Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Two battles in prospect

First line, 12th October 1713

Impulsed by an imperative sense of urgence, on this 13th campaign turn the Catalan army has performed a number of chained moves aimed at drawing off the most of their reserves and bringing them as close as possible to first line, in attendance of the expected major clashes about to happen. As it can be seen by the attached map, their main concentration points run along the Lleida-Barcelona and Tarragona-Barcelona roads, those used by Philip d'Anjou's advancing columns.

With respect to the main Catalan armies, that one lead by Marquis of Poal has chosen to avoid an immediate clash with the dreadful Spanish Guards column of Marquis of Aitona, withdrawing his troops from Cervera some miles eastwards. In spite of having to abandon a key town, by this manoeuver Marquis of Poal manages to place himself in an excellent position where he might either take advantage from an eventual excess of confidence of his rival, or go in aid of General Bellver in Montblanc instead. Simultaneously, La Fe Dragoons Regiment at his right has been ordered to stand face to the imminent attack by a similar Horse column lead by General Bracamonte. If their stand was successful enough, left wing of the Spanish Guard would become seriously endangered --perhaps enough to drastically stop their advance.

On his side, General Bellver has preferred not to evacuate Montblanc town and calmly wait for the enemy column approaching northwards from Tarragona. Rumours about mines placement on the bridges leading to Montblanc have stopped the Spanish army, whose leader has opted to get entrenched too while sending someone for inspecting the bridges. Both armies are now watching to each other from each side of Francolí stream. Watching and waiting for the next enemy move.

Finally, the capable General Basset has nearly completed some decent fortification of Vilafranca town conveniently blocking the Tarragona-Barcelona road, while waiting for reinforcements to come too.

Meanwhile, a large convoy from Majorca has entered Barcelona harbour carrying two foot regiments and some horse. Almost simultaneously, a few privateers flying the Union Jack have just landed in Majorca carrying two of the British volunteer regiments formed in Holland on September: those of Saint Patrick IR and Queen Catherine IR.

On their side, the Catalan improvised fleet has just achieved a further goal in the Balearic Sea, for the 450 tons Nostra Donna de Montserrat 3-masted privateer, armed with 32 guns, has intercepted a Spanish convoy carrying supplies close to Tarragona harbour.

[In the end, we have 2 possible battles to fight this turn: a clash of cavalries on land, and a corsair attack on sea. Any ideas to solve them?]

2 comments:

Jeroen72 said...

Finally some naval action :)

What's escorting the convoy??

Soldadets said...

As far as I know, at the end of this war Spanish Navy was in a pityful shape, severely beaten several times by the Allies.

The mysterious loss of the 1713 Treasury Fleet helped to make things go even worse, for the rescue fleet sent from Cadis most likely was built amassing the remnants of Spanish metropolitan fleet, so that only a few warships would remain in European waters between 1713 and 1715.

Out of the 3 Spanish metropolitan Admiralties, the Mediterranean one with base at Cartagena had at disposal only a handful of galleys by these years (besides of perhaps some privateers). In our campaign, 2 of these 6 galleys have been moved closer to Catalonian waters, so that most likely to me this convoy is being escorted by those 2 galleys.

I'm supposing them to be large, 2 or 3 masted galleys with up to 6 cannons.