Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spanish defeat at Prades

24 May 1813

Battle of Prades

Prades is a small village in the mountains between Tortosa and Tarragona.

Munsier must take the village in order to reach Tarragona and raise the siege.

3rd Spanish Army have fortified the village, and 1st Spanish are marching to their assistance from Vals.

French take to the mountains

To avoid an attack in column down the narrow pass leading to Prades, the French take to the mountains to the west of the road. Due to the delay it is late afternoon when the French reach the crest of the hill and come in sight of the village. They are confronted by the arrival of 1st Spanish along the Vals road. This is the first warning Munsier has of these reinforcements.

The Spanish cavalry move to attack the French before they can deploy out of their column of march. The French cavalry move forward and rout them. The Spanish cavalry flee through the supporting infantry, who promptly join them.

The Spanish held village delays the French pursuit, but under cover of darkness 3rd Spanish abandon the village and fall back towards Reus.

The Spanish have failed in their best opportunity, which was to stop 4th corps as it tried to exit from the mountains. However they could still fall back on Reus and again offer battle to maintain their siege of Tarragona


23 May 1813

3rd corps on the march south

Munsier moves south and finds a large Spanish force blocking his road south at Prades. Having no communications with 5th corps at Tarragona he has no knowledge of other Spanish armies in the area. He orders an immediate attack on Prades.

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