Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Toledo

By day 34 of the campaign Wellesley had passed Talvera & was approaching Toledo only 50km from Madrid when he was informed that the French were waiting for him at the village of Yunco on the other side of Toledo.    Wellesley took his army cross country to attack the French on the afternoon of Day 35.  So w ehave out own "Talavera" a bit closer to Madrid & a smaller battle as Wellesley doesn't have Cuesta (who is still way to the west) & Joseph doesn't have Victor (who is down south having been delayed by Venagas).
Joseph Bonapart's army was deployed at a position he'd chosen.  He has a village on a hill in the centre of his line. Most of his cavalry was deployed on the plain on his left.  His right was protected by a narrow ravine and a low ridge allowed some troops to be hidden (not on the table for this pic).
The Brits deployed on a shorter front with 2 lines of brigades in their centre (2nd line not yet on the table).
The British advanced their centre, but held back their right.  The French began an advance on their left.
Some of Mike's British figs. 
On the French left the British infantry formed a line of squares.  The French cavalry suffered from long range rifle fire & artillery while their infantry on their far left blundered about & advanced at glacial pace.
In the centre the British attacked the village frontally, but so far Sebastiani's mix of Dutch, Germans & Poles is holding their own.  .
On the far flank the British are applying little pressure & the French are marching their right flank brigade behind their line to the centre.  
The Brits manage to take the front left corner of the village but the French allied troops are still holding onto the rest of it.
The stalemate continues on the French left as the cavalry continue to die waiting for the infantry to come up to attack the squares.  The half hearted British attacks on far side of the village have been beaten off. The attack on the village has finally got more success as the remainder of the front half of the village has fallen to the Brits.
Night fell at 10pm real time before any decision was reached.  No brigades were broken on either side.
On the French left, the infantry had only just got engaged.  
In the centre the Brits have taken half the village. On the right the French still hold the line of the ravine.

Casualties are about even.  The British have had 5 infantry battalions units & 2 rifle coys broken, including 1 guard battalion.  The French have had 6 infantry battalions & 2 batteries broken & 1 battery captured.  Most of the French casualties are in their allied units.  Sebastitani's two allied brigades & the Madrid Garrision brigade took the brunt of the British attack & all ended the day 1 unit break off the brigade being broken, so nightfall came at good time for the French centre.

At this stage neither side seems inclined to concede, so it seems the battle will continue in the morning (next week real time).  Overnight both sides must withdraw so they are 24" apart except that troops in cover can stay where they are (so both sides retain their half of the village).  All units will recover up to half their casualties & broken units will be rallied back 1 off being shaken.

No comments: