Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Campaign Move 27

2000 27th August 1813

After a hard days fighting General Leval was forced to retreat east.

Leval had deployed his two divisions, less one brigade in Pancorbo, just west of the town.  

General Hill attacked at first light with 1st British division.  However he had to halt for four hours to await the arrival of 2nd Spanish division.   During this period he had to endure artillery fire from the French guns which had a longer range than his own.

By lunchtime General Giron was in position, and Hill ordered both of his divisions to attack.

The British had suffered casualties during the morning, and were unable to press home their attack on 3rd French division.   Both divisions suffered heavy casualties, and the British withdrew as night approached.

Giron’s division were to provide the surprise of the day.   The Spanish advanced in column of attack against 16th Italian division.   The latter were short of one brigade, but were better quality troops. 

Giron ordered his lancer brigade to charge the Italian hussars, and the resulting melee ended in an unexpected Spanish victory.    The Italian artillery was posted on their right flank, to support 3rd French division.   The Spanish attack was aimed at their left flank.   The loss of their cavalry forced the infantry to form square against the enemy lancers.

As evening approached the Spanish infantry closed with the Italian squares.   Hill ordered Giron to attack rather than engage.   This meant that the Spanish infantry charged and broke the squares.

Leval ordered a general retreat towards Pancorbo.   Only nightfall saved his broken Italian division from destruction.   The loss of four hours in the morning, waiting for the Spanish to arrive, robbed Hill of total victory.

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