10 March 2013
13th Polish corps occupied Torrijos, 16th Italian corps
Spanish corps routed from Torrijos routed towards Albareal
Spanish garrison of Torrijos because the first guerrilla band
Battle of Mocejon –
Italians were always going to win the battle of Mocejon
town was held by a weak corps of only three brigades and artillery
Italians had a full corps of four brigades of infantry, cavalry and artillery
were also reinforced by an infantry brigade from the reserve
brigade was to garrison Mocejon after the town was taken.
Italians had more open space to deploy than the Poles at Torrijos
deployed their cavalry on the left, to pin the Spanish artillery
own artillery was in the centre, and all of the infantry on their right
no Spanish cavalry their gunners did not need infantry support.
Italian artillery moved into close range of the walled town
came under fire from the Spanish artillery, and lost 10% casualties
this they continued to bombard the right section of the town
the infantry neared the town the cavalry advanced to charge the Spanish guns
received 10% casualties, which caused them to halt in disorder
they could withdraw the Spanish artillery fired again.
cavalry lost another 10% casualties and withdrew in disorder
two infantry brigades closed with the two Spanish brigades outside the
town. Both Spanish brigades were low
quality conscripts, but so also was one of the Italian brigades. The melee went on for two phases, with the
Spanish running away with 30% casualities on each brigade. However the Italians also lost 10% on each
military holding the right side of Mocejon had already received 20% casualties
from the artillery. The remaining two
Italian brigades were sent to attack the town, with the attached infantry
brigade in reserve. Once more it took
two phases for the attackers to force their way in. The military were routed with a total of 40%
casualties, but the two Italian brigades also received 10% casualties each.
Italian commander I had made a serious mistake in planning the attack. I knew the walled town would be difficult to
take, and I wanted all of the infantry to be available for the attack. All five brigades were on the right, leaving
only the cavalry to take care of the Spanish gunners. I was confident that the full strength hussar
brigade could do so.
it was a bit of a shock when they had to withdraw with 20% casualties just as
the infantry attack went in. The
Spanish gunners received no casualties, and were now able to fire on the
infantry as they started their attack.
It would take too long to send the reserve infantry brigade to attack the
gunners, and it was very likely they would also be repulsed with heavy
casualties. By now the hussars had
rallied, so they were sent in for a second attempt to take the guns. The Spanish gunners fire again, and caused
another 10% casualties. The hussars
routed with 30% casualties.
now it was nightfall. The Italians had
broken into the right hand section of the town. Three Spanish brigades were in rout. But the fourth brigade still held half of
the town. And their artillery was full
strength. Despite this they would not
be able to withstand a further day of fighting, so they withdrew under cover of
Italians had taken the town, but at a great cost. They suffered 2000 casualties to the 4000
Spanish casualties. But they were spread
over all six Italian brigades. The
artillery and each infantry brigade has 10% casualties. The cavalry 30% casualties. All of the Spanish casualties were spread
between three infantry brigades.
time all of the Spanish casualties, less 10% per brigade, would be
replaced. However the Italians would
only receive 20% of their cavalry casualties.
The rest would remain.
brigades of 16th Italian corps would be weakened for the remainder
of the campaign. Half of their infantry
started the campaign no better than the Spanish conscripts. They would now be weaker than a full strength
Spanish brigade. Their gunners would
also be less effective.
was a serious, and unexpected, setback so early in the campaign.