Saturday, 7 May 2016

Talavera 1809 @ SSWG - part 2

We ended part 1 of this all day Talavera replay with the French forces closing in on the British line across the Portina stream.
The SSWG club in Southend on Sea, Essex, hosted the event using the Black Powder rules set along with the Albion Triumphant expansion.  The figures are all 28mm with a decent mixture of manufacturers being fielded.

We rejoin the action as the German and Polish brigades of the IV Corps, under General Sebastiani, have just engaged the British.  Meanwhile on the right flank, the French cavalry face off against the Anglo-Spanish horse.
To support the advancing Germans, Milhaud's dragoons finally moved off and prepared to threaten charges on the British infantry in line across the stream.
French horse artillery support Milhaud's advance
Three regiments of French dragoons

The musket volley's heat up the day as the British engage the French columns and try to halt their assault.
The Germans initial assault is stopped in its tracks and 2 battalions are routed from the field in quick order by the British Guards!
The fighting is uglier with the Polish units and both sides revert to exchanging ever more ragged volleys at each other.
Polish and British units begin their fight
The British Guards brigade halts the initial advance of the Germans
The engagement slows to a musketry duel
The Guards pour on the firepower

Eventually, the French manage to bring up the 5th battalion of Germans using the Brigadier and a sneaky "Follow me!" order.  This brings a fresh unit onto the flank of the British Guards.
This, along with the threat of Milhaud's cavalry begins to wear away at the defenders driving one battalion of Guards back and another into square.
To the right of the Polish brigade, the French advance begins to take momentum with a fresh brigade of troops slamming into the British line in attack columns.
On the far right of the battle, the French cavalry had driven off their Anglo-Spanish opposites, but were threatened in turn by Spanish troops on the hills beyond (represented with Portuguese troops in the shots).
Everything starts to look good for the French, though the Cerro de Medellin is still formidably held by British infantry and artillery.

Follow me!
The British are assaulted by combined arms and the Guards are driven back
French attack columns strike home
The Spanish (Portuguese figures) infantry advance on the French right

At this point, the Spanish troops in Talavera started to make a slow entrance on the French left, threatening to flank their attack on the British.
To counter this, the reserve cavalry was deployed to see the rabble off.

Spanish infantry advance from Talavera
Spanish artillery in action
French cavalry charge in

On the Cerro de Medellin, an ugly war of attrition began, which saw stalemate for the rest of the battle with neither side gaining an advantage.
The breakthrough of the day came in the British centre right, where the heaviest fighting had happened.
The British Guards were forced back by the Germans, while towards the Cerro, the British infantry facing the assault of the French and Poles began to break, leaving gaps in the line.
In the end, event the Guards were routed, taking with them supporting battalions in their flight.

The final attack on the British Guards
And they are routed from the field
The Polish infantry finally see success too

At this stage, the Anglo-Spanish defenders had been split in two, and were forced to retire from the field.
We ended the day with a French victory, though not without issues with command, bungled orders and some terrible dice from both sides.
Great fun was had and we will fight again!

Please check the Google Photos album for all the photos I took from the day:  Talavera 1809 by EssexWargamer
If you are local to Southend or the south of Essex, then please visit the SSWG club website to see whats happening:  SSWG club website.

The battle comes to an end

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