Battle of Cardedeu (also Llinars)    
  16 December 1808   scale: 1:70, weather = fine, start: 7am, dark: 6pm, time scale: 1 game turn = 30 min
     
 

Background:
Back in Catalonia, the initiative rested firmly with the Spanish. Duhesme was holed up in Barcelona while Reille had retreated to Figueras close to the French border. The Spanish moreover were receiving substantial reinforcements and could decide to either push Reille over the Pyrenees or escalate the blockade around Barcelona to a full-scale siege. But as so often, their leadership was wanting. The Captain General, the Marquis del Palacio, was so undecided and inactive that the Central Junta recalled him and in their infinite wisdom appointed the old Captain General Vives of the Balearic Isles to the position. This was the same Vives who earlier in the year had been so tardy in sending part of his inactive Balearic command to Catalonia to aid in the struggle there, that his troops had to mutiny before he would give the go-ahead. His approach to warfare had not changed with his new position. Napoleon meanwhile had appointed the daring Gouvion St. Cyr to head the reinforcements that would relieve Barcelona and subjugate the province. It took time to gather the Italian Division under Pino and to make sure that all the troops of the new VII Corps were adequately supplied and appointed, but finally the Corps advanced during the first week of November. His first task was to neutralise the coastal fortress of Rosas, whereafter he moved inland towards Barcelona. The poor roads, the scarcity of draught animals and the proximity of the garrison of Gerona under their enterprising commander, prompted him to send his artillery back to Figueras. But with the divisions of Pino, Souham and Chabot, he pushed on over narrow mountain tracks until he encountered the forces of Vives, who had finally been persuaded to leave an observation force around Barcelona and march out to face St. Cyr. Thus that general left the majority of his troops around Barcelona, and set of with a small division to join Reding. At Cardedeu (also referred to as Llinars), they stood across the road to Barcelona, facing the French and allied host. Their forces were neither numerous nor of good quality and the leadership was poor, but their position was good and St. Cyr was without artillery and low on ammunition for his infantry. The French general appreciated the danger to his troops and realising that he had very limited firepower, decided on a bold advance in one massive column with the aim of smashing through the Spanish position.

Game notes:
Oman mentions that St-Cyr thought that his troops only had enough ammunition for 1 hour's fighting. That translates into 2 game turns, or 2 rounds of ammo per unit.

Objective:
French: defeat the Spanish and get on the road to Barcelona
Spanish: prevent the French from breaking through and marching to the relief of Duhesme in Barcelona.

Historical outcome:
Pino was ordered to take the van of the column and not to stop. The Italian general soon detached battalions to engage the Spanish in a firefight however and lost the momentum of his attack. St-Cyr then placed himself at the head of the French troops and charged their column into the Spanish lines with complete success. The path to Barcelona was open.

 
     
 
FRENCH ARMY uses French system Initiative 3
                    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 St Cyr superior, bold  
ADC:  competent, bold  
 
IV CORPS  
5th (Italian) DIVISION  
Gnl de Division Domenico Pino competent, cautious  
1st Italian light infantry regiment S/O 1500 3   trained B 7/5/4   all 4
2nd Italian light infantry regiment S/O 1500 3   trained B 7/5/4   all 4
4th Italian line infantry regiment C/O 1000 2   trained B 5/4/2     2
5th + 7th Italian line infantry regiments C/O 1000 2   trained B 5/4/2     2
6th Italian line infantry regiment C/O 1500 3   trained B 7/5/4     4
Cavalry Brigade Fontane competent, bold  
Royal Italian Chasseurs a cheval LC 500 2   trained B 4/3/2     2
7th Italian Dragoons MC 500 2   trained B 4/3/2     2
20
4th (French) DIVISION
Gnl de Division Souham competent, bold
1st Legere S/O 2100 3   veteran A 10/7/4   all 4
3rd Legere S/O 700 1   veteran A 3/2/-   all  
7th Ligne C/O 1400 2   veteran A 7/5/3     3
42nd Ligne C/O 2100 3   veteran A 10/7/4   4 4
67th Ligne C/O 700 1   veteran A 3/2/-   1  
24th Dragoons MC 550 2   trained B 5/4/2     2
13
 
 
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: Gnl Juan M. F. de Vives poor, cautious  
ADC poor, cautious  
From the 1st Division of the army of Catalonia  
Voluntarios de Tarragona & Granaderos                    
     provinciales de Castilla C/O 1000 1   conscr B 5/4/3     3
Soria infantry regiment C/O 933 1   trained B 4/3/2     2
2/Almeria infantry regiment C/O 934 1   trained B 4/3/2     2
Hussares Espanoles - 2 squad LC 220 1   trained B 2/-/1     1
Foot artillery FA 6x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
8
General Reding competent, bold
ADC competent, bold
Division of Granada
1st Tercio de Vich C/O 756 1   conscr B 3/-/2     2
Voluntarios de Palma C/O 672 1   conscr B 3/-/2     2
Reding Swiss infantry regiment C/O 857 1   trained B 4/3/2     2
1st Battalon de Baza C/O 912 1   conscr B 4/-/3     3
Hussares de Granada LC 360 1   conscr B 3/-/2     2
Foot artillery FA 7 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
11
 
 
 
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