Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gathering all available hands

On the Catalan side, 28th August 1713

News arrived pretty fast in Barcelona city, spread by merchant ships crews recently arrived from Naples and Morocco: Spain had already completed their withdrawal from Sicily, after the shipment from Palermo of a last big convoy involving several warships and transports. According to accounts, the Spanish convoy would likely have already arrived in Valencia harbour, carrying up to 11 complete Infantry regiments.

Anyone at the Catalan Army Headquarters could easily imagine which one would be these units next destination, once disembarked in the Peninsula; so that urgent orders were delivered to all field commanders: expriming the countryside manpower had become dramatically prioritary, so that no effort should be spared for stimulating conscription. Following such imperative orders, those Catalan generals with some recruiting chance plunged themselves with no delay into persuading local authorities to help promote and finance conscription -or even, in some cases, excercising some coertion. Through such various ways, Desvalls brothers and General Moragues were able to convert up to 3 peasant militiae into Mountain Fusiliers battalions, while Marquis de Poal himself also obtained the collaboration of Cardona town Council to mould their militia into a Line Infantry regiment.

Of course, only the easiest part in the formation of a handful of new Regular regiments had been done. Now it was time for adequately arming and training all these men, a job that would most likely take not less than 4 weeks. Time barely enough before a newly arrived dozen of tough, experienced Spanish regiments were thrown upon them...

At least, one piece of good news for the Catalan Army HQ: after much negotiation and a wise dose of coertion, the Council of Manresa (the fifth largest Catalan city after Barcelona, Perpignan, Mataró and Tortosa) had agreed joining the patriot side. The Municipality had not offered yet for action their Coronela urban militia, but their formal commitment to the cause was a key political success, for it would henceforth ensure loyalty of a large portion of the Catalan central countryside.


Jeroen72 said...

The bad news outweighs the good news by far unfortunately :(

Jordi said...

We only have chance if Spaniards are delayed enough and we obtain help of our potential allies (i.e. British).

That are no especially bad news.