Monday, August 08, 2011

Big battle at Montblanc

All fronts, 2nd October 1713

Fortuna Audaces Iubat, it is commonly said. And so it seems to be applying to Catalan commanders lately, because their agility in taking the initiative for the second consecutive week has finally achieved a couple of goals coming soon. The most outstanding of both, the significantly co-ordinated two-horns moves simultaneously performed by the columns of General Bellver from North, and General Nebot from South, resulting in the encirclement of a whole Spanish army around the town of Montblanc. The Spanish commander had actually noticed the dangerous enemy approximations, so he had ordered his own army to withdraw from that area towards Tarragona city, but he had no chance to anticipate the lightning Catalan moves blocking them. There is no way for the Spaniards to avoid a huge battle for the control of Montblanc -a key town connecting Tarragona and Lleida plains. Catalan forces under Generals Bellver and Nebot consist of 2 Heavy Cavalry units, 4 Infantry regiments, 3 Mountain Fusiliers battalions and 2 batteries, while the exhausted forces under the capable General Vallejo are composed just by 1 Heavy Cavalry unit, 2 Dragoons regiments, 3 Infantry battalions -one of which, so badly battered that is to be likely merged into another one before battle- as well as 2 batteries.

A few miles north of that action, Marquis of Poal's column has been ceaselessly pursuing an enemy column consisting of Spanish Dragoons and a battalion of Botiflers (=Catalan collaborationists), who had sought refuge inside Cervera town after a bloody skirmish happened last week. Determined not to allow the enemy to fortify themselves behind Cervera walls, Marquis of Poal has ordered his own column to immediately assault the town with a total force of one Dragoons regiment, some squadrons of Hussars, two Infantry regiments, one battalion of Mountain Fusiliers and a couple of Aragonese Volunteer companies.

A part from those two above, most of Catalan operations have consisted of the arrival of supplementary reinforcements in Vilafranca del Penedès town, currently under fortification by General Basset, as well as some minor moves at rearguard to prevent eventual gaps. It is worth to be noted that Colonel Bac de Roda has been finally persuaded to convert his Volunteer Miquelets battalion into a Line Regiment, which will be given the name of IR 15, Saint Scholastica in behalf of the patron saint of Vic town -where most of their men are from, along with Bac de Roda himself.

As the calculated manteinance expenses for a regiment of Line Infantry would fall far beyond Bac de Roda's actual possibilities, he has restricted investment to necessary pieces of equipment only, leaving his men's former clothing unchanged so far -with just the addition of olive green facings, in order to give a not-so-loose-uniformity appearance. Lacking their Colonel the necessary funds, he has also decreed the regiment flags to be necessarily simpler than usual until financial requirements are met.

Even more good news for the Catalan side: it has been recently known that a small privateers fleet has just anchored at Gibraltar; they're carrying two of the regiments belonging to the British Expeditionary force formed some weeks ago at Rotterdam. Their arrival in the Balearic Islands is expected for next week. The third regiment is still staying at Rotterdam, where it has just been completed with a Horse squadron.


Salvador said...

"Who dares wins", or so the saying goes.
Hurrah for the bold!

Mosqueter Vidal said...

Hello, Lluís,
I'm afraid for traitorous behaviour of Bellver and other high officers (in real history). And Moragues? Shall he surrender Castellciutat? Do you foresee those facts?
Congratulations for your blog.

Salvador said...

Msr. Vidal, I feel due to remember you that Moragues acted in accordance to Imperial orders, being himself an Imperial officer. Also, devious attittudes in that you call as "real" history were in a good part due to a dire situation bringing the worst in everyone.
If Spanish troops are in the same footing of quality as Galatan ones, I don't see why Galatan officers should cast any shadow of doubt about their loyalties and commitment, specially as the might of France has considered to not meddle in Galatan affairs.
Soldier, you should be flogged for such an insinuation.
Consider yourself lucky there's no officer on duty right now...

Mosqueter Vidal said...

Msr. Murlà,
Desvalls brothers were themselves imperial officers too and they only surrended Cardona under Villarroel orders. However, Moragues surrended Castellciutat three months after imperial retreat. Furthermore, Moragues refused Villarroel orders to fight against Two Crown's armies and refused to yield Military Deputy's authority Berenguer. And Berenguer himself, he blocked Castellciutat with 4.000 men and he wouldn't take the fortress when Moragues had only 210 men! Finaly, Bellver went over to Two Crown's armies in 1714 summer.
All those facts can be put in balance as random events. Thus, we really play with gallantry and not as if everything were to go well.
Of course, your english is better than mine, because your are an officer.

