28 March 1813 – Northern Spain – Day 6
Encouraged by his victory at Palencia, Wellington is determined to keep up the pressure on the French. He orders 5th and 6th corps to occupy Arevalo. 1st and 4th corps are ordered to attack Valladolid.
The French supply system is now in tatters. Four corps are in retreat, and the other two under attack. They have had to abandon their depots at Arevalo and Palencia.
Three of the six French corps will be out of supply by nightfall. A further two will have one days supplies left. One corps is already out of supply and has lost 400 infantry to attrition.
The French retreat will bring them within range of their rear depots, and this will greatly ease the supply problem. But to resupply, and to reorganise, they must avoid any further contact with the enemy for at least 24 hours.
It is essential that the French win the battle at Valladolid. If they do so it will slow Wellington’s advance and allow the shattered corps to regroup and resupply.
Second battle of Valladolid
Soult held the city with two infantry brigades. 8th French corps were deployed to the right of the city, 16th Italian corps to the right.
Wellington opened the battle with an attack on 16th Italian corps. Having lost their artillery and cavalry the Italian infantry retreated into Valladolid.
The British then attacked 8th corps, who put up a determined defence. After a cavalry melee and artillery preparation Wellington ordered his infantry to attack. After a prolonged melee the French broke at nightfall.
Soult held Valladolid at the end of the battle. However the British now heavily outnumbered him, and at daybreak they could concentrate their artillery close to the city and batter him into submission.
Under cover of darkness the French abandoned the city.
This was a very enjoyable wargame, and one that was only decided at nightfall (end of move 12).
It opened with two cavalry melee. The British won both, but lost so many casualties that their cavalry were no longer of any use for the remainder of the game.
Artillery on both sides were effective, though the French guns were captured
The outcome was decided by an extensive infantry melee. On the left one French brigade still held at nightfall. But the rest of 8th corps were in rout. On the right 16th corps held the city. But two of the four brigades were shaken.
The French could claim victory because they held Valladolid at the end of the battle. However without any artillery or cavalry, and heavily outnumbered in infantry, they would be eventually have to retreat. To avoid this the French retreated during the hours of darkness.
Great game which we both really enjoyed.