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"Spanish Army in action." Topic

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1,914 hits since 31 Jul 2010
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2010 11:05 a.m. PST

This interesting battle was made by Alex from Spain.
The painting of the Spanish Army by Alvaro is very good too.

Hope you enjoy.


Liberators01 Aug 2010 11:41 a.m. PST

Thanks Armand!

pbishop1201 Aug 2010 12:24 p.m. PST

Very nice game. Spanish take some hard knocks historically, but I enjoy playing them. Later quality was fine, but leadership was dismal. Makes for some interesting games. Uniforms are particularly nice and varied.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member01 Aug 2010 1:23 p.m. PST

Very nice. I think I killed Babel Fish, as I just can't recall any Spanish today.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2010 2:47 p.m. PST

Thanks you guys.

It's a shame that there were not a good translator.

In the case of Russian Wargamers it's worst to understand what they said.
That's the reason I only post russian blogs so few times.


aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member01 Aug 2010 8:52 p.m. PST

Microsoft Translator works pretty well; comes with IE8.

Bur then, I don't understand how people grow up not learning languages. Russian isn't hard, by the way.


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2010 9:08 a.m. PST

Nicely put together we don't see enough of the Spanish.

Emperador Carlos Inactive Member02 Aug 2010 11:07 a.m. PST

"Very nice game. Spanish take some hard knocks historically, but I enjoy playing them. Later quality was fine, but leadership was dismal. Makes for some interesting games. Uniforms are particularly nice and varied."

I disagree! We had some excellent leadership, men such as Zayas and Palafox, patriots who even the British respected.

It was the Junta, and later the Cortes, who caused many problems with their in-fighting. Not to mention the traitor "Príncipe de la Paz" or "Príncep de la Pau" (If you're a Catalan), who did more harm to España than those Frogs could ever do.

¡Mort als francesos! / ¡Muerte a los franceses!

¡Visca Carlos! / ¡Viva Carlos!

basileus6602 Aug 2010 12:15 p.m. PST


Are you sure? Palafox was a patriot, yes… but a lousy general -as everybody recognized in Spain, back then-. Cuesta was much maligned, that's true, but he wasn't a brilliant commander either. Blake presided over one of the worst disasters of the Spanish military of the war -the fall of Valencia-.

The military blamed the Junta and the Cortes for the mess they themselves did,. They searched for scapegoats for their own errors; and Ferdinand VII allowed them to do it -after all, they were those who supported him to establish an autocratic government in 1814, and those who helped him to throw away the Constitution approved by those same Cortes!

Finally: Godoy could be not the brightest politician in the World -though I would like to see how would have managed those who blamed him for the disgraces of Spain if they would had dealt with the same problems he did!-, but he can't be labeled a traitor (except you accept at its face value Fernandine's propaganda, of course!)

pbishop1203 Aug 2010 9:01 a.m. PST

I struck a nerve here.. Aside from Zayas, I'm uncertain if anyone stands out. But I'm always receptive to more education. And as my focus is the Peninsula, the Spanish are a ncecesssary component of my armies.

I used to game the American 1812 era using Rockets Red Glare rules. If its any consolation, most of the leadership here in the US was abysmal also.

Just calling it the way I know it Carlos. Questionable Spanish leadership doesn't deter me from collecting and gaming my Spanish troops.

Emperador Carlos Inactive Member03 Aug 2010 10:16 a.m. PST

Here they are, with ratings of, say, 1 to 5… (1 being bad, 5 being good)

-Castanos was certainly well liked, and Bailen was the first time an Imperial army was defeated. 5

-Lapeña is really the only one who deserved a bad reputation…He was called "Doña" (Lady) by his troops. 1

-Blake had several good victories, notably at Albuera and Valmaseda. 5

-Cuesta was more a victim of English hostility than lack of skill, and was extremely mistrustful of them, probably because he was a relic of a time where the British were Spain's Arch-Nemeses.He did have some success at Talavera, however. 4

-Zayas was extremely well thought of by everyone as an excellent Divisional commander. 5

-Palafox was an excellent leader, and Zaragoza eventually became a rallying cry for Spaniards everywhere, who were amazed at how long the besieged city held out. I'd say he was one of the best. 5

-Julian Sanchez' Infantry and Cavalry at FdO are oft-forgotten. 4

-Diez was a guerrillero, and a good one at that. 4

-De La Romana was also very good, but the army of Galacia was destroyed before he could take command. His action in trying to bring his army across the sea to fight is commendable. 4

-Alava is an underestimated figure, who, in addition to being at both Waterloo and Trafalgar, was a good friend of Wellington and played a crucial role at Vitoria. 4

Overall, Spain had some excellent leaders, with only a few bad eggs.

basileus6603 Aug 2010 10:55 a.m. PST

Using your rates:

- Castaños: 1. He was a poor leader. Good politician, though. He managed to get the merit for Bailen, even if he reached the battlefield after Reding defeated Dupont!

- Blake: 2. He had some good ideas, but he didn't know how to work with an army as the Spanish one. A tactical victory at Alcañiz -Albuera WASN'T his victory… It was won thanks to the resistance made by Zayas' division against the flank attack launched by Soult; and that didn't happened thanks to Blake, who actually discouraged Zayas from sending lookouts to cover any potential French approach from the right! Blake was more worried to fight Castaños on the overall command than in fighting the French. Of course, if the British wouldn't have been at hand the Allies would have been wiped out! Merit where is due.

- Palafox: 1. He managed to destroy the main portion of the regular army in Aragon when he forced it to defend an open city as Zaragoza in a desperate, unwinable siege (you know, I strongly believe that heroism without sense nor logic is just sheer waste of lives, and a big stupidity from the commanders! The merit for Zaragoza should go to the very efficient Spanish propaganda machine, not to the useless Palafox).

