The Bourbon Succession Saved:

The Battle of Almanza (25th April 1707)

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701 - 1714) is famous for the battles and campaigns of the Duke of Marlborough, yet these were just a small part of the overall war. The battle of Almanza was the decisive battle in the Spanish campaign, and it can be argued of the whole war. Defeat at this battle turned the tide against the Confederates (the British, Dutch, Imperialists and their allies) candidate for the Spanish throne, as much politically as militarily, in Spain. The Confederates main war aim was to secure the Spanish throne for their candidate, Charles III, but after Almanza this was increasingly a forlorn hope. Without success in Spain the Confederate success' elsewhere could not force the French and their allies into an acceptable peace. As Kamen said "By Almanza, the Marshal Duke of Berwick saved the Bourbon Succession".

In this article I will provide details for the gamer to re-fight it on the tabletop. I have included details for the two sets of rules I know best for this period but also information in general terms which can hopefully be used with other systems. I have also included details of other Confederate forces in the area which could be used for a 'what if' battle.

The War in Spain and Portugal before 1707

The war in Spain and Portugal was slow to start, mainly because of the lack of bases in the area for the Confederate forces to use. In 1703 this changed as Portugal was induced to join the Confederates, followed in 1705 by Catalonia. Both Britain and the Netherlands dispatched relatively small forces to support these new allies and the war in Spain and Portugal started in earnest.

Over the following years the Confederates in Portugal built up there position after a shaky start. In 1705 the revolt of Catalonia led to an epic siege of Barcelona which was finally broken by the Confederates. In 1706 part of the Confederate army that had been operating in Portugal, under the French Earl of Galway, advanced towards Madrid, the capital of Spain. Indeed they succeeded in briefly occupying Madrid before being forced out by Franco-Spanish pressure. 1706 had also seen great Confederate successes in Flanders (Ramilles) and Italy (Turin). So the time seemed right for a big push in Spain to force the French and their allies to peace negotiations. Especially as Confederate forces were now concentrated in Catalonia and Valencia.

Unfortunately at this point the Confederates could not agree on what would be the best step to take. One faction led by the Earl of Peterborough the overall commander and commander of the forces in Catalonia favoured dispersing the armies to consolidate and defend what they had. The other faction, including Marlborough and the Earl of Galway commander of the army from Portugal, favoured returning to Madrid with the combined armies and securing the Spanish capital city. After a series of acrimonious meetings Peterborough decided in favour of the defensive strategy. Peterborough ordered the Catalonian army to Catalonia to secure the Confederate position there and then temporarily left Spain.

The Confederate cause had received much needed reinforcements from Britain and Holland, although the trip to Spain had been harsh and depleted there numbers. French reinforcements under the Duke of Orleans were also expected to arrive in Spain but news reached Galway that the Duke of Orleans had yet to arrive. Seeing a last chance to seize Madrid, before the Franco Spanish forces received reinforcements, Galway's army started to march on Madrid and called for reinforcements and support from other forces in Spain. This was a call that went unanswered. Meanwhile the English commander of the Franco Spanish army, the Duke of Berwick (he was the illegitimate son of King James II of England and Marlborough's older sister), had also taken to the field. Unknown to the Confederates it was true that the Duke of Orleans had not yet arrived in Spain but unfortunately for them his reinforcements had. Wanting to capitalise on this before the Duke of Orleans arrived to complicate command issues Berwick advanced in the direction of Galway's army.

Initially neither commander realised that the other army was active as the two armies advanced unknowingly towards each other. By April 24th 1707 the two armies had drawn close to each other and Galway held a council of war to decide what to do. Still believing that the French reinforcements had yet to arrive the council resolved to attack the following day. Setting out early on April 25th the Confederate army marched to attack their enemies at Almanza.

The Armies

The exact composition of the armies involved is debatable with different sources giving different numbers of units involved and total army sizes. I have chosen to use the numbers quoted by the two army commanders in period documents, Galway for the Confederate army and Berwick for the Franco Spanish army. I have used their figures as the general basis of how many troops they had, and the numbers of battalions and squadrons present.

For the identity of the units involved I have used two modern detailed breakdowns of the armies, one by period researcher Iain Stanford and the other from a Spanish source. Neither of these exactly matches the figures given by the army commanders or indeed each other. Therefore I have used all the sources to produce a 'most likely' OOB.

The Confederate Army

The exact composition of the army is debatable but Galway, the army's commander, claims that he had 42 infantry battalions and 53 cavalry squadrons. These totalled, according to Galway, 11,000 infantry and 4,500 cavalry. But it is likely that these numbers are just the rank and file and do not include officers, etc.

Infantry:

Galway states that he commanded 42 battalions. Stanford gives 45 battalions in total, 19 Portuguese, 18 British and 8 Dutch. The Spanish source gives 42 battalions, 19 Portuguese, 16 British and 7 Dutch. I believe that Galway must be the most accurate source for numbers in his own army and so in this case the Spanish source is correct and the extra units in Stanford's list were with the Confederate army in Catalonia, see below.

If there were exactly 11,000 of them this would be 252 men per battalion, on average. But this could be higher if the figure of 11,000 when officers are aded.

Portuguese: All sources agree that 19 Portuguese battalions were present but not on the names of many of these units. It is likely that, despite the different names used, these are the same units. It is also likely that the Portuguese battalions were less than average size because they had been actively campaigning for some time and were far from home and fresh recruits. Therefore perhaps they would average more like 200 to 250 men per battalion.

Portuguese battalions retained an unknown proportion of pikes late into the war. It is not clear if this was still the case or not.

British and Dutch: Stanford and the Spanish source do not agree here. In general the 2 sources agree which units were present but Stanford gives 2 extra British battalions. Stanford gives two marine units under Will or Willis and Borr, but I believe that these were actually with the forces in Catalonia. This leaves one battalion too many.

