Thursday, 30 December 2010

Fuentes de Oñoro Refight

The Christmas holidays have provided the opportunity to do the delayed refight of the battle of Fuentes de Oñoro.

The French began with attacks against Fuentes in order to hold the British centre while trying to sweep around the British right trying to catch the isolated 7th Division. Wellington was quick to realise the danger and ceasing the initiative he order the Light Division out in support.

The British had filled the gap in their lines before the French could get to grips but the ferocity of the French cavalry attack swept away the Portuguese Brigade of the 7th Division. If it was not for Sontag's Brigade valiantly resisting combined attacks by French infantry and cavalry the British line would have been turned.

Having failed to turn the British right and the attacks on Fuentes eating up the 2nd Corps, the French decided to try their final option and crossed the stream north of Fuentes in an attempt to take the high ground. The attack met with initial success forcing the British 6th and 5th Divisions to withdraw, but they regrouped and counter attacked before the advantage could be exploited.

Despite having inflicted severe damage along the British line the French exhausted and Wellington threw forward the Guards in order to see off the remaining French and forcing Massena to flee to prevent capture.

True to history the French fail to break the British line and relieve the fort of Almeida.

This is the third time I have refought Fuentes de Oñoro using Grande Armèe and each time the British have won. In this refight the French attempts to turn the British line south of Fuentes failed to force the British back to form the L-shape it did in 1811.

Grande Armèe's command system is excellent at representing the difficulty a General has in co-ordinating an attack across their lines. Giving Bessières a command rating of 5 means that as Massena you have to spend a lot of your time getting the attack on your left moving, limiting the chance of a simultaneous attack on the right. 

No comments:

Post a Comment