Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Into enemy area

Vilafranca del Penedès, 8th November 1713

She was abruptly awaken by an assistant long before dawn. Half asleep, she dressed hastily and hurried toward the HQ building in downtown, where all garrison officers had been summoned. When she arrived, her colonel Loys d'Hauteville softly greeted her with a smile: --Hello, Foix.

--Hi, Loys. What's the matter? Do you know? --she asked.

--New orders, it seems --Hauteville whispered.

Someone coughed and required the officers attention: --I beg your listening, gentlemen --it was General Prado, who was in charge of Vilafranca del Penedès stronghold in the absence of General Basset. After looking around to check nobody was lacking, the man continued: --As you know, Montblanc town defenders managed last week to repulse a major enemy attack. Nevertheless, all roads leading to Montblanc are still blocked by King Philip's Army, so that our heroic comrades are in serious risk of running out of supplies.

Prado looked around once again before continuing: --We have been ordered to link up with them and, if necessary, assist them. As already known, we cannot use the main Tarragona road, because it's under control of important Spanish forces. Therefore, our best chance is sending one single battalion through paths beyond the coastal mountain range.

Signals of assent.

--After much thinking, I've resolved to assign such task to Fiona Mc Gregor Regiment.

Few hours afterwards, Lady Foix de Rovellats was already leading a small advanced detachment, half a mile behind of which the rest of Fiona Mc Gregor's female soldiers marched under Lt. Col. d'Hauteville. Making her horse stop on a bend in the road, she gazed restlessly the landscape in search for any trace of the enemy. Spanish dragoons and mountain fusiliers had been recently reported in their own direction, so that sooner or later they'd meet them. If such happened, this would be their very first real combat experience, and this made her feel very distressed.

She couldn't know yet, but her regiment's move was just one of a full series of concerted actions aimed at relieving Montblanc's suffering garrison. Not only these had split in all directions for foraging and assuring town's sorroundings, but some miles North, the Army commanded by the capable Marquis of Poal had advanced into contact with the Spanish main corps of Marquis of Aitona. Simultaneously, General Nebot's Horse Regiment had performed a daring, lightning sortie from Montblanc up to Cervera town, thus cutting the Spanish own supplies line. The city of Lleida was no farther away than forty miles westwards.

Was it perhaps some kind of preliminary of a more ambitious Catalan counter-offensive, few weeks lasting for winter start?


Salvador said...

Aquí hi ha marro!

Soldadets said...

If you want to get puzzled, let's sit and wait for the Spanish moves (MWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA...)