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The 50th Foot and the Invasion of Galacia, January 1809

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The 50th Foot and the Invasion of Galacia, January 1809

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby XavierDantius32 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:03 pm

The year is 1809. Sir John Moore's army is in full retreat, as Napoleon's forces advance inexorably through Spain.. Pushed into Portugal, Moore and his men fight a valiant rearguard action, despite numerous unrest and discipline problems in many of his regiments. The winter is the hardest the peninsula has seen in decades, heavy snows blight the mountains, an insidious cold cutting through an army clothed for a summer campaign.

Moore's men have no boots, the leather collapsing like the dead on the long march. The cold seeps into their powder, and their muskets won't fire when the French cavalry come scything after them. The British have lost, retreating in ignominy to their ships at Corunna, to sail home, perhaps never to return.




Letter found on the corpse of a teenage Ensign, dated January 1809

Dearest Mother,

My Regiment, the 50th Foot has come under hard times of late. Food is scarce, and the men are restless. Many say that the war is lost, and that the French will catch us and kill us all. I do not believe this, as our army is the best in Europe, and many of our soldiers have seen combat in India, where the men are much fiercer than the French.

Tonight, the fellows and I are billeted in a tavern, along with some surly officers from the 95th Rifles. I saw a Lieutenant carrying a rifle like a common soldier. Can you believe it, mother? The situation is dire. There is little food, but plenty to drink. I can hear the men from third battalion drinking in the stable. We have plenty of powder too. Colonel Smythe says we are not far from Corunna, so I should be home soon.

It occurs to me that yesterday was my 17th birthday. I fear I have lost count of the days, and the time, since the watch you and father bought me stopped over a month ago. I still have my sabre, and the brace of pistols. I hope they serve me well when we stop for battle.

The candle is dying, so I must stop now. I shall give this letter to the next galloper I see. Hope to be home soon,

Your Dearest Edward.




Report given by Major Lukas Ebbe, of the King's German Legion, 3rd Hussars

It was early afternoon when the French attacked. The 50th Foot, and a battalion from the 95th Rifles were billeted in a tavern and farmstead on the valley floor, and had just begun to march off, when our scouts spotted a company of Chasseurs and Lancers following the same road, at quite a pace.

Wanting to save the vulnerable infantry from this encroachment by the enemy, I rallied 1st and 2nd squadron, and brought them down hard on the flank of the Lancers, managing to drive off a fair few of them, with minimal casualties on our part. We wheeled behind a small copse of bare trees, preparing to charge the Chasseurs, but they managed to draw carbines, and Captain Ekehart and I concluded that the risk to our own men would be too great to attempt a charge.

We followed a smaller carter's track to rejoin the road ahead of the allied infantry, who had begun to march at this point. I warned Colonel Smythe of the 50th about the Chasseurs to his rear, but he ignored my advice to march with a rearguard, preferring to press on in a column until dark.

We had reached a bridge over an unmarked river, where Smythe elected to rest his contingent for half an hour or so. I sent out scouts into the surrounding countryside, to gather food for the horses, and something for ourselves. I was out ranging with Captain Ekehart when the news of the attack reached us.

I arrived just in time to see the 50th form a square in the face of a squadron of Polish Lancers, a rattle of musketry driving them back to reform. Before I could bring the 3rd Hussars into assist, we were attacked by a second squadron of lancers, supported by a company of light dragoons. This fighting kept us from engaging the two galloper guns that were supporting theChasseurs from the morning, which set up on the English flank.

Savaged by round and canister shot, the 50th broke, and fled towards the hills, with many of their number being cut down by both Lancer and Chasseur. By the time we had beaten off the lancers and dragoons, all of our companies had suffered significant losses, and it was all we could do to retire. I do believe that some survivors of the 50th made it into the hills. May God have mercy on their souls.




This roleplay will chart your progress as a group of British soldiers from the 50th Foot, in the wake of their defeat at the unnamed river crossing. Feel free to go to town on the background of your soldier, embellishing the reasons why he was joined (Or was forced) into service.

The 50th Foot is an illustrious regiment, known as the Queen's Own within the British Army. Recruiters would wander from town to town across the countryside, giving out free drinks to every man who took the King's Shilling. The morning after, while still in a drunker stupor, they would be pressed into marching order, and driven off into some barracks, to receive the training that would mould them into the finest infantry in the world.

But even the finest infantry can be beaten, and at the unnamed crossing, your regiment has been scattered, it's officers spitted on French lances, and many of the sergeants responsible for keeping rogues like you in line have been torn apart by cannon-fire.

Forced into the hills by cavalry, you all ponder your next move.

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XavierDantius32
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Re: The 50th Foot and the Invasion of Galacia, January 1809

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Renssaerene on Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:26 pm

This looks really interesting, I’m gonna bookmark this and make sure I read the whole thing in detail so I’m not missing stuff. When are you planning on starting this?

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Renssaerene
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Re: The 50th Foot and the Invasion of Galacia, January 1809

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Smokescreen on Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:33 pm

I'm totally down for this, I hope people realise how awesome this will be.
Image

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Smokescreen
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Transferred to the OOC of the RP.
Last edited by XavierDantius32 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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XavierDantius32
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Re: The 50th Foot and the Invasion of Galacia, January 1809

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Smokescreen on Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:31 pm

Bump for awesomeness.

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Smokescreen
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After a long wait, the RP is here!

Click me!

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XavierDantius32
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