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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

7 March 1813 – Battle of Palencia

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Two British corps will open attack on Palencia
14 French corps will march west to join battle of Palencia
4 French corps will arrive start of move 5
British – 21600 infantry, 1900 cavalry, 60 guns
French – 28000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Table at start of wargame

French HQ – start on table
4 French – arrive start of move 5
6 French – start on table
14 French – march off table towards Medina

British HQ – arrive start of move 5
2 British – start on table
4 British – start on table

6th French corps has to hold Palencia alone, until 4th corps arrive
Both British corps have deployed and unlimbered their artillery
The guns have started to fire on the town, whilst the infantry prepares to attack
British hussars on the hill are to spot and delay 4th French corps
2nd British corps suffer casualties from garrison
One brigade fails morale and is shaken
Second brigade, supported by cavalry, advance against enemy line

4th British corps come under artillery as they approach town

4th French corps arrive and move to take hill and outflank British.
Wellington orders both of his corps to attack Palencia
2nd corps cavalry charge and rout the French brigade to the right of the town
Their artillery bombard and rout the garrison of the right hand town section

4th corps hussars hold the hill, supported by infantry and cavalry
The two rifle brigades advance and engage the town
The left hand brigade charges and routs the supporting French artillery

4th French corps arrive too late to prevent the loss of Palencia

With the loss of Palencia Marshal Soult orders a general retreat

Wellington has won a significant victory
With the loss of Palencia the French will have to accept defeat in the Valladolid campaign.

Battle Summary
Wellington is determined to take Palencia before 4th corps can support the garrison
He orders his two corps to advance either side of the Valladolid road
Artillery from both corps open fire on the town
The French artillery reply, but is ineffective at  long range
British cavalry occupy the hill to delay the approach of 4th French corps
The two rifle brigades spearhead the British attack
The right hand town section is routed, as is the French artillery
Marshal Soult orders a general retreat before both of his corps are pinned
The French lost 2400 infantry and 100 gunners
They also have two brigades and the corps artillery in rout
The British lost 400 infantry

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