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The Armies di Talavera, 27-28 Julai 1809

The Armies di Talavera, 27-28 Julai 1809


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The Armies di Talavera, 27-28 Julai 1809

Tentera Bersekutu

Tentera InggerisTentera Sepanyol Estramadura

Tentera Perancis

Ringkasan kekuatan

InfantriBerkudaSenapangJumlah
Inggeris16,6612,969lima bateri, 1,011 penembak20,641
Sepanyol
Hadir
35,000
28,000
7,000
6,000
30 senapang
800 penembak, 30 senapang
42,000
34,800
Bahasa Perancis37,735*840346,138

Tokoh Inggeris dan Perancis adalah untuk pasukan yang hadir di Talavera. Angka Sepanyol pertama adalah pengembalian rasmi Cuesta'a, angka kedua adalah angka yang hadir bersama tentera di Talavera.
* Tokoh infanteri Perancis termasuk penembak bahagian.

Tentera Bersekutu

Tentera Inggeris

Komander: Sir Arthur WellesleyPerintah kedua: Sir John Coape Sherbrooke

Bahagian Berkuda: Leftenan Jeneral William Payne

Briged Fane: Sir Henry Fane
Pengawal Dragoon ke-3
Naga ke-4

Kapas Briged: Sir Stapleton Cotton
Naga Cahaya ke-14
Naga Cahaya ke-16

Briged Anson: George Anson
Naga Cahaya ke-23
Dragoons Cahaya Pertama, Legion Raja Jerman

Kekuatan Total: 2,969

Bahagian Pertama (Sherbrooke):

Briged H Campbell
Batalion 1, Pengawal Coldstream
Batalion 1, Pengawal ke-3
Satu syarikat Kaki ke-5/60

Briged Cameron: Sir Alan Cameron dari Erracht
Kaki 1/61
Kaki ke-2/83
Satu syarikat 5/60 Kaki

Langwerth's Briged (Dibunuh dalam aksi)
Batalion 1st Line, King's German Legion
Batalion Line ke-2, Legion Jerman Raja
Syarikat Cahaya, Legion Raja Jerman

Briged Low
Batalion 5th Line, King's German Legion
Batalion 7th Line, King's German Legion

Jumlah Kekuatan: 5,964

Bahagian Kedua (Bukit): Sir Rowland Hill

Briged Tilson
Kaki 1/3
Kaki ke-2/48
Kaki ke-2/66
Satu syarikat Kaki ke-5/60

Briged R Stewart: Richard Stewart
Kaki ke-29
Kaki 1/48
Batalion 1 Detasmen

Kekuatan Jumlah: 3,905

Bahagian Ketiga (Mackenzie): Sir Alexander Mackenzie

Briged Mackenzie
Kaki 2/24
Kaki 2/31
Kaki 1/45

Briged Donkin: Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin
Kaki 2/87
1/88 Kaki
Lima syarikat Kaki 5/60

Kekuatan Jumlah: 3,747

Bahagian Keempat (Campbell's): Sir Alexander Campbell

Briged Campbell: Sir Alexander Campbell
Kaki 2/7
Kaki ke-2/53
Satu syarikat Kaki ke-5/60

Briged Kemmis
Kaki 1/40
Kaki ke-97
Batalion ke-2 Detasmen
Satu syarikat Kaki ke-5/60

Kekuatan Jumlah: 2,960

Artilley:

Inggeris
Bateri Lawson
Bateri Sillery
Bateri Elliot

Jerman
Bateri Rettberg
Bateri Heyse

Jumlah Kekuatan: 1,011

Tentera Sepanyol Estremadura

Ketua Umum: Leftenan Jeneral Gregorio de la Cuesta

Komando Kedua: Leftenan Jeneral Francisco de Eguia
Pegawai Memerintah Artileri: Brigadier-Jeneral G. Rodriguez
Jurutera Pegawai Memerintah: Brigadier Jeneral M. Zappiono

Jeneral Jeneral Infanteri: Mejar Jeneral J. M. de Alos

Vanguard: Brigadier Jeneral José Zayas
Voluntarios ke-2 Catalonia
Cazadores de Barbastro (batalion ke-2)
Cazadores de Campo-Datuk Bandar
Cazadores de Valencia y Albuquerque
Cazadores Voluntarios de Valencia (batalion ke-2)

