Wellington at Bay

The Battle of Villamuriel, 25 October 1812

Garry David Wills

A detailed account of the Battle of Villamuriel, the largest action during Wellington's retreat from Burgos in 1812, based on extensive use of international archives.
Publication date:
September 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
12 b/w maps, 5 colour plates, 3 b/w & 6 colour photos, numerous tables
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781913118952

Dimensions : 248 X 180 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


• First comprehensive and detailed account of an important action
• Extensive use of British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese archives
• New tactical insights
• Detailed scenarios for the wargamer

The Battle of Villamuriel was the largest engagement of Wellington's retreat from Burgos in 1812. Twice as many men were involved as in the better-known actions at Villadrigo/Venta del Pozo two days earlier. This is the first full length account of the action and improves significantly on previous accounts in the campaign histories by Napier, Fortescue, Oman, and Divall.

Archival sources from Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal have been used to build a coherent and balanced account. The orders of battle are detailed and the military experience of both the commanders and their units is provided. Detailed maps of the deployment of both forces throughout the action are provided. A detailed breakdown of the casualties on both sides is also given. Also highlighted are the previously unreported role of 9th Foot as an aspiring light infantry regiment, and the 1835 controversy around Napier's account using the archives of the Sir John Oswald and a potential source for Napier's account is identified.

This has resulted in a detailed study of one day's action in the 1812 campaign, with a view to extracting improved understanding of how the armies fought. The wargamer is provided with detailed scenarios to enable them to recreate the action on the table top. The action is effectively a re-match between the Anglo-Portuguese 5th Division and the 5e Division of the Armée de Portugal, only a few months after the former successfully dispersed the latter at Salamanca in July. Wellington at Bay includes a Foreword by Carole Divall.


An excellent book for anyone interested in the British campaigns in the Peninsular War, which also offers an ideal scenario for a division level wargame based upon an unfamiliar action, with the added bonus that the author has already done the work for wargamers who use Black Powder or General de Brigade rules!
Miniature Wargames - Arthur Harman