Sunday, April 10, 2011

Crushing victory

Vilafranca del Penedès, 8th September 1713

[I'd swear my overall strategy leading the Spanish Army wasn't that bad at all, and that no major tactic errors have occured in its development... Nevertheless, my army has been literally crushed by the Catalans lead by my gaming mate Jordi this morning. I'm still trying to digest it ;) ]

News just arrived in Barcelona from Vilafranca del Penedès town state that a crushing victory has been obtained this morning by the Catalan Army under brilliant command of General Basset, with the Spanish Army Group South complete defeat as a result. The Spanish Army, who were unaware of the reinforcements received by the Catalans during their march towards Vilafranca, have confidently deployed along the northernmost Foix river banks, with all their cavalry forming their left wing, while their right one was left to their artilleries. Between both wings, Carmona, Toledo (2 bat.) and Burgos regiments formed a loose line. Centre and right wing had been given orders to advance close to the enemy and hold the line afterwards, while left wing was given order to cross Llitrà stream and attack the enemy line from the flank. Well, the Catalans had deployed behind the stream, which is wide and deep enough to act as a trench, besides of having a riparian forest all along, so that he Spaniards could not see them.

The battlefield from the Catalan side. Vilafranca town at the left, and Llitrà stream running along Catalan line.

Spanish deployment, with C-in-C General Castillo at its very center.

Catalan response moves consist of advancing their own Horse units, under order of capturing the enemuy cannons and holding the road bridge.

Jordi at his role as General Basset.

Catalan combined hussards/dragoons squadrons deploy face to Burgos IR; behind them, General Nebot and his own Heavy Horse regiment.

Catalan charge "à l'outrance" routs the enemy infantry. The entire Spanish right is in danger.

The enemy is pushed to Foix river bank; as this feature is impassable and they're successfully pursued, they've got no other chance than surrendering... along with their flags and the Spanish C-in-C General Castillo!!

Meanwhile, both centres close to each other at musketry range and start delivering deadly volleys to each other.

After the loss of their C-in-C, the Spanish lines gradually starts disintegrating (view from the Catalan side)...
Quite a critical defeat for the Spanish side, that will result in serious political consequences!!


Bluebear Jeff said...

"What-if-Catalonia" looks more likely to survive after this.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

Given the context -the Hispanic finances 'deep in the red', the Princesse des Ursins still influential, the French withdrawal...- such a crushing Galatan victory over the forces of what is now the 'Lone Crown' may indeed well be a turning point of the war!
Also, it could only hearten external support to the Galatan cause in London, Vienna...

Likely to be favourable to the good Marquis de Vilana's mission; then for his success it would be ever more propitious that the (equivalent of) the 'conspiration of Cellamare' took place and is dicovered before de Vilana's arrival to Versailles. French disengagement, which occured here earlier, I suspect, than 'in our timeline', would have precipitated it: Felipe V's diplomats and sympathisers in Versailles would have learned about it long before it became manifest in the field.

Salvador said...

What about casualties? We can assume that at least Burgos IR (or its affected battalion) ceased to exist, and the batteries have been incorporated into the Galatan army. With the Galatan cavalry in the bourbon rear and an impassable river, the other three infantry battalions must have been captured too, with only the cavalry making safe its escape...
Anyway it's a huge loss for the oppressors, with a full four battalions, two batteries and a field commander in galatan hands.
Congratulations for General Basset/Jordi and you for this report, it could make for an excellent blog entry if dramatised for its development and ending are very realistic!
And, being sorry for your defeat, one can't but cheer up for the crushing Galatan success! Now let's see how it goes on... :-D

Jordi said...

Thanks Salvador.
There was no Galatan casualities. General Castillo was hurt and he was make prisoner like the surviving men of BurgosIR.
Carmona IR had some casualites too, but it was not a carnage.

Salvador said...

I'm crying out of happiness and sheer joy. Sure I know some officers that will merrily share their experience before a few pints of beer or a bottle of red wine, back at HQ... ;)
I owe Jordi and you a beer for the good news (again, sorry for it being against your gaming luck).