Sunday, August 22, 2010

Western Spain

Campaign Background

Western Spain

To create the new Grande Armee in the north, Napoleon has withdrawn many of the best divisions from Spain.

This has caused a major reorganisation of the French Armies in Spain.

Marshal Soult has been ordered to abandon southern Spain and take command of all troops between Madrid and Bayonne.

In 1812 Wellington had been forced to retreat from Madrid and Burgos and has taken up position at Salamanca.

In January 1813 he is appointed Commander in Chief of all British, Portuguese and Spanish armies in Spain.

Fifth French Army

Marshal Soult commands the Fifth French Army of four corps

His orders are to hold western Spain from Madrid to Bayonne.

His four corps are all operational, but widely spread.

6th French corps is at Burgos

7th French corps is at Valladolid

8th French corps is at Madrid

16th Italian corps is at Santander

Anglo Portuguese Army

The Duke of Wellington has direct command of this mixed British, Portuguese and German army of four corps.

His intention is to march on Burgos and drive the French out of western Spain.

His four corps are all operational and are concentrated around Salamanca on the southern bank of the river Duero.

1st corps in reserve at Salamanca
2nd corps observing Madrid road at Avila
3rd corps opposite Valladolid
4th corps opposite Zamora

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