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godpuppet
28th Sep 2005, 09:57
I havent read all this forum just bits so I wouldnt be surprised if somebody has already posted this. But I just have to alert everyone here as to how unrealistic Imperial Glory actually is. From the battlefield down to even the units themselves scarce is the material that was actually used during the Peninsular War.

Ive been reading books and studying this era for years and I can quite honestly say I know my fair share. Let me start with different tactics used by different sides.

The most common tactic used by Napoleon was to bombard the enemy with cannon then send in infantry in column using the pas de charge. The French troops would march forward like a giant battering ram, designed to break the line. When the enemy opened fire the dead fell, the ranks closed up and the column continued to march to the tune of the pas de charge. Now the pas de charge would be awesome to see ingame. The French troops would march in column the drums would rattle then every frenchman on the field would shout "Vive le'Emperuer!". Frightening no?

This was the tactic that struck fear into the heart of men when they heard the name Napoleon.

Of course when the british landed in portugal the second time round. It didnt work. The French Column has never broken a line in sir Arthur Wellesleys Army! Further to add, I noticed that one of the starting colonels was called "Wellington". He only gained that title after victorys in Valvade, Badajoz, Ciu Rodriguez, Agheim, Bordeax and more importantly The battle of waterloo itself.

Now onto the British. How did the Brits win the Peninsular War? I believe its down to four reasons. Though its argueable.

1: The Navy
2: Arther Wellesley
3: Real live training Amunition
4: The Regiment System

Via control of the seas we were able to deliver surprise attacks anywhere along the coast. We controlled trade and we effectively ceased all French naval warefare. This could have been very different if Nelson had lost at Trafalgar against the French and the Spanish.

Arther wellesley was the key component in getting victory. I can confidently say that without that man Europe would have been under French rule in its entirety during the late 1700's onwards. I will add, some of napoleons ideals were interesting. He proposed that Europe cast out old dynastys and unite as one nation, a "European" Nation. Greece all over again? :D

The British army was the only Army in the world to train with live amunition. As a result combined with disciplined training and good seargents. Our troops could fire a great deal faster then any army in the world. While the French could fired 3 shots in a minaute. Britains most veteran troops could fire 5 in that time. Thats a 12 second reload time.

The regimental system gives a man a sense of family. They didnt fight for king or country. They fought for the regiment, for friends and there family. It was most successful becuase the people actually joining the british army were mostly criminals. They had no family to return to when the war was over. So they treated their regiment as one. As a result, they fought like devils. Scots regiments I especcially refer too. Each regiment would have its own number and eventually they're own given names were adopted.

Meh, ive said too much, ill get to my major disapointments here then:

Melee, The melee's dumb. Looks more like something out of Tom & Jerry then something in a battle field.

Gore: more gore please? your going to have peoples limbs flying off heads being knocked off by roundshot and when light cavalry charges infantry, the results are devastating. INFANTRY CANNOT BEAT CAVALRY, most of the time they run.

Cannons? Wheres the Canister, wheres the Case shot????

Battles are too small. I feel like im fighting a war with barely a battalion. Come on for petes sake.

AI needs improvement. it either just All out attacks or makes a **** up of it. Can we have some elaborate schemes tactics? something interesting to defend against. Perhaps look at real battles to figure out a tactical strategy for each general.

Bivouacs? I dont see any Bivouacs?

Fort/City battles?

supply lines? armys need supply lines to succeed, thats why the french failed in spain. All supplys had to be guarded from partisans.

Moustaches? Veteran french troops grew moustaches.

Naval battles are a bloody pain. They are fiddly and hard to grasp.

America? Why isnt america here? or India? or China? Most of the resources used in europe CAME from the new world and other places.

King Georges Cavalry! The British used cavalry in form of gold with the picture of saint george slaying a dragon on. It was used to stop countrys forging peace with france and to secure success for the british armys. britain should start with an unfair amount of coin at hand. But with a small army becuase in the late 1700's the war in india was still waging.

Lest to say this game was very disapointing. If they make a second I hope that it isnt this bad. Somebody make a realism mod please! :mad:

joxer31
28th Sep 2005, 14:45
Most everyone would agree with you on your post. The AI is not up to snuff with the all out attack. The melee needs to be changed. Canister would be great.

