Sunday, October 31, 2010

French victory at Duenas

18 July 1813


The village of Duenas is north of Valladolid on the Leon road.

The French have occupied the village both to protect the road itself, but also to support the garrison of Valladolid.

Because of the river the city can only be attacked head on, or outflanked to the north.

Unaware that it has already been occupied by the French, Wellington has sent his best corps, including the light division, through the hills to take the village.


The French have occupied the village and the bottom farm which is on the road to Valladolid. But their main strength is beyond Duenas on the Leon road. General Leval has gone forward with his cavalry brigade to look for the British

The British will enter the table on the left.


General Alten ignored the village and farm on the right, and directed his attack against the French right and the road to Leon.

He had to march across the length of the table, as the French did not come forward to meet him. Instead Leval moved his brigade from the farm on his left, to support his right.

The performance of the light division was disappointing. The leading rifle brigade was routed, and the hussar brigade withdrawn after they became shaken due to light casualties.

By late afternoon Leval had redeployed his corps, and Alten has lost his cavalry and best infantry brigade.

As night fell the British withdrew into the mountains.

Effect on the Campaign

Wellington has hoped that his best corps would take the village, cut the French right flank and force Soult to withdraw from Valladolid

His failure to do so has left Soult in a much stronger position.

He can now wait for the rest of his army to arrive from Santander and Madrid.

Link to Battle Report

The full battle report can be found at

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