The Dutch unit mentioned by Stanford, but not in the Spanish source, is the Friesheim battalion. It is therefore possible that this unit was not present at the battle. But Dutch records seem to indicate that it was present. It is possible that the Dutch records are mistaken as certainly the units commander was at the battle even if his unit was not. On balance I believe it is more likely that Freisheim's battalion was present. This means we still have 1 extra battalion but it is not possible to identify it which one is mistaken. You could randomly remove a unit but we will use 43 battalions from now on.

Galway gives the following list of the British units involved in the battle and their strength "some few days before the battle". Combined Guards battalion 400, Portmore's 462, Southwell's 505, Stewart's 467, Hill's 472, Blood's 461, Mordaunt's 532, Wade's 458, Gorge's 616, Montjoy's 508, Macartney's 484, Breton's 428, Alnut's 412, Caulfield's (Bowles') 470, Kerr's 429 and Nazzau's 422. It is likely that the Dutch battalions were a similar size.

So it is likely that the British and Dutch battalions present were stronger than average. But it is also mentioned that the regiments suffered heavily from attrition in the period before the battle. Therefore it is possible that they averaged more like 300 to 400 men per battalion by the time of the battle.

Tactics: The Portuguese units used rank firing tactics. The British and Dutch units are traditionally credited with using 'platoon firing' at this time. But recently some doubt about this has been expressed. Therefore they are listed as using platoon firing but if you wish they too can use rank firing.

Cavalry:

Galway says he had 53 squadrons amounting to 4,500 men, but once again this figures is probably without officers. For the cavalry Stanford gives 55 squadrons and the Spanish source 60 squadrons. In this case I think that Stanford is largely correct. It seems that the Spanish source has assumed that some units were present with the full number of squadrons the unit had, when it is likely that they were not.

We still have 2 squadrons too many. Possibly some of the Portuguese units still have too many squadrons. But I feel that it is likely that the extra squadrons can be found within the British ranks. Killigrew's unit had had most of its men captured and so the few remaining may not have counted as a squadron. While Carpenter's and Essex's units are described as 'detachments' and so may not have counted in Galway's squadron total. Unfortunately it is impossible to tell if this is the case therefore we will work on 55 squadrons as given by Stanford.

The average size of a squadron is 82 men. Galway once again gives us the strengths of the British units "some few days before the battle". The units are dragoons unless stated differently. Harvey's Horse 227, Killigrew's 51, Pearce's 273, Peterborough's 303, Guiscard's 228 and Carpenter's/ Essex's detachment 292. Again the Dutch units are likely to be a similar size and also the march would have reduced these numbers. Therefore I have used 80 men per Portuguese squadron and 110 for the others.

The number in brackets is the number of squadrons or battalions in the unit. The information is generally as per Stanford, alternative information from the Spanish source is in italics.

Army Commander: Henri de Massue, Marquis de Ruvigny & Earl of Galway

Total: 42 infantry battalions, 53 (55) cavalry squadrons and 30 guns - 16,000 men.

Right Wing: Das Minas

1st Line: Villaverde: 5 battalions and 16 squadrons (all Portuguese)

Noronha's Brigade: Gardes of Das Minas [1], General de la Cavallera [1], Naronja or Noronha [2] and Campo Mayor [3] - 7 squadrons of 80 poor quality cavalry.

Silveira's Brigade: Iberia [1], De Melo [1], Vasconzelos [1], S. Payo [1] and Galbo [1] - 5 battalions of about 200 to 250 poor quality infantry, possibly with a proportion of pikes (20%?).

Velho de Setubal [1], Sao Giao do Barra [1], Novo de Setubal [1], Miranda [1], Novo de Chaves [1]

Amaça's Brigade: Moura [3], Villaviciosa [2], Algarbo [1] and Almanza [3] - 9 squadrons of 80 poor quality cavalry.

2nd Line: Don Juan De Alayda: 4 battalions and 12 squadrons (all Portuguese)

Mello's Brigade: Olivenca [3], De Veria [6] and Lisboa [3] - 12 squadrons of 80 poor quality cavalry.

Olivenca [2], De Beria [6], Castelo da Vide [2] and Lisboa [2]

Vasconcellos' Brigade: Carballo [1], Azbedo [1], Tobar [1] and Lopez [1] - 4 battalions of about 200 to 250 poor quality infantry, possibly with a proportion of pikes (20%?).

Velho de Almeida [1], Velho de Pernamacor [1], Novo de Permanacor [1] and Novo de Braganza [1]

Centre: Erle: 25 battalions in total

1st Line: Shimpton: 14 battalions, 6 Portuguese, 4 Dutch, 4 British.

Infantry Brigade: Carneira [1], Aveiras [1], Ycha [1], Delgado [1], Castro [1] and Zamora [1] - 6 battalions of 200 to 250 poor quality Portuguese infantry, possibly with a proportion of pikes (20%?).

Ilha's Brigade: Serpa [1], Novo da Corte [1] and Moura [1]

Camara's Brigade: Novo de Almeida [1], Castro [1] and Viana [1]

Dohna's Brigade: Keppelfox [1], Viscouse [1 - Huguenots], Belcastel [1 - Huguenots] and Torsay [1] - 4 battalions of about 300 to 400 average quality Dutch infantry. OR L'Isle Marais' Brigade: see below with 3 or 4 battalions

MacCartney Brigade: Mordaunt [1], MacCartney [1], Gorge [1] and Foot Guards [1] - 4 battalions of about 300 to 400 good quality British infantry, the Guards are Excellent quality.

2nd Line: Friesheim: 11 or 12 battalions, 4 Portuguese, 3 (or 4) Dutch, 4 British.