I am a little hesitant on some of your requests about details for the units. Yes, mustaches would be great, but just for asthetics. Trumpeters and charge sounds would again be a welcome addition, but could live without.

Not sure what you mean by supply lines. If an army invades and then has no route back to its capitol via captured territory? I guess my question is how real do you want it to get?

Size of battles can be changed, Icanus has a great program that you can download to increase the size of the units. Still wont be on the same magnitude like RTW or Cossacks, but it helps renew the enthusiasm.

Great post! :thumbsup:

I_Need_Help
28th Sep 2005, 14:53
Where do i download the mod that givbes you more troops to battalion?

joxer31
28th Sep 2005, 18:07
The website should be in the Mod Editing Forum, Icanus is his name.

Gelatinous Cube
28th Sep 2005, 23:53
I havent read all this forum just bits so I wouldnt be surprised if somebody has already posted this. But I just have to alert everyone here as to how unrealistic Imperial Glory actually is. From the battlefield down to even the units themselves scarce is the material that was actually used during the Peninsular War.

Ive been reading books and studying this era for years and I can quite honestly say I know my fair share. Let me start with different tactics used by different sides.

The most common tactic used by Napoleon was to bombard the enemy with cannon then send in infantry in column using the pas de charge. The French troops would march forward like a giant battering ram, designed to break the line. When the enemy opened fire the dead fell, the ranks closed up and the column continued to march to the tune of the pas de charge. Now the pas de charge would be awesome to see ingame. The French troops would march in column the drums would rattle then every frenchman on the field would shout "Vive le'Emperuer!". Frightening no?

This was the tactic that struck fear into the heart of men when they heard the name Napoleon.

Of course when the british landed in portugal the second time round. It didnt work. The French Column has never broken a line in sir Arthur Wellesleys Army! Further to add, I noticed that one of the starting colonels was called "Wellington". He only gained that title after victorys in Valvade, Badajoz, Ciu Rodriguez, Agheim, Bordeax and more importantly The battle of waterloo itself.

Now onto the British. How did the Brits win the Peninsular War? I believe its down to four reasons. Though its argueable.

1: The Navy
2: Arther Wellesley
3: Real live training Amunition
4: The Regiment System

Via control of the seas we were able to deliver surprise attacks anywhere along the coast. We controlled trade and we effectively ceased all French naval warefare. This could have been very different if Nelson had lost at Trafalgar against the French and the Spanish.

Arther wellesley was the key component in getting victory. I can confidently say that without that man Europe would have been under French rule in its entirety during the late 1700's onwards. I will add, some of napoleons ideals were interesting. He proposed that Europe cast out old dynastys and unite as one nation, a "European" Nation. Greece all over again? :D

The British army was the only Army in the world to train with live amunition. As a result combined with disciplined training and good seargents. Our troops could fire a great deal faster then any army in the world. While the French could fired 3 shots in a minaute. Britains most veteran troops could fire 5 in that time. Thats a 12 second reload time.

The regimental system gives a man a sense of family. They didnt fight for king or country. They fought for the regiment, for friends and there family. It was most successful becuase the people actually joining the british army were mostly criminals. They had no family to return to when the war was over. So they treated their regiment as one. As a result, they fought like devils. Scots regiments I especcially refer too. Each regiment would have its own number and eventually they're own given names were adopted.

Meh, ive said too much, ill get to my major disapointments here then:

Melee, The melee's dumb. Looks more like something out of Tom & Jerry then something in a battle field.

Gore: more gore please? your going to have peoples limbs flying off heads being knocked off by roundshot and when light cavalry charges infantry, the results are devastating. INFANTRY CANNOT BEAT CAVALRY, most of the time they run.

Cannons? Wheres the Canister, wheres the Case shot????

Battles are too small. I feel like im fighting a war with barely a battalion. Come on for petes sake.

AI needs improvement. it either just All out attacks or makes a **** up of it. Can we have some elaborate schemes tactics? something interesting to defend against. Perhaps look at real battles to figure out a tactical strategy for each general.

