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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

18 July 1813 - Linares Campaign - Day 1

When the French start to move south they will have to supplement their supplies with foraging.   To do so they must establish sufficient depots to feed their army.   Each corps will require one depot, and must provide the garrison from their field army.

7th corps are ordered to garrison Abenojar, and 15th corps Almagro.   8th and 16th corps move south to maintain communications with them.

The Spanish garrisons of both towns move into the nearby hills as the French approach.  There are now three guerrilla bands.  They will remain in hiding until the main French army moves south.  They will then attack isolated garrisons and supply convoys.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

17 July 1813 – Southern Spain – Linares Campaign

1813 Campaign Area
There are five campaign areas in the 1813 Campaign, three in Germany and two in Spain.   The campaign is divided into campaign phases, each lasting about ten campaign days.  This is the twenty fourth campaign phase of the 1813 Campaign and the fifth phase in Southern Spain
Spanish Campaign Area
Wellington commands the Anglo-Portuguese army in northern Spain who are tasked to drive the Fourth French army, commanded by Marshal Soult, out of Spain.   They have fought five campaign phases and the British have won three.

Marshal Suchet commands the Fifth French army who have the objective of invading Andalusia and taking the capital city of Seville.   He is opposed by General Giron who commands the Spanish army.  They have fought four campaign phases and each have won two.

The French won the last campaign phase and have occupied the city of Cuidad Real, which is now their main supply base.   The Spanish have concentrated in front of Linares, which is their main base.
Linares Campaign Area
This map shows the area covered by the Linares campaign.  It shows all cities, towns and villages.  It also shows the location of all Spanish and French corps and brigades at the start of the campaign.

Each town has a Spanish militia brigade as garrison.  When the town is occupied by the French that garrison becomes a guerrilla band.  They can only operates in the immediate area of that town.   The French occupy Probete at the start of the campaign, and the garrison have become the first guerrilla band.

This map is used for all campaign movement and on the campaign diary blog.
Linares Wargames Map
This map covers the same area as the campaign map, but each square is the same as one 2x2 foot square used on the wargames table.   When a battle if declared this map is used to prepare the wargames table.

Summary of the campaign in Southern Spain
By the end of January most of the experienced French troops had been withdrawn from Spain to form the new Grand Army in Germany.   On 1 February 1813 Marshal Suchet was given command of all the remaining troops in Southern Spain.  He was ordered to abandon Seville and withdraw all the scattered garrisons to Madrid.

General Giron commanded all Spanish troops south of Madrid.   As the French withdrew he ordered his army to concentrate at Badajoz.  It took two weeks for them to do so.   He ordered an immediate advance on Madrid

On 28 February 1813 the Spanish Army reached Merida.   Their slow march allowed the Suchet to reorganize his Army and to march them west to meet the Spanish.   As the Spanish entered Merida, his army arrived at Almarez. 

5 March 1813 – Almarez Campaign.  Marshal Suchet opened the campaign by defeating the Spanish at Almarez and followed that by a second victory at Naval Moral.   The Spanish regrouped and countered by winning at Serrejon and Almarez.  Suchet retreated towards Madrid, allowing Giron to claim a Spanish campaign victory.

18 March 1813 – Talavera Campaign.   The Spanish dominated this campaign, winning both battles at Talavera and a draw at Las Vantas.    The campaign ended in a draw with the Armistice.

5 April 1813 – Armistice.   Despite their run of victories the Spanish Army had dispersed due to battle casualties and lack of supplies.   They accepted the cease fire in order to reorganise their field army.   It was agreed that the Spanish would concentrate at Aranjuez and the French retreat to Toledo.

12 April 1813 – Toledo Campaign.   The French advance was relentless and the Spanish could do little to delay it.   The guerrilla bands caused some problems for the lines of communication and supply, and even captured two garrisons.   But Suchet ignored his lack of supplies and attacked Moncejon.   The Spanish army was broken and retreated.

Fifth French Army
Marshal Suchet
7th French corps
8th French corps
9th Vistula corps
10th Italian corps
Each corps has four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery.   

Spanish Army
General Giron
1st Spanish corps
2nd Spanish corps
3rd Spanish corps
4th Spanish corps

1st and 2nd corps each have four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery

3rd and 4th corps each have three infantry brigades and corps artillery
Each town has a militia brigade
When a town is occupied by the French the militia become guerrillas.