Henriques' Brigade: Machado [1], Henriques [1], Alvarez Golle [1] and Pereira [1] - 4 battalions of about 200 to 250 poor quality infantry, possibly with a proportion of pikes (20%?).

Velho de Chaves [1], Velho de Barganza [1], Novo do Minho [1] and Velho de Minho [1]

L'Isle Marais' Brigade: Welderen [1], Friesheim [1], Cavalier [1 - Huguenots] and L'Isle-Marais [1 - Huguenots] - 4 battalions of about 300 to 400 average quality Dutch infantry. OR Dohna's Brigade: see above

Breton's Brigade: Bowles [1], Nassau [1 - German], Breton [1] and Portmore [1] - 4 battalions of about 300 to 400 average quality British infantry.

Notes: The Spanish source has the 2 Dutch brigades swapping places in the line.

Left Wing: Earl of Galway:

1st Line: Tyrawley: 4 British battalions and 16 squadrons (6 Dutch and 10 British).

Siluten's Brigade: Drimborn [2], Schippenbach Dragoons [2] and Mattha Dragoons [2] - 6 squadrons of about 110 average quality Dutch cavalry, 4 are dragoons and 2 are Horse.

As above but including Harvey's British Horse [2]

Wade's Brigade: Montjoy [1], Blood [1], Wade [1] and Southwell [1] - 4 battalions of about 300 to 400 good quality British infantry.

Killigrew's Brigade: Pearce [2], Peterborough [2] and Killigrew [1] - 5 squadrons of about 110 good quality British dragoons.

Carpenter's Brigade: Guiscard Dragoons [1], Essex Dragoons [1], Carpenter Dragoons [1] and Harvey Horse [2] - 5 squadrons of about 110 good quality British cavalry, 3 squadrons are dragoons and 2 are Horse.

As above but without Harvey's unit.

2nd Line: Conde de Alayda: 4 British battalions and 11 Portuguese squadrons

Queyroga's Brigade: Tra Los Montes or Traz osMontes [4], Do Minho or 1st do Minho [3] & Dominche or 2nd do Minho [4] - 11 squadrons of about 80 poor quality cavalry.

Hill's Brigade: Hill [1], Kerr [1], Alnutt [1] and Stewart [1] - 4 battalions of about 300 to 400 average quality British infantry.

Artillery: 20 Portuguese and 6 British guns of unknown type.

OOB's for Polemos: GNW and Ga Pa rules.

Units have been combined to make reasonable sized on table units.

Ga Pa: The British units come from the list on pages 29 to 31, the Portuguese from pages 54 to 55 and the Dutch from page 77 to 79.

Polemos: I have used the GNW rules rather than the WSS rules as might be expected. This is because these are the rules our group always use for this war.

Army Commander: Earl of Galway (Ga Pa: Ld 4, In 3. Polemos: Ex 3 + D6)

Right Wing: Das Minas (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Av 1 + D3}

1st Line: Villaverde: (Ga Pa: Ld 2, In 2. Polemos: Poor 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Noronha's Brigade Portuguese 1 unit c and 2 units d 2 bases Trained, Horse
Silveira's Brigade Portuguese 2 units a, 1 is reduced 2 bases Trained, AP Foot
Amaça's Brigade Portuguese 2 units c and 1 unit d 3 bases Trained, Horse

 

2nd Line: Don Juan De Alayda: (Ga Pa: Ld 2, In 2. Polemos: Poor 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Mello's Brigade Portuguese 2 units c and 1 unit b. 4 bases Raw, Horse
Vasconcellos' Brigade Portugusese 2 units a (reduced) 2 bases Raw, AP Foot

 

Centre: Erle: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2 + D3)

1st Line: Shimpton: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Ilha/Camera Brigade Portuguese 3 units a (reduced) 3 bases Trained, AP Foot
Dohna's Brigade Dutch 2 units c 3 bases Trained, DS Foot
MacCartney's Brigade British 2 units b or 3 units b (reduced) 3 bases Veteran, DS Foot

 

2nd Line: Friesheim: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Henriques' Brigade Portuguese 2 units a (reduced) 2 bases Raw, AP Foot
L'Isle Marais' Brigade Dutch 2 units c 3 bases Trained, DS Foot
Breton's Brigade British 2 units c or 3 units c (reduced) 3 bases Trained, DS Foot

 

Left Wing: Under the personal command of the army commander the Earl of Galway:

1st Line: Tyrawley: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2)

Unit Nation Ga Pa Polemos
Siluten's Brigade Dutch 1 unit l 2 bases Veteran Dragoons
Wade's Brigade British 2 units b or 3 units b (reduced) 3 bases Veteran DS Foot
Killigrew's Brigade British 1 unit f 2 bases Trained Dragoons
Carpenter's Brigade British 1 unit f 2 bases Veteran Horse

 

2nd Line: Conde de Alayda: (Ga Pa: Ld 2, In 2. Polemos: Poor 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Hill's Brigade British 2 units c or 3 units c (reduced) 3 bases Trained DS Foot
Queyroga's Brigade Portugusese 3 units c 3 bases Raw Horse

 

Artillery:

Ga Pa: Use British - 1 unit i. Portuguese - 3 units g, 2 unit i.

Polemos: Use British - 1 Light Gun Trained. Portuguese - 1Light Guns and 1Field Gun, Raw.

Note: Because of the poor quality of the Portuguese cavalry units and high quality of the British and Dutch units the cavalry may be re-classified. All British and Dutch cavalry can count as Horse and all Portuguese cavalry as Dragoons.

The Franco Spanish Army

Once again the exact composition of the army is debatable but Berwick, the army's commander, claims that he had 52 infantry battalions and 76 cavalry squadrons. These totalled, according to Berwick, 25,000 men - circa 18,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry. Also as above the sources differ in the details but not as much as with the allies.