Bivouacs? I dont see any Bivouacs?

Fort/City battles?

supply lines? armys need supply lines to succeed, thats why the french failed in spain. All supplys had to be guarded from partisans.

Moustaches? Veteran french troops grew moustaches.

Naval battles are a bloody pain. They are fiddly and hard to grasp.

America? Why isnt america here? or India? or China? Most of the resources used in europe CAME from the new world and other places.

King Georges Cavalry! The British used cavalry in form of gold with the picture of saint george slaying a dragon on. It was used to stop countrys forging peace with france and to secure success for the british armys. britain should start with an unfair amount of coin at hand. But with a small army becuase in the late 1700's the war in india was still waging.

Lest to say this game was very disapointing. If they make a second I hope that it isnt this bad. Somebody make a realism mod please! :mad:


Amen. Let me be the first to welcome you to the IG forums. Land of the terminally dissapointed.

Hengist_Sharpe
29th Sep 2005, 08:11
He only gained that title after victorys in Valvade, Badajoz, Ciu Rodriguez, Agheim, Bordeax and more importantly The battle of waterloo itself.
A slight correction.
Sir Arthur Wellesley was given the title of Lord Wellington after the victory and taking of the French Eagle standard, at the battle of Talavera. His actual title was Lord Wellington of Talavera.

When you consider all the pre-release hype claiming detailed accuracy, I have to agree with most of your post. It makes me wonder if Pyro poorly managed the project management of this development and ran out of time, so had to cut things out of the game to meet release dates, or perhaps somebody crucial to the development left the studio, like the 3d tactical developer. The reason I speculate on this is because on one hand, you have a superb 2d strategy portion to the game, i.e. the strategic map, but then you get the half-baked 3d tactical side, which is really sub-par in comparrison.

ST0MPA
29th Sep 2005, 15:17
good point :rolleyes:

I_Need_Help
29th Sep 2005, 18:47
I'm being picky but it was Viscount Wellington Of Talavera.

Hengist_Sharpe
29th Sep 2005, 21:45
Thanks for the reminder :)

Ok if we're being really picky, then his title was...
Viscount Wellington of Talavera, Baron Douro of Welleslie :)

ST0MPA
30th Sep 2005, 04:08
ok i think he wins the 'I'm more picky" contest

:D


btw, its people like god puppet that make this forum great, i love it when all these napoleon boffins come on to correct all the historical errors of the era.
i learn so much from you guys. its like if you have anything to post ill more than likely read it incase you drop some interesting trivia in it.

hey, why dont you guys start a trivia thread, and list all the things people might be interested in. like when 200 voltigers tried to take a handful of Mr Mercers troops, or the guy who bagged a rabbit instead of shooting at the french line while his officer was next to him. things like the thin red line which Crimean war i know but still, these are the strories that interest me more than anything, the old addige, come the hour come the man never seemed more privellant than in these times.

GenMoore
30th Sep 2005, 18:57
'Hey' Stompa, thease men were bullied and beaten to the flag, but it was the Flag that they looked to when in battle :D .

As my name suggests, being one who lost his life ,but made the Rifles a house hold name, this gives me light to tell a story.

Haveing held the rear guard in freezing tempitures for three days, the 95th second company under Major eastwood, then were told to step down from duty.

Haveing past through the 3rd company, they were told without food or water to attack to the left of 3rd company, due to a French patrol of Dragoons threatning this said company.

Holding and destroying the said French patrol, 'and', lucky for them finding food from the captured and dead, they held this part of the front for another two days.

Being left behind by this time, they treked(walked) to Corruna via the worst part of this area.

And arrived in Corruna with fifty out of the 200 they started off with.

The flag and salt of thease men should tell you something. ;)

ST0MPA
1st Oct 2005, 06:34
It sure does, ;)

Louis Davout
9th Oct 2005, 13:49
Ugh. i gotta say godpuppet is wrong.

"Arther wellesley was the key component in getting victory. I can confidently say that without that man Europe would have been under French rule in its entirety during the late 1700's onwards."

