Thursday, November 18, 2010

A decisive blow

On the Two Crowns' side, 15th August 1713

Such was the aim of the Spanish Headquarters, at taking the initiative before the Catalans were able to react to their defeat at Tivissa. Taking advantage of their enemies' temporary unsteadiness, the Duke of Popoli's staff designed an audacious double blow, intended to definitely break the backbone of the Catalan Army. This had to consist in a simultaneous frontal attack against the two major concentrations of enemy troops detected so far. A dense screen of Mountain Fusiliers had prevented them to find out with precision their exact numbers, but it was clear they would outnumber the enemy at both attack points.

Thus, following urgently delivered directions, General Bracamonte in the North put all his troops on the march northwards, searching contact with the Marquis of Poal column. By then, the army under his direct command consisted of the French Beauvoisis, Sanzay and Blaisois IRs, the Swissmen of Castellas IR, and the 2nd battalion of Segovia IR; they were accompanied by a "botifler" (*) Mountain Fusiliers battalion, two regiments of Dragoons and a light battery. According to his provisions, they were outnumbering the enemy by 2 to 1 -except maybe for the artillery, because most of his own pieces were at that time being employed in the siege of Balaguer.

At the same time, General Vallejo's column left Igualada town through the intrincate gulleys countryside leading to the imposing, solitary range of Montserrat -the Catalans' sacred mountain-, in whose whereabouts he was certain to meet the men of General Bellver. Under his command he had two battalions of La Couronne IR, the Spaniards of Marina IR and the Dillon Irish Regiment, supported by Órdenes Line Cavalry and a Dragoons regiment, and followed by two artillery batteries. On his side, he wasn't so confident of outnumbering the Catalans, although he had been informed about a total lack of Horse in the enemy lines. Just for case, he sent word to General velasco in Montblanc for joining them with his two Line Cavalry regiments. Velasco's headquarters were a bit far away from his own location, but he decided it was worth the trial to call for them -for, if they were able to come in time, the Horse supremacy of his Army would allow them an easy victory.

Besides, Burgos and Carmona IRs were ordered to descend from Montblanc to Tarragona, in order to closely watch the Imperial withdrawal process and preventing any Catalan attempt to force their entrance into the old city. And, last but not least, they perhaps might have a chance to intercept the retreating Military Deputy's column. Only the victorious army of Tivissa was excused from any advance, so leaving them a while to rest after battle and recompose their ranks.

If everything went as expected, the Catalan insurgence would be given a couple of simultaneous deadly blows, and their foolish dreams put to a definitive end.

[* "Botifler": Catalan word for a Two Crowns' collaborationist]

4 comments:

Jeroen72 said...

I hope for the best but thing start to look pretty bleak :(

abdul666 said...

Hope de Vilana's diplomacy will be successful -and that soon enough- to have diplomatic pressures imposed on the 'Hispanic' king...

abdul666 said...

Given you are playing a seriously 'historical' campaign, 'dips' will not interfere -except maybe against isolated Botiflers, without consequences at campaign level...

Soldadets said...

This is why I assigned in my campaign the supreme Catalan command to a gaming mate, instead of leading them myself, my friends. Thus I can be fully confident the Catalan Army is to do their best with no previous knowledge of my own narrative plans, or the Two Crowns' behaviour...

(glups, perhaps I was a bit too strict...)