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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2 April 1813 – Battle of Benavente

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
British attack Benavente
British – 10000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
French – 19200 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns

The British are ordered to attack
But they are outnumbered two to one by the French
The battle will be decided using campaign rule 09
No wargame will be fought

Stewart is ordered to attack Benavente
One of his four brigades is absent on garrison duty at Tabara
His three other brigades all have battle casualties
As he approaches the city he comes under attack from 3rd French corps
They are full strength, and in addition have 12 brigade as garrison of the city


As soon as the French realise how weak the British are they advance and attack
Stewart orders a general retreat, but must fight to break contact
The French press home their attack as the British retreat

As night fall the British break contact and retreat

The French have lost 800 infantry
The British have lost 1600 infantry and 100 cavalry

A convincing French victory

Battle Summary
The British attack was doomed to failure
They started the battle with only three brigades
All had casualties from the earlier fighting
3rd French corps was full strength
In addition they had a brigade from reserve as garrison of Benavente
By the time the British realised they were outnumbered it was too late to retreat
They have to carry out a fighting withdrawal
The French pressed home their attack
Only nightfall allowed the British to break contact and retreat
The French lost 800 casualties
The British lost 1700 casualties

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