How did Wellesley factor into the Revolutionary battles in Europe?!? And how would have France gained control over the whole of Europe during the late 1700s? Your statement is just stupid. You can start talking about how Wellington contributed to the victory over Napoleon after he takes control of the English troops in the Spanish peninsula. And as far as that goes, I think had Napoleon himself faced Wellington in 1808 and not left the job to Marshals who didnt cooperate like they should have, victory would have been Napoleon's.

ST0MPA
12th Oct 2005, 08:45
The wars themselves began almost at the start of the French Revolution in the closing of the 18th century. However in the interest of time we shall pick up the struggle in 1809 with the close of Sir John Moore's disastrous engagement at the battle of Corona. After his retreat back to Portugal the theater looked very grim for the British forces on the Spanish Peninsular as the marshals of France were rolling toward them with the Golden eagles of the empire at the head of their regiments. But, as the last British troops were preparing to abandon the country all together, the British Horse Guards at Whitehall (those men in charge of appointing officers) made one of their very rare good decisions. This decision was the one that appointed the honorable Sir Arthur Wellsley to the head of the small British Expeditionary force in Spain.


Sir Arthur Wellsley would go on to become the Generillissimo of Spain and The Duke of Wellington after his victory at Salamanca (not bad for an Irishman born a common man of no standing). His record of fighting not only the armies of France and her Marshall's, but also all of the Sultans of India and Napoleon himself and never losing a battle is unheard of. Not since Alexander the Great had a General been undefeated, and even Alexander never faced the amount of adversaries that Wellington did nor did he face foes with like character. After all being the man who defeated the "Master of War" himself and the hordes of India is truly what sets Wellington apart from other generals in history, making him one of the greatest Generals of all time.


Not to detract anything from Wellington's accomplishments, but one of the main factors in his success was the "Master of War's" own trademark tactics. That is the tactic of "En Masse".


At the time of the Peninsular Campaign in Spain the British Army was like its counterparts, organized into regiments, normally of two battalions each commanded by a Colonel. One battalion would stay in England or France, and recruit and train men who would then be shipped to the front as replacements for the first battalion. These battalion's full strengths were 1,000 men and officers each, but this was almost never attained. Instead most of the battalions got by with 500-700 men, which was considered a rather good showing. It was not uncommon to see a regiment field less than half its strength on the day after a battle. The next level of organization was the Brigade. These would normally be made up of 2-4 battalions/regiments (these two terms are actually interchangeable due to the fact that one battalion of the regiment was not operational). A brigade was commanded by a Brigadier General. The next level of organization gets confusing. In the French armies we go directly to the Corps, commanded by a full General or a Marshall. Corps then makes up Armies. In the British Army several brigades would make up divisions, and due to the small size that Wellington's armies normally fielded, they were rarely formed into Corps. However, it was done at the lager battles such as Waterloo, and each normally included 2-3 divisions. Wellington preferred to have only divisions because he could have more control of the battlefield, not having to ask permission of corps commanders for the movement of their troops. An advantage over the slower reacting French.


The organization of these armies would reach a great impasse almost from the start of the war. About two months into the campaign of 1811 the two armies met at a small village called Fuentes de Onero, on the southern Spanish border just outside of Portugal. Wellington had a small army of five divisions, the Fourth, the Seventh, the First, the Fifth, and the elite Light. The much larger French Army, commanded by Marshall Massena, had the upper had in positioning. The field just outside the town was commanded by a small ridge cresting on a long hill, that hooked around to the right. In the front of the hill was a large open field with a cornfield two the left. To the extreme left of the ridge, and slightly below it, was the town itself. The small tight streets went steadily upwards toward the hill. The edge of the town emptied through a stone wall and into a graveyard. At the end of the graveyard was a church that effectively commanded the left half of the field. This would be the field where one of the smallest, earliest, and most significant battles of the Napoleonic Wars would take place.


On the morning of May 5th 1811, this small peaceful town of Fuentes de Onoro would be permanently changed, for the worst.


