Sunday, October 10, 2010

Battle of Fuentes de Orono - Part Five

Move 8

On the left the French push the British supports back from Poco Vehlo. In the centre the Portuguese infantry receive artillery casualties and rout. On the right the French infantry approach the river.

At Poco Vehle the French have been ordered to attack. They two brigades cross the stream and push the defenders back shaken. The third brigade attacks the village, but is routed by the rifles.

Wellington is in serious trouble at Fuentes de Orono. His Portuguese brigade is in rout and four infantry brigades are closing on the village.

Move 9

The French attack on the left has stalled, two brigades are in rout and a third shaken. On the opposite flank things are going much better. In the centre the dragoons have broken the square, who are now in rout with the Portuguese, plus the gunners who were sheltered by the square. Two more French brigades are crossing to the left of Fuentes de Orono to join the centre.

The French attack on Poco Vehlo has failed. They have routed one enemy brigade, but the rifles still hold the village. The French have lost two brigades and the third is shaken. The dragoons continue to pin the garrison, and the artillery to fire, but there are no fresh infantry to take the village.

Wellington is about to order a withdrawal from Fuentes de Orono. The French dragoons have broken the square and sent it in rout after the Portuguese. There are four French infantry brigades approaching the village.


This was a very close fought battle, which could have gone either way.

The French took advantage of the weakly held centre to push cavalry across the stream. They then forced two lots of gunners to abandon their guns, which in turn allowed the French infantry to cross.

The rifles held Poco Vehlo right to the end. The French infantry were disordered as they forded the stream, and were broken by accurate rifle fire from the village.

It was a French victory, but only just. Wellington still had sufficient infantry to cover his retreat.

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