Wednesday, 6 April 2016

La Coruña 1809

 Retaking the Peninsular War, we played today the battle of la Coruña: Moore must fight a delaying action while the rest of his army retreats to the ships, and then to Lisbon.
 The opposing commanders: marshal Soult...
...and general Moore

 The french got first turn and began a general advance

 The difficult terrain made slow going for the cavalry
 The british garrison of Elviña soon opened fire on the approaching french masses, with immediate resuts!

 Lahoussaye led his dragoons against the british right
 Soult himself took command of the center leading the attack on Elviña
 Outside Elviña a french column advances against the british line
 In the french right one column entered Pedralonga, anchoring the imperial flank there
 Hurrah! The british charge the french column after a devastating salvo
 The combat was tied, but general Moore was killed, just like in real life
 Lahoussaye's dragoons charged the brits before Oza, ploughing through the red line
 While the french center assaulted en masse Elviña taking the village
 The french column repulsed their enemies who retereated to Eiris
 The dragoons exploited their sucess wounding an exposed lord Paget on the Monelos bridge
 With enemies in Elviña and behind them, the scots were all but surrounded
 The guns were charged by the victorious french column
 But not before destroying the french battery
 The scots just wheeled about, and hence recieved a multiple charge
 With an obvious outcome
With their center and right destroyed, the english retreat to the ships, burying general Moore in a hurry

So, the poet could have sung:

NOT a drum was heard, not a funeral note
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lanthorn dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead
And the bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him-
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave that a briton has laid him.

But half our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.

Charles Wolfe

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