This was a 3 days battle. Pictures for day 1 and day 2 below. I have no idea what happened on day 3!
Two Spanish Corps were to defend 3 villages against 3 French Corps. The Spanish were pre-deployed while the French had three narrow ravines to enter through which made initial deployment difficult.
|Spanish troops waiting for the French to arrive.|
|The stream protecting the Spanish left flank.|
|Spanish right flank.|
The French game plan was to use the cavalry they had available to their greatest advantage, in the centre/right. The French left and centre was wooded and offered less opportunity to attack across a broad front.
Initial French deployment of their artillery was a disaster when we found out that artillery could not fire over the heads of their own men unless from hill to hill. Several batteries simply had to limber up and move on.
|The French Dragoon Div swings into the centre and clears |
the way for the French assault in the middle.
|French left….better organised!|
|French centre left. These brigades had plenty of light infantry|
but clearing the forward woods was not an easy task.
|French re-enforcements (another Corps) on the right flank came on, |
but clearing the Spanish of the stream would only
be achieved once artillery was brought into play.
|Spanish cavalry continue to pose a threat. This brigade performed well beyond|
the call of duty and was a thorn in the side for the French commander.
|French cavalry break into the open in the centre|
and effectively split the Spanish in two.
|French progress on the left was hindered by the lack of cavalry. Plenty of infantry|
but without the Dragoon Div (pinched to spearhead the assault in the centre)
to cover their advance, this was going to be difficult.
The British finally appeared on the Spanish right rear but by then the Spanish centre had already been smashed and the Spanish left was being sandwiched between the French assault in the centre and the French Corps which was now making progress across the stream.
|Spanish fall back from the stream as the French infantry prepare to cross.|
|French infantry begin to cross the stream, supported by two batteries of artillery.|
|One unit of Spanish held the village on their left flank until close of play|
on Day 2 but it would not be long before that unit would be surrounded.
|The right hand Spanish Corps flees the battle but British infantry try to plug the gap. British cavalry can be seen heading round the rear of the village where they were met and pushed back by French Dragoons.|
|Cat and mouse action on the French left with Spanish cavalry. |
British infantry move to restore order.
By the end of Day 2, half the Spanish ceased to exist. British re-enforcements were able to hold the line on the Spanish right but the Spanish in that sector had already been able to largely hold their own. The problem lay in the centre and the Spanish Corps now cut off and slowly being reduced in size and capability.
The French ought to have done better against the Spanish. Had the British come on earlier and appeared in the sector where they were most needed (in the middle) then the Allies may well have produced a win. But since I was not present on day 3 I have no idea whether the French did indeed win or if more British were to appear and save the day.