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Friday, September 11, 2015

20 March 1813 – Battle of Burgos

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Three British and two French corps have orders to attack
British – 35600 infantry, 2900 cavalry, 90 guns
French – 32000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 60 guns

3 British brigades are absent, 2 on garrison and 1 due to 30% casualties

Table at start of wargame

British HQ, 2 and 4 corps all arrive on table at the start of move 1
3 French ordered to hold pass
13 French ordered to hold city and extend to pass
2 and 4 British arrive on table
Wellington joins 2 British and orders them to attack over the bridge
British dragoons move onto bridge
French dragoons deploy to charge British
Leading infantry brigade forms square to protect 3 French deployment
2 British cavalry charge over bridge into French dragoons
The French lose the melee and are shaken with 10% casualties
The remainder of 2 British advance to ford the river
3 and 13 French continue to deploy
Wellington orders 1 and 4 British to attack over the river

2 British cavalry continue the melee and rout the French dragoons
The remainder of 2 British start to ford the river
1 and 4 British approach the river behind their cavalry screen
3 french hold despite the cavalry rout
13 French continue to deploy

British cavalry have crossed river to protect infantry crossing
British artillery deploy to cover crossing
But they are out of range of the French defensive positions
Lack of French artillery makes it difficult to cover all crossings
2 British prepare to attack hill
1 British receive first casualties as they cross the river
2 British move their artillery over the brigade to support the attack
4 British cross by bridge, covered by hussar brigade
French artillery open fire

1 British receive more casualties on same infantry brigade
Infantry cross river and artillery hit infantry square in centre
2 British artillery move into position
13 Polish lancers charge, and rout, British hussars

2 British infantry win skirmish with hill, French shaken
13 Polish lancers charge and rout rifle brigade

 2 British infantry storm hill
All three French brigades break and run

French Rout
British infantry storm hill
Win melee and rout French brigade
Nearest two brigades fail morale and join rout

With the loss of half of 3rd corps the French accept defeat
They withdraw to the city
The French have lost 2000 infantry, 300 cavalry and have 4 brigades in rout
The British have lost 2400 infantry, 100 cavalry and have 2 brigades in rout

The British win the battle
 The French still hold the city
 They must decide whether to retreat or accept a siege
 The French have lost 2300 casualties and 4 brigades in rout
 The British have lost 2500 casualties and 2 brigades in rout

Battle Summary
The British outnumber the French, particularly in cavalry and artillery
However the French hold a strong defensive position behind the river Alanzon
They also hold the fortified city of Burgos
The British artillery superiority force the French to remain out of range
This allows the British cavalry and artillery to cross the river unopposed
They then come under fire from the French artillery, but suffer light casualties
4th British corps send their hussar brigade over the river to cover he crossing
They are charged, and routed, by a Polish lancer brigade
The lancers then charge, and again rout, a rifle brigade who are too slow to form square.
However 2nd British corps have crossed the river in good condition
They advance and storm the hill to the west of the city
Three French brigades are routed
The remainder of the French withdraw to the city
The French have lost 2300 casualties and 4 brigades in rout
 The British have lost 2500 casualties and 2 brigades in rout

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