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Need some help and understanding on what do to in the following scenario:

My store has a large amount of products (80k with a multilingual brings the total to 160k for 2 store views) and I am looking at the idea of rearranging the main categories by making some more general categories.

Example

Current:

Category 1 / Child / Child

through

Category 5 / Child / Child

I would like to narrow the category list:

New Category A / Category 1 / Child / Child / Category 3 / Child / Child / Category 4 / Child / Child

New Category B / Category 2 / Child / Child / Category 5 / Child / Child

What kind of impact would this have on my catalog rewrites?, will permanent 301 links automatically be created?

Since this is a large database, would there be any benefit to out right clearing all URL rewrites BEFORE making changes to the category structure?

EDIT:

Here is a print screen of the total url rewrites I have, does this make sense? enter image description here

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I would advise to use product URLs without category paths. This way moving them won't matter since 301 redirect won't be created automatically.

To keep the number of rewrites down take a look at the Mage_Catalog_Model_Url class. You can rewrite it and take out any rewrites you don't need.

Magento creates rewrites for products with category paths even if you don't use them and invisible products that don't need a URL at all. Tweaking this class will result in a lot less rewrites in the core_url_rewrite table

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