The British troops drew up the position on the hill and ridge above the town. There they had the Cao River to their backs and the town to their fronts. The importance of the river was simple. Massena needed to get through the British lines in order to reach the besieged city of Almedia. Wellington was standing in his way. He decided to destroy the British forces entirely, then march into Portugal. The last natural barrier between him and his goal was the river Cao. Wellington chose to stop him there. The one problem for the British lay in their line of retreat. At this time of year the river was abnormally high, too high to cross. This left the main bridge to the south of Fuentes de Onoro and the smaller ford just behind the town. That ford did not have the capability to support artillery or large groups of infantry. This meant that if the British lost, and forfeited the southern bridge, they would be pinned up against the ford and butchered.


As the French approached the town they saw the most welcoming sight of all: a small British army held up on a small hill nowhere near the bridge to the south. They drew up across the cornfields directly opposite the ridge, but with a slight curve so as to pin the British in if they made an attempt for the bridge. The weight of Massena's force was almost twice Wellington's in horse, man, and gun, but they had executed a force march for a week in order to reach the river. Massena would begin his assault on the line in the morning, May 5th.


At nearly the first light of dawn the French regiments started forward, their eagles held aloft to the sun, headed straight for the center of the British line, the ridge. Almost immediately the hill was clouded in smoke as the cannons coughed their missiles down at the advancing enemy. This was a classic napoleon style assault: En Masse. The French advanced, not in line as the British did, but in a long thick column. A column was Napoleon's own invention, and it had conquered most of Europe. The mass of men was forty men abreast and as many as 300 deep. The idea was that as the lumbering column slowly surged forward, driven by the scores of drummers deep in the formation, it would meet the thin line of enemy and smash it like a hammer breaking glass. The drummers would beat the Pas de Charge, where at the same time they would all stop in unison while every man in the formation would yell the war cry of an empire, 'Vive l' Emperoer'. The effect of the tactic was terrifying psychological warfare mixed with brute numbers to simply strike fear into the enemy and break their will to stand. And it worked.


On the other end of the battlefield stood the "Scum of the Earth", to use Wellington's own words, whose job it was to make this awesome mass of men turn and run. In a lot of ways these men truly were the scum of the earth. The British army at the time was an all "volunteer" army, but that was a bit deceiving. Virtually every Irishman or Scot in the army joined out of poverty and hunger, and 1/3 of the army was Irish! The rest were made up of English and Welsh men whose reasons for joining varied from poverty to being given the choice of death or service for crime. Most of the rest simply got drunk with a recruiting officer who would slip a coin into the ale. When he finished the glass the shilling would slip in, and he had "taken the King's Shilling" and was in the army. But somehow this mix would pull together under the tight discipline of Wellington, and become arguably one of the greatest armies of all time.


As the column crept closer a very thin British line awaited them. The British troops were only two ranks deep, but had one extreme advantage. Although the mass of the column appeared to be invincible, it proved to be one of the worst military blunders and death traps when incorporated against an enemy that didn't lose heart and run. The British had the advantage of the ability to draw every gun and cannon on their line against such a packed target of men. This meant that not only could every soldier fire at the column, but a well aimed cannon ball could rip through the ranks to kill 10-12 men a pop. The extreme disadvantage came for the French. Just as the long line could have everyone fire, the column could only have the first 40 men at the front fire, and even that had to be done on the march. This was supposed to be out weighed by sheer numbers and fear, but the British seemed not to be effected by either.


The main reason for this was in training. The British army was the only army in the world that had its troops train to fire with real ammunition. It is not a fairy tale that some nation's troops actually ran from the sound of their own volleys. But the British were by now accustomed to the noise, smoke, and the speed necessary to load a gun in the heat of battle. They could also aim, due to the fact they could partake in target practice. But the key lay in the speed. A good soldier could fire three aimed rounds in a minute. Most of the nations in the world could muster two. The average in British troops was 4-5, the fifth being in the barrel waiting to be aimed at the end of the minute. This was drastically different compared to the French. Finally to increase the speed of fire even more the British had one trick left; platoon volley. Each battalion had ten companies, each company had two platoons, ideally 50 men each. This tactic was pretty much only used against a column, and it called for each platoon to fire in its own time, not waiting for the battalion or even company orders. The result was astounding. They created a constant wall of bullets for the French to walk into. No longer did the column face two large volleys then a fleeing enemy. Instead the fought a stubborn adversary who wouldn't leave, and poured the murderous fire into them.


