|The Almanza Dragoon Regiment, one of the units that was part of the |
Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division
As the build up of the project was all about creating smaller scenarios that would facilitate games with the collection as it grew, I started with General Portago's 3rd Division that was significantly engaged in the afternoon of the 28th July by General Laval's German Division and became a major part of the "Attack on the Pajar Vergara" the last game of which featured at this year's Legionary Show in Exeter and appeared in Miniature Wargames Magazine the following month.
|The map illustrates the position of the northern valley forces (left) and the Spanish forces deployed to support the |
Cerro de Medellin
These forces consisted of General Bassecourt's 5th Infantry Division of mainly Spanish line infantry and Marines and General Albuquerque's 2nd Cavalry Division that swung in behind the British cavalry under Generals Anson and Fane (see the map above).
|Luis Alejandro de Bassecourt commanding the |
Spanish 5th Infantry Division
Real Marina (Royal Marines), lst Infantry Regiment (2 Battalions)
3/Africa Infantry Regiment
Murcia Infantry Regiment (2)
l/Reyna Infantry Regiment
Provincial de Siguenza (Militia) (l)
|José María de la Cueva, 14th Duke of Albuquerque and|
commander of the Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division at Talavera
2nd Division: Lieutenant-General Duquede Albuquerque - Source Oman
Carabineros Reales (l Squadron)
Infante Cavalry Regiment
Alcantara Cavalry Regiment
Pavia Cavalry Regiment
Almanza Cavalry Regiment
lst Hussars of Estremadura
2nd Hussars of Estremadura
|Infante Heavy Cavalry Regiment|
|Pavia Regiment of Dragoons|
Battle of Medellín 28th March 1809
|Alcantara Heavy Cavalry Regiment|
So what can be said about the cavalry arm in General Cuesta's army at Talavera with any degree of certainty other than the units recorded on the order of battle, and even on that point I have found some digression.
Most of the sources seem to determine the total amount of cavalry in the two Spanish divisions as numbering around 6-7,000 men and horses. Some of the units were regiments in name only with units such as the Carabineros Reales only fielding one squadron and the two regiments of Estremaduran Hussars reported to have had variously 4-6 squadrons.
Even the look of these units has to speculative given the state of Spanish arms and supplies at this time and the losses suffered in March at Medellin.
This total number of 2,500 men is split between effectively five full regiments or twenty squadrons and has the Estremaduran Hussars amalgamated into one unit of four squadrons and sees the squadron of Carabineros Reales being attached out to the other regiments of dragoons and heavies at a generic four squadrons. This plan effectively has an average squadron strength of about 125 men each which looks about right.
These five regiments are pictured here in this post and will form the basis of the look of my units given all the caveats on precisely how reliable that look is.
Several sources suggest the single four gun horse battery that was with Cuesta's army was also attached to the 2nd Cavalry Division when it was detached to Wellesley's left flank, being positioned alongside the Spanish half battery of 12 lbrs on the Cerro de Medellin with the British guns, and so I will add the Spanish gun teams at a later stage for completeness.
|Spanish Horse Artillery|
References consulted for this post
Talavera, Wellington's First Victory in Spain - Andrew W Field
Great Battles in History Refought - Talavera, Partidge & Oliver
Talavera 1809, Wellington's Lightning Strike into Spain - Chartrand & Turner (Osprey Campaign)
Sir Charles Oman - History of the Peninsular War.