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25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  SJDIII on Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:46 pm

I disabled and removed the KS PenCamp 103 Mod.

Same problem.
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:20 pm

Hum... well that was the only change made for the Torrelavega battle, so the cause of your crash seems to be something unrelated.

You are using one of the recommended maps? The ones that begin with a country name? No others are supported by the KS Mod other than the stock WL maps.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mark87 on Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:16 pm

Perhaps when we went digging around replacing text files a couple weeks ago?
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The Army of Asturias' finnest hour

Post  Iberalc on Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:33 pm

Our plan was to hold the line for long enough to let San Román’s division in the south to cross the mountains and join the Army of Asturias, now deployed at the gates of their own province the old Kingdom of Asturias. Then move to the west and Oviedo saving the Army to fight another day.

We held a front of almost 2 miles, and the divisions (from north to south) of Ballesteros/Kevin, Llano Ponte/Mikel and Briaz y Fuy had orders to pull back when pressed. We were to form a battle line further west, on the high ground overlooking the Eltz Fluss.

It was not my intention to fight against a force that seemed almost equal to our own. When we crossed the Eltz Fluss, Ballesteros was already asking for permission to start moving towards Oviedo.

I got reports from officers talking on behalf of their men, battalion, brigade and even divisional commanders pointing out the risk of dissolution for the Army of Asturias if we left the field without fighting allowing the French rascals to take the men’s home towns and villages. Many men would flee from the colors to go home and save what they can.
In the last few months, we were pushed back from within the walls of Miranda de Ebro and started our long retreat, in Santander we had to open the way for the surrounded allied forces taking heavy casualties in the process. It will be better to lose the Army doing some harm to the French invaders than to allow it to break up little by little.



So I ordered all commanders to deploy in good ground and fight. San Román’s (Martin) division arrived deploying on the high ground that was to be our right flank (blue flag), that allowed Briaz y Fuy to move his division in reserve to a central position.

In the center of the Spanish line there was a thin long strip of high ground (white flag) called “Arrowhead Ridge” that was going to be the key of the Spanish position. The divisions of Ballesteros and Llano Ponte linked there and both had deployed some guns on the tip of the arrow, Ballesteros was deployed on top and to the north to the sea, Llano Ponte to the south and linking with San Román.

The French attack began in the south of the line. San Román’s position was the highest point in the battlefield and Gral. Lobo’s brigade supported by the divisional batteries, a brigade from Llano Ponte’s command and some troops and guns from the reserve, repelled the French infantry.
Immediately the frogs put up another attack with additional troops. At that moment, I got reports that a full enemy division supported by cavalry was advancing aggressively towards Ballesteros in our far left so I left San Román still full of doubts about his chances of holding for long and rode fast to Arrowhead ridge.

I had deployed the reserves in echelon by brigades along the crest of Arrowhead ridge behind the front line. When I arrived there, Ballesteros infantry was already engaged with the enemy on the coast plain north of the ridge. It seemed that two more French brigades supported by four squadrons of chasseurs and three of dragoons were advancing towards the top of the ridge.

In the confusing fight that developed for Arrowhead ridge, the French infantry pushed hard closely supported by their cavalry against elements of Ballesteros and Llano Ponte’s divisions.
Led by their officers from the front the French skillfully charged Spanish squares with infantry and battalions in line were overrun by their horsemen. Gral. Briaz y Fuy in reserve was using his battalions to feed the fire line replacing those units retreating or routing.

San Román reported that he had pushed back some French attacks but his men were beginning to feel the strain. Asking whether we had a fallback position. The rest of the army were heavily engaged with enemy cavalry so it was not the right time to think about that.
In the center the French slowly but steadily were pushing us back. On the south side of the ridge Llano Ponte’s infantry and guns were holding fast, but on top and north of the ridge the French were getting the advantage.

In the south it looked that the French were pulling back, San Román confirmed this point and warned that maybe they were going to reinforce their attack in the north. An intercepted courier message told us the attack had not gone well for them.

I thought the French were going to kick us out of Arrowhead ridge, the reserve was running out of infantry the French advance was unstoppable. Coronel Dix was ordered to use his cavalry against some French infantry that had advanced trying to outflank to the north of the ridge, the 2º Escuadrón de Dragones de Mantilla distinguished themselves in the charge that took place, sweeping the French first line from north to south and pushing the French line 300 yards back giving a needed breath to the hard pressed infantry.

Part of Gral. Ballesteros division lost touch with the rest of the Army pushing too hard against a French brigade on the coast plain, the French cavalry commander switched his squadrons to the north of the ridge and got those brave troops in their rear right flank breaking and routing most of them within minutes.

