Thursday 19 November 2020

The Battle of Majadhonda

 Another idea "lifted" from The LittleCorporal blog !

This encounter happened on 11th August 1812 when French forces lead by General de Division Anne-Francois Charles Trelliard pushed through Majadhonda only to find they were facing British & Allied Forces under D'Urban.

Trelliard had four regiments of Dragoons (13th, 18th, 19th & 22nd) at the van, followed by and Allied cavalry brigade lead by General de Brigade Guiseppi Frederico Palombibi comprising the Italiene Napoleone Dragoons & Westphalian Chevau-Leger. Behind them, a small infantry brigade under General de Brigade Chasse (2nd Nassau Infantry & the Spanish La Mancha infantry supported by 2 8 pounder guns.

D'Urban had 3 regiments of Portuguese dragoons up front with 2 6 pounder guns, followed by Colonel de Joncquires 1st & 2nd KGL Heavy Dragoons, in turn supported by Colonel Colin Halkett's 1st & 2nd KGL Light Infantry with 2 6 pounder guns.

Behind the village of Las Rozas, Ponsonby was arriving with 3 regiments of British Heavy Dragoons.

View from behind the French position - they have moved through Majadhonda and discover the Portuguese dragoons facing them

Trelliard decides to order a charge by the French dragoons

The Portuguese cavalry are ordered to counter charge

Forward !

Contact !

The French artillery open fire

and disorder one of the British RHA guns

The Portuguese cavalry break and are pursued in a sweeping advance by the foremost French regiment

Not a good start for D'Urban

But the KGL are made of sterner stuff and they are next

The French withdraw to reorganise

Portuguese cavalry flee through and around Las Rozas

El Murrio the local landlord is not impressed

Ponsonby gets his regiments to pick their way around the village and fields

The 1st KGL Light Infantry are pushed forward in line as the 2nd march between the village and the walled fields. British artillery has unlimbered behind the walls.

Prepare to fire !

The KGL heavy dragoons move forward

Chasse now pushes his infantry forward to the French right, in attack columns

Good shooting by the French sees a second British gun disordered

KGL infantry fire has caused a problem for the French dragoons

Now the French charge the KGL Dragoons

One KGL regiment is forced to retire but it has broken the French dragoons they fought. The other contest continues

Its the French forces fleeing past the houses this time !

Its like a domino effect on the French cavalry, one by one, the Dragoon regiments break

Chasse now has to extend his infantry line to try and cover the gaps left by the cavalry. The Nassau troops manage to keep the enemy at bay with their accurate fire

But now 2nd KGL Light infantry advance in column to support 1st regiment

Both of Chasse's battalions are in line now, despite the threat of enemy cavalry

Palombibi decides he needs to commit his cavalry now and they advance on the right towards Ponsonby's men

The KGL cavalry charge, forcing the Nassau troops into square

The Italian dragoons see the British heavy cavalry crossing the walls and fields

Charge !

Palombibi's men are thrown back disordered

2nd KGL Light infantry charge towards the Nassau square as the cavalry now charge the Spanish infantry

They form square too but these infantry battalions can no longer support each other

The British heavy cavalry now advance upon the Westphalian light cavalry

They are no match for the British heavy cavalry and lose the melee

Indeed, they break despite Palombibi's entreaties

All the French cavalry is now in flight, leaving just the two embattled infantry squares and the guns. Amazingly, the Nassau square has seen off the charge of the 2nd KGL Light infantry. They failed their morale test spectacularly and flee the field !

Chasse orders the infantry squares to back off towards Majadhonda as Trelliard watches the artillery in action

A lull in proceedings. Just the guns firing for now

But the remaining KGL heavy dragoons decide to charge the French guns - is this wise ?

The French fire canister but only get one casualty so the cavalry get through

The French gunners have been cut down and the battery destroyed

All Trelliard can do now is to pull back his surviving infantry through Majadhonda and retreat in square as best he can.

A definite British victory !

Tuesday 10 November 2020

The Battle of Arroyo de Molinas

Spotted this one on The Little Corporal so decided to use it for a lock down battle with Michelle. She chose the British & Allies so I had the French.

