My Blog List

Friday, August 12, 2016

06 May 1813 – Battle of Tordesillas

Tactical map of battle area
Wellington has lost two infantry brigades and half of his artillery at the first battle of Tordesillas on 2nd May 1813.   Despite this he is determined to take full advantage of defeating the enemy at Canzio and Mayorga on 5th May 1813.   He orders 2nd and 4th corps to attack Tordesillas at first light.

Soult has also lost two infantry brigades at the first battle of Tordesillas.   In addition only 13th corps is deployed to defend the town.   8th corps is deployed south of the town to hold the river Douro.   When his outposts inform him that the British are making preparations to attack he rides south to order 8th corps to join 13th corps.

British – 24000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 30 guns
French – 24000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, 60 guns
Table at start of wargame
13th Polish corps (centre) have orders to hold the approach to Tordesillas (centre right).  They can retreat at will, but must remain in front of the town.

8th French corps (bottom right) are deployed to hold the river Douro and the Tordesillas bridge.   They cannot move until given new orders by Soult (with corps commander).

2nd and 4th British corps will enter the table at the centre and top left at the start of move 1.  They are on move orders and cannot engage or attack the enemy without new orders form Wellington (moving with 2nd corps).

13th Polish corps (top centre) is trying to retreat towards Tordesillas
8th French corps (bottom right) are moving left to support the Poles
2nd British corps (centre left) have pinned the Poles
4th British corps (top centre) are moving to attack the Poles 

Wellington is determined to break the Poles before 8th corps can come to their support.   He orders both of his corps to advance and engage 13th corps.

2nd British corps is nearest and must pin the Poles until 4th corps can arrive.  They have lost their artillery and must advance without any support.   Their dragoons charge the French lancers, but lose the melee and retreat shaken.   The highland brigade suffer 800 casualties to skirmish fire.  With the loss of the British cavalry the Polish infantry can deploy into line from square.  They fire on the highlanders who suffer another 100 casualties.   They make their morale, but retire shaken.

4th British corps has further to advance.   The rifle brigade is leading the column and advance to engage the Polish artillery.  In doing so they suffer 800 casualties, but continue to press their attack.   The Polish lancers charge the hussar brigade, who lose the melee and retire shaken.

Wellington has suffered heavy casualties in pressing home his attack.  If he can not break the Poles before 8th French corps arrive he will have to call off the attack.

With both of his corps in contact, Wellington orders them to Attack.   This is more aggressive than Engage.  The infantry will close with the enemy and melee.

4th corps (top) charge the artillery.  The rifle brigade has already suffered 800 casualties, but they rout the gunners.  The nearby square retires with cavalry support to cover the retreat

2nd corps (bottom) have already lost their leading brigade, the highlanders.   The Portuguese brigade advance to take their place against the two Polish brigades in line.   When the gunners rout the nearest infantry brigade go with them.   4th Polish brigade is left to face the two brigade attack, and suffer the consequences.   They receive 2400 casualties, three quarters of their strength.   The broken survivors join the Polish rout.  

The 13th Polish corps is broken, it has lost 2600 casualties and 6 guns.  Two infantry brigades and all of the remaining gunners are in rout.   Fortunately there is one infantry brigade and the Polish cavalry to cover the rout.   And 8th corps has escaped any casualties.

Wellington has scored a significant victory.

The French have lost 2600 casualties, 3 guns and three brigades in rout
The British have lost 1200 casualties and one brigade is shaken.

No comments:

Post a Comment