GEVORA (february 19,1811)
The Battle of the Gévora (Gebora, Gevora, Xevora) was a minor battle of the Peninsular War between Spanish French armies. It occurred on 19 February 1811, near Badajoz, Spain, where an outnumbered French force routed and nearly destroyed the Spanish Army of Extremadura.
Soult led part of l’Armée du Midi from Andalucía into Extremadura and laid siege to the fortress town of Badajoz. It was a Soult’s diversionary operation to help extricate Massena’s army from his impasse in front of the Lines of Torres Vedras. A Spanish Army (with a small contingent of Portuguese cavalry) under La Romana was sent to raise the siege, but La Romana died unexpectedly and the command of this force was entrusted to Mendizábal, that arrived to Badajoz and ignored the Wellington’s advice and failed to entrench his army.
Soult sent a small force (7,000 men and 12 guns) that attacked and routed the larger Mendizábal force 12,000 men and 17 guns) inflicting 1,000 casualties and taking 4,000 prisoners for a loss of only 400 men. The victory allowed Soult to concentrate on his assault of Badajoz, which fell to the French on 11 March and remained in French hands until the following year.
This combat seen French, Spanish (including some Swiss and Irish mercenaries) and Portuguese. I have used the Lasalle 'Peninsula' lists as a starting point, with slight modifications, in order to achieve forces very similar in number and composition, to the actual units fighting in February 1811. The statistics of the Subcommanders have been diced out according to the ruleset.
- Cust, Edward (1863) Annals of the wars of the nineteenth century, Volume 3
- Lipscombe Nick (2010), The Peninsular War Atlas, Osprey
- Oman, Charles (1911), A History of the Peninsular War: Volume IV, Greenhill Books 2004
- Queipo de Llano y Ruiz de Saravia, José María, Conde de Toreno (1835), Historia del levantamiento, guerra y revolución de España, Volumen 4
- Thiers, Adolphe (1854) Histoire du consultat et de l'empire faisant suite à l'histoire Volume 7
- Thompson, Mark S. (2002), The Fatal Hill, Mark Thompson Publishing
TO THE BATTLE IN PICTURES
Battle map (Wikicommons)
The actual battlefield
Scenario file for
TO THE BATTLE IN PICTURES
Summary of the oob
French Forces (Army Moral 37; Break point 12)
Infantry Girard (9 battalions)
Cavalry: Latour-Mauburg (4 regiments)
Artillery: 2 horse batteries
Reinforcements Cavalry: 4 regiments.
Spanish Forces: (Army Moral 49 Break point 16 )
Infamtry: 15 battalions
Cavalry: 5 regiments
Portuguese cavalry: 3 regiments
Artillery: 3 foot batteries
Notes The duration of the game is 16 turns (Bonus Turns are allowed as per the rules). French are the first side.
The morning fog
The Spaniards were surprised when the morning fog lifted and the French were seen very near their front line, so the Home Field advantage is not used in this Scenario.
Entrenchments and the Wellington’s advice
Mendizábal not follows the Wellington’s advice so the Spanish Army fought in open field without any entrenchment. Before the game, throw 1D10. On a 1 result, Mendizábal is allowed to entrench his army with ‘hasty entrenchments’ (p. 75 of the Rules book).
Spanish units add +1 to their Unpredictable rolls if the roll is taken while the unit is entrenched
They’ll be back
If a game ends in a draw, it is considered a Spanish marginal victory.
The wavering Allied cavalry
Spanish/Portuguese cavalry units do not fought well at Gevora. All Allied cavalry units must to pass a compulsory Discipline test to move towards the enemy, using the ‘Vigor of Superior’ and ‘Out of Command’ modifiers as applicable, as well as an additional -1 modifier. When testing to Fall back from a combat, they get a +1 additional modifier in the required Discipline test (they are wishing to run away!)
The tent camps
All units can enter in a tent camp. They are always in limbered/march column formation.
The flanking Dragoons (Entry point of the reinforcements)
The French reinforcements may enter at B1/C1/D1/D2 (5% / 45% / 45%/ 5%)
See a story version at the Project Leipzig (1813) blog
THE BATTLE IN PICTURES