- Cuesta: 2. To merit him for the victory at Talavera is like to merit Wrede for the victory at Wagram… simply nonsense.

- La Romana: 3. He was very fond of a Fabian strategy. I concur he was the most brilliant Spanish commander. Even so he sinned of being too timid, leaving occasions to slip through his fingers.

- Duke of Alburquerque: 3. He was good too. Good dispositions at Tamames.

- Alava: Not underestimated. Simply put: he never had a battlefield command. He was an unknown quantity.

- Ballesteros: 3. Not bad. He was consistently out generaled by Soult, though. Too proud to accept that Spain couldn't out the French without British support and that he should work under Wellington's command.

- Julian Sanchez was a junior officer, not a commander. He can't be compared with Castaños or Blake, as he didn't held the same level of command than them. You can compare him with El Empecinado, Longa or Espoz y Mina.

Overall, Spain had between bad and indifferent leaders, with a lot of bad apples in the barrel. The merit of the Spanish was that they didn't know they were defeated, and kept going when other countries yield. That happened thanks to her soldiers, citizens and -yes- her much maligned (by the Absolutists) government: Juntas and Cortes.

Emperador Carlos Inactive Member03 Aug 2010 11:29 a.m. PST

I think you're being a little unfair here. Certainly, they weren't Napoleon-level, but I think they were on par with most of Coalition Europe's commanders, and maybe some of the British as well.

Albuera/Talavera are victories that would've been utter defeats without Spanish involement, that's giving due credit to the durned lobsters.

And Zaragoza is an incredibly herioc siege, with the people rallying to Palafox, an inspirational leader.

In General, the people during the war rallied to their King, His Most Catholic Majesty Ferdinand VII, who, along with the examples provided by such battles as Zaragoza and Bailen, was a HUGE beacon of Spanish patriotism and the focal point of the push to expel the French.

EDIT: I'll of course add, that later in his life, with the Pragmatic Sanction he tarnished the throne that had been fought so hard for. His brother was right to start the Carlist Wars. Viva Carlos!

basileus6603 Aug 2010 2:16 p.m. PST

Zaragoza was a heroic siege, yes… but also useless. The best part of the Army of Aragon was destroyed in the city. More than 40,000 Zaragozans died there. The resistence in Aragon was so utterly crushed that the only operations in the country were taken by units that operated in the boundaries of Aragon. That left Suchet with troops enough to undertake the sieges of Lerida and Mequinenza, which opened the way for the sieges of Tarragona and Valencia, where the army of Blake was destroyed completely. All of that happened even if in the council of war most of his officers tried to convince Palafox to retreat from Zaragoza and preserve his army. But Palafox was proud and ambitious. He believed he would defeat the French as it had happened in the first siege of the city. He didn't mind that the conditions had changed so much that as anyone knew the fall of the city was a matter of time.

Look, the defence of Gerona… that was a heroic and justified defence. Alvarez de Castro had the hope of being relieved by the First Army; he knew that meanwhile the city held the French would be unable to operate in the rest of Catalonia; he didn't use more regulars than those strictly necessary… That was heroism and intelligence! Zaragoza was a pointless sacrifice to the pride of one of the most unintelligent and selfish military-politicians that Spain ever produced.

ANd Ferdinand VII didn't need to wait until the Pragmatic Sanction to tarnish his reputation. He did it already in 1814, when destroyed all hopes of modernity for this country with his unadultered absolutism. Or, to be fair, he had already did -even if the Spanish weren't aware of- when he sheepisly congratulated Napoleon for the victories of the French in Spain against the Spanish armies!

I agree that the contribution of the Spanish armies was of capital importance in the final victory over the French in Spain. However I disagree about your points on Talavera. At Albuera the Spanish defence of the right flank of the Allied army was essential to impede Soult of rolling up the Allies. However that wouldn't have been enough without the prompt response of the British troops and without their professionalism and cool under fire. At Talavera the contribution of the Spanish army was minor to the battle. Cuesta didn't maneuvered at all, and beyond some cavalry and artillery the Spanish army acted as spectators, not as main players -the artillery really did play a key role in the defeat of the French counterattack in the center, after the British did overreached their own assault-. If you want to quote an usually -in British narratives- overlooked Spanish contribution to an Allied victory try Vitoria or the Pyrenees battles, or even Toulouse, where the Spanish were more active by a long shot than in Talavera.

Lion in the Stars03 Aug 2010 3:38 p.m. PST

@allen: You know what they call a person who only speaks one language, right?

Bur then, I don't understand how people grow up not learning languages. Russian isn't hard, by the way.

Too many 'Murricans think that somehow speaking multiple languages leaves you with less space in your head for other things?

I really wish I had learned Japanese when I was 12, not trying to learn it now that I'm 32!

pbishop1204 Aug 2010 8:13 a.m. PST

Thanks for your persepctive. And others. As much as I've read, and its been a lot, about teh Peninsula war, its never enough. and for my games, Zayas remains my favorite Spanish leader.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2010 4:41 p.m. PST

Dear Basileus66 I agree with your points.
Only with a minor exception on the Duque of Albuquerque which I put a 4 because he had not many oportunities to continue fighting as he was send to England.
Even Wellington said that he was the best Spanish General.
So happy to hear about you again.
Miss you on "History".

Hope you and your family are well.

Femeng2 Inactive Member20 Jun 2011 4:39 a.m. PST

The only reason for Talavera was that Wellesley was saving Cuesta's Army from Cuesta. He had refused to advance with Wellesley on one day, then advanced without him on the next and ran smack into the French army by himself. He quickly retreated back to Talavera to reform the army under the protection of the British, whom he lied to at every turn thus souring Wellesley into never cooperating with a Spaniard again.

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