Battle of Baylen    
  19 July 1808   scale: 1:70, weather = hot and dry, start: 8am, dark: 9pm, time scale: 1 game turn = 30 min
     
 

Background:
When in 1808 General Dupont was ordered to subjugate the Spanish province of Andalusia, Napoleon did not appreciate that he had to deal with the uprising of the entire Spanish population, and not just local insurrections supported by a Spanish army in a state of complete disarray. The French army was largely composed of raw conscripts, and General Dupont, while proving an exceptional general in a subordinate capacity during the Austerlitz and Jena-Friedland campaigns of 1805 and 1806/07, exhibited a complete lack of resolve as an independent commander. As a result of these factors, he aborted his campaign midway, and after the brutal sack of the town of Cordova Dupont began retracing his steps towards Madrid, pressured by a Spanish army under the command of General Castanos. When contact between the two armies was imminent, Castanos divided his forces in 3 columns with a view to encircle the French army. Incredibly, instead of crushing Castanos' columns piecemeal, Dupont likewise split his army and sent Vedel back to Baylen, where that general went on a wild goosechase after a Spanish column rumoured to be moving on his lines of communication with Madrid. When he became aware that no such force was operating in his rear, he retraced his steps to Baylen, which town was meanwhile occupied by the Spanish Divisions of Reding and Coupigny, who had intercepted the retreat of the divisions still with Dupont. Hampered by a 500-strong wagon-train loaded with plunder from the town of Cordova, Dupont's poorly coordinated attacks failed to dislodge these Spanish divisions, and his troops became demoralised to the point where they lost all fighting spirit. Under these conditions, an armistice was agreed upon, and when the remainder of Castanos's army finally appeared in the rear of Dupont's force, negotiations were begun for the surrender of the French army. In a perverted twist of military tradition, the forces of Vedel bacame included in the surrender negotiations, while that general might have completed his attack on rear of the Divisions of Reding and Coupigny and so have assisted Dupont in cutting his way through the trap, or he might have retreated his forces to Madrid and saved his troops. The lack of resolve of the two senior commanders resulted instead in the surrender of 17000 French troops and boosted the morale of the Spanish resistence, if not its fighting capability.

Game notes:
We have taken turn 6 as the earliest possible arrival for Vedel and Gobert, and Castanos. However, they moved with far less zeal than the circumstances demanded, and their turn of arrival will be determined by a D10 die roll. Roll so that the players playing Dupont, Reding and Coupigny are not aware of the arrival times of these generals. A roll of 6 indicates an arrival on turn 6, a score of 7 on turn 7, 8 on 8, 9 on 9 and 10 on 10. Ignore scores of 1 to 5 and roll again until you have an arrival score. Troops that arrive may move on the table that turn, may fire but may not charge. The forces under Dupont were exhausted. The weather was hot and they had no water. All conscript troops may therefore only charge twice in the game. If their charges are successful and no enemy blocks their path, they can move normally across the table. If their path is not open, they will flee to the shade of the olive groves and take no further path in the retreat or the battle. They automatically become prisoners if contacted by enemy troops. If more than half of Dupont's stands, excluding casualties, have fled to the groves, then Dupont will stop all offensive action and enter negotiations with Castanos and send a messenger to Vedel and Gobert with orders to surrender as well. These generals will then have to roll against their initiative rating to establish whether they obey, or be bold and save their divisions by retracing their steps to Madrid. General Fresia may likewise test his initiative and attempt to fight his way past Reding and Coupigny for as long as he has troopers left who still have a charge in them.

Objectives:
French: Defeating the Spanish constitutes a victory. Retreating off the table with any of Dupont's troops and the remainder of Vedel and Gobert's divisions is a draw. Anything else is a staggering loss.
Spanish: Must attempt to defeat Dupont or force his surrender.

Historical outcome:
Spanish victory

 
     
 
FRENCH ARMY uses French system Initiative 0
                    Army
  troop men sub bn status training stands + 1st  skir- Breaking
  type   units art?   class factors fire? mish? Point
 
C-in-C: Gnl de Division Dupont poor, cautious  
 
1st DIVISION  
Gnl de Division Barbou competent, bold on the field  
Brigade Chabert  
4th Legion of Reserve C/O 2400 2   conscr B 11/9/6   2 6
4th Swiss regiment C/O 600 1   trained A 3/2/1     1
French Foot Artillery FA 6X6 pdr     vet   1      
7
2nd DIVISION
Gnl de Division Frere competent, bold 2nd unit to arrive
Brigade Schramm
Reding & Preux Swiss regiments C/O 2000 2   conscr B 11/9/6   2 6
French Foot Artillery FA 6X6 pdr     vet   2/1     1
7
Cavalry Brigade
Gnl de Bde Dupre competent, bold 3rd unit to arrive
1st provisional chass a cheval LC 500 2   conscr B 5/4/3     3
2nd provisional chass a cheval LC 500 2   conscr B 4/-/3     3
6
2nd Brigade
Gnl de Bde Pannetier competent, bold 4th unit to arrive
3rd Legion of Reserve C/O 1700 2   conscr B 8/7/5   2 6
Garde de Paris C/O 950 1   conscr B 4/-/3     3
French Foot Artillery FA 6X6 pdr     vet   1      
9
Cavalry Division
Gnl de Division Fresia competent, bold 5th unit to arrive
Cavalry Brigade Prive
Gnl de Bde Prive competent, bold
1st provisional Dragoons MC 400 1   conscr B 3/-/2     2
2nd provisional Dragoons MC 500 2   conscr B 4/-/3     3
2nd provisional Cuirassiers HCC 340 1   conscr B -/2/1     1
French Horse Artillery HA 6X6 pdr     vet   2/1     1
Marines of the Guard C/O 450 1   vet A 2/1/-   all  
7
3rd DIVISION
Gnl de Division Vedel poor, cautious arrives from turn 6 onwards
1st Brigade subject to dice roll
Gnl de Bde Poinsot competent, bold
5th Legion of Reserve C/O 2200 2   conscr B 10/8/6   2 9
3rd Swiss regiment C/O 800 1   train A 4/3/2     2
11
2nd Brigade
Gnl de Bde Cassagne competent, bold
1st Legion of Reserve C/O 900 1   conscr B 4/-/3     3
French Foot Artillery FA 6X6 pdr     vet   2/1     1
4
 