As for the attack on the hill at Fuentes de Onoro, it went very characteristically. After the fist 2-3 volleys the British switched to platoon fire and the front of the column slowed to almost a stop. There were to many dead to push through, and the wall of bullets was to intimidating to move into. After about 7 rounds the French had had enough, and broke and ran. The hammer was broken, and the retreating men were pursued by artillery rounds. Although this is characteristic of a Napoleonic battlefield it is not the reason that this battle was selected to be the demonstration. Instead it is what came next that is eye opening.
All throughout the morning the French tried to get some element of positioning by the hill. Each time the massed artillery drove them off to no avail. Then Wellington made one of the few mistakes he ever made in his career; he sent the Seventh.


Massena must have had to rub his eyes and switch to a different spyglass to believe what he was seeing. To the south and the east of the field, a part as of yet untouched by the battle, a few troops came over the ridge, they were skirmishers for the entire Seventh division, which now, for some unknown reason came over the hill and into the fields. At first they were well in the range of the guns on the ridge and therefore protected. But they kept marching, two miles they marched, totally exposed from the rest of the army, isolated by the southern bridge, protecting the route of retreat. It is a very debated subject as too what in God's name Wellington was thinking sending the Seventh. Two miles from any aid, they were totally on their own. It is often said that perhaps Wellington believed that Massena would not attack them but would continue his strive for the hill. Regardless, he attacked.


An entire corps of infantry was dispatched to the south along with every horseman in the French army. The horseman alone outnumbered the Seventh, let alone the corps of infantry. Wellington quickly realized what he had done and upon seeing the dust clouds of the French troops moving to destroy the Seventh, he sent messages for them to be recalled. But they were to late, in fact they only made matters worse. When the French arrived the found half a division standing their ground, with the rest trying to go home. The Calvary charged home first, quickly followed by the infantry and artillery. The French guns were wiping holes in the British lines and there was nothing they could do to stop it. Wellington quickly looked around his lines, he had only two choices. They were either let the Seventh be butchered, or commit more troops to help them. The latter is what Massena hoped he would do, as one of the oldest rules in warfare is never reinforce failure. If someone is hung out to dry you don't send more men to die with him. Wellington cared too much for his troops to watch a whole division die. But in order to adequately support the Seventh he would have needed 2 or 3 divisions and a mass of Calvary and artillery. But he had none of that. Instead as he looked around he saw what he could spare. He sent two regiments of the KGL (Kings German Legion) Calvary and some horse artillery. They would be supporting the best troops in Wellington's army, possibly the world, on this rescue mission. Wellington had not only reinforced failure but he had staked his best troops and his best Calvary in the process, if these men were lost, so was Spain. Wellington had committed the Light.


The elite Light Division were arguably, man for man, the best troops in all of Spain. It was about 4,500 men large, but was composed entirely of "light" troops. Each battalion had one company of light troops, light infantry or riflemen. They were the best soldiers of the battalion and they were a sort of vanguard. They were called light troops because of their function. They would be the men who would go far out in front of the regiment as skirmishers and patrols. They were involved in ambushes and things of that sort. One of the key elements of the Light, was that they were the only troops trained in urban warfare, a fact that would prove vital later in the battle. The light company was very prestigious, second only to the French Grenadier Guard, whose men each had to be over six feet tall and have four citations for bravery.


The light companies could also be composed of Riflemen. Rifles, contrary to popular belief, were not the standard weapon of war, quite the contrary they were very rare. The staple of arms was the quick loading musket. As a fore mentioned, a man armed with a musket could fire three round a minute; armed with a rifle he could at best get two. The reason for this was simple. The rifle had rifling, or grooves all down the barrel, the musket on the other hand was smooth bored, meaning it had no grooves. In order to get the lead ball down the barrel of a rifle it had to be almost hammered past the grooves, and once worse in the heat of battle old spent powder would clog up the grooves and make it worse. The rifles however did have two advantages, range and accuracy. A musket can shoot forty to sixty yards accurately, depending on the man and the wind. A rifle can shoot the eye out of a chipmunk at three hundred yards. This is due to the fact that because of the grooves the bullet spins on its way out, making it ten times more accurate.


