Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Battle of Vimiero - Part Three

Move 4 - French left

French infantry approach Vimiero Hill on engage orders and skirmish with British skirmish line. Both the skirmish fire and the artillery fire prove ineffective.

Move 4 - French centre

Marshal Junot is returning to his left to issue new orders to the cavalry reserve.

The British garrison have rallied but are still shaken.

French continue to skirmish the village, but with no effect.

Move 4 - French Right

Marshal Junot has ordered Delaborde to engage the hill, and his infantry columns are on the move to do so. Artillery on both sides exchange fire, but no casualties.

Move 4 - British Reserve

Wellesley has taken command of the cavalry reserve and is moving it forward on the left to threaten the French infantry attack on Vimiero.

Move 5 - French Left

Loison’s infantry are losing the skirmish fight for Vimiero Hill, and his leading brigade is shaken. The remainder of his infantry are too far away to skirmish or attack. The British artillery are now firing on the infantry columns, but still without effect.

Move 5 - French Centre

The British hussars declare an opportunity charge on the nearest French infantry column, but fail to make their morale to charge. The infantry immediately form square, which relieves the pressure on Vimiero.

Two French brigades are engaging the left hand section of the village, but again are losing the contest, and one brigade has suffered casualties. Despite being outnumbered the garrison have the benefit of hard cover and are gaining the upper hand.

The French cavalry reserve have been ordered to engage the enemy hussars and are moving into position to do so.

Move 5 - French Right

Deleborde is having more success. His guns have shaken the enemy artillery and one of his infantry brigades moves within skirmish range and inflicts further casualties which cause the gunners to rout.

The British infantry all make their morale despite the gunners running away, and hold their position to await the anticipated French attack.

Move 5 - British reserve

British Hussars now in position to threaten French attacks on Vimiero and left hand ridge. Reverve infantry battalion moving to left hand village section which is under attack.

Move 6 - French left

Crisis on Vimiero Hill. French infantry columns win skirmish fight and now await orders to storm the hill.

Even at canister range the British artillery have failed to inflict casualties. They have suffered skirmish casualties and are now Shaken. One infantry battalion is in rout and another also Shaken

Move 6 - French centre

Thomieres brigade have lost the fight for Vimiero. On the left two infantry battalions are in rout, a third is Shaken and the fourth in square to hold off British hussars.

It has been a very near run thing for the British. The garrison of the left hand section has also routed. A second battalion is moving through the rout to hold the village, and have made their morale despite the rout. Fortunately the French are in no condition to follow up the rout.

Move 6 - French right

On the left the arrival of the French cavalry reserve has forced the weaker enemy hussars to withdraw behind the village. This timely arrival has saved Thomieres badly shaken brigade .

Delaborde’s brigade is bogged down. Despite routing the enemy gunners, he is unable to take the ridge. On Engage orders he can only skirmish with the enemy, and they are winning the fight. The routed gunners have been rallied, but have suffered too many casualties to man the guns again.

The arrival of the French cavalry on the left could turn the tide in this part of the field

Move 6 - British reserve

The Portuguese reserve brigade is Shaken by the highlanders rout from the left hand section of the village. Wellington is moving to rally them.
Ackland’s reserve battalion is moving into the village and should be able to secure it as the French have no formed infantry who can oppose them.

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