Salamanca 25th March 2011

So the first day at Salamanca has been a success for the British, the French began their day historically with three divisions strung out on front of the ridge to the east of the Lesser Arapile. In addition to these they had a light Cavalry division as well as Boyers Heavy cavalry division supporting them. To the North east of these there are a further three divisions along with a light cavalry division. The British and Spanish were deployed inside this imaginary “L” shape, with the Guards division under Campbell at the apex of the “L”.

Guards at the Apex

British Guards Battalion advancing to meet the French threat.

Right from the off the French were very aggressive, assaulting the apex of the “L” shape of the British Line. In contrast the British defended the ridge doggedly with the British Guards division advancing in to the teeth of the advancing French divisions and dealing out a severe drubbing to the enemy. The first Battalion of British Foot Guard withstood shot and shell for eight turns, finally retreating once they were down to two figures. Once they had fallen back the supporting battalion were charged by a squadron of dragoons that had anticipated an easy victory over the unformed/pinned Guardsmen, however the resulting volley still took seven of the eight Dragoons out, very nearly killing Boyer!!

The assault on the Apex begins!

The French Divisions advance into the British firing lines!

The highland Brigade stood shoulder to shoulder with their English counterparts and meted out vicious retribution to the French men assaulting their position, these like the Guardsmen gave their ground only at the cost of Frenchmen. Finally below firty percent they retired behind the ridge of the Lesser Arapile to regroup and move to support the other Highland battalion now firing into the French mass.

The Light division

The British Light division engages the battery of Maucune’s division!

Over on the North East of the battlefield the stream separating the French from the British Divisions was duelled over, the Light Division engaging the French artillery and supporting battalions at close range. After nine turns the supporting division of Pakenham is now manoeuvring into position to attack the French to the east of the Lesser Arapile. Leith’s Division is making it’s way forward, clearing the small out buildings west of the dried riverbed. Aiming to stop the attempted French outflank to the North east of the British position.

The recipients of the Light Divisiona attention.

The recipients of the British Light divisions attentions, some veteran Polish troops.

At the western end of the ridge, the British Divisions along with the Spanish Division of De Espana are holding the Allied right flank. An earlier attempt by a French Light Cavalry Division to outflank their position being scuppered after some initial successes. The British light cavalry buying time enough for the Spanish to anchor the far right of the ridge and hopefully securing the wing.

British defend Los Arapiles

The fight over Los Arapiles begins!

The French Division outside the village of Los Arapiles is suffering casualties but holding it’s ground, while another pushes passed to assault the main ridge, where the British Divisions of Hope and Clinton have pushed forward to the front of the ridge to better engage the advancing French masses.

Another view of the Village

Outside Los Arapiles the punishment begins!

The battle still hangs in the balance, a lot to be played for….tomorrow is, as they say another day!

Soult's Light Cavalry.

Two cavalry regiments from Soult’s cavalry division.

More tomorrow!

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