Saturday, December 1, 2012

Battle of Aguillar – 22nd August 1813

Tactical Map at start of battle

1st British division have orders to attack Aguillar
2nd Spanish division have orders to attack Aguillar
3rd French division have orders to attack British division
16th Italian division have orders to attack British division
Table at start of battle

Aguillar is town centre right
Road on right leads to Pancorbo
Road left leads to Sahagun
Road top leads to north coast
Road south leads to Burgos

1st British division is moving through pass centre left
2nd Spanish division will arrive behind them at start of move 5
6th French corps is in column of attack centre right

16th Italian division will arrive on Pancorbo road start of move 1
                                                              1st British Division

General Howard marching through pass towards Aguillar
General Hill on hill to left of pass
                                                                3rd French Division

General Sarrut has deployed his division in front of Aguillar in column of attack
General Leval to left of division
Move 1 – 0800 to 0900

British sight French, halt and deploy at entrance to pass
3rd French division advance in column of attack towards British
16th Italian division advance in column of march around Aguillar
Move 2 – 0900 to 1000

British cavalry hold French cavalry
Remainder of British division deploy to hold pass
French artillery fire on square and cause light casualties
French infantry deploy to attack
Italian division continue to advance to right of French division

 Move 3 – 1000 to 1100

British cavalry charge French cavalry, lose melee and retire shaken
British artillery fire on French infantry but fail to cause any casualties
French infantry advance and screen their own artillery

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200

French cavalry charge shaken British hussars
Receive casualties from nearby British square and retire shaken
French gunners manhandle guns forward to fire on British infantry
French infantry on left flank advance to engage British line
Italian cavalry join French cavalry to threaten British left flank

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300

French infantry win skirmish against British right flank, leaving one brigade shaken
The British hussars have rallied and moved to threaten the French infantry
On the French right the Italian division is deploying behind the cavalry screen
1st Spanish division are arriving centre left

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400

The Shaken British brigade have broken and are in rout
The Portuguese brigade who are taking their place are also Shaken
The right hand French brigade have formed square to hold off the British hussars
Spanish cavalry and artillery are deployed to cover the deployment

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500

Spanish dragoons charge Westphalian hussars, hussars withdraw shaken
British infantry line in centre advance and engage in firefight with French column
French lose and rout, taking two nearby infantry brigades with them
Shaken Portuguese brigade withdraws behind hussar brigade

Table at end of battle


The collapse of the French centre due to the rout of three infantry brigades forces General Leval to order a general retreat.      He has sufficient cavalry and infantry to cover the retreat.

This French reverse has handed a surprise victory to General Hill.   His cavalry are badly placed to exploit the rout and the Spanish division is still too far away to undertake a pursuit.

Casualties on both sides have been relatively light.   The Allies have lost 400 infantry and one brigade is in rout.   The French have lost 320 infantry and 80 cavalry; they also have three brigades in rout and one shaken.

The result is a minor victory for the Allies

French Rout

The French were very unlucky to lose this battle.  Just before their centre broke and ran they looked like winning.   Their leading infantry column received casualties from British artillery.   The nearest British infantry brigade then advanced in line and engaged in a firefight, which the French lost.   They routed, which caused the nearest French column to test their morale.   Although they had no casualties, they joined the rout.  This in turn forced a nearby Italian infantry brigade to test, they also failed and they also joined the rout.   Within a few minutes the confident French advance in column was broken and in rout.

No comments:

Post a Comment