I got a message from San Román saying that he was going to be forced to pull back to the west. An intercepted French courier said something about a 3rd division that had not moved yet.
Evaluating the situation, I felt that we had done well against a French force that was at least equal to our own and we were holding out. But I realized that our troops were at the end of their tether. There was still a strong force of enemy infantry on the slopes of the ridge, we didn’t know anything about the numerous French that retreated from the southern attack, Ballesteros division was out of action. Finally, I was pretty sure we couldn’t stand another big attack on Arrowhead ridge so I made the decision to retreat to Oviedo and informed my commanders.

San Román complained that it would be very hard for the men to start a retreat when they were not defeated, after an exchange of messages he reassured me that the right flank was holding. Llano Ponte said that he had a nice position for his guns and was doing damage to the French. We’ll wait a bit I thought.

After that the French cavalry started to pull back to the east. We organized a counterattack with the reserve cavalry plus Llano Ponte’s division and the remnants of Ballesteros’ men led by the 1º Batallón de Provinciales de Castropol. It was a success and we recovered the tip of the ridge. The battle died away while the French pulled back their last units to the east of the Eltz Fluss with our guns shooting at them.

In this battle I realized how long can be an hour of fight in this game and I don’t mean the lag.  scratch  study  Mad  affraid

It was a very tense and busy battle for me, I really enjoyed it, thank you everyone. Congratulations to all the Spanish Commanders for their excellent job.

Llano Ponte holding the center of the line and supporting right and left as required.
San Román holding the attack of 2 French divisions.
Ballesteros doing his best with his conscript battalions, voluntarios and provinciales.

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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:19 pm

Great account Pepe, thank you. An AAR by a French player would be interesting to read as well.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  skelos on Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:40 pm

At this point I no longer have access to the French command structure from the battle (forum), so this is by memory and Division number and Cavalry Division.

In the beginning planning discussion the French were unorganized and the original battle plan (the French forum) that was submitted did not have a map associated with it, so the local commanders, for the most part, did not use the original battle plan and it was kind of plan/attack by committee.

My initial understanding of the plan was (based on the strategic map orientation on the forums):
• 1st Division would be the furthest north heading west to Torrelavega
• 2nd Division (me) would be the central division as it headed west towards Torrelavega
• 4th Division would be south heading west to Torrelavega
• 3rd Division (the smallest) would work parallel with the Cavalry Division to scout a bit to the south as they moved west to find and delay, if prudent, any reinforcements the Spanish might push towards Torrelavega. Overall, I did not want a Spanish Division dropping into the rear of the French as the French started their attack on Torrelavega.

Issues from the start:
• I did not look at the actual game map beforehand to understand the ground, specifically how steep the terrain was towards the south of Torrelavega or the trees/woods that were to the north heading west towards Torrelavega
• Not understanding the demands of being a Corps and Division commander, I should have had the 2nd division be more of a reserve division to focus on the battle as it developed
• The 1st and 3rd Division were flip flopped from what I had in my mind
• My division and other divisions reported fatigue already (this should have been a clue that we would be encountering the enemy sooner than expected)

Overall, in my opinion anyway, the French did not have a proper reserve, a poor understanding of the terrain before us and a weakness of scouting to the immediate west of Torrelavega, thus a defective starting battle plan because the French were advancing on too broad of a front without total eyes to our front.

The Cavalry Division and Infantry Divisions all saw/encountered the Spanish before any of us had planned on. The initial contact with the Spanish saw the 1st and 4th Divisions using their combined artillery together, plus the Cavalry Division was there to add additional support. The 3rd Division was in the woods/trees so their artillery was suppressed. As for the 2nd Division’s artillery, I saw some Spanish cavalry, so I did not immediately deploy my artillery because they were at the front of my columns.

Again, my opinion, the best opening move for the French would have been a slight delay in the pushing off of the Infantry Divisions, while the Cavalry Division scouted more on a broader front heading west and southwest or at a minimum infantry in skirmish formation advancing. This approach would have allowed the French to recover some fatigue and an understanding that we would be meeting the Spanish sooner than we thought we would, but I was still weak on the battle terrain.

I can’t speak for the other Division commanders, but as the 2nd Division approached the Spanish lines, the Spanish started to pull back, while as the Corps Commander I was receiving messages from the other Divisions and what should they be doing, i.e. they wanted to know if they should start attacking or they were informing me that they were already engaged. Also, in seeing the Spanish Cavalry I informed the French Cavalry commander. Whether it was the terrain and/or my spotting the Spanish Cavalry or his understanding that the original battle plan was already obsolete, he started to move his cavalry more towards the north of my advance to add support, a wise move on his part at this juncture of the battle. As Corps Commander I approved the attack(s) that already started, while I was still a bit cautious about the Spanish falling on the French left flank or rear.

