Saturday, October 27, 2012

Final Preparations

2000 18th August 1813

Wellington consulted his maps at his headquarters in Valladolid and read the latest reports from his three corps commanders.   During the previous week he had visited each of them to explain the overall plan and their role in it.   Each division has received reinforcements to bring them up to their full strength.   Every man has five days supplies.   He is confident that he  has done all that he can to prepare his army for the next phase of the campaign to drive the French from Spain.   Now the corps commanders must play their part.

80 miles away Marshal Soult sat in the castle of Burgos and considered the daily reports from his three corps commanders.   Following the loss of Valladolid one month earlier he had deployed his army to hold the strategic city of Burgos and secure his communications with France.   He was also well positioned to advance on Madrid again after he has defeated Wellington.   This time he knew the approximate location of the Anglo-Spanish army and their intentions were clear – they must capture Burgos.   Unlike the earlier campaign this time he is ready and his divisions are well deployed.   His agents report that half of Wellington’s army is composed of Portuguese or Spanish.   True the Spanish guerrillas are more active than at any time in the past, but they pose no real military threat.   His army have also received reinforcement  and are now at full strength.   It was true that only half of them were French, and more of those conscripts than he would have wished.   But his corps commanders were experienced and proven commanders.   He was confident that within a month the English would once more be retreating to Portugal as they had done the previous year.

Meanwhile the six corps commanders drafted their final orders for 19th August 1813.

The Burgos campaign is about to commence.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Allied Order of Battle

Commander in Chief              Lord Wellington         Gifted Commander

 1st Allied Corps
Corps Commander                 General Hill                Average Commander
1st British Division                    General Howard            Average Commander
2nd Spanish Division                 General Giron                Poor Commander

2nd Allied Corps
Corps Commander                 General Graham        Average Commander
2nd British Division                   General Packenham       Average Commander
1st Spanish Division                  General Espana             Poor Commander

3rd Allied Corps
Corps Commander                 General Cole              Average Commander
3rd British Division                    General Picton              Average Commander
4th British (Light) Division         General Alten                Average Commander

French Order of Battle

Commander in Chief              Marshal Soult             Gifted Commander

6th French Corps

Corps Commander             General Laval           Average Commander
3rd French Division               General Sarrut            Average Commander
16th Italian Division                General Maransin        Poor Commander 

7th French Corps

Corps Commander              General Villante        Average Commander
6th French Division                 General Cassange        Average Commander
14th Westphalian Division        General Lefol              Poor Commander

8th French Corps

Corps Commander              General Conroux    Average Commander
7th French Division                 General Darmagnac   Average Commander
15th Vistula Division               General Chasse          Poor Commander