|General Adhemer Patacaisse succumbs to his wounds at the point of victory at Le Croisic.|
Day 5: Back at Pornichet with the main body of the invaders the now reinforced English and Emigre troops were finally ready to begin their advance on St Nazaire, and in the early afternoon of day 5 (turn 10) departed, leaving a small garrison behind to hold their supply depot and to marshall reinforcements even now being landed, and arrived outside the town as darkness was falling. The Comte d'Hervilly ordered the army to set up camp, and sent vedettes and pickets out to observe the defences of St Nazaire and the roads leading to it from the North and East. D'Ervilly's army lacked heavy guns in sufficient numbers to reduce even this town's inadequate and outdated defences, and an all out assault was likely to prove far too costly. So the main army simply sat down for the night to await a decision on what to do next by the Comte, who overruled the arguments of his subordinates to attack at once and keep the Republicans on the defensive! This was exactly what General Humbert, the St Nazaire garrison commander, would have wished....
At Le Croisic fresh Republican troops were ferried over the bay or slipped through the marshes from the North, and with some of the garrison of Le Croisic converged on Batz, to find that the English had retreated further, to Le Pouliguen at the western end of the bay where the main force had disembarked a mere five days earlier.
|Reinforcements landing on the beachhead between Pornichet and Le Pouliguen.|
Full of confidence and revolutionary fervour (aka brandy) the Republican forces were now led by the commander of the Army of the West General Cancleux, who had ridden South from Quiberon immediately on hearing of the landings. They approached Le Pouliguen around 4pm and launched an immediate attack on the English and Emigre forces deployed before them outside the town.
General Cyrus Trapaud and Major-General Sir George Assheton
19th Light Dragoons (2 squadrons)
Chevalier Noble (1 squadron)
Uhlans Britanniques (2 squadrons)
Moore's Brigade - 2/1st Foot, 35th, 49th, 79th and 92nd
Chatham's Brigade (ex-Fox) - 1/4th*, 2/4th*, 3/4th*, 1/5th*, 2/5th*
'Light brigade' Colonel Coote - converged flank companies (2 btns), Lowensteins Chasseurs
Royal Artillery: 6 guns
* newly-raised and/or severely depleted battalions
The Republicans had been able to muster a sizeable force to take on the English, as follows:
General Jean Baptiste Camille Cancleux
Cavalry brigade: Colonel de Vinsobres
Dragoons (2 squadrons)
Heavy Cavalry (3 squadrons)
Horse artillery (6 guns)
Division of General Lazzarre Frapadingue de Asticot
4 demi-brigade de bataille (12 btns)
Division of General Henri Gustav Mapoule
1 demi-brigade legere (3 btns)
Combined grenadiers (2 btns)
Garde Nationale (1 btn)
Foot artillery (6 guns)
This battle will be fought on Wednesday so hurry back soon...