My Blog List

Sunday, March 23, 2014

22nd March 1814 - Battle of San Sebastian

San Sebastian Campaign Area

Five French corps have orders to attack San Sebastian
Wellington is not expecting this attack
His army is badly positioned, and has the wrong orders, to meet it.
It will take a little time for him to bring up reinforcements

French             52,000 infantry           4,000 cavalry              120 guns
British             28,000 infantry           3,000 cavalry              90 guns

British HQ       move E08, E09                                               
1 corps             halt on hold                                      
2 corps             halt on hold                                      
3 corps             move D08 on hold                            
4 corps             move F08, E08 on hold                     
6 guerrilla       move G08, G09          
French HQ       move G07 with 11 corps                   
5 corps             move G08 on engage                        
11 corps          move G07 on engage                        
17 corps          move G09 on engage                        
23 corps          move H08 on engage                        
29 corps          move H09 on engage               
Table at start of wargame

French Brigades          13 infantry      4 cavalry         4 artillery
British Brigades          7 infantry        3 cavalry         3 artillery

British HQ       on table at start
1 corps            arrive F09 move 3
2 corps            arrive F07 move 3
3 corps            arrive F08 move 1
4 corps            on table at start
6 guerrilla       on table at start

French HQ       on table at start
5 corps            arrive H08 move 1
11 corps          on table at start
17 corps          on table at start
23 corps          arrive H07 move 1
29 corps          on table at start
Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Wellington orders 4th corps to halt and hold
He sends 6 guerrilla to occupy the hill bottom left
3rd corps arrives and moves to gap bet ween 4th corps and the hill
French corps are all on table and moving towards British
Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
British infantry occupy woods and form square
French cavalry deploy to pin British
Remainder continue to advance
Hard to see how the British can hold such a large force of French

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
French continue to advance and start to deploy
1st and 2nd British corps arrive on table

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
Both armies continue to deploy 
Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Artillery on both sides open fire, but no casualties
Soult orders his army to advance and engage the British

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Same deployment, but table moved to the west to include San Sebastian
Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
French artillery fire on woods and cavalry
French infantry skirmish woods
Cacadore brigade in woods suffer 20% casualties and retreat  from edge
Hussar brigade receive 10% casualties and are shaken
British artillery fire on infantry, minor casualties all pass morale test
Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
French advance to attack
French artillery fire in support, but only minor casualties
British artillery fire on advancing infantry, again minor casualties
Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
French and British artillery continue to fire on infantry
4th British corps infantry rout due to artillery casualties
2nd British corps cavalry charge and rout French hussars

Move 9 – 1600 to 17000
British artillery rout French infantry and nearby gunners shaken
Portuguese abandon woods
French continue to advance
Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
(Top) Portuguese cacadores lose skirmish and rout
(Centre) French dragoons charge, and rout, gunners.  Two nearby brigades join rout
(Centre) French lancers charge, and rout, gunners
(Bottom) French chasseurs charge dragoons and force them to retreat shaken

British Rout
Five infantry brigades and two corps artillery are in rout in the centre
As the French continue to advance Wellington orders a general retreat

Game Casualties
French lose 2,800 infantry and 100 cavalry
British lose  5,600 infantry and 100 cavalry plus 60 guns

Game Summary
Wellington was heavily outnumbered and always likely to lose this battle
He would have needed excellent dice for his artillery, which he did not get
He was also unlucky with his morale dice for brigades near to a rout
But the real reason was that  the French had too much of everything
The final rout was French cavalry and artillery combined
The French infantry did not play much part, but were available if needed

No comments:

Post a Comment