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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

20 March 1813 – Battle of Talavera

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
Two Spanish and one French corps have orders to attack
Spanish – 28000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 60 guns
French – 12000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Table at start of wargame

8 French corps – start on table
Spanish HQ – arrive start of move 1
2 Spanish corps – arrive start of move 1
3 Spanish corps – arrive start of move 5

Uneven battles are not normally decided by wargame
However because the French are in defence
And being attacked by Spanish
It was decided to play a wargame
The French cavalry have rejoined the corps
They support the artillery, who have deployed just north of the city
Two French brigades have occupied the two right sectionf of Talavera

2nd Spanish corps are approaching the city
The cavalry and artillery are moving north
The leading infantry brigade has entered the bottom left section of the city

2nd Spanish corps have been ordered to take the town
Their cavalry have fought a melee with the French lancers
The result was a draw, both brigades retire disordered

3rd Spanish corps have arrived and are moving to deploy to the left of 2nd corps.
2nd Spanish corps have four infantry brigades attacking the town
They have caused 20% casualties to the right hand garrison
3rd Spanish corps are moving through the woods
They have suffered casualties from the French gunners
But they are spread between two brigades, both of whom have made their morale
2nd Spanish continue to skirmish the city
The garrison lose 800 casualties, but continue to hold both sections
3rd Spanish artillery hit square, who rout with 20% casualties
The nearby gunners also fail their morale and join rout

As night falls general Foy orders a general retreat

A clear Spanish victory
They lost 800 infantry
The French lost 1600 infantry and have one brigade and the gunners in rout

Battle Summary
The French occupied the eastern half of Talavera with two brigades
The remainder of the corps deployed north of the town
2nd Spanish corps opened the battle with an attack on the town itself
Two brigades were sent into the western half, two more sent to attack from the south
The French cavalry advanced to threaten the Spanish artillery
The Spanish cavalry engaged them, and the result was a draw
3rd Spanish corps did not arrive until midday
They took most of the afternoon to deploy to the left of 3rd corps
2nd corps skirmished with the garrison and caused some casualties
But the garrison held their post
The combined artillery of 2nd and 3rd corps turned the tide
They routed the infantry square north of the town
The nearby gunners failed their morale and joined the rout
The Spanish lost 800 infantry casualties
The French lost 1600 infantry, plus one brigade and the gunners in rout

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