A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Solo Campaign - Week 8

Wellington's Logistics Train in trouble on the retreat from Benavente

Week 08

Random Events
Nothing new. There was a scare about a potential typhus outbreak in the French force at Burgos, but it came to nothing.  

The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 5, French 4 – Allies elect to move first.


Allies (5 allowed)
1 – A (Wellington) holds position at Lugo, to allow the troops to rest – Group is still Out of Supply, and thus is not allowed monthly reinforcement phase, but they lose their Tired status – since still Demoralised (see last week), this Group will again require to be tested for desertion and sickness (see below)...
2 – Sp B (Espana) marches over the rough road from Zamora to Orense, this requires a test...
2D3 = 4 +2 (Espana’s rating) -1 (winter conditions) -1 (brown road) = 4    - this result means that the Group completes the march but is Tired
3 – E (Cotton) also marches over the rough road from Zamora to Orense, test is as follows:
2D3 = 2 +2 (Cotton’s rating) -1 (winter conditions) -1 (brown road) = 2   - this result means that the Group has to abandon the march, and is Demoralised (see below for sickness & desertion)
4 – Fortress of Elvas is garrisoned with a force (F) of 4000 Portuguese militia with artillery
5 – Fortress of Almeida is garrisoned with a force (G) of 4000 Portuguese militia with artillery
[Intelligence step –
  • Nothing new – no scouting orders]
French (4 allowed)
1 – H (Clauzel, with his own Divn, Piquet’s dragoons and the reserve artillery) marches 1 step from Valladolid to Salamanca
 [Intelligence step -
  • No scouting orders]

Supplies and Demoralisation
Anglo-Portuguese Group A (Wellington, at Lugo) is Demoralised since he is Out of Supply until Week 09.
Demoralisation tests result in a block/base being lost to sickness and desertion for the following units:
2/24th Ft, 2/58th Ft, Combined Lt Coys of Blantyre’s Bde, 1st Line Bn KGL, 74th Ft, 1/88th Ft, 1/9th Ptgse, 2/21st Ptgse, 2nd Lt Bn KGL, 51st Ft, 1st Dgns KGL, 2nd Dgns KGL. Wellington’s force thus lost a further 1935 infantry and 240 cavalry.
Anglo-Portuguese Group E (Cotton) was forced to abandon the march through the hills to Orense, and as a consequence are Demoralised. Losses through desertion and sickness are relatively light – 1 block/base lost by each of 1/8th Ptgse, 2/12th Ptgse, 11th Ptgse cavalry – a total of 400 infantry, 120 cavalry.

This is the weekend nearest to 15th March, so potential replacements and troops returning to duty from hospitals are rolled for:
Spanish Group B (Espana) gained no extra troops.
French Group N (Marmont) gained blocks/bases as follows:
2/69e (+2), 1e Leg Esp (Castilla), 1/2e Esp (Toledo), 2/2e Esp (Toledo), Regt Royal-Etranger (+1 each), 1/3e Italien (+2), 2/3e Italien, 1/5e Italien, 2/5e Italien, Lanciers de la Vistule (+1 each) – total addition is 2200 infantry, 120 cavalry.
French Group H (Clauzel) – 3/25e Leger and 2/50e each +1 = +400 infantry
French Group S (Jourdan) – 1/2e Nassau, 2/2e Nassau and Regt de Francfort each +1 = +600 infantry


Resting at Lugo after their defeat at Benavente and the harsh retreat over the hills in difficult winter conditions, Wellington’s force, being in very short supply until wagons could reach them from the new depot at Vigo, lost a further 2175 men to sickness and desertion. To make matters worse, since they were Out of Supply, they were not in a position to receive the monthly intake of recoveries and replacements.

The Spanish 3rd Army (Espana) and Cotton (with the Allied 6th Division and about half the Anglo-Portuguese cavalry) had a very severe march from Zamora to Orense, through bad weather on poor roads. Espana’s men made it with some difficulty (arriving Tired), but Cotton’s force were forced to abandon the march and return to Zamora, arriving demoralised and lucky to lose only 520 men on the road – the Portuguese troops were most badly affected. Cotton’s force was unable to receive any recoveries or replacements for the month, as a result of being demoralised and disordered on the march.

Clauzel, with his own division of the Armee de Portugal plus a brigade of dragoons, advanced across the Duero from Valladolid to Salamanca, thus cutting the Allied forces under Espana and Cotton off from Ciudad Rodrigo.

The French army received replacement troops and returns from hospital as follows:

Marmont (at Leon) – 2200 infantry, 120 cavalry

Clauzel (now at Salamanca) – 400 infantry

Jourdan (at Madrid) – 600 infantry

There are rumours that Wellington may be recalled to Britain, and replaced – a number of successors have been mentioned. As official 2-i-c, Beresford would expect to assume command, but there is talk of Sir Henry Paget...

A suggestion that Marmont be created Prince de Benavente for his victory was not well received by the Emperor – his exact words are not recorded, but something to the effect that he might be able to overlook one of Marmont’s past errors in consequence of this isolated success...

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