005 Talavera (28 July 1809)
Talavera - 28 July 1809
Sir Arthur Wellesley crossed into Spain and on July 20th joined with General Cuesta’s beaten Spanish Army to oppose two French armies under Soult and Victor. Hearing of the allied advance, Soult proposed that Victor attack to hold the British and Spanish armies while he marched south and placed his army between Wellesley and his base in Portugal.
On the evening of 27th July, the British and Spanish were deployed around Talavera with the Spanish holding the strongest defensive terrain.
A line of high ground, the Cerro de Medellin, formed the main position for the British troops.
Victor’s approaching army had been reinforced by a corps under Sebastiani and a large body of cavalry under King Jerome Bonaparte. Victor decided to assault the Cerro de Medellin without delay and ordered Ruffin’s Division to make a night attack. The French broke through the surprised British troops and one gallant regiment actually reached the crest before being driven off by reserves. Next morning, Ruffin’s division attacked again. As the infantry reached the crest of the hill, volleys from the waiting British caused fearful execution in Ruffin’s columns. The British then charged and drove the French back across Portina brook.
There was a pause as the French leadership decided its next move. Joseph ordered Sebastiani to attack along with Ruffin’s depleted division.
Meanwhile, Victor’s remaining infantry attempted to outflank the British line. Sebastiani and Ruffin were driven back while Wellesley countered the flanking move with cavalry. The French infantry formed square and drove the cavalry off with heavy loss. Joseph did not commit his last reserves. During the night he ordered the French army to retreat.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wellesley
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 5 Tactician Cards
• Commander: King Joseph Bonaparte
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 2 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The River Portina Brook will stop movement, but does not cause any battle restrictions.