15 August, 2011

The Battle of Redinha

Redinha was the second and most successful rearguard action fought during Masséna's retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras in the spring of 1811. Having held off the British at Pombal on 11 March, Marshal Ney and the French rearguard had retreated to Redinha. Here he took up an apparently vulnerable position, with Mermet's division on a plateau south of the village, and Marchand's division north of the village on the far side of the Ancos River, linked by a narrow bridge...

After some initial skirmishing the French attack the left-flank of the British-held hill top

French Attack

A remarkably poor showing by the French is met with the superlative musketry of the Portuguese

British and Portuguese firepower

British counterattack pushes back the Swiss, whose performance on this battlefield is best forgotten. Masséna's vow is to make them his mules, or send them to guard the Pope!

British counterattack

French flank is turned, and the Highlanders are made of stern stuff as they force an advance

French flank is turned

The left and right-hand flanks of the battlefield are quiet, as they observe the fierce fighting in the centre

Battlefield of Redinha

A French regiment flees the battlefield - Masséna must withdraw

French flee

We played the battle again, and this one was much closer; most of the battle was a hotly contested draw, but this time Masséna can blame the Irish light infantry, whose markmanship made him suspect they held some kind regard for Scotsmen!


  1. "met with the superlative musktetry of the POrtuguese"

    I nearly did a double take there, until I remembered that the portugeese riflemen were actually pretty good shots and that it was actually the Spanish who were notoriously bad shots. The perils of blog surfing at 1 in the morning. Great report again. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The dice never lie Brian! :-)


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