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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

13 April 1813 – Battle of Chaves

Tactical map of battle area

General Stewart, commander 1st British corps, has orders to advance and take the town of Chaves.   One of his four infantry brigades are absent on garrison duty at Celorcio.

General Taupin, commander 6th French corps, also has orders to take Chaves.   His corps is at full strength.

French – 16000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
British – 12000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, 30 guns
Table at start of wargame

Both corps will arrive on the table at the start of move 5 (1200)


Both commanders are aware that this battle will be decided by the infantry combat for possession of Chaves.

Both have deployed their cavalry and artillery on the flanks, to counter the enemy.   Infantry is deployed ready to take the town.

The leading British infantry brigade has already entered the southern part of the town.

The artillery exchanged fire, but failed to cause any casualties

The French did not enter the northern half of Chaves, because the British artillery were within close range of the buildings.   So the battle was concentrated on the southern half of the town.

The leading brigades entered the town and skirmished for possession.   1st British brigade suffered first casualties, failed their morale and were shaken.  Before they could be replaced by the reserve brigade the French caused more casualties.   The British broke and ran with 20% casualties.  The reserve brigade, which was poor quality conscripts, lost their nerve when they saw the damage to the 1st brigade and joined the rout.

With the loss of half of his infantry general Stewart ordered the rest of his corps to break contact and retreat.

British suffered 800 casualties and two brigades in rout
French suffered no casualties

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