Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Sunday 27 March 2016

Peninsular War Campaign Summary - end of March 1809

Situation at the end of March 1809:

Summary of Events:

Portugal: The main focus of events was on the Imperial pursuit of Wellington and his Spanish allies into Portugal along the North bank of the Tagus.  By dint of very hard marching and the acceptance of high levels of sickness and desertion, the French were able to catch the two Spanish armies and inflict great losses upon them at Zereira.  Wellington was unable to reach his Allies in time and knowing that the Spanish must collapse and surrender if caught again, concentrated his forces around Abrantes.  Joseph, despite the dire supply situation, continued the pursuit and the two armies fought a huge battle, with the Allies achieving the victory in the end, as Wellesley made use of his "rear slope" deployment to shelter from the French artillery then launched a counter-attack, which proved decisive.  The French were forced to quickly withdraw to the Spanish side of the border around Coria, whilst Joseph quickly called forward a few uncommitted divisions to bolster his battered army.
At the end of the month, the Anglo-Spanish fleet re-deployed Cervellon's Army of Valencia back to Cadiz, ready to re-fit after being reduced to the size of a weak division only (many of the remaining troops were transferred into the Army of Andalusia instead, which is still in Lisbon).

Galicia & Leon: Mahy kept a safe distance away from Soult until news of Abrantes reached both sides, when Soult withdrew to Zamora, with the intention of being able to support Astorga or provide a rallying point for Joseph, if this should be necessary.

Catalonia & Aragon: Junot maintained his recent run of successes by defeating the combined armies of Cuesta and Palacio at Amposta in which Palacio was killed and subsequently replaced by General Sarsfield.  In order to save the structure of the armies, the Anglo-Spanish navies transported both Sarsfield's and Cuesta's armies to Cadiz, whilst leaving strong detachments to garrison Tortosa and Tarragona.  St-Cyr has moved into the area too, preparing for a French advance down towards Valencia in the near future.  Unfortunately for him, his attempted coup de main at Tarragona was unsuccessful.  Napoleon, pleased with Junot's recent performance has informed him "he will find his baton in Tortosa and Tarragona".

Andalusia: Elio has finished concentrating 25,000 men and has begun to march northwards towards Madrid (which is still in Spanish hands, as the Imperials have not actually been able to spare any troops to occupy it yet.

Orders of Battle

Note just how many of the forces have been severely mauled in the last couple of months.

Imperial Forces:

VIII Corps (Junot): 3000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 24 Guns at Tortosa
Travot's Div: 5000 Infantry at Tarragona

II Corps (Soult): 20000 Infantry, 4000 Cavalry, 24 Guns at Zamora

Army of Spain (Joseph): 11000 Infantry, 14000 Cavalry at Coria and west of Coria
Merlin's Bde: 1000 Cavalry at Pamplona

I Corps (Suchet): 8000 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 36 Guns, west of Coria

IV Corps (Lefebvre): 3000 Infantry, 12 Guns, west of Coria

III Corps (Moncey): 2000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 36 Guns, west of Coria

VI Corps (Ney): 13000 Infantry, 36 Guns

V Corps (Mortier): 9000 Infantry, 36 Guns

VII Corps (St-Cyr): 17000 Infantry, 2000 Cavalry, 36 Guns
Souham's Div: 6000 Infantry
Chabot's Div: 3000 Infantry

Perpignan: 13000 Infantry
Barcelona: 1000 Infantry
Gerona: 1000 Infantry
Figueras: 3000 Infantry
Bayonne: 5000 Infantry
Valladolid: 5000 Infantry
San Sebastian: 2000 Infantry
Pamplona: 4000 Infantry
Astorga: 2000 Infantry
Burgos: 2000 Infantry
Tudela: 1000 Infantry
Zaragoza: 7000 Infantry

 Spanish Forces:

IV Army (Elio): 20000 Infantry, 4000 Cavalry, 12 Guns, SW of Valdepenas

Army of Andalusia (Castanos): 8000 Infantry, 2000 Cavalry, 12 Guns in Lisbon

Army of the Centre (Cuesta): 5000 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 12 Guns in Huelva

Army of Galicia (Mahy): 29000 Infantry, 24 Guns in Ponferrada

Army of Valencia (Cervellon): 3000 Infantry, 24 Guns in Cadiz
Adorno's Division: 1000 Infantry in Lisbon

Army of Catalonia (Sarsfield): 3000 Infantry, 12 Guns in Cadiz

Cadiz: 8000 Infantry
Seville: 6000 Infantry
Malaga: 2000 Infantry
Granada: 1000 Infantry
Ciudad Rodrigo: 2000 Infantry
Badajoz: 6000 Infantry
Coruna: 2000 Infantry
Cartagena: 4000 Infantry
Murcia: 2000 Infantry
Valenica: 1000 Infantry
Tarragona: 4000 Infantry
Hostalrich: 3000 Infantry
Tortosa: 3000 Infantry

Anglo-Portuguese Forces:

The British Army (Wellington): 40000 Infantry, 4000 Cavalry, 96 Guns at Abrantes
Hamilton's Div: 2000 Infantry at Lisbon

Gibraltar: 6000 Infantry
Almeida: 1000 Infantry

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