Infantry:

Stanford gives 52 battalions in his list, 30 French and 22 Spanish. The Spanish source largely agrees with which units were present, except this only has 1 battalion of the Spanish guards. But this source places some units in different locations to the first. On the whole I feel that Stanford is correct here.

The infantry battalions are an average of 350 men strong. Spanish battalions retained an unknown proportion of pikes late into the war. It is not clear if this was still the case or not. All infantry used rank firing.

Cavalry:

Once again Stanford seems the most reliable here. He gives 74 squadrons of cavalry in total while the Spanish source gives 81. It again seems likely that the Spanish source gives Spanish units too many squadrons actually present. Stanford is though 2 squadrons short and perhaps he has under stated the strength of some units. Alternatively the Spanish source mentions a Spanish unit, the Granada Horse regiment, which doesn't appear in Stanford's list. So it is possible that this unit was present with 2 squadrons or some other combination.

As above the names of the units are sometimes different in the sources but it seems likely that they refer to the same unit. The organisation below follows Stanford's and the Spanish organisation is fairly different to that used. But it may be some theoretical organisation of the army and seems to differ with that used in the battle.

The cavalry squadrons were on average a little short of 100 men strong.

The number in brackets is the number of squadrons or battalions in the unit. The information is generally as per Stanford, alternative information from the Spanish source is in italics.

Army Commander: Marshal James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick

Total: 52 Battalions, 76 squadrons and 40 Guns - 25,000 men

Right Wing

1st Line: Lt General Duque de Popoli: 21 Spanish squadrons

  • Silly's Brigade: Guardias de Corps [4], Pozo Blanco [4] and Rosellón Nuevo [3]
  • Ronquillo's Brigade: Carillo [3], Amezaga [3] and Real Asturias [4]

2nd Line: Lt General D'Asfeld: 16 Spanish squadrons

  • Croa's Brigade: Reina [4], Armendariz Dragoons [3] and La Rambla or Ubeda [3]
  • Gutiérrez's Brigade: Órdenes-Nuevo [3] and Órdenes-Viejo [3]

Centre: Lt General San Gilles

Centre Right 1st Line: Lt General Labadie: 14 Spanish Battalions

  • Valle's Brigade: Guardia Españolas [3] and Guardias Valonas [3]
  • Charni's Brigade: Castilla [1], Murcia [1], Trujillo [1] and Badajoz [1]
  • Castillo's Brigade: Sevilla [1], Burgos [1], Osuna [1] and Valladolid [1]

Centre Left 1st Line: Maj General Vicentelo: 15 French Battalions "

  • Sillery's Brigade: Bigorre [1], Isle de France [1], La Sarre [1] and Sillery [2]
    • Orléans [2], Isle de France [1] and Sillery [2]
  • Polastron's Brigade: Medoc [1], Oleron [2] and La Couronne [2]
    • Bigorre [1], Oleron [2] and La Couronne [2]
  • Beauvayes' French Brigade: Reding [1 German], Blaisois [2] and Mailly [2]

Centre 2nd Line: Lt General Hessy: 23 Battalions, 15 French and 8 Spanish "

  • Pons' French Brigade: Charolais [2], Barrois [2] and Orleans [2]
    • Charolais [2], Barrois [2] and La Sarre [1]
  • Chaves' Spanish Brigade: Guadalajara [1], Palencia [1], Salamanca [1] and Jaén [1]
  • Du Burdel's French Brigade: Lannoy [2], Tessé [1 Savoy], Labour [1] and Miromesnil [1 Walloon]
    • Laonois [2], Tessé [1 Savoy], Medoc [1] & Miromesnil [1 Walloon]
  • Davila's Spanish Brigade: Córdova [1], Bajeles [1], Zamora [1] and de la Armada [1] "
  • Courville's French Brigade: Maine [2], Berwick [1 Irish] and Bresse [1]
    • As above plus Labour [1]

Left Wing

1st Line: Marquès d'Avaray: 25 Squadrons, 12 Spanish and 13 French.

  • Cordova's Spanish Brigade: Rosellon-Viejo [3], Sevilla [4] and Blasco [3]
  • Sandricourt's French Brigade:Vignau [2], Villers [2] and Berry [3]
  • Dozeville's Dragoon Brigade: Courtebonne Dragoons [3], Bouville Dragoons [3] (both French) and Mahoney Dragoons [2] (Spanish - Irish)

2nd Line: Lt General Abre: 12 Squadrons, 6 Spanish and 6 French.

  • Ruso or Rufo's Spanish Brigade: Milan [3] and Grenada Nuevo [3]
  • Pelleport's French Brigade: Parabère [2], Pelleport [2] & Germinon [2]

Note: 2 squadrons are missing. It is possible that they are extra Spanish squadrons to those listed above or maybe the Granada Spanish regiment. I have assumed that the extra 2 squadrons are part of Ruso or Rufo's Spanish Brigade.

Artillery: 40 guns of unknown type but only 24 identified in batteries.

 

OOB's for Polemos: GNW and Ga Pa rules.

Units have been combined to make reasonable sized on table units.

Ga Pa: The French units come from the list on pages 24 to 26 and the Spanish from pages 68 to 70.

