Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Military Deputy is back

Barcelona, 5th September 1713

General Villarroel, commander in chief of the Catalan Army, had been recently acknowledged about the imminent arrival of the column lead by the Military Deputy, who had suffered a severe defeat at Tivissa about one month ago. However, when he left the map room some later, an unusual smile was drawn on his face. He had been thinking of a way to prevent General Basset from staying at Barcelona when the Military Deputy came into the city –for the impetuous Valencian commander, who had expressed bitter criticisms at the Military Deputy performance, risked to provoke an altercation if meeting the politician. The Spanish surprising withdrawal of their closest to Barcelona column back to Tarragona had given General Villarroel an unexpected chance to avoid this to happen.

When he met a couple of members of the Added Officers Company, he told to one of them: -Send a meesenger to the Military Deputy, asking him to lead his men in to Montjuïc castle. I'll be meeting him in a short while.

And then to the other one: -Search for General Basset, please. I want him at the Military Academy right now.

When General Villarroel finally arrived in the Military Academy, there was a high expectation all around the rooms –for a General Headquarters meeting wasn't that usual there. The engineers still attending the Academy had been thoroughly employed in improving the city walls and bastions so far, because this one had been considered as a highest priority mission; therefore, many of them paled when General Villarroel started his speech with these words:

-Gentlemen, we should discard any possibility of relieving Tarragona by now. We'll have to establish a different defence line, at a closer to Barcelona point. The enemy must not keep their progression beyond Penedès Plains. It must be built a fortress there, one allowing us to control the main road. A fortress capable of being supplied from sea.

-This must be a priority to all us. General Basset, you are in charge of the Artillery & Engineers Corps. Take the best men and resources you need and head for Vilafranca town with no delay.

General Basset was so astonished than his face showed an odd rictus. For an instant, it seemed he would object the decision. However, that was an order and he was a soldier, so he shut up and assented.

-It would be needed large calibre cannons... -one of the engineers started.

-We'll be getting them from here and there, if necessary. There isn't ever a second to lose.

Then a messenger came in the room: -It has arrived a courier from Perpignan, Sire. He's bringing a message for you from Duke of Berwick.

Expectation arose exponentially among the attendees. General Villarroel read the mesage several times before standing in silence for a while. With a wide smile on face again, he then told to the messenger: -This letter must be delivered to General Moragues in Castellciutat fortress. As soon as possible. Hurry up!


Salvador said...

Oh well!
Now you'got me wondering until the next post!
What's on that letter?
Oh the thrill...

Soldadets said...