The 45e Regiment's involvement in the fighting at Talavera spanned both the 27th and 28th of July 1809 starting on the afternoon of the 27th when Lapisse's 2nd Division, spearheaded Victor's surprise attack on the British rearguard of Mackenzie's 3rd Division caught unprepared for such an attack at Casa de Salinas.
This action was modelled over three plays of the scenario last year and you can pick up the details from the following:
Casa de Salinas- Pre Game Set Up
Casa de Salinas Game One
Casa de Salinas Game Two
Casa de Salinas Game Three
After the sharp action on the 27th the Allied army fell back relatively unmolested on to the selected position resting on the town of Talavera and the 45e Ligne along with its divisional comrades were held in reserve until the afternoon of the 28th July when the 2nd Division formed the extreme left of Victor's I Corps alongside the troops of Sebastiani's IV Corps and opposite the KGL brigades and Cameron's brigade in Sherbrooke's British 1st Division.
The details of the attack by Lapisse's men were covered fairly comprehensively in my post of the 3/8e Ligne.
3/8e Regiment de Ligne
Suffice to say the 45e Ligne alongside the 16e Legere were the lead brigade in the attack with the men of the 45e Ligne directly opposite the 2/83rd of Cameron's brigade.
The French attack by the first line of infantry columns was met with a close range single discharge of musketry followed up by a bayonet charge that caused them to break to the rear and fall back behind the second line of columns. The Guards and KGL over extended themselves in their pursuit of their beaten enemy and were caught by the second line French counter-attack that, after some desperate moments as the British line looked likely to be pierced, was equally repulsed by the reserves on hand.
This attack marked the high-water mark of the French infantry attacks for the day and the battle subsided as they withdrew that evening.
The losses reported for the 45e Ligne over the two days were 388 men of which three officers and forty-three men were killed and twelve officers, including Colonel Barri, and three hundred and twenty-eight men wounded and two men missing.
My 3/45e Ligne are composed of figures from AB and the battalion fanion is from GMB flags
|Colonel Barri leads the three battalions of the 45e Regiment de Ligne|
Napoleon's Line Infantry, Osprey Men at Arms - Philip Haythornthwaite, Bryan Fosten
French Napoleonic Line Infantry - Emir Bukhari
Napoleon's Soldiers, The Grande Armee of 1807 (The Otto Manuscript) - Guy C Dempsey Jr.
Napoleonic Armies, A Wargamers Campaign Directory - Ray Johnson
Talavera, Wellington's First Victory in Spain - Andrew W. Field
The Peninsular War Atlas - Colonel Nick Lipscombe