     
 
Attached DIVISION
Gnl de Division Gobert competent, bold arrives with Vedel
Brigade Dufour
7th Provisional regiment C/O 1500 2   conscr B 7/6/4   1 4
8th Provisional regiment C/O 1000 2   conscr B 5/4/3     3
French Foot Artillery FA 6X6 pdr     vet   1      
6th Provisional regiment C/O 1500 4   conscr B 7/6/4   1 4
11
Cav Brigade
Gnl de Bde Boussart competent, bold
6th provisional Dragoons MC 450 3   conscr B 4/-/3     3
French Horse Artillery HA 6X6 pdr     vet   2/1     1
4
 
     
 
 
     
 
SPANISH ARMY uses Prussian system Initiative 0
                    Army
  troop men sub bn status training stands + 1st  skir- Breaking
  type   units art?   class factors fire? mish? Point
 
C-in-C: Lt Gnl T. Reding competent, bold  
 
1st DIVISION  
(Lt Gnl T. Reding) At Baylen  
1 additional infantry general competent, bold  
1 additional cavalry general poor, cautious  
Infantry  
3bn Walloon Guard regiment C/O 850 1   train B 4/3/2     2
Reina, Corona and Jaen inf regiments C/O 2500 3   conscr B 12/10/7     7
Provincial de Jaen, Voluntarios de Barbastro, Tercio                
  de Tejas, 1st Voluntarios de Granada and                  
  Cazadores de Anteguera regiments C/O 2200 3   conscr B 10/8/6   2 6
Foot artillery FA 4 x 4 pdr     vet   1      
Irlanda infantry regiment C/O 1700 2   train B 8/6/4     4
Reding Swiss inf regiment C/O 1100 1   train B 5/4/2     2
Cavalry  
Montesa and Farnesio cavalry regiments HC 280 2   conscr B 3/-/2     2
La Reina, Numancia, Olivencia Dragoons & Urera Lancers MC 470 4   conscr B 4/-/3     3
Horse Artillery HA 6x6 pdr     vet   2/1     1
27
2nd DIVISION
Mariscal Marques de Coupigny poor, cautious At Baylen
1 additional general poor, bold
Infantry
Cueta infantry regiment C/O 1200 1   conscr B 6/5/4     4
Ordenes militares infantry regiment C/O 2100 2   conscr B 10/8/6     6
Provincial de Granada, Trujillo, Bujalanca, Cuenca and                
   Ciudad Real infantry regiments C/O 2000 3   conscr B 10/8/6     6
2nd and 3rd Voluntarios de Granada and Voluntarios                
   de Cataluna regiments C/O 1340 2   conscr B 6/5/4     4
Cavalry  
Borbon and Espana cavalry regiments HC 450 2   conscr B 4/-/3     3
Horse Artillery HA 6x6 pdr     vet   1      
23
Army in pursuit of French
Lt Gnl Francixco Xavier Castanos poor, rash arrives from turn 6 onwards
3rd Division subject to dice roll
Mariscal de campo Felix Jones (Irish) competent, bold
Cordoba and Valencia infantry C/O 1400 2   conscr B 6/5/4     4
Campomayor, Provincial de Burgos & Alcazar infantry C/O 1600 2   conscr B 8/7/5     5
Provincial de Plasencia, Guadix, Sevilla & Lorca infantry C/O 1800 2   conscr B 8/7/5     5
Calatrava, Santiago, Sagunto & Principe cavalry regiments HC 580 2   conscr B 6/5/4     2
16
Reserve Division
Lt Gnl Manual de Lapena poor, cautious arrives behind Castanos
Provincial grenadiers & 2/Africa infantry C/O 1400 2   conscr B 6/5/4     4
Burgos infantry regiment C/O 2000 3   conscr B 10/8/6     6
2/Reding Swiss, Zaragossa, 3/Murcia, Provinciales de                 
   Siguenza infantry  and Naval Grenadiers C/O 2100 4   conscr B 10/8/6     6
Foot artillery FA 6 x 4 pdr     vet   2/1     1
Pavia Dragoons and Jerez Lancer regiments MC 470 2   conscr B 4/-/3     3
Horse Artillery HA 6x6 pdr     vet   2/1      
20
 
 
 
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