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Sunday, January 10, 2016

2 April 1813 – Battle of Zamora Day Two

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
One of Wellington’s two corps retreated after the first day of fighting
He ordered the second corps to continue to hold the city
This resulted in a second days fighting when two French corps continued to attack
British – 15600 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 30 guns
French – 32000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 27 guns
Table at start of wargame

 All three corps start on the table

British artillery fire on French gunners, no casualties

French artillery concentrate on front right city section, 20% casualties
French infantry prepare to attack
Cavalry on flanks counter British cavalry


French infantry advance to attack city
British rifle brigade have retreated in front right city section
Infantry skirmish with front left city section
British artillery forced to retreat, moves to left of city
French artillery screened by their infantry
Move to deploy on flanks

Soult orders 6th corps to attack the front left city section
Two brigades storm the city, which is held by the 2nd Rifle brigade
The riflemen have already suffered 10% casualties from artillery fire
They manage to beat off the first brigade, but are routed by the second one.
They rout through the Portuguese brigade, who break and join the rout

Wellington has lost three of the four city sections
Three of his four brigades are also in rout
He orders the remainder of 4th corps to break contact and retreat

The decision to fight a second day at Zamora has resulted in the loss of 4th corps
The British have lost 3200 casualties and have three brigades in rout
The French have lost 1600 casualties and have one brigade in rout

Battle Summary
At the end of the first day’s fighting one of the two British corps was in rout
Wellington ordered the other corps to hold the city
His 4th corps was the best in his army. 
It was almost full strength and included two rifle brigades
It was particularly well suited to hold a built up area
In addition the cavalry from his routed brigade was added to 4th corps
The two French corps were also relatively unharmed
However 6th corps artillery had 10% casualties
The cavalry were well balanced, and played little part in the battle
Neither side dared to commit them in case they lost them.
The British artillery were deployed in the centre of the city
They were forced to move when both French batteries concentrated against them
The French infantry then advanced in mass and skirmished with the defenders
The two British rifle brigades bore the brunt of this attack
When one retreated the French stormed the remaining brigade
Soon three of the four British brigades were in rout
The French lost one brigade, but ended the battle in possession of Zamora
The French lost 1600 casualties and one brigade in rout
The British lost 3200 casualties and three brigades in rout

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