The Valladolid campaign is the fifth phase of the larger 1813 Campaign. It covers the period 12 July to 22 July, and the fighting in western Spain between Fifth French Army and the British.
It has been done as a separate blog in order to keep all of the relevant reports together and to avoid making the main campaign blog too long and complicated.
We started the campaign on 20 August 2010 and finished on 10 October 2010.
The full campaign report can be read at:
Background to the Campaign
In 1812 Wellington had defeated the French in western Spain at the battle of Salamanca. He had occupied Madrid and laid siege to Burgos.
Despite this setback King Joseph was able to gather a large army and drive Wellington back to Salamanca.
In January 1813 orders arrived from Napoleon to send many of the best French divisions north to rebuild the Grand Armee, which was lost in the terrible retreat from Russia. King Joseph was relieved of the command of all French armies in Spain. Marshal Soult would command in western Spain and Marshal Suchet in eastern Spain.
Marshal Soult was ordered to abandon Andalusia and march his army north to replace the troops sent to Germany. He would hold the area from Madrid to Bayonne and cooperate with Marshal Suchet in eastern Spain.
The Duke of Wellington was soon aware that the French armies in Spain had been greatly reduced in number. In January 1813 he was appointed to command all allied troops in Spain, including all Spanish armies.
In May 1813 he issued his orders for the coming campaign.
Captain-General Copons would command the four Spanish armies in the east. He would create a diversion, which would pin Suchet in the east and prevent him sending any reinforcements to Soult.
The main offensive would be in the west. He would lead his own Anglo Portuguese army back to Burgos, defeat Soult and drive him out of Spain.
Summary of the Campaign
12 – British cross the river Douro and occupy Zamora
13 – Soult orders 6th corps from Burgos to Valladolid
14 – Soult orders concentration of whole army at Valladolid
15 – 8th corps abandon Madrid and 16th corps Santander
16 – Soult and 6th corps arrive at Valladolid
17 – French victory at Duenas to the north of Valladolid
18 – Limited British victory at Valladolid
19 – French withdraw to Palencia
20 - Wellington enters Valladolid
21 – Both armies concentrate at Baltanas
22 – French defeated at Baltanas
23 – French retreat to Burgos