Army Commander: Duke of Berwick (Ga Pa: Ld 4, In 3. Polemos: Ave 3 + D6)

Right Wing

1st Line: Lt General Duque de Popoli: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Silly's Brigade Spanish 2 units l, 1 unit g, 1 unit h 4 bases Trained Horse
Ronquillo's Brigade Spanish 2 units g, 1 unit h 4 bases Trained Horse

 

2nd Line: Lt General D'Asfeld: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Croa's Brigade
Spanish
2 units g, 1 unit h
4 bases Raw Horse
Gutiérrez's Brigade
Spanish
1 unit h, 1 unit k (2 sqns)
2 bases Raw Horse

 

Centre: Lt General San Gilles: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2 + D3)

Centre Right 1st Line: Lt General Labadie: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Valle's Brigade Spanish 6 units b 4 bases Trained AP Foot
Charni's Brigade Spanish 4 units a 3 bases TrainedAP Foot
Castillo's Brigade Spanish 4 units a 3 bases Raw AP Foot

 

Centre Left 1st Line: Maj General Vicentelo: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 1. Polemos: Ave 1)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Sillery's Brigade French 5 units f (reduced) 3 bases Trained AP Foot
Polastron's Brigade French 5 units f (reduced) 3 bases Trained AP Foot
Beauvayes' Brigade French 5 units f (reduced) 3 bases Trained AP Foot

 

Centre 2nd Line: Lt General Hessy: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 1. Polemos: Poor 2)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Pons' Brigade French 6 units f (reduced) 4 bases Trained AP Foot
Chaves' Brigade Spanish 4 units a 3 bases Raw AP Foot
Du Burdel's Brigade French 5 units f (reduced) 3 bases Trained AP Foot
Davila's Brigade Spanish 4 units a 3 bases Raw AP Foot
Courville's Brigade French 4 units f (reduced) 3 bases Trained AP Foot

 

Left Wing

1st Line: Marquès d'Avaray: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Cordova's Brigade Spanish 2 units g, 1 unit h 4 bases Trained Horse
Sandricourt's Brigade French 1 unit m, 1 unit m (3 sqns) 2 bases Trained Horse
Dozeville's Dragoon Brigade Mixed 2 units q (French with 2 sqns), 1 unit k (Spanish with 1 sqn) 3 bases of Trained Dragoons

 

2nd Line: Lt General Abre: (Ga Pa: Ld 3, In 2. Polemos: Ave 2)

Unit
Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Ruso or Rufo's Brigade* Spanish 3 units g 3 bases Raw Horse
Pelleport's Brigade French 2 units m 2 bases Trained Horse

 

* I have included the missing 2 squadrons in this brigade.

Artillery:

Ga Pa: Use French - 4 units s, 2 units t. Spanish - 2 units m, 1 unit n, 1 unit o.

Polemos: Use French - 2 Light Guns and 1 Field Gun, Trained. Spanish - 1 Light Gun and 1 Field Gun, Raw.

Note: Due to the poor quality of the Spanish cavalry all units may be re-classified as Dragoons for Polemos.

 

The Catalonian Army.

As previously mentioned the allies had divided there forces prior to the battle, a large contribution to their defeat. Galway certainly blamed the absence of these units and he had attempted to get some or all of them to join him.

The regular units of the army consisted of 14 infantry battalions and 29 cavalry squadrons. This amounted to about 2,000 cavalry and 8,000 infantry. The British Royal Dragoons were also available as potential reinforcements, they were left in garrison. The inclusion of this army, or part of it, would make an interesting 'what if' battle.

Cavalry: 29 squadrons, about 2000 men, were available in the main army. Therefore on average each squadron was 70 men strong. In addition the Royal Dragoons had a strength of 302 men on April 22nd 1707.

The following regiments were present with the army.

Spanish/Catalan Horse: Nabot's or Nebot's (5 squadrons), Pedro Mora's (5 squadrons), Sobias' (5 squadrons) and Arragon (5 squadrons). The Arragon are described as the 'New Regiment'.

Each of these units would be about 350 strong. All would be poor quality heavy cavalry on poor horse but were to prove well motivated when they fought.

Dragoons: Winterfeldt's (4 squadrons), Zinzendorf's or Sinzendorf's (5 squadrons) and the Royal Dragoons (3 squadrons).

Winterfeldt's is probably the Del Rey regiment of Charles VI of Spain, the Confederate candidate. It would be about 280 men strong. Zinzendorf's or Sinzendorf's is described as 'German' and is an Austrian army unit. It would be about 350 men strong.

The Del Rey regiment was of guard status and seems to have been the best of the Catalan units and so should be average quality dragoons. The Austrian unit was an experienced unit from the campaigns in Germany and Italy; it should be average to good quality dragoons. The Royal Dragoons are an experienced good quality unit.

Infantry: 14 battalions, about 8,000 men - but the infantry would suffer attrition reaching the battle area. Therefore on average each battalion was about 570 men. The Catalonian units were newly raised and so therefore would most likely be near to full strength, 600 men in the field. While the British and Dutch would be lower after attrition loses, maybe 400 men in the field.

Spanish/Catalan Units: There were 6 battalions of regular Catalan infantry with the army:-

Guardias Catalanes, Noyelles, La Cuidad, La Deputacion, Saragossa and Don Juan Taraga.

Each unit was 1 battalion strong. Later in the war the Catalans fought well but at this time they were new units. Therefore they should be rated as poor quality, with perhaps the Guardias Catalanes being average quality.

British Units: There were 3 battalions of British infantry. Two of these are listed as 'English marines' and the other as 'Fusiliers'. I think it is likely that the 2 marine battalions are the Will or Willis and Borrs battalions mentioned above. The 'Fusilier' battalion could be a semi regular Spanish unit of the same name. But Tyrawley's regiment is mentioned in connection with this force and this unit was the British Royal Fusiliers. So these Fusiliers are probably Tyrawley's regiment. It should also be noted that Tyrawley was not with the unit but was one of the commanders at the battle.

These units would be rated as good quality.

Dutch Units: There were 5 battalions of Dutch troops with the army.

St. Amaunt or Amaud (2 battalions), Palm or Palma (2 battalions) and Noyelles-Falais (1 battalion).

The St. Amaunt or Amaud and Noyelles-Falais regiments have the correct number of battalions that they should have. But the Palm or Palma regiment should only have a single battalion. It is possible that the 'extra' battalion is Friesheim's battalion, see above, under the temporary command of Palm/Palma while Friesheim is with Galway's army in a command position. i.e. a similar case to Tyrawley above. But both units with 2 battalions were Marines and on other occasions seem to have had 2 battalions.

