Sunday, November 20, 2011

Background to the Tortosa campaign

 7 August 1813 - Initial corps deployment
Background to the campaign

This is the second phase of the 1813 campaign in north eastern Spain.

The first phase was the Tarragona campaign from 29 May to 7 June 1813.

Wellington is commander in chief of all Armies in Spain, including the Spanish.   But his appointment is resented by all of the Spanish commanders, and they pay little attention to his orders. Captain General Copons has command of the four Spanish corps in eastern Spain.   

Wellington has started his bid to clear the French from Spain with his successful Valladolid campaign.   He is at present resting his army in preparation for the advance on Burgos.  

To prevent Suchet from sending reinforcements to Soult, he has ordered Copons to cross the river Ebro and take the city of Tortosa. 

He has promised to send General Murray and his 5th British corps to support Copons.  

 Fourth French Army

Fourth French Army

Marshal Suchet has four corps under his command

At the start of the campaign they are deployed throughout their operational areas.

 Spanish Army

Spanish Army

Captain-General Copons in the nominal commander of four corps

All four corps commanders consider themselves to have independent commands, and are unlikely to put the common cause above their own best interests

5th British Corps

British Corps

General Murray commands an independent corps.
He has orders to support the Spanish offensive when possible
His first priority it to avoid the loss of his command

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