Monday 18 September 2023

Nap Campaign: Battle of Presscot, 14th April 1808 - Introduction

You will be able to find the strategic background to this battle in the last "Map Moves" posting which is located under the "Napoleonic Campaign Map Moves" label on the right.

This is the first incursion into French territory by allied forces. Wellington is in overall command with his 800 British/KGL force together with 426 Portuguese. His right flank is occupied by 1,106 Spanish. 

Attempting to repel the allies is the French 'Army of the South' commanded by Marshall Soult. The right (blue 4) is centred around the 6th Corps and on the left the 4th Corps.

Continued -
Battle of Presscot

Table Size = 7'6" x 4'6"
Figures = Baccus 6mm
Rules = General de Brigade
Start Time 0900 hours = 32 turns

The Battlefield

Each square = 3' square on the tabletop

7B14 – Rough broken terrain, high peaked mountain (Impassable).
7B15 – Firm grazing land, fences.
7B9 – Firm grazing land, stone walls, farm (40), rocky hills (steep slopes).
7B10 – Firm grazing land, stone walls, smooth grassy hills, river deep, Stone bridge.
7B4 – Broken terrain, rocky hills, Cottage (12).
7B5 – Firm heathland, smooth grassy hills, cottage (12), paperworks near river (40), river deep.
26B2 – Firm grazing land, fences. Shore of lake Zeebaden.
26B1 – Firm grazing land, fences, farm (40), shore of lake Zeebaden.

All rocky hills are accessible by skirmishers only.

Overview at start looking north.

Orders of Battle

Overview including initial position details.
A tour around the battlefield beginning with the French right flank and moving clockwise: 

14th Division with 7th Cavalry Division supporting.

Moving towards the French centre is the 13th Division.

The French centre is occupied by the 12th Division and bottom right, the 19th Division.

The centre is supported by the 10th Cavalry Division (right) and 9th Cavalry Division (far left).

The French left flank with the 20th Division (middle right) supported by the 21st Division. On the far left is the Confederation of the Rhine 22nd Division supported by the 5th Cavalry Division.

The French left flank looking north with the 22nd Division in the foreground.

Looking towards the allied line from the French left.

The Spanish army forms the allied right flank.

The 2nd British Division supported by the 4th Cavalry Brigade forms the right of the Anglo-Portuguese force.

The 1st Portuguese Division sits between the two British Divisions. Advancing along the road is the 4th Independant Portuguese Brigade.

The 5th British Division supported by the 6th and 7th Cavalry Brigades are situated on the allied left flank.

The French have deployed concentrating their defence on narrow fronts between valleys and passes. Several light battalions have broken down into skirmish mode and occupied several of the rocky hills.

Specific tasks have been allocated to each allied formation. Each have been positioned opposite their primary targets which will simply be to force each valley and pass. This has the prospect of a bloody encounter with little room for manoeuvre. From the allied perspective, it is hoped that the better trained Anglo/Portuguese troops successfully deal with the French 4th Corps while the Spanish serve to pin the 6th Corps with any breakthrough an added bonus. This would allow the British to roll up the 6th Corps flank.



  1. Ah, great to see this campaign getting some action generated and onto the table! As always your table and figures look superb:). Fingers crossed the Anglo-Portugese can force their way through and the Spanish with a fair wind too to do the same...

  2. Gosh, looking at the force ratio, the allied mix and the French commander (Soult) it looks like a re-run of Albuera but this time with Wellington in command - does Soult know what he's doing?

    1. Soult's defending his home turf so he had better get it right!

  3. Jon, impressive. A longer table than usual and a lot of forces to keep tack of …… splendid 🙂

    1. Many thanks Norm. Experimenting with the larger tables hoping to provide space on the flanks. I still managed to fill it!

  4. As usual, your high standard of presentation, Jon. It has been a while, but well worth the wait!

  5. Others have already commented on entry quality and the sizeof the battle. Looking forward to the battles generated. Our local 5x5 imagination campaign uses a different scale
    From map to table, this will be fun to see how it played.

  6. A huge battle to come, with interesting terrain and varied forces. Looking forward to it!