These units would be rated as average quality.

Command: It is possible that Galway would have remained in command but more likely that his superior the Earl of Peterborough or even King Charles VI, the confederate claimant to the throne, would have assumed command. Galway and Peterborough were on very bad terms so in this case it is possible that Galway would not take an active part in the battle or not be so active.

Artillery: Unknown, use 12 guns.

OOB's for Ga Pa and Polemos rules

Commanders:

Ga Pa
Polemos
Notes
Charles VI Charles VI Ld 3, In 1 (special commander) Ave 1 Nominal army commander if present
Earl of Peterborough Ld 2, In 2 Poor 2 Effective army commander if present
Earl of Galway Ld 3, In 2 Ave 2 Reduced rating if Peterborough is in command

 

Use generic or random commanders for any others required.

Cavalry:

Unit
List/Nation
Ga Pa
Polemos
Catalan Horse Spain (Charles VI) 4 units g 4 base Raw Horse
Winterfeldt's Dragoons Spain (Charles VI) 1 unit h but only 2 sqns and Trained 1 base Trained Dragoons
Sinzendorf's Dragoons Austria 1 unit f but only 2 sqns and Trained 1 base Trained Dragoons
Royal Dragoons Great Britain - Main Army 1 unit f (reduced) 1 base Veteran Dragoons (or Horse)

 

Polemos organised into 2 or 3 brigades. Due to the poor quality of horse all units may be counted as Dragoons. British dragoons may count as Horse.

Infantry:

Unit List/Nation Ga Pa Polemos
Guardias Catalanes Spain (Charles VI) 1 unit a 1 base Trained AP Foot
Catalan Line Spain (Charles VI) 5 units b 5 bases Raw AP Foot
British Line Great Britain - Main Armies 3 units b (reduced) 2 bases Veteran DS Foot
Dutch Line United Provinces 3 units c or 5 units c (reduced) 4 bases Trained DS Foot

 

Polemos organised into 2 Catalan, 1 or 2 Dutch and 1 British brigades.

Artillery:

Ga Pa: Dutch - 1 unit m. Portuguese - 1 units g, 1 unit i.

Polemos: Dutch/Portuguese - 1 Light Gun, Trained. Portuguese - 1 Field Gun, Raw.

 

Terrain: Map:

Red - British, Orange - Dutch, Yellow - Portuguese, Dark Blue - French, Light Blue - Spanish.

Gentle Slope: No effect on movement and minor combat advantages.

Steep Slope: Difficult movement and causes disorder.

Gully: Minor movement penalty and causes disorder.

Fortified Town: Impassable. Any unit forced back into the town area, and with no other avenue of escape, is removed from the table.

One square on the map is equal to the frontage of 5 standard infantry units in line. i.e. If a standard infantry unit frontage is 4 inches (10cm) then each square is 20 inches by 20 inches (50cm by 50cm).

 

Deployment:

The map above shows the historic deployment. At least one gun should be placed in the area of the artillery symbols on the map. All units are in line and the artillery may be limbered or unlimbered.

Of course if you wish you may use a free alternative deployment.

Optional Rule: Do NOT read this if you will use the Franco Spanish army in the game. If you wish to use this rule the Confederate player should be informed of it but the Franco Spanish player should not know about it.

During the historical battle some sources state that the Confederate Right Wing under Das Minas was very demoralised. According to this view this command refused to advance along side the rest of the army. When it was attacked the cavalry of the wing largely ran before contact and the rest of the command was quickly overwhelmed. This optional rule is designed to reflect this demoralisation if you believe that this was the case in the real battle.

For Polemos and Ga Pa sets of rules the following rule should be used. For other sets of rules something similar should be devised.

These units operate as normal until the start of a Confederate move when they are within charge distance of enemy cavalry. At the beginning of the movement phase the Confederate player should roll a dice for the number of cavalry units/bases that immediately rout. There are 9 units/bases of cavalry in this group under the Polemos or Ga Pa rules. Therefore the dice roll should result in 2 to 7 of these units/bases routing. Roll a D6 and add 1 to the result, this is the number of routing units/bases routing. Next roll a series of D6's to randomly decide which units/bases of the 9 available are routing.

In the authors opinion it seems likely that the supposed demoralisation of this command is motivated more by the need to find a scapegoat than by the events. But it is up to you as the player/umpire to decide for yourself.

 

Victory Conditions:

The battle is a straight forward battle but the historical battle will be a tough fight for Galway's army to win. You could of course fight the historical battle with victory going to the army that holds the field at the end of the day. The action started in the early afternoon so the battle can be fought without consideration of nightfall, etc.

Alternatively I would suggest three possible ways of balancing the battle. The first is to reinforce Galway's army with the Catalonian army, or parts of it. Galway tried repeatedly to get some or all of this army to join his march. The second is to increase the size of the Confederate units. These units are very small having been depleted by their previous experiences. Therefore you could increase these units up to more normal field strengths of units - 400 to 500 for infantry battalions and 100 to 125 for cavalry squadrons.

If you wish to just use the historical forces you could try the third idea, I would strongly recommend using this idea if the optional rule about Das Minas' command is used. Using this option you judge victory in terms of how many of the Confederate army's infantry manage to survive the battle, either on or off table. In the real battle, see below, only 13 battalions (about 6 or 7 units from the OOB's above) survived the battle. If you used this idea you would fight the battle as normal. But when the Confederate army's morale breaks you inform the army commanders from both sides that the Confederates can win a moral victory if they can successfully withdraw their infantry off the table edge at the rear of their initial position. Historically they managed to withdraw approx. 25% of the infantry. If they can manage to withdraw with say 50% then they can claim a moral victory. If the Franco Spanish forces can restrict the amount of infantry that 'escapes' to 10% then they can claim both an absolute and a moral victory.