As I started to advance on the retreating Spanish I immediately saw why they were falling back, the hills! From a Division Commander perspective I immediately knew that I could not allow them to get settled on the hill, so I pushed a Brigade up the hill, while keeping one in reserve while the Cavalry Division added support (And a great job the did!). On the lower ground north of the hill I could see Spanish troops deployed to thwart any flanking maneuver. Knowing that it was the smallest Division that was advancing on these troops, from the woods, I elected to deploy my artillery more to support the 3rd division and I thought that my artillery would perform better against troops deployed on even ground instead of firing on troops on a hill and not being subject to counter-battery fire from a superior location. In essence I used my battery as my right flank so that my two Brigades could attack the hill.

At this time I had sent out messengers to the 1st and 4th Divisions for a situation report. I never really heard back until later, so I figured that they were too involved in their fight or the messenger never arrived.

Though my 1st Brigade was still a little fatigued I pushed to the top, again to try and not let the Spanish fully deploy.
As the 1st Brigade’s assault started to loose impetus I brought up the rested 2nd Brigade. At about this time I was close to a battalion that was subject to a Spanish Cavalry charge and died (about 10:55 game time), though I did not really understand dying in the game, I saw that I was teleported to a different part of the map. It took me about 10 minutes to understand what had happened (about 11:05 game time), I saw that I could move back to my troops and send messages.

Between 11:30 and 11:45 I arrived at my troops and saw my shattered Division. But as I was riding back I now understood the situation that the other two Division Commanders; the steep hills and ravens that they had encountered either to their front or flank!

Knowing that this is an ongoing campaign I elected to withdraw my division to save them for another day instead of trying to take the hill again and to keep the original objective: Torrelavega.

Overall, again my opinion, the battle was lost before it really began. I can’t comment on the 1st and 4th Division Commanders but the Cavalry and 3rd Division Commanders did very well!

Thanks,
Tom W.
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  SJDIII on Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:19 pm

Re downloaded again, appears problem solved.
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  SWeathers on Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:37 am

Very sorry some school work was dropped on me and I simply couldn't make it. However, I thank each and every one who took part in my absence. Without further ado, my favorite image.....

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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:29 am

If that happens again Sam, please take 1 minute to drop me an e-mail so I know. Its the just not knowing that is the problem. If I know you can't make it, that's fine. We all run into things that derail our plans now and again. Thanks.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mark87 on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:37 am

Well I commanded the French cavalry division in this last fight. My initial orders were to occupy Hochsteten and block the mountain pass which fed into that town. I rode approximately half the distance when I observed at least two divisions of Spanish in line of battle blocking my approach. I alerted command and waited for infantry support. I could see Spanish officers off in the distance to my left (west in game?) flank as well as make out two squadrons of cavalry hidden behind an orchard.

Our 4th division came up and started a bombardment of the Spanish lines which began to have some effect. After perhaps ten minutes of bombardment I could make out Spanish troops approaching over the mountains; the Spanish line then began withdraw. I followed with the cavalry.

It was an interesting couple of moments to see if the Spanish would turn and fight or indeed flee to their "safe zone" and thusly exit off the map. They stood their ground. Immediately I recognized that the Spanish right flank (towards the coast) was weak and that a little hill was separated from the rest of the ridge where the Spanish were deployed. I had no orders and I thought "chain of command be damned" and rode my division over to that hill and the coast.

I saw to my chagrin on my left two French divisions attacking into the teeth of the Spanish defenses unnecessarily. I moved up to the hill on the Spanish right and forced Spanish infantry to form square. We had one large division and a smaller division of one brigade along with my cavalry division.

After much see-saw fighting on the ridge my division destroyed a couple Spanish battalions and suffered some losses. I pulled my troops behind the infantry to rest. I then saw the Spanish to the far right along the coast road isolated from the remainder of the Spanish line. I led my troops hell for leather and crashed into the exposed flank and rear of those unfortunate Spanish. In less time than it takes to write about it the Spanish were routed and put to the sword.

I wanted to attack the hill again as I saw one of our divisions which had attacked the far right still in relatively good shape (SJ's division I believe). There was a brigade about a half mile to the rear. No attack was ordered; indeed it was to be a retreat.

I said hell with this I'm not loosing another trooper and I withdrew my division back behind the first ridge captured.

We fought hard. Those peasants killed us sure, but whipped us? Never.
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:55 pm

Very nice AAR Mark. You sound just like a cavalryman!

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:02 pm

Thank you!
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Re: 25. Battle of Torrelavega - 28th February 1809

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