My Blog List

Thursday, September 1, 2016

10 May 1813 – Battle of Valladolid – Day Two

Tactical map of battle area
Both armies suffered heavy casualties during the fighting on 9 May.  
At nightfall the French still hold Valladolid
The French have lost 4100 casualties and 18 guns plus 7 brigades in rout
The British have lost 3800 casualties and 6 guns plus 4 brigades in rout
But Wellington is determined to take the city and defeat Soult
He orders his army to reorganise and attack again at first light
Soult orders his army to regroup around the city
2nd British corps has only one brigade left, which is attached to 1st corps
8th French corps has only one brigade left, which is attached to 13th corps
The French have lost 4100 casualties and 18 guns plus 7 brigades in rout
The British have lost 3800 casualties and 6 guns plus 4 brigades in rout
All brigades with light casualties have rallied
The remainder will not take part in the battle.
The British start the battle with 38800 infantry, 2000 cavalry and 86 guns
The French start the battle with 43600 infantry, 2900 cavalry but no artillery
Table at start of wargame
All corps start the game on the table
British (left) have orders to attack
French (right) have orders to hold
53 and 55 French infantry brigades are the city garrison.

The battle starts badly for Wellington
The British advantage is that they have 3 artillery batteries, and the French none
The French advantage is more cavalry and infantry, but no artillery
As the British advance the French cavalry deploy and charge the artillery
The British cavalry fail to counter charge
Two of the three British batteries are routed and out of the battle
Worse still, the French cavalry return to their own lines without casualties
Only one French brigade is engaged by British cavalry (top)
The initial melee is inconclusive and the engagement continues.
The remainder of the French cavalry have rejoined their corps
The British advance, but without artillery support they have a difficult task to win.

1st British corps (top) advance to deploy their artillery within range.
They concentrate on one brigade, who lose 20% casualties but hold their ground

4th British corps (centre) have lost their artillery
Their cavalry screen the advance
7th French cavalry charge and rout the British hussars
But the infantry form square and continue their advance

3rd British corps (bottom) have also lost their artillery
Their dragoon brigade charge the French hussars
But they lose the melee and retire shaken
The advance is halted whilst the cavalry are rallied
They then take position on the high ground to the left of the corps

Wellington orders 1st corps (top) to press home their attack.  They break the shaken infantry, but are counter attacked by French dragoons.   The four infantry brigades fight off the single cavalry brigade and continue their advance.   7th French corps is broken and retreat.

4th British corps (centre) have less success.   The break two Polish infantry brigades, but are forced into square by the lancer brigade.   Despite this 13th Polish corps are forced to retire when 7th corps break and run.

3rd British corps (bottom) abandon their attack.   They lost their artillery in the early stages of the attack, and their dragoon brigade are routed by the Italian hussars.   Without cavalry or artillery support they are forced to form square to hold their position.

French Rout
1st British corps (left) press home their attack.   Three French infantry brigades are in rout (white stars).   The French dragoon brigade has withdrawn shaken.

4th British corps (right) have broken two Polish infantry brigades (white stars).   But the Polish lancers have forced the right hand rifle brigade into square, and there is insufficient space for the British hussars to engage them.    The British gunners are screened by the infantry advance.

At nightfall the French still hold Valladolid, but both 7th and 13th corps have lost five of their six infantry brigades and must retreat.  

Although Wellington has won the battle, he has not fought a good battle (too many low dice at the wrong time. He has suffered particularly heavy gunner casualties, and only one third of his guns are in action at the end of the battle.   He has also lost one of his three cavalry brigades.

Soult started the battle at a serious disadvantage.  Although stronger in numbers than the British, he had no artillery at all.   However his cavalry routed two thirds of the British guns before they could do any damage.   They continued to hold their own against the British cavalry throughout the battle.

At nightfall Soult still held Valladolid, and one of his three corps had held their ground.   But the other two corps were badly damaged and one had routed. 

British have lost 2900 casualties and 56 guns, they have three brigades in rout
French have lost 6200 casualties and have five brigades in rout

No comments:

Post a Comment