0800-1200 7 August 1813
Marshal Suchet’s four armee corps were spread over a wide area. In addition each corps had detached three brigades to form garrisons. This dispersal was done to allow the French army to live off the local resources, as was their practice.
The initiative lay with Captain-General Copons, who would open the campaign with his advance west of the river Ebro. Consequently his four corps were concentrated at their forward supply base.
Because of the wide deployment area all four French corps commanders had a large degree of independence. They received their first warning of the proposed Spanish offensive from army headquarters. All immediately recognized that their forward garrisons nearest to the river Ebro were in danger of being cut off, and all sent orders for their withdrawal.
It was now a race to see whether the French could warn their exposed garrisons in time, and then either withdraw them or move to reinforce them.
No contacts took place during move one, but it was likely that there would be at least one sooner rather than later.
The French reaction is delayed by the fact that each corps commander can only send one message each campaign move. With up to three brigades detached in garrisons each commander must decide which brigade to send orders to first.