Friday, December 2, 2011

Campaign Move 3

1600-2000 7 August 1813
The first day would end with two combats, both involving isolated French garrisons. 

5th infantry brigade held a small town just north of the river Ebro called Flix.   This town was the objective of 3rd Spanish corps, who attacked it without any preparation.   General Rosche ordered his whole corps to storm the town, and was surprised and rather embarrassed when they not only failed to take it, but were also forced to retire in some confusion and with light casualties

15 miles south of Flix, the town of Miravat dominated the bridge over the river Ebro.   This town was held by 21st infantry brigade.   General Elio halted his 2nd Spanish corps at the bridge and ordered his two best brigades, supported by his artillery, to attack the town.   They had no more success than 3rd corps at Flix.   They also failed to take their objective.   They withdrew west of the river with light casualties.

It is interesting, and typical of a certain type of Spanish commander, that both Rosche and Elio failed to calculate the odds of taking a fortified town held by a determined defender.   Both appear to have considered that odds of 5 to 1 at Flix, and 3 to 1 at Miravat, would in itself guarantee success.

It was a costly lesson with which to open the campaign.

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