Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Monday 4th April 2016
Battle for Santiago 

After our crushing victory at Viga, Tom and Myself pursued the French North towards La Corunna.

However the town of Santiago lay inbetween, still with its intact "British" defenses and now manned by French troops with traitorous, Napoleon loving Spanish living within!!!

The allies went on the offensive, with Wellington and his gallant troops taking the left flank and our glorious army the right.

Adam was assisiting me and took the far right with intentions of swinging round the towns side, whilst Bob was helping Tom by doing the same on the left.

First turn and unfortunately Adam failed his orders as did most of the allies! Giving the French cavalry brigade time to advance and occupy the hill immediately to his front, second turn however saw 3 brave battalions advance to close range and unleash a devastating volley into those cavalry.

2 Units would retire never to partake again for the rest of the battle. However the middle Dragoon unit held, and forced them into square, giving the 3 horse batteries time to move up and fire. This caused 1 unit to become shaken, but, held its ground. This gave time for the Portuguese Artillery time to recover from its maneuver blunder and silence 2 of the 3 guns.

I was informed later that the far left advance never got off either with command after command being refused.

The centre Portuguese plan was simple - destroy the defenses and troops within by howitzer and cannon fire and then advance over their bodies, however it didn't work. the amount of cannon defending the front of the town also made it impossible.

The brave Transco Cacadores disappeared under a dust cloud of shot and shell which they endured for most of the battle. Their brigade commander feared the worst once the order was given to advance, however, out of the dust and smoke the unit was found, reforming after the battle shaken BUT NOT BROKEN.

So with the Portuguese centre reduced to an artillery duel, it left the British centre to do all the work, which they did in fine style. Advancing just to the left of the town, eliminating the defenders in the redoubts and then swinging around to take the flank.

All would have worked if not for the second French cavalry brigade advancing along the front of the town to charge the brave British line. The Mamelukes of the Guard caught a unit in line and charged home, only to be beaten off at point of bayonet.

The battle ended with the Portuguese right and centre starting to advance, the British centre holding off the French cavalry outside the town with the far right french troops cut off, and the British left still not moving.

At the end of the day the French despite heavy losses still held the town, but not the outlying defenses, again the Portuguese under the great command of Beresford fought well and no losses.

The battle was declared a draw and unless the French retreat, I'm sure we will fight again!

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