Monday, September 27, 2010

Cervera in flames

Southern front, 4th August 1713

Simultaneously to the daring ride of the Military Deputy of Catalonia up to the gates of Tarragona city, the Two Crowns' Army Group South assaulted once again the perched town of Tivissa, whose defence consisted of an Imperial Dragoons Regiment, a Catalan Mountain Fusiliers battalion and the local militia. This time, a better co-ordinated assault was only repulsed after a heavy street fighting, that caused a terrible amount of losses on both sides. Decimated to less than half their initial strength, the defenders had nevertheless managed to hold the town and, therefore, stopping the Spanish progression towards Tarragona for one week else.

No better chance had General Velasco of Army Group Centre in his attempts to subjugate Montblanc town, which was defended only by their inhabitants in arms, who anyway managed to keep Velasco's three regiments at bay. However, defenders' losses were heavier than those of the attackers, so that Velasco took some patience and started preparing a third, likely definitive assault on the stubborn town.

On the other side, the main column of that same Army Group finally achieved the target of clearing the road from Lleida to Barcelona, after assaulting for second time the town of Cervera with heavy artillery support. The bloody street fighting that followed the asault resulted in a complete defeat of the decimated defenders, who were overhelmed by the fierce infantry attack. All the surviving defenders were afterwards executed, and fire set to the town, as ordered by King Philip.

The road to Barcelona was clear now.

2 comments:

abdul666 said...

Did the defenders were allowed to confess and were granted the last rites before their execution?
It's not a mere 'technicality': most Galatans are good Catholics, thus the answer may greatly influence the reaction of the Vatican and, more immediately relevant, of Mme de Maintenon.
Even during the recent bloody war againt the heretic (Protestant) Camisards French authorities refrained from such mass atrocities: thus, when the enemy is Catholic...
Mere Gallian 'inertia' would greatly better Galatan prospects.

Monte-Cristan underground diplomacy is trying to prompt some raids from the Barbary Coast on Andalucia and Murcia, as a reminder of the need of Catholic unity. Unfortunately, the bellicose Deylicate of Bizercca seems to have entered a period of seclusion...

Salvador said...

Don't hope for that; the "spanish" bourbon is well known both for his cruelty and his unleashed, raging hate for Galatans. So it's plainly possible that Cervera's inhabitants were put to the knife after raping, torture and vexation with the higher authorities connivence if not open support and under direct and purposeful orders by their masters, both generals and king pretendent...