Bahagian 1: Mejar Jeneral Marques de Zayas
Cantabria (tiga batalion)
Granaderos Provinciales
Canarias
Tiradores de Merida
Wilayah de Truxillo

Bahagian ke-2: Jeneral Jeneral Vincente Iglesias
Majorca ke-2
Velez-Malaga (tiga batalion)
Osuna (tiga batalion)
Voluntarios Estrangeros
Wilayah de Burgos

Bahagian ke-3: Mejar Jeneral Marques de Portago
Badajoz (dua batalion)
Antequera ke-2
Imperial de Toledo
Wilayah de Badajoz
Wilayah de Guadix

Bahagian ke-4: Mejar Jeneral R. Manglano
Irlanda (dua batalion)
Jaen (dua batalion)
3rd Seville
Leales de Fernando VII (batalion pertama)
Voluntarios de Madrid ke-2
Voluntearios de la Corona

Bahagian ke-5: Mejar Jeneral L. A. Bassecourt
Real Marina, Rejimen Pertama (dua batalion)
Afrika (batalion ke-3)
Murcia (dua batalion)
Reyna (batalion pertama)
Wilayah de Sigüenza

Jeneral Jentera Berkuda: Jeneral Jeneral R. de Villalba, Marquis de Malapina

Bahagian 1: Leftenan Jeneral J. de Henestrosa
Rey
Calatrava
Voluntaris de España
Imperial de Toledo
Cazadores de Sevilla
Reyna
Villaviciosa
Cazadores de Madrid

Bahagian ke-2: Leftenan Jeneral Duque de Albuquerque
Carabineros Reales (satu skuadron)
Infante
Alcantara
Pavia
Almanza
Hussars 1 dan 2 Estremadura

Kekuatan total: 35,000 infanteri, 7,000 pasukan berkuda dan 30 senjata

Tentera Perancis

Kor 1: Marshal Victor

Bahagian 1: Ruffin
9thLéger (tiga batalion)
24th Line (tiga batalion)
Baris ke-96 (tiga batalion)

Bahagian ke-2: Lapisse (tewas dalam aksi)
Léger ke-16 (tiga batalion)
8th Line (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-45 (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-54 (tiga batalion)

Bahagian ke-3: Villatte
Léger ke-27 (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-63 (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-94 (tiga batalion)
Baris ke-95 (tiga batalion)

Corps-Cavalry: Beaumont
Hussars ke-2
Chasseurs ke-5

Jumlah Kekuatan: 19,310

Kor ke-4: Jeneral Sebastiani

Bahagian 1: Sebastiani
Garis ke-28 (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-32 (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-58 (tiga batalion)
Garis ke-75 (tiga batalion)

Bahagian ke-2: Kesahan
Rejimen Poland ke-4 (dua batalion)

Bahagian ke-3: Leval
Nassau (dua batalion)
Baden (dua batalion)
Hesse-Darmstadt (dua batalion)
Holland (dua batalion)
Frankfort (satu batalion)

Berkuda Cahaya Merlin
Chasseurs ke-10
Chasseurs ke-26
Lancer Poland
Westphalian Chevaux-Légers

Jumlah Kekuatan: 15,456

Pasukan Berkuda

Bahagian Dragoon ke-1: Latour-Maubourg
Dragoons 1, 2, 4, 9, 14 dan 26

Bahagian Dragoon ke-2: Milhaud
Dragoon ke-5, ke-12, ke-16, ke-20, ke-21
Hussars Belanda ke-3

Jumlah Kekuatan: 5,635

Pasukan dari Madrid

Léger ke-12 (tiga batalion)
Baris ke-51 (tiga batalion)
Infantri Pengawal Raja
Pasukan Berkuda Raja
Chasseurs ke-27 (dua skuadron)

Jumlah Kekuatan: 5,737

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Pertempuran Talavera

The Pertempuran Talavera (27 & # 821128 Julai 1809) diperjuangkan tepat di luar kota Talavera de la Reina, sekitar 120 kilometer di barat daya Madrid, semasa Perang Semenanjung di Sepanyol. Di Talavera, tentera Anglo-Sepanyol di bawah Sir Arthur Wellesley digabungkan dengan tentera Sepanyol di bawah Jeneral Cuesta dalam operasi menentang Madrid yang dikuasai Perancis. Setelah bertarung sengit, serangan Grande Armée ditangkis beberapa kali semasa berehat semalaman dalam aksi yang menarik diri dari lapangan. Wellesley dipuji sebagai Viscount Wellington dari Talavera dan Wellington & # 915 & # 93 untuk aksi tersebut.


