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TURN 2 - Late June 1808

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TURN 2 - Late June 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue May 28, 2013 10:39 pm

It is 15th June. This turn runs to 30th June. I have today sent out all updates and letters that were held over from the end of last turn.

You have until a week on Thursday to get your responses back to me, but since we have 14 days in each turn, the sooner you get your orders to me the sooner I can work out who bumps into who and give feedback - allowing you to then make adjustments and send more messages, so the earlier you can respond the better for everyone. On turn 1 for example, one player and I exchanged about 4 or 5 sequences of "progress" and decision making in his moves. The more fluidity we can work into the turn the more immersive I hope it will be for everyone.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:34 am; edited 2 times in total

_________________
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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Mr. Digby

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Re: TURN 2 - Late June 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:36 pm

BLOOD SPILLED ON SPANISH SOIL!

The Fires of Conflict have Burst into Explosive Battle!


A Battle near Zaragosa! The Rio Jalon runs red with Blood! Spanish Defeated!

On 30th June a battle was fought along the banks of the Jalon west of Zaragosa and around the small town of Alagon. The charismatic General Palafox led further parts of his Army of Aragon out of the city to combine with the divisions of General O'Neille and Lazan to defend the river line. The French corps of Marshal Bessieres gave battle and attacked across the river at three points, Grisons, Osetra and Nuez. 12,000 French infantry clashed with 15,000 Spaniards and the two sides had 2,500 and 1,000 cavalry in support. Palafox placed 20 guns while Besseieres had 22. At first the Spanish held well, throwing back the initial attacks at Grisons and Osetra with ease but the French licked their wounds and came again, this time combining furious cavalry  attacks with their spirited infantry columns and within the hour the Spanish position had crumbled. The Spanish soldiers fled along the road through Alagon to Zaragosa and many prisoners were taken although some stout hearts held firm and certain bodies of Spanish troops fell back in good order to cover the retreat; Parts of Mina's brigade of Lazan's division and La Pena's cavalry withdrew in good order to the city while Espoz' brigade of Marques de Obispo's division was forced to retreat south as French dragoons barred his path back to the city.

In all it is thought that more than 7,000 Spanish fell or were captured while only half this number of French were casualties and being masters of the field they will be more able to succour their wounded and stragglers.

The War in Cataluna.

The French have been busy in Barcelona, drawing in stocks of horses and bullocks from the surrounding countryside and even succeeding in bringing in a ship laden with timber from southern France. What is General Duhesme up to? At Gerona the siege goes on. While the first French column was driven away in mid-month, a week later the Italian and Neapolitan troops of General Lechi returned and have invested the city anew. They yet have no siege train but more men are now trying to close the city off from outside communication with 7,000 troops. Within the walls all is bustle and panicked activity as Colonel O'Donnel of the Irish Ultonia regiment organises his defence. It would seem that the break of a few days in mid-June that saw the French cordon lifted has allowed more troops to reinforce the garrison though from where is unknown. Some sources say an army left Lerida and could have reached the beleagured city while other sources point to English warships landing Spanish soldiers at the coast, possibly from the garrisons of Majorca and Menorca.

It is estimated that the city's garrison now numbers 5,000 troops, half of them regulars, plus 2,000 armed citizens and 200 cavalry.

General Lechi has so far been more restrained at this, his second attempt to capture the city and there have been no cruel acts reported against the surrounding villages, though its also possible the locals have fled, either into the citadel or away into the hills. As before a growing number of irregular troops of variable quality are watching the siege from the surrounding hills and they strike now and again in small swift moving bands against French foraging parties and patrols.

News is arriving from the north-east that a French column has crossed over the border and arrived at Figueras, the French-occupied border citadel. General Reille is said to have been placed newly in command here and there is news of a new corps d'armee being raised at Perpignan with a siege train. Another character has joined the grand play in it's second act!

Where are the Spanish troops of Cataluna? There is no news of any offensive actions by the citizen army. General Castro commands at Tarragona and is thought to be massing a large force there but he does nothing! Why? General Caldeagues who it was hoped would march to Gerona and lift the siege has also appeared in the city! He has come from Lerida bringing, he says "more reinforcements" but the troops he brought with him looked half starved and exhausted, their uniforms in tatters. Shame on these two useless officers! Replace them! Traitors to the cause!

The French continue to Reinforce their Armies! Miranda del Ebro a Supply Depot?

More French columns have been seen passing the well-trodden road from Bayonne, through Irun and past San Sebastian down to Vitoria and Miranda. It would seem a large force may be building up around Miranda or Burgos. Could this be yet another army corps?

The Mountains are owned by the Guerillistas, the Roads by the French!

In the Pyrenees region while strong columns of French troops pass back and forth along the highways, elsewhere in the foothills of the Ebro basin and the Pyrenees many of the new irregular bands of citizen soldiers are active. Some are just bandits, stealing money from military chests while others profess to fight for mother Spain. One name, Don Juan Carlos is spoken around Gerona and the Rio Ter. It is said he has 9 or 10 different bandit leaders under his command and can move 5,000 or 6,000 miquelets to battle when needed.

It seems though that these irregulars are not under any formal control and they do not obey orders given them from regular army officers, making their numbers irrelevant when battles must be fought. They prefer to dart out and stab at weak targets like supply columns and messengers. This is forcing the French to protect these movements with more and more men.

June 26th. Battle at Atalayuclas! Llamas runs back to the hills! Many Spanish Prisoners.

The Army of Valencia has been beaten in battle by a French corps led by General Dupont. The two forces met between the towns of Cervera and Atalayuclas on the Rio Jucar in Nueva Castila. It's being reported that half of Dupont's corps held its ground and acted as the anvil while the other divisions became like a hammer to pound the brave but out-manouvered Valencians between them with unstoppable blows.