 

The Historical Battle:

After a long march of 12 miles (19 km) under difficult conditions the Confederate army reached the top of a steep ridge (off map) and could see Berwick's army near Almanza across a plain. The Franco Spanish army immediately started deploying for battle on a gentle slope facing the plain and their enemies. It was clear to both sides that the Franco Spanish army was considerably larger than the Confederate army but by this time Galway was committed to battle.

After resting for a hour Galway continued his march down into the plain and directly confronting Berwick's force. The Confederate army had already changed into line of battle during the last part of the march so they were ready for action. But Galway halted his army again once they were in long artillery range.

Both sides used a standard deployment of two cavalry wings and an infantry centre, each section in two lines. But Galway included an infantry brigade in each part of the two cavalry lines on each flank. These were to support the cavalry's attack but also to make it difficult for the more numerous enemy cavalry to outflank him. Once in position both sides started to bombard each other, with little discernable effect. Perhaps Galway was hoping to tempt his enemy into an attack, if so he did not succeed. So after a few hours of bombardment the explosion of a barrel in the Franco Spanish line signalled a Confederate attack.

The Confederate forces advanced in a kind of echeloned attack. The left wing cavalry, under Galway's personal command, led the way closely followed by the infantry brigades on the left of the centre. The rest of the infantry also advanced but at a slower pace. Possibly the right wing cavalry were expected to keep alongside the infantry nearest them so that the flank of the infantry centre would not be exposed.

Initially all seemed to be going well for the Confederates. On the left Galway's cavalry at first had little success but then the infantry support with the group proved its value. As the cavalry attack faltered the infantry were on hand to fire in support, breaking up the Franco Spanish forces and enabling the Confederate cavalry to push forward. On the left and in the centre the, mainly British and Dutch, Confederate troops pushed their opponents back onto their 2nd line. The Franco Spanish forces were soon push back towards the fortifications of Almanza and on the edge of defeat. Yet the effort had cost the Confederate forces greatly and fresh Franco Spanish forces had stabilised the situation and where poised to strike again.

Meanwhile on the right the Portuguese infantry of the Centre had advanced to cover the flank of the attacking British and Dutch infantry and to support this attack. But on the far right the Portuguese cavalry and their infantry support were still in their starting position. This meant that a gap was opening between the infantry Centre and the mainly cavalry of the Right wing. Seeing this one of the Spanish cavalry brigadiers led his brigade in an attack on the exposed flank of the Portuguese infantry in the Centre. Suddenly the prospect of victory for the Confederates disappeared as they struggled to guard their flank. The hard pressed Centre and Right were given chance to stabilise itself. At about the same time Berwick noticed that the Portuguese cavalry had not advanced and decided to take advantage of this by ordering the Spanish cavalry of his Left wing to attack. It is not clear exactly what happened next. Many accounts from English sources claim that as the Spanish cavalry advanced to attack them most of the Portuguese cavalry fled, except for a few squadrons under the personal command of Das Minas which stood and fought but were quickly overthrown. But Berwick's own account of the battle gives us a different picture. According to him the Portuguese troops on the right fought bravely for some time. But then the Franco Spanish managed to get some squadrons onto the exposed flank of the Portuguese. At this point the tired but previously solid Portuguese collapsed and the bulk of the right wing fled. Again except for a few squadrons under Das Minas' personal command.

Suddenly Galway's flank was turned and his infantry Centre was totally exposed. Not that at this point he knew this. At this point in the battle he was in the rear being treated for some wounds he had sustained leading his Left wing forces. This of course made the situation even worse. In the Centre parts of the victorious Spanish cavalry joined the Franco Spanish infantry and started to take the Confederate infantry apart. Once again many accounts claim that the now exposed Portuguese infantry of the centre immediately ran. Yet once again Berwick makes it clear that some serious fighting was needed to actual persuade them to leave the battlefield.

Galway returned to the battle to find that the only thing left for him to do was organise the retreat. His Portuguese Right wing was already streaming off the battlefield in rout. His Left wing was tired but undefeated by some accounts or already on the run by other accouts. Using the freshest of the available cavalry he covered the retreat of the infantry as well as he could. This was something that the embattled and outflanked infantry Centre desperately needed. Galway managed to escort the remaining supporting infantry away along with his cavalry. In the Centre 13 battalions under Shrimpton managed to escape from the unfolding disaster but these lost contact with the rest of the army. Pursued by the victorious enemy cavalry they retreated away from the battle until forced to take up a defensive position some 8 miles (12 km) from the battlefield. Here they made a last stand before lack of ammunition, food and water, etc, forced them to surrender the next morning.

Casualties were high on both sides. The Franco Spanish army lost perhaps 3,000 dead and the same again wounded. But while these loses were serious the Confederate army had been all but destroyed. 4,000, or more, had been killed or wounded during the battle and 5,000 taken prisoner.

 

Polemos Army Lists:

The Polemos system uses army lists based on specific armies to create random armies. The following are army lists based on the above armies for the Polemos system.

Note: Normally the Polemos lists also include OOB and other information. But as this is covered by the article above I have not repeated it here.

The Franco Spanish Army, Almanza 1707

Army Generation Tables:

Maximum Army Size:

Arm
Brigades
Bases
Cavalry
9
French 6, Spanish 22
Foot
11
French 19, Spanish 16
Artillery
5 bases
Field 2, Light 3

 

Scenario Army Size Table:

Battle Size
Infantry Brigades
Cavalry Brigades
Light Artillery
Field Artillery
Small
4
3
1
1
Medium
8
6
2
1
Large
11
9
3
2

 

Select an army size and then roll below for each brigade.

Infantry Brigade Size and Quality Table:

Roll one D10 per brigade in the army. All units use a Prest tactics.

