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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Central Spain - Introduction



Central Spain Strategic Map

Background
Most of the experienced French troops had been withdrawn from Spain to form the new Grand Army in Germany.   On 1 February 1813 Marshal Suchet was given command of all the remaining troops in Southern Spain.  He was ordered to abandon Seville and withdraw all the scattered garrisons to Madrid.

General Giron commanded all Spanish troops south of Madrid.   As the French withdrew he ordered his army to concentrate at Badajoz.  It took two weeks for them to do so.   He ordered an immediate advance on Madrid

On 28 February 1813 the Spanish Army reached Merida.   Their slow march allowed the Suchet to reorganize his Army and to march them west to meet the Spanish.   As the Spanish entered Merida, his army arrived at Almarez.  



Fifth French Army

Suchet commanded four corps.   Two French corps, one Polish and one Italian.
Each corps consisted of four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery.   



Spanish Army

Giron commanded four army corps.   He could also call on a large body of poorly trained militia and guerrilla formations.   All towns had a brigade sized body of militia, but they could only operate locally, and could not be incorporated into the Regular Army.

Each corps consisted of four infantry brigades and corps artillery.   Two also had a cavalry brigade


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