Sunday, 26 June 2022

Llanes Campaign – Day 8

18 May 1813 – North Spain – Day 8

Soult orders reorganisation and resupply

10th army hold Torrelavega

11th army reorganise and resupply

12th army occupy Aguilar


Wellington orders 4th Spanish retreat to Llanes district

1st army occupy Comillas

4th army retreat to Cabezon

2nd army retreat to Camon



Wellington is concerned that 4th Spanish army is isolated and surrounded at Reinosa

He orders them to retire to Cabezon in Llanes district


He is unaware that 11th French army is in no condition to undertake any offensive operations

In fact all three French armies are suffering supply problems and have considerable battle casualties


The retreat of the French armies into Santander district has eased their supply problems

Spanish guerrillas are not allowed to attack if there is a French corps in an adjacent square

However earlier guerrilla success has left all depots short of supplies.


The campaign rules state that each corps can have a maximum of four days supplies

For six corps this is a total of 24 days supplies.

In addition the combined depots must carry another 6 days supplies, making a total of 30 days

If the total of both corps and depots is less than 30 days, the balance is delivered to the main depot

For the French army this is Santander.

At present each depot holds only one day’s supplies, with Santander holding 14 days


To resupply a corps must be within one days march (three squares) of a depot

You will see from the map that only 21st corps is within three squares of Santander

To resupply the other five corps must either move closer to Santander

Or supplies must be moved from Santander to an appropriate depot


You will also see from the map that 7 and 8 guerrilla brigades are close to Santander

They can attack any convoy moving to either Torrelavega or Medina


19th corps has four days supplies and 20th corps three days

21st corps has two days supplies and 22nd corps also two days

23rd corps has only one day’s supplies and 24th corps also one day


It is easy to see why Wellington thinks that 4th Spanish army is in great danger

But in face Soult’s army is in danger of a complete breakdown of supplies

This would lead to each corps losing 10% of one brigade each day they are out of supply

To avoid this Soult would have to order a redeployment of all six corps to within one day’s march of Santander


Clearly the campaign has run its course

The French have failed to take and hold the campaign objective of Llanes

Consequently Wellington has won the Llanes campaign phase.


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    I’m not surprised at this result, as both sides seem to have fought and manoeuvred each other into a stalemate position. Wellington may appear to have been a bit too cautious in not ignoring the weakness of 4th Spanish Army and pushing on, but with the French falling back along their lines of supply to Santander, it could easily ended up with a battle that would have done the Allies cause harm.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comment

    The campaign has simply run out of steam. It would have taken three or four campaign days to regroup and organise the supply. Even then the French would have no chance of achieving the campaign objective of taking Llanes.

    This was a very frustrating campaign, because the Spanish performed so well and the French proved unable to take advantage of their early opportunities.

    But as always I learned much more from a campaign that went badly than I would have from one which went according to plan.

    Usually this results in an amendment to either the campaign or wargames rules. Not in this case, because both worked well throughout. It was simply better than average luck for the Spanish, and worse than average for the French.

    In fact this proved to me how well the rules work even when things go wrong.




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