Pertempuran Talavera

Tempur: Inggeris dan Sepanyol menentang Perancis.

Jeneral: Leftenan Jeneral Sir Arthur Wellesley menentang Raja Joseph Bonaparte

Saiz tentera: 20,000 Inggeris dan 30,000 Sepanyol berbanding 46,000 Perancis.

Pakaian seragam, lengan dan peralatan: Pakaian seragam, senjata, peralatan dan latihan:

Infantri Inggeris memakai jaket panjang pinggang merah, seluar putih, dan shakos tungku. Rejimen Fusilier memakai topi kulit beruang. Kedua-dua rejimen senapang itu memakai jaket hijau gelap.

Dragoon Britain memakai mantel merah dan topi keledar gaya Rom. Naga Cahaya memakai warna biru muda. Artileri Diraja memakai jubah biru.

Rejimen dataran tinggi memakai kilt dengan tunik merah dan topi bulu burung unta hitam tinggi.

The King's German Legion, yang terdiri dari rejimen berkuda dan infanteri mengenakan warna hitam, seperti juga unit Jerman lain dalam perkhidmatan British.

Tentera Perancis memakai pelbagai jenis pakaian seragam. Seragam infantri asas berwarna biru tua.

Pasukan berkuda Perancis terdiri dragonon yang sebagian besar berwarna hijau. Artileri Perancis mengenakan pakaian seragam yang serupa dengan infanteri, artileri kuda dengan pakaian seragam hussar.

Senjata infanteri standard di semua tentera adalah musket. Ia boleh ditembakkan pada tiga atau empat kali seminit, melemparkan bola berat dengan tidak tepat hanya seratus meter atau lebih. Setiap pasukan infanteri membawa bayonet yang dipasang di moncong musketnya.

Batalion senapang Britain (Senapang ke-60 dan ke-95) membawa senapang Baker, senjata yang lebih tepat tetapi lebih perlahan, dan bayonet pedang.

Senapan lapangan menembakkan proyektil bola, karena sifatnya terbatas terhadap pasukan di lapangan, kecuali terbentuk dengan dekat. Senapang juga melepaskan tembakan atau kanister yang berpecah, tetapi hanya berkesan dalam jarak dekat. Meletup peluru yang ditembakkan oleh Howitzers, namun pada masa awal mereka digunakan khusus untuk bangunan. British mempunyai perkembangan rahsia dalam bidang 'shrapnel' ini.

Pemenang: Kedua-dua belah pihak menuntut kemenangan, British dengan alasan bahawa semua serangan Perancis telah ditolak dengan tegas, dengan senjata Perancis ditangkap, dan Perancis dengan alasan bahawa Inggeris akhirnya terpaksa mundur dari posisi Talavera, meninggalkan mereka yang cedera di tangan Perancis.

Rejimen British:

Pengawal Dragoon ke-3, kemudian Carabineers ke-3 dan sekarang Pengawal Dragoon Diraja *
Dragons ke-4, kemudian Pengawal Diraja Dragoon ke-4/7 dan sekarang Pengawal Dragoon Diraja *
Naga Cahaya ke-14, kemudian Hussars Raja ke-14 / ke-20 dan sekarang Hussars Diraja *
Naga Cahaya ke-16. Kemudian 16th / 5th Queen's Royal Lancers dan sekarang Queen's Royal Lancers *
Dragonons Cahaya ke-23, dibubarkan pada tahun 1815
Batalion 1, Pengawal Coldstream *
Pengawal ke-3, sekarang Pengawal Skotlandia *
Buffs ke-3, kemudian Rejimen Kent Timur dan sekarang Rejimen Royal Princess of Wales *
Royal Fusiliers ke-7, kini Rejimen Royal Fusiliers *
Kaki 24, kemudian Sempadan Wales Selatan dan sekarang Rejimen Diraja Wales *
Kaki ke-29, kemudian Rejimen Worcestershire dan sekarang Rejimen Perhutanan Worcestershire dan Sherwood *
Kaki ke-31, kemudian Rejimen Surrey Timur dan sekarang Rejimen Kerajaan Princess of Wales *
Kaki ke-40, kemudian Rejimen Lancashire Selatan dan sekarang Rejimen Ratu Lancashire *
Kaki ke-45, kemudian Sherwood Foresters dan sekarang Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment *
Kaki