 French forces under General Girard are in and around the town of Arroyo de Molinas and British General Roland "Daddy" Hill has been sent to defeat them whilst they are separated from the main French army.

Hill has two British brigades of infantry, (one of four battalions the other of three) a 6 pounder battery, a Portuguese infantry brigade of four battalions, a British Light cavalry brigade (2nd KGL Hussars, 9th Light Dragoons & 13th Light Dragoons) and a small Spanish cavalry brigade under General Morillo (two regiments).

Girard has two infantry brigades, each of three battalions, a 6 pounder battery plus Bron's cavalry brigade comprising 27th Chasseurs a Cheval, 10th Hussars & 20th Dragoons.

The head of the Allied column is just arriving top left corner

Girard has placed three battalions in the town and is ordering the gun battery to come up to the cross roads

Hill is ahead of the Spanish cavalry who lead the Allies onto the battlefield

There is little for them to see from this distance

Morillo decides to head for the fields beside the town on his left

So the British cavalry head for the other side of the town - a pincer movement ?!

Then the first British infantry brigade marches on, headed by 92nd Highlanders

The Spanish cavalry now spy French infantry behind the field walls

Whereas, the British cavalry see nothing at all !

But, lo and behold, a French cavalry brigade appears from behind Arroyo de Molinas

The French gunners manoeuvre their cannon into position

The Spanish cavalry have taken casualties and been disordered by fire from the houses and the infantry behind the wall

There is more than one battalion lurking behind there it seems

The British cavalry cross the corn field heading for the enemy cavalry

Now the Spaniards can see there are three enemy battalions plus gun smoke hanging around some of the windows

The French gun is placed and ready just as the 92nd Highlanders approach the town

Morillo attempts a charge across the field, forcing the French into square

As the First British brigade lines out and heads for the town, a second brigade marches towards where the British cavalry have gone

The First brigade attacks the town but find the first houses empty

Charge ! The British cavalry charge and one enemy cavalry regiment counter charges

The rest of the French cavalry wait and see

Amazingly, the French win hurling back one British regiment and then retiring behind its sister regiments

The British have another go

Meantime, the Scots are getting hit by cannon fire and musket shots from the windows 

A second British cavalry regiment heads back with casualties !

In fact, they both have three casualties so are shaken and that means the brigade is broken - it will have to retreat from the battle field

The French have resumed line and fired again at Morillo's men. These dragoons are now shaken

Here's the British cavalry streaming from the field - this wont please Daddy Hill !

Despite the galling fire, the British infantry charge down the street and assault the French battery

The enemy gunners are all killed so that torment has been dealt with

but the Scots were shaken and disordered so retreat behind the rest of the brigade to lick their wounds

A pause for a selfie !

 Best picture of the day was Michelle's of her cavalry charge (before they left !)

The French cavalry watch the enemy cavalry disappear

The French infantry beyond the town have advanced to counter the threat of approaching enemy infantry

Its the Portuguese who have been sent across to tackle this side of town. Here we see them charge and defeat the regiment opposing them

The French break and leave their sister battalion in the fields with a hanging flank

The British first brigade are now ordered to charge the occupied houses in the town

The first one is El Murrio's tavern - and he's not happy !

The lead battalion of the British second brigade has now entered the fields which last saw the rout of the British cavalry

The rest of the brigade advances towards the church

a furious fight develops in the town

 but the First Brigade has lost half their number and fall back

The French, right of town, having seen one unit break, have retired behind the vineyards as the Portuguese press on and attack the town

but they meet stubborn defence and one by one the Portuguese battalions retire shaken. The assault fails.

T'other side of town, the British second brigade has charged the French column beside the church

With rear support, the British win

and the French battalion flees - that brigade has now broken
but the British first brigade commander sees his men turn and flee from the town too

The British Second Brigade tried a charge against the house behind the church but loses too many men and the lead battalion broke taking the supports with it. At this point, Morillo's Spanish cavalry appeared on this side of the battlefield, charged and broke from melee with the French cavalry. This was the final straw as Hill now had no troops left ! 

The French have held Arroyo de Molinos.

What El Murrio wants to know is ... who is going to pay for all this damage ?