Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tivissa holds on

Tivissa, 25th July 1713

Major Ramón Lanuza relied on an old wall, shaking from exhaustion, as he looked all around. Only a few hundred feet from where he was, the Castilian troops were still withdrawing in disarray. Meanwhile, some of his men had already begun to churn around the bloody battle remains, in search of any prey or eventual survivors among the dozens of bodies, scattered amidst the ruined walls that once belonged to solid stone houses. A shell suddenly exploded a few meters away, fired by a lone cannon for whose crew the battle had not yet terminated.

Close to him, another man laboriously straightened up, relying on his sword, and turned his face to Lanuza. He wore a tattered brown coat, showing hanging cloth cuts that once had been colonel rank linings. He was Anton Paperoles, commander of the Ebro Riverside Miquelets.

-Ramón, you fought like real devils today... -he said, twisting his mouth into a rictus.

-We the Aragonese do like this every morning before breakfast ... -Lanuza answered. It intended to be a joke, but none of both men laughed. Instead, they rushed upon one another, embracing to each other: -My God, we have prevailed, we've rejected them. We did ...

The Spaniards had launched a massive assault on the town of Tivissa as an unstoppable tide: six infantry battalions and one dismounted dragoons regiment moved forward in two parallel lines, protected by the intense fire of their batteries, which relentlessly smashed the first line of houses. Only one regiment of Catalan Miquelets, another one of Aragonese Imperial dragoons and a handful of armed civilians defended the town, and it seemed clear they wouldn't be able to hold the tide. But a few meters from the gates, the leading Spanish battalions were stopped in disorder by the deep ravines that cut through the area. Channeled in crowd through the ravines, the assaulting troops were decimated by a curtain of fire launched by miquelets and villagers. At the time of most confusion, the Aragonese dragoons swiftly moved to one side and mounted on horseback. Then they launched an aggressive charge on the enemy left flank, which fled in disorder, while the Catalan shrapnel did the rest.

However, it was obvious they wouldn't be able to resist too many assaults like that...

3 comments:

abdul666 said...

Will a relief force arrive in time?


Very charming volunteers of the fair sex, but their dress is not adapted to fighting. In Monte-Cristo we have some women with a good experience of battle, who can suggest a pracical uniform. More, these uniforms can be manufactured here (secretly but for free) and reach Galatea like those shipsloads of weapons already did. This cargo can be accompanied -if the Marquis de Vilana agrees- by several female 'military advisers / drillmasters' -volunteers, and officially on their private initiative. Now, Monte-Cristan 'practical warfare teachers' do NOT stay behind when their 'pupils' go to the bloodbath....

Bluebear Jeff said...

My prayers are for the defenders . . . may they prevail in turning the Spanish every time.


-- Jeff

Jordi said...

The defenders will persist. Every week of delay of the Spaniard can be the key of the campaign but the help should arrive before two weeks if they want to serve as something to the people of Tivissa.