Foot
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morale
T
T
T
T
T
T
T
T
R
R
Strength
3
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
3
Nationality
Fr
Fr
Fr
Fr
Fr
Fr/Sp
Sp
Sp
Sp
Sp

 

Fr = French, Sp = Spanish, Fr/Sp = French or Spanish.

A maximum of 2 units with 4 bases is allowed.

Cavalry Brigade Size, Quality and Nationality Tables:

Roll one D10 per brigade in the army.

Cavalry
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morale
T
T
T
R
R
R
T
T
T
T
Strength
2
2
3
2
3
4
4
4
4
4
Nationality
Fr
Fr
Dr
Sp
Sp
Sp
Sp
Sp
Sp
Sp

 

Fr = French Horse, Sp = Spanish 'Horse', Dr = Dragoons - mixed brigade maximum one per army

All Spanish 'Horse' count as dragoons because of the poor quality of their horses.

 

Artillery:

1/3 to ½ of each type of guns is Spanish and Raw. The rest are French and Trained.

Notes and Optional Rules:

Infantry battalions were on average about 350 men strong. Each infantry base represents a little less than two battalions Cavalry squadrons were on average about 100 men strong. Each cavalry base represents 2 to 3 squadrons.

 

Commanders:

Army Commander: Duke of Berwick

Other Commanders: Popoli, D'Asfeld, Labadie, San Gilles, Vicentlo, Hessy, D'Avarey, Abre

 

The Confederate Army, Almanza 1707

 

Army Generation Tables:

Maximum Army Size:

Arm
Brigades (Historical)
Brigades (Combined)
Bases
Cavalry
7
10
Portuguese 12, British 4 (+1), Dutch 2, Catalan 0 (+6)
Foot
10
14
British 9 (+2), Portuguese 9, Dutch 5 (+4), Catalan 0 (+6)
Artillery
4
6
Field 2, Light 2 (+1)

 

Historical is just Galway's army. Combined is with the addition of the Catalonian army. The numbers in brackets are the additional units from the Catalonian army.

 

Scenario Army Size Table:

Battle Size
Infantry Brigades
Cavalry Brigades
Light Artillery
Field Artillery
Small
4 (5)
2 (4)
1
1
Medium
7 (10)
4 (7)
2
1
Large
10 (14)
7 (10)
2 (3)
2

 

Infantry Brigade Size and Quality Table:

Historical Army: Roll one D10 per brigade in the army.

Foot (Historical)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morale
R
R
T
T
T
T
T
T
V
V
Strength
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
3
2
3
Method
aP
aP
aP
aP
DS
DS
DS
DS
DS
DS
Nationality
Pt
Pt
Pt
Pt
Du
Du
Br
Br
Br
Br

 

Combined Army:

First of all roll one D10 per brigade in the army to determine its' strength.

Foot
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Strength
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
4

 

Now, unless it is a 4 strength brigade, roll a second D10 on the appropriate table for the brigade's strength. Only one 4 strength brigade is allowed, any others rolled count as 3 strength. The 4 strength brigade is always Dutch, Trained, Dutch School.

Foot (Strength 2)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morale
R
R
T
T
T
T
T
T
V
V
Method
aP
aP
aP
aP
DS
DS
DS
DS
DS
DS
Nationality
Pt
Pt
Pt
Pt
Du
Du/Br
Br
Br
Br
Br

 

Foot (Strength 3)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morale
R
R
R
R
R
T
T
T
V
V
Method
aP
aP
aP
aP
aP
aP
DS
DS
DS
DS
Nationality
Pt
Pt
Ct
Ct
Ct
Ct
Du
Du
Br
Br

 

aP = a Prest method, DS = Dutch School method.

Br = British, Ct = Catalan, Du = Dutch, Pt = Portuguese.

Cavalry Brigade, Size, Type and Quality Table:

Roll one dice for each cavalry brigade in the army. For the combined army this is a D10. For the historical army you can use a D8 or a D10 but in both cases ignore any results 8 or more.

Horse
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morale
R
R
T
T
V
T
V
R
R
T
Strength
2
3
3
4
2
2
2
2
2
3
Type
Dr
Dr
Dr
Dr
H
H
H
H
H
Dr
Nationality
Pt
Pt
Pt
Pt
Du
Br
Br
Ct
Ct
Mx

 

Br = British, Ct = Catalan, Du = Dutch, Pt = Portuguese, Mixed = Mixed Catalan and British, Dr = Dragoons, H = Horse.

Note: Portuguese cavalry are Horse but count as dragoons because of poor horses. British and Dutch cavalry are mixed Horse and Dragoon units but count as all Horse because of the quality of their horses.

Artillery:

Artillery should be roughly in proportion to the various national contingents. British and Dutch artillery is Trained, Catalan and Portuguese are Raw. If Portuguese or Catalan units are present in the army then at least ¼ of all guns must be from each of these nations present.

Notes and Optional Rules:

British and Dutch battalions were 300 to 400 strong therefore each infantry base represents a little less than two battalions. Portuguese battalions were 200 to 250 strong therefore each infantry base represents three battalions. Catalan battalions were about 600 strong therefore each infantry base represents a single battalion.

British and Dutch squadrons were about 100 strong therefore each cavalry base represents 2 to 3 squadrons. Catalan and Portuguese squadrons were about 70 to 80 men therefore each cavalry base represents 3 to 4 squadrons.

The units in Galway's army are very under strength. If you wish you may add one base per brigade from his army to represent the brigades at more usual field strength.

Commanders:

Army Commanders: Charles VI, Earl of Peterboroug, Earl of Galway

Other Commanders: Das Minas, de Villaverde, Dom Juan de Alayda, Erle, Shimpton, Friesheim, Tyrawley, Conde de Alayda

 

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