Saturday, March 9, 2013

Campaign Move 36

2000 30th August 1813

General Hill has spent two days resting and resupplying his battered 1st British division since their hard fought battle at Pancorbo on 27th August.

Immediately after the battle 6th French corps abandoned the town and withdrew north towards Bayonne.   Hill responded by ordering Giron to occupy Pancorbo with his 2nd Spanish division.

His British division had taken most of the casualties during the battle, and three of his four infantry brigades were still suffering 20% casualties.   Despite this he ordered Packenham to advance his division towards 6th French corps.

Packenham sent his cavalry to probe the French defences and to do so on Attack orders.   In doing so they came under artillery fire and were forced to fall back with 10% casualties.

The remainder of the division was on Move orders.   As soon as they made contact with the nearest French division they withdrew.

1st British division spent a pointless day moving towards the enemy and withdrawing due to their cautious orders.   Their cavalry were ordered to attack, but without infantry or artillery support were unable to do so.   In addition by this pointless manoeuvre the division lost the opportunity to gain some much needed reinforcements.

As night fell an angry Packenham reported to his corps commander that his division still occupied the same position as they had the previous night.

Neither were aware that morning would bring a determined French attack on Pancorbo for which 2nd Allied corps was ill prepared.

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