Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Talavera 2

We picked up the battle of Talavera where we left off last week. 
I had moved the terrain & troops 12" away from the British table edge to provide them a bit more wiggle room for resisting the French attack.
The French are now attacking in the centre where their grand battery had driven the British back with significant losses.  The battered British infantry are being sent forward to meet the attack. On the British right Talavera is still holding out & the battery has been rallied and got back into action.
On the far flank Wellesley continues his counterattack, but his tired soldiers are running out of steam & although the French are also badly hurt he isn't breaking through. 
The fresh French infantry are hammering the British centre.  Impetuous or not, the dice have prevented the heavy cavalry brigade from counterattacking.  The battery has been shaken again by the skirmishers in the vineyard & French line has come out to put more pressure on the shaken gunners.
Suddenly it all started to fall apart for the Brits.  Their centre collapsed.  The gunners again fell back shaken.  The heavy brigade has still refused to charge.  Left of centre the light cavalry brigade tried to stem the tide, but French squares stopped them.
With the battery driven back the French cavalry have advanced forcing the British infantry into square.
 The cavalry fell back to allow the infantry to finish off the squares with musketry.  At the same time the defenders of Talavera decided they had had enough & also broke.   With those 2 brigades broken the British army failed their army break test.
On the British left both sides are exhausted, but the battle was decided on the other flank.

The refusal of the heavy brigade to actually do anything at least gives the Bits some protection from pursuit, but Wellesley's strategic position is now desperate.  His only line of retreat leads to Navalmoral which Soult took yesterday campaign time.  His chance if beating Soult with this battered, out of supply, & fatigued force, with Victor on his heels, is not good to put it mildly.    His only hope is for Cuesta to rally his army fast enough to join with the British Light Division to retake Navalmoral before he gets there.  So we go back to campaign mode to see what happens next.

1 comment:

Gonsalvo said...

Looks like a tough spot for Sir Arthur after this combat!