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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

14 March 1813 – Battle of Castrojarez

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
French have orders to attack
British have orders to hold
French – 12000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
British – 12000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Spanish – 8000 infantry
Table at start of wargame

All start on the table
10 British brigade will not take part, because they have 30% casualties
Spanish guerrilla will rout when they have to test morale
French detach one brigade to attack farm
They rout Spanish garrison after a short firefight
Remainder of Corps deploy close to river

British cavalry and artillery advance and deploy
Infantry remain out of artillery range
French deploy south of the main bridge and prepare to cross river
British artillery advance supported by infantry to oppose crossing

French lancers charge British dragoons, the melee is a draw
French infantry cross main bridge and skirmish artillery
Gunners receive 10% casualties and withdraw shaken
Supporting infantry skirmish French, but no casualties
Remainder of French infantry has crossed the river.
Inconclusive infantry firefight just north of the bridge
Artillery support, but fail to cause any casualties
Eventually French gunners hit British infantry, who lose 10% casualties
French infantgry advance and win firefight
British infantry rout with 40% casualties
British artillery limber and retreat north of town

At nightfall the British have lost one infantry brigade
Their routed cavalry rally, but are still shaken
Picton orders a retreat to avoid further casualties

The French win by default
They have failed to take the town
But the British reteat under cover of darkness
The British have lost 1600 infantry and 100 cavalry
The French have lost 400 infantry

Battle Summary
The Spanish guerrilla played little part in the battle
However the French did have to detach one brigade to clear 10 militia from the farm
The French deployed to cross the river north of the bridge
They then sent their cavalry over the river south of the bridge
Leaving the artillery to hold the bridge the infantry followed the cavalry
The British artillery proved ineffective
Their cavalry were beaten by the French lancers
A French brigade crossed the bridge and drove the gunners back
A British brigade engaged them, and there was an inconclusive skirmish fight
The French then advanced and routed the British after a short firefight
The British held the town at nightfall
However Picton ordered them to retreat to avoid furher casualties
The British lost 1700 casualties and one brigade in rout
The French lost 400 casualties

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