Now imagine an entire division of these elite troops, the best in the army, 4,500 strong. But to the men of the Light and the Seventh, it must have seemed like throwing a pebble against a tidal wave. General Crauford commanded the Light division, and his task was to extradite the Seventh while fending of hordes of Calvary, infantry, and artillery, each part more than double his own size, all the while keeping his own division intact. As the Seventh grew less and less ordered they finally broke fleeing for relief, but were soon rallied depriving the Calvary of the easy targets. Instead they now inched back with the infantry now upon them the formed lined and pounded the pursuing columns while retreating themselves. They were taking a terrible beating, but that did not matter now, the Light was in sight, and what was to follow was possibly (to use Wellington's own words), the "best damn bit of soldiering I ever saw".


As the Light approached they formed line, letting the bleeding Seventh retreat through their lines and to safety. The KGL guarded the refugees to safety then turned back to the Light and the battle. Crauford had drawn his men up to face the infantry in the old way, column vs. line. And in the old way the fast loading British (the rifles excluded), hammered home at each of the three pursuing columns. The columns fell back and tried to regroup, but as they did they prevented any of the other infantry or artillery behind them to come to bear on the fragile little line. 4,500 had just turned back 8,000, but still more followed. Crauford recognized this as an opportunity, the mission had been successful, the Seventh was saved, and his own division didn't have a scratch, so he decided the deed was done, and they were to go home. But Massena was not willing to comply with those wishes, instead as he saw his incompetent infantry let the prize escape, he decided to let the Calvary have a go. So all of a sudden every horse in the entire French army speed forward, sabers drawn. Their hooves pounded forward, sabers glinted in the sun, and cries of battle soured. 11,000 Calvary now pounded toward the Light.


Crauford realized his peril immediately, and dispatched the following orders to every battalion, "…break off into column and head for the hill…." The commanders each took their troops and formed them into columns and headed home. The KGL now started to return and the brave Germans turned their horses right into the mass of French Calvary. Though heavily outnumbered the precision charged did slow down and dislodge the attack. Almost all order was lost to the French, and Massena had absolutely no control over the events from then on. On the other hand neither did Wellington or Crauford, as Crauford could only direct the column that he was in. Instead command of the battle went to a much more personal degree. As the initial charge was broken the mass of disorganized Calvary was presented with dozens of nice neat little targets in the form of the British columns. This was a cavalyman's dream, a flat open field filled with infantry in column.


Napoleonic Battlefields had a certain balance to them. Infantry could attack and destroy unprotected artillery in either line or column easily. In the same aspect Calvary could devastate infantry in either line or column by simple riding around the flanks and "charging home", thus busting though the troops and slashing down with swords. The infantry would the undoubtedly run and the Calvary would have field day chopping down at the fleeing enemy that had their backs turned. In effect the Calvary would have literally butchered an entire regiment at the cost of the first few chaps lives who originally broke the line. However, in order to combat the threat of cavalry and once again level the battleground, militaries around Europe devised a way to make infantry impervious to Calvary. The idea started with the Romans and the Scots, but was perfected by the British some fifty years before, and had to become second nature for a soldier if he wanted to survive.


The tactic devised to once again level the playing field, and return the infantry to a role of importance was that of "Forming Square". The idea was simple, it was based on the principal of a horses natural instincts. A horse will not charge home against a spike, pole or bayonet, simply because their halfway intelligent. The troops that had been in line would then shift to their rights and make two more turns another rank would shift in an opposite manner. The end result was a four man deep formation in a square shape. As the cavalry approached the square the first rank fires their volley, then without reloading, they kneel and plant the butt of the gun by their foot, exposing the bayonet to the enemy. Then the middle ranks go to present arms and wait for orders. If the cavalry is intelligent they will turn round then after the first warning shot. But if they do try to press home they will be met by platoon fire from the middle ranks. The fourth rank never leaves secure arms, being held in reserve so as that the square is not caught off guard. The foolhardy cavalry then has to peel off to the sides of the square where the other troops await with loaded muskets. The end result of this tactic is always a stand off. A well-disciplined square will not let the horsemen break them, and the cavalry will simply wait out side of musket range. This can be the most frustrating thing for a cavalry unit. The only thing they can hope for is that as they charge, a poorly timed volley will fall a horse into the hedge of steel, creating a gap large enough for a horseman to get in.


