Wednesday, December 21, 2011

War waits for nobody

Spanish HQ at Lleida, 10th October 1713

Once we have (nearly) achieved to encompass the respective stories of Lady Elisenda and Marquis of Vilana with their Imagi-Nation's timing, we can now re-start the military campaign at the point it was left some (of ours) months ago (...war waits for nobody!). Let's quickly remember that the Catalans had just achieved a hard victory at Montblanc town, just a few days before that some odd rumours of death started spreading from Madrid... In the meanwhile, Lady Elisenda has just been appointed Princess of Catalonia and Viceroy(-queen?) of Majorca at Vienna, and Marquis of Vilana has presumably started negotiations at Versailles.

The Spanish Army new leader, the half-Catalan Marquis of Aitona, had some more clever ideas about the kind of war to wage than his predecessor. Giving no rest to his troops, he ordered an immediate, fast approach to enemy lines, before they could get recovered from the previous week marching and fighting. He used again a trident-shaped schema intended to press the Catalans all long the front, with the aim to seek and exploit eventual weeknesses. Time was capital to him, as Princess des Ursins had insinuated to him, especially now that diplomatical tide was about to turn against King Philip. This way, he ordered three large columns to throw themselves into the Catalan frontline from three different points.

At North, while the Marquis' own column advanced straightly towards Cervera town by road, a small horse column lead by General Bracamonte screened it by left with the purpose to catch eventual flanking enemies. And, as provided by Marquis of Aitona, there actually were flanking enemies! We have at this point two possible clashes, then: a major battle at Cervera itself, and a secondary engagement between two balanced Dragoons North if the town.

At South, the huge army recently disembarked from Sicily splitted into two. While the first column headed North with the aim to recapture Montblanc, the second one advanced into Tarragona, where some supplementary units where merged in the marching army, and continued advancing up to a few miles away from the Catalan positions in Vilafranca. Depending on the actions scheduled by the Catalan HQ, we should have then a second major battle with the town of Montblanc as main target.

Some secondary Spanish movements also took place. At the Pyrenees, an Infantry Battalion under command of Marquis of Bus was about to enter the Lower Pallars valley from Aragon, while two Dragoons Regiments entered in Catalonia from South. At the head of this Horse column there was Colonel Marimon, a Catalan respected military who, contrarily to most of his naturals, had chosen King Philip's side.

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