Sunday 28 April 2019

Albacete Campaign – Day 7

Campaign Map on 14 September 1813

The guerrilla actions have reversed the Spanish defeats
They have severely disrupted the whole French lines of supply
They have also captured the vital supply column.
Giron orders the Spanish field army to hold their positions and resupply

Suchet orders his three corps to attack Molina

The French win the battle of Molina and the Spanish retreat south
Move 6 Battle of Molina
On the left the Italians attack the Spanish held hill
The Spanish infantry is posted out of sight behind the crest
The Italians suffer as they approach, and their cavalry rout
When the infantry reach the crest and Spanish infantry must test morale
All three Spanish infantry brigades fail and rout

The strongest French corps is in the centre.
They screen the village and move to engage 3rd Spanish corps
Their artillery opens fire on the village and rout the garrison
Their cavalry charge and rout 2nd corps artillery

On the right the Poles advance between the Spanish held hill and the village
The Spanish infantry are out of sight behind the crest of the hill
As the Poles advance between them and the village they retereat

The white stars on the map indicate brigades in rout
There are seven Spanish brigades and one French brigade
The French win the battle

Campaign Notes
 Suchet is faced with two desperate options

One he can retreat.   With his lines of supply is chaos he will face serious supply problems.   But he can re-establish his depots and supply services.   He will however have to abandon all of his achievements in the campaign to date.  

Two he can attack and hope to quickly defeat the main Spanish Army.  If he is successful he will suffer slight attrition problems, but will have won the campaign.   If he fails he runs the risk of losing his whole army.

He decides to attack.

The Spanish deploy their infantry on the reverse slopes of the two hills.
This protects them from the French artillery.
However they must test their morale when the enemy reach the crest

Each brigade rolls 1D6

Plus 1 for British or class A
Minus 1 for class C
Minus 1 for each casualty

1 – Rout
2 – Shaken
3 – Disordered
4/5/6 - OK

It will be noted that this type of deployment should not be attempted with poor troops
And is particularly risky if they also have casualties

In this case the Spanish gunners passed the test, but all three infantry brigades routed

This led directly to the Spanish losing the battle.

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Albacete Campaign – Day 6

Campaign Map on 13 September 1813
Suchet has two major concerns

First his lines of supply are under attack, and his army is running short of supplies
Second he is facing the main Spanish army and his own is too widespread

He orders 15th and 16th corps to join him at Hellin
But each will leave one infantry brigade to garrison Riopar and Elda

Despite the danger of active guerrilla bands he must move his supplies
The main depot at Albacete is ordered to send 4 days supplies to Hellin

Giron also has resupply problems
The Spanish are always short of supplies
This makes it difficult for them to concentrate to fight

Although he outnumbers 7th corps at Hellin, Giron delays an attack
He orders 3rd and 4th corps to join him south of Hellin
When his army is concentrated he will attack if the French do not do so first

5 militia (now guerrilla) brigade move towards Albacete
In doing so they find, and attack, the French supply column moving to Hellin.
They capture the supplies and the escort suffer 10% casualties

1 militia (now guerrilla) brigade continue their attack on Manzanares
They lose 30% casualties and are destroyed

3 militia (now guerrilla) brigade continue their attack on Almansa
The garrison hold, but lose 10% casualties.
Guerrilla out of supplies and retreat

Campaign Notes
Suchet is now aware that he is facing the concentrated Spanish army.
He is heavily outnumbered, and they clearly not going to attack him.
Reports arrive of guerrilla attacks on his rear bases
But worse of all he is running short of supplies

Despite the threat from the guerrillas he must move supplies south
He orders his main depot at Albacete to send a convoy to Hellin

He also orders15th and 16th corps to join 7th corps at Hellin
Each will leave one brigade at Riopar and Elda to collect supplies
His supply convoy is attacked and captured by a guerrilla brigade

To determine the outcome of the attack 1D6 is rolled

01       Guerrilla rout with 30% casualties
02       Guerrilla rout with 20% casualties
03       Guerrilla rout with 10% casualties
04       Guerrilla capture supplies, escort no casualties
05       Guerrilla capture supplies, escort 10% casualties
06       Guerrilla capture supplies, escort 20% casualties

The Spanish roll a dice and get a total of five
They have captured the convoy and routed the escort with 10% casualties

Suchet is now faced with two options – both bad
One he can retreat and abandon all the gains of his campaign to date
Two he can abandon his lines of supply and attack the much stronger Spanish army