However, the balance of power holds true. Just as the infantry are safe from the cavalry, they are sitting ducks for the artillery. The guns simply blast holes in the ranks of the squares, six to ten men at a time. So as they are safe, they are in peril.


As Massena's cavalry bore across the plain, their own frustration was clear. Order was lost, so it was now smaller groups tearing around the plain looking for prey. But whenever they came upon a battalion in column and begin their charge, the column would become a square at the last second and deter the troopers. This was going on all over the field as the British spread out the columns to spread the cavalry. It was sheer brilliance, but very dangerous. Each time they formed square the troopers would go off in order to find easier prey, then the square would become a column again and be under way once more. After a while the troopers began to slowly realize that they weren't doing anything to the British. They then stuck around the squares preventing them from shifting. This did impede the progress of the Light, but not for long. Crauford then had all of his riflemen dispersed from the squares. The riflemen got together in small groups within musket range of the square, but they were able to blast away the cavalry and allow the squares to move. This worked for a short period, but small charges against the slow loading rifles sent them running for the squares. Then the horse artillery was brought up to blast away the cavalry from the squares. But these units were often charged and had to be saved by the KGL. Throughout the entire engagement the KGL went in time and time again with headlong charges to dislodge the French.


By now the French cavalry had been pursuing the Light for over an hour, their horses were spent and they had not broken a single square. They decided to wait for the infantry and artillery to deal with the British. But they were actually being out paced. Even with having to stop and form square all the time, the British were outrunning the French. When in column, the moved at the "Rifleman's Pace", five steps at a jog then five at a walk. It was incredibly fast and could be sustained for quite a distance. So Massena's golden gift slipped through his fingers. The Light division had saved the Seventh and had made it home with only leaving a handful of scattered dead. The French on the other hand had lost half their cavalry, a third of those remaining horses to battle wounds, and most of the rest to exhaustion. The result was that this removed the French cavalry from the rest of the battle entirely. The infantry had taken a beating from its original attempt to break the Light, and most of the artillery pieces were rendered useless because of the lost wheels and axles in the pursuit.


Massena had more or less lost the division he sent to the south, and had lost his cavalry, but he had gained one thing. He had secured the bridge, and now the British had to win or be trapped. He tried one last strategy to seize the field. This last attempt is the last example of typical tactics, that of urban fighting.


In an attempt to draw troops from the hill and weaken the defenses there, Massena sent a corps of troops to take the town itself. In the town Wellington had stationed all of the Light Companies from the Fourth and First divisions, they being the ones trained for that style of fighting. The French surged though at first almost to the graveyard, but were stopped by a battalion of Irish behind a stone wall. Wellington refused a request for reinforcements, knowing what Massena intended. Instead two battalions of redcoats, the Irish Caunaught Rangers and the Scottish 78th Highlanders, and the light companies would have to hold. For two hours a seesaw battle raged, that was nothing more than a street brawl. A street brawl that the oversized "scum of the earth" some how won. The two battalions became famous over night having fended off a half a corps of French infantry. Finally Massena conceited defeat, dispersed the supplies for Alameda, and turned back to Spain.


Wellington came very near to a disastrous defeat at this battle. This is one of the main reasons I chose it as the example of the entire war. Also it included the three main tactics involved with these conflicts. The memory of the Light Divisions valor or the Rangers' bravery should not be lost. The Light's truly was a fine bit of soldiering, and it saved a lot of lives. I think that the portrayal of these tactics might help to disprove the common misconceptions about this war. Apart from these brutal battles and massacres, there was an entirely different war also being fought. That was the "little war", or the guerrilla warfare that the Spanish populace waged against the French. The word guerrilla actually comes from this war, and the exploits of such men are hard to stomach even today. In the end the French would use three times as many men trying to quell the populace as they used to face Wellington. This war was extremely bloody and it was not uncommon for an army to lose 40% or more of its troops, and win. This war was anything but a "Gentleman's War"