Soldadets said...

Dear friends, we're trying to have the most historical facts into account, by means of considering these as random events. General Moragues' attitude was one of such.

Our campaign started on July 1713 under the basis of Desvalls brothers having already chosen side, unlike General Moragues.

He was considered to be under Imperial orders, and as such he had been ordered in due time to deliver Castellciutat fortress to the Two Crowns as soon as they asked him for. However, he was also assigned a probability of choosing side if persuaded by another Catalan commander.

In our campaign, the Goddess Fortune favoured the Catalans, who cunningly sent a force from Cardona to block the Spanish Army threatening Castellciutat, while Marquis of Poal performed a daring ride towards that fortress, with the aim to have a meeting with Moragues and persuade him... and he was successful!!

This is the chronicle of such event:

We're periodically testing for some likely random events, such as the death of Queen Anne of Britain, or Queen Maria Luisa of Spain. We were also testing a possible change of attitude of an initially lazy France, but we've recently ceased testing such event, due to the successful diplomacy exerted by Marquis of Vilana (our fictional plenipotentiary ambassador, read here his biography).

Our Imagi-Nation's history has started to substantially diverge from the 'real' one, so that we believe that some scheduled random events are no longer necessary, while it's likely that we shortly need to have others into account. An example of these are the RPG adventures -or skirmish scenarios- proxy gamed by other players groups, having our main characters as their own playing characters.

We are always needed of random events and interactions, although they're coming to be progressively more and more fictional, rather than historic. This is the fun of an Imagi-Nation that has actually started a life of its own... :)

Mosqueter Vidal said...

Lluís & Salvador,
All right, that's a game, not real history. Some high catalan officers behaviuored with deceitfulness, but it's not a matter for us.
My apologies to general Bellver. He was a loyal officer. The traitor who deserted was general Josep Martí. I was wrong about him. Therefore, I see no problems in catalan side at Montblanc, but perhaps Vilalta suprise all us.
Thank you.

Jordi said...

Vidal, the battle must be played so it could happen almost anything. Dices and our capabilities will decide. Indeed Galatan forces had a little advantage, but ...

Salvador said...

Let me make a suggestion out of this thread of comments; it has come to my head and will come to my ImagiNation as well ;-).
Take into consideration the introduction of one character in the form of some kind of inspector of the army who will act as a secret police comissary of sorts.
Obviously his name should relate to a certain illustrious member of the Catalan military nicknamed Arbequí and who was rumoured to have had Vidal as his real surname.
Such a character can be a behind the scenes force, patron to intelligence missions and such or even enterprise to undertake daring, secret special missions. Such a thing is not out of scope, given both real history (the rescue of Moragues' family from occupied Balaguer IIRC and Galatan one with the assault on St. Feliu or the mission to rescue the Tivissa prisoners for example).
Always nice to hear from you both!

Salvador said...

Sorry, this paragraph:
"Obviously his name should relate to a certain illustrious member of the Catalan military nicknamed Arbequí and who was rumoured to have had Vidal as his real surname."
Should be followed by ;-) (una picada d'ullet).
If in doubt ask Msr. Vidal.

Alferes dels Colors said...

May I suggest to think twice the name of the new Bach de Roda's regiment from saint Scholastica to Saints Martyrs?

Actually, as far as I know, Saint Scholastica has never been patron of Vic, though her relic leg was kept there for centuries untill the cult, and the relic itself, were lost during the spanish civil war (the one in the XX century).
On the other hand the patrons of Vic were at that time the roman Martyrs, Lucianus and Marcianus (Sants Martirs Llucià i Marcià).

Bach de Roda happened to be one of the catalan martyrs of the SSW, due to it's final capture and public executation in Vic... don't you find a better idea to rename the new regiment?. They could be known as The Martyrs of Bach de Roda (or Vigatan Martyrs), depending on the final role they play...

Anyway, congratulations for the colosal work that means this project.

Soldadets said...

Salvador, I'll have your suggestion into account!

Soldadets said...

Alferes dels Colors,

True that the so-called Saints Martyrs Lucianus & Marcianus were patron saints of Vic town until 1862, when they were replaced by the local Saint Miquel dels Sants.

However, Saint Scholastica has been co-patronness of that city from old, and coincidentally such was the name of Bac de Roda's mother. This is why I believed it a good alternative for the new regiment.

On the other hand, it would be a non-sense to give the name "Saints Martyrs" to a unit whose colonel is in our fiction still alive and in good health!! :D

However, you're right in that Lucianus and Marcianus should be properly honoured in the name of any supplementary Regiment eventually formed in Vic town. I'll have it into account, of course.