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Monday, May 1, 2017

17 June 1813 – Summary of Campaign in Central Spain



Battles fought in Central Spain


Campaign History
By the end of January most of the experienced French troops had been withdrawn from Spain to form the new Grand Army in Germany.   On 1 February 1813 Marshal Suchet was given command of all the remaining troops in Southern Spain.  He was ordered to abandon Seville and withdraw all the scattered garrisons to Madrid.

General Giron commanded all Spanish troops south of Madrid.   As the French withdrew he ordered his army to concentrate at Badajoz.  It took two weeks for them to do so.   He ordered an immediate advance on Madrid

On 28 February 1813 the Spanish Army reached Merida.   Their slow march allowed the Suchet to reorganize his Army and to march them west to meet the Spanish.   As the Spanish entered Merida, his army arrived at Almarez. 

5 March 1813 – Almarez Campaign.  Marshal Suchet opened the campaign by defeating the Spanish at Almarez and followed that by a second victory at Naval Moral.   The Spanish regrouped and countered by winning at Serrejon and Almarez.  Suchet retreated towards Madrid, allowing Giron to claim a Spanish campaign victory.

18 March 1813 – Talavera Campaign.   The Spanish dominated this campaign, winning both battles at Talavera and a draw at Las Vantas.    The campaign ended in a draw with the Armistice.

5 April 1813 – Armistice.   Despite their run of victories the Spanish Army had  dispersed due to battle casualties and lack of supplies.   They accepted the cease fire in order to reorganise their field army.   It was agreed that the Spanish would concentrate at Aranjuez and the French retreat to Toledo.

12 April 1813 – Toledo Campaign.   The French advance was relentless and the Spanish could do little to delay it.   The guerrilla bands caused some problems for the lines of communication and supply, and even captured two garrisons.   But Suchet ignored his lack of supplies and attacked Moncejon.   The Spanish army was broken and retreated.

4 June 1813 – Cuidad Real Campaign.   The Spanish were deployed north of the river Guadiana, with their main supply base in Cuidad Real just south of that river.   The French advanced over a wide area to prevent the Spanish from retreating and concentrating all of their army south of the river.   The French won the first two battles, but lost the third.  The Spanish retreated south of the river.   Despite long supply lines under attack from guerrilla bands, Suchet ordered his army to attack the defended river line.  He won the fourth battle and the campaign.   Once more the Spanish army was forced to retreat.

Reference
The campaign diary contains comprehensive details of the whole campaign.   The labels on the right are an index to various parts of the campaign.

01 - introduction to the 1813 campaign
02 - the five campaign areas
50 - introduction to the campaign in Central Spain
53 - daily diary for the campaign in Central Spain
54 - battle reports of all battles fought in Central Spain

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