Peninsular Campaign Summary - November 1808
Andalusia and New Castile:
Elio and Cuesta continued their recruitment operations, Cuesta building a base around Cadiz whilst Elio concentrated around Granada. There is an absolute limit on how many Spanish divisions can be supported at any one time - and a limit of how many troops a single division can contain - so the plan is for divisions destroyed in the North to be rebuilt as part of these two armies in the South. Only La Pena's division of the Army of Andalusia remained in New Castile, in the vicinity of Toledo, basically supply-gathering to sustain Castanos pursuit of Moncey into Leon.
Leon and Castile:
Napoleon, clearly unhappy that Bessieres was taking so long to destroy the Army of Galicia, replaced Bessieres with Marshal Soult at the head of the II Corps. After concentrating his forces and preparing his base, he struck westwards at Astorga and defeated Mahy in a particularly grim struggle, which cost the French about 5,000 casualties and two dozen guns, and the Spanish twice that. Mahy has withdrawn towards the Galician mountains, leaving Soult to blockade the 6,000 Spaniards garrisoning Astorga.
Moncey escaped Castanos and Cervellon, and was then joined by Lefebevre's and Victor's Corps around Valladolid. Clumsy supply and command arrangements kept hindering the Spanish pursuit and the two armies are now concentrated around Avila. However, they have been joined in the area by Moore, who has marched via Bejar to reinforce them.
France and Navarre:
Napoleon and the Imperial Guard, Ney's VI Corps and Mortier's V Corps have entered Spain and are marching towards Burgos, with elements spread from Miranda to Pamplona.
St-Cyr, having replaced Duhesme and watched Palacio retreat to Tarragona, has concentrated his efforts on properly organising the campaign in Catalonia. To that end, the Spanish garrisons in Rosas, Gerona and Hostalrich have been blockaded whilst the Neapolitan division has accompanied a newly-created siege train to Rosas, in readiness for tackling the fortresses
Quiet, no action.
Quiet, no action.
A good month for the French, with II Corps in unmistakeable ascendancy over the Army of Galicia, whilst the future looks even brighter as the French reinforcements pile in to Spain. St-Cyr is well set to begin the reduction of the troublesome fortresses in Catalonia next month. However, the union of the Spanish armies of Castanos and Cervellon with the British Army under Sir John Moore mean that the Allies are in possession of one large and effective strike force. The big question will be how the Allies employ it before the remaining French forces pass Burgos.