The Spanish were able to retreat however and had enough cavalry to cover a withdrawal, taking their artillery with them and falling back in some disorder down the Requena road. Dupont has a thousand prisoners including two brigade generals!

Murcians in the Murk! Where is Villava?

Senior officers of the retreating Valencian army are making claims that they were defeated because General Villava and his Murcian forces did not arrive on the field of battle as agreed! Is this a political rift we see, or just bitter men, lashing out in defeat and blaming others for their own failings? If these rumours be true, this would be a dark stain on the honour of Don Villava! Where is his army? It has not been seen since passing through San Clemente in the middle of the month.

Spanish cross the Sierra Morena! Columns descend towards Manzanares! Valdepenas and Santa Cruz in open celebration!

"Vast, unending columns" are described moving from the valley of the Guadalquivir and over the Sierra Morena watershed, northwards towards the Guadiana. One does not need to look at a map to see the target of this great host. Horsemen, cannon, arquebusiers, gaudy lanceros, bronzed cazadores, swarthy dragoons, goats, sheep, 'women of the camp' hawkers, traders, cooks and blacksmiths, even crates of chickens in wagons all tread and clatter and squawk along the dusty tracks northwards. two words are on every tongue "Madrid!" "Castanos!"

The Army of Andalucia is on the march. The Valencian host would be like a mere brigade in comparison to this. Surely Spain will be free when General Castanos gives battle.

All quiet in the west? Has Belvedere been bought off?

Unpleasant and unfounded rumours are about that General le Conde de Belvedere has been sending letters to Madrid and receiving replies stamped with Joseph's royal seal! Can such be true? Surely no brave son of Spain would stoop to negotiating with his enemy. Nevertheless it would appear that after the curious "military olympics" which would seem to be a species of Auto da Fe and military training camp combined, held at Badajoz fortress in mid-month, there has been no word of anything stirring in the camp of the Army of Extremadura. Perhaps all that drilling has worn the men out?

Chaos in Toledo! French Warehouses broken into! Looting of Businesses and Stores!

Two weeks ago it was reported that Toledo had been occupied by French troops. It seems since then a pro-Bonaparte mayor and chief constable have been appointed with supply warehouses being filled to support the French troops. However in the final days of the month more than half the French garrison marched out and headed south on duties unknown.The remaining battalions tried to keep order but within a couple of days unrest and rioters had filled the streets with smoke, shouts and confusion. Groups of men run hither and thither, musket shots rattle out and the French soldiers fall back on their main barracks and storehouses while the Spanish ransack every shop and business that had dealings with the Frenchmen. The Bourbon flag again flies from the town hall. Toledo is no longer friendly to King Joseph!

The Plains of Leon Fill with Dust. Troops on the March!

The ancient Kingdom of Leon thunders to the hooves and heels of the troops of the Army of Galicia as the esteemed and wise, though some say cautious, General Blake brings his fine army from the north-west. Where lies his target? Upon which unfortunate Frenchmen will his wrath fall? Salamaca? Valladolid? Burgos? None can say but his troops fan out in all directions and many towns of the region around Astorga rejoice at his soldiers progress.

Fighting South of Valladolid! General Cuesta Victorious?

The much-loved "Rock of Borbon" has led his troops in battle. A fierce engagement occurred on the 29th June south of the Rio Duero and in the angle formed by its confluence with the Rio Adajo. The powerful French corps of General de Moncey that arrived earlier in the month has pushed forwards, Moncey ordering his men to capture a ridge that promised excellent artillery positions that overlook the famed capital of Old Castile. General Cuesta responded, reinforcing his posts on the ridge with guns, dragoons and infantry and smart grenadiers in their fine tall bearskin caps. A tough fight followed and in the evening the Spanish soldiers gave up the ground though there is talk they have slain three times their own losses in a frightful close-quarters fight, with no mercy asked or given.

The troops of Moncey took the hill but at what cost? Will this be enough to make the French change their plans to attack the city? The next morning the sun glittered on rows of brass cannon barrels along the ridge. It seems His Excellency de Moncey intends to attack!

Cat and Mouse in the Far North! No Fighting but much Patrolling? Who is Winning?

North-west of Miranda del Ebro a French corps under General Mouton is posted south of a small township called San Milan. Facing him are some troops from the Spanish Asturias including some gaudy lancers clothed in green and yellow. Mouton has 16 guns and 6,000 bayonets while the Spanish, thought to be a detachment of Don Acevedo's Army, number 2,500 and 250 cavalry. Acevedo seems to lack cannon; Mouton would seem to lack horsemen, neither side seems keen to press the issue, but neither are we able to report what troops may be coming up to support these forces. Might there be a big battle for San Milan in July?

Confusion at Burgos. What is happening?

Last minute news reports that Spanish citizens have taken to the streets in Burgos yelling with joy and waving revolutionary banners. The French garrison is now shuttered up in the citadel overlooking the town. The cause of this chaotic event is not known but the garrison appears to have been reduced in strength. All we know is that supply traynes cannot be sent out of the city in support of any French forces in the region due to the wagons at risk of being ransacked and not enough soldiers to escort them.

Someone somewhere has blundered!

=======================

The month of June is complete. I will send out updated OOBs for July at the begining of September (currently the game is on a summer break). As usual I'll try and get the next turn's orders in and processed in a week. Note that you can always modify your orders if there is sufficient time, should you get news of unexpected events after your troops moves have been submitted, so there's no need to hold back on sending me in orders; everyone is given a fair chance to change things if there's a surprise event.[/b]

_________________
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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Mr. Digby

Posts : 4898
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

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