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Friday, July 26, 2013

4th March 1814 - Battle of Le Boulou

Le Boulou Campaign Area

20th French corps has orders to hold Le Boulou
18th French corps has orders to support 20th corps
HQ and 8 brigade will arrive at the start of move 9

2nd Spanish corps has orders to attack Le Boulou
4th Spanish corps has orders to attack Le Boulou
HQ and 1st Spanish corps will arrive at the start of move 5

French                                     Spanish          
32000 infantry                         48000 infantry                       
2000 cavalry                           3000 cavalry              
60 guns                                   90 guns

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
2nd Spanish move through the woods to attack the town
4th Spanish advance in centre behind their cavalry screen
20th French open fire on woods to alert 18th corps to join them

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
18th French move to right of town towards woods
2nd Spanish change their orders to Hold and withdraw their cavalry
20th French fire on woods and cause casualties to leading infantry brigade
4th Spanish advance their artillery supported by cavalry

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
18th French change orders to Engage
Cavalry advance towards Spanish cavalry
2nd Spanish infantry move into woods out of artillery range
4th Spanish change their orders to Hold
Leading infantry form square to protect gunners

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
2nd Spanish lancers charge French cavalry and force them to retreat shaken
Artillery unlimber on edge of woods
18th French form square and withdraw shaken cavalry behind them
20th French change orders to Engage and advance in centre
They are not aware that 1st Spanish is moving through the hills to their right

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
1st Spanish corps arrives top left
They cross the hills to join the remainder of the Spanish army
The pass is too narrow to advance directly to Le Boulou
20th French change their orders to retreat
Dragoons retreat to cover road through pass
Infantry enter the town as garrison
Giron moves to order 2nd and 4th Spanish to resume attack on town

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
1st Spanish start to deploy just south of the pass
4th Spanish start to advance towards town
2nd Spanish (in woods) are still waiting for orders to advance
18th French order retreat

Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
1st Spanish still deploying top left
4th Spanish advance in the centre
2nd Spanish advance through the woods on the right
20th French retreat through town, rearguard in square covered by cavalry
18th French hold left flank ready to retreat

French Retreat
18th French (left) hold the left flank
20th French are retreating through the town
Infantry and cavalry rearguard in front of the town

Game Casualties
Spanish suffer 400 infantry casualties
French suffer no casualties and withdraw in good order

Game Summary
A badly coordinated Spanish attack allowed the French to retreat without any casualties

The Spanish expected to attack with three corps against one French corps.  
Two of their corps were in position at the start of the battle
The third would arrive on the French right flank once battle was joined.

They were not aware that there was a second French corps in reserve
As soon as they arrived the French advanced to join battle
The Spanish immediately halted their advance to await their third corps

As soon as the French sighted the approaching Spanish corps they ordered a general retreat
They held the exit from the mountain pass, forcing the Spanish to cross the hills
The Spanish command was slow to react to the French retreat
This allowed the two French corps to withdraw in good order.