columns formed square.  The attack on the vineyards bounced off.  In the centre there was no immediate breakthrough either. It was looking like the Spanish might have a chance.

But our Break if Spanish rule is an insidious thing (they count Break if Shaken as Break if Spanish).  Spanish units starting breaking all along the line & very quickly the Spanish line started to crumble.  First their right broke, then their centre.  Cavalry plugged the gaps, but then a ring of fire broke the brigade in the vineyards & the Spanish had nothing but cavalry right of the centre.  They could do nothing against the line of squares the French deployed to cover their front while they brought up their artillery & cavalry.
The Spanish conceded the battle & sounded the retreat.  With plenty of cavalry they were able to break off & retreat south on their line of communication.

Tomorrow Victor will regain his Line of Communication to Madrid.


Phil said...

Nice looking Peninsular game, great pics!

Gonsalvo said...

Great stuff!