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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

21 July 1813 – Battle of Baylen


Tactical map of battle area
Marshal Suchet attacks Baylen with 8th and 16th corps
Only one brigade has been detached on garrison duty

General Giron has deployed 3rd and 4th Spanish corps to defend the town
Both are three brigade corps and neither have any cavalry support.  
5 Militia brigade are the garrison of Baylen

Spanish – 28000 infantry, 60 guns
French – 28000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 60 guns
Table at start of wargame
The Spanish start the game on hold orders
The French start the game on engage orders
0800-0900
8th French corps (left) advance either side of the woods
This is the strongest corps, with four infantry and one cavalry brigade.
16th Italian corps (right) also advance either side of the woods
They have three infantry and one cavalry brigade
The absence of Spanish cavalry allows the French artillery to advance without threat
0900-1000
The French and Italian cavalry advance to pin the Spanish
Their infantry advance behind the artillery
Giron orders 4th corps to extend their left to include the town
13 infantry brigade is sent to occupy the right hand section of the town
1000-1100
8th corps artillery unlimber and prepare to open fire
Their cavalry advance to threaten the Spanish artillery
The infantry on their right also advance to engage the inn
16th corps artillery continue to advance
Their cavalry move onto the hill to protect the gunners
Their infantry on the right continue to advance
The Spanish artillery open fire, but cause no casualties
13 brigade continues to occupy the town
1100-1200
8th corps artillery open fire and hit the Spanish infantry
Their infantry continue to advance towards the inn
16th corps artillery unlimber within close range of the town
Their infantry on the right continue to advance
The Spanish infantry pass their morale test for artillery casualties
They are ordered to move behind the inn to avoid further casualties
1200-1300
Suchet changes 8th corps orders from engage to attack
Lancers charge Spanish gunners, receive 100 casualties and retire shaken
Infantry on left advance on Spanish square
16th corps continue to advance
Cavalry move off hill to support advance
Gunners fire on garrison and inflict 400 casualties
Spanish garrison pass morale for casualties
1300-1400
8th corps infantry rout Spanish square
Suchet rallies shaken cavalry behind woods on left
16th corps infantry continue to advance
Artillery continue to fire, but no casualties
3rd Spanish infantry move to halt French infantry
Gunners limber and withdraw guns
1400-1500
8th corps halt their right and advance their left
Rallied cavalry move out of woods to support new attack
Suchet moves to 16th corps and orders them to attack
Infantry and cavalry move towards the woods lower right
4th Spanish corps withdraw their artillery 
1500-1600
8th corps continue to advance
16th corps storm the woods and rout defenders
French artillery continues to fire but no hits
Giron moves to rally routed infantry in woods
1600-1700
8th corps cavalry charge guns, but fail to charge home and retire shaken
In doing so they disrupt the supporting infantry
On the left French infantry storm the farm, but lose melee and rout
In doing so they take their supporting brigade with them.

16th corps cavalry also charge guns, but charge home and rout gunners
The supporting Spanish infantry square pass their morale test
1700-1800
8th corps cavalry are caught up in the infantry rout and join them
Infantry charge the guns and rout the gunners
Despite this Suchet orders them to call off their attack and regroup

16th corps charge the town and rout the garrison
Suchet has rallied the two brigades which took the woods
He is leading them towards the centre to rejoin their corps.
1800-1900
8th corps halt their attack and redeploy to engage the farm on the left

16th corps send infantry to occupy the left hand section of the town
The remainder of the corps advance to pursue the retreating Spanish

3rd Spanish corps continue to hold the farm

All of 4th Spanish corps are in retreat
One brigade in square covers the retreat
1900-2000
8th corps continue to fire on the farm, but with no effect

16th corps occupy the right hand town section
The remainder of the corps continue to pursue the retreating Spanish

At nightfall the Spanish continue to hold the left hand town section and also the farm
However half of 3rd corps, and all of 4th corps, are in retreat

Conclusion
Suchet has won a convincing victory
He has defeated and routed both 3rd and 4th Spanish corps
At nightfall the Spanish still hold two of the three objectives
But they are surrounded and must either retreat or surrender

The French have lost 2400 casualties and have three brigades in rout
The Spanish have lost 8400 casualties and have five brigades in rout