Saturday, April 21, 2012

Battle of Sepulveda November 28, 1808

The battle of Sepulveda was historically a Spanish victory in repulsing a Brigade of middle guard under direct command of General Savary and a brigade of cavalry under General Lasalle. General Savary's men found it hard to unseat the Spanish from this village as the forces on the low hills around the village withdrew to the safety of the village. The French after a minor scrap, withdrew. This did not happen in our historic refight.
In refighting this scenario, Lasalle took some time to make it on the board, but when he did, he quickly turned the Spanish cavalry around and routed one from the field during the first contact. The small Spanish artillery battery posted did cause some minor damage to the Imperial Guard sent to deal with them, but the guns were cleared and the gunners cut down. The Spanish infantry lead by Spanish General Sarden formed squares to ward off Lasalle's marauding cavalry. Two battalions of the Imperial Guard attacked the village, managing to inflict losses but being repulsed on the first attempt.
The Imperial Guard artillery finally moved into position and opened fire on the village, but their fire was completely ineffective. The supporting battalion of the assault on the village then lead the attack, inflicting severe losses on the garrison battalion occupying the first section and then occupying it. The following turn the French battalion attacked the other Spanish battalion in the remaining section of the village and managed to eject them and take the last sector. The supporting French battalion followed up in support to occupy the first sector of Sepulveda.

Lasalle's cavalry attacked the remaining Spanish cavalry regiment and finished them off and made a breakthrough into a Spanish square, which also broke and was routed from the field. The other Spanish battalions on the hill next to the village remained in square and were being shot up by the guardsmen who were in lines. The Spanish thought of trying to reform into a line now that the cavalry were well behind them and finishing off their comrades. Unfortunately, the Spanish morale test to reform while they were disrupted failed and they were now in a state of confusion The last two battalions of the Imperial Guard charged in and easily whipped the dazed and confused Spanish troops in squares. The final Spanish infantry battalion that had been ejected from the village was hit by Lasalle's other cavalry regiment and because the Spanish battalion was already mauled, was slaughtered. This last move completed the French entrapment of the remaining Spanish skirmishers who now had no route of escape due to the river being impassible.

The complete route and capture of the Spanish forces and village was a French major victory despite the fact that this was a small level game. Hopefully my friend Tim and I will be able to do the other battle in November 1808 of Somosierra next month.


  1. Poor spanish troops! Nice report!

    1. Yes, usually at the short end of the stick. But if they got captured, they could be "recruited" into King Joseph's army in the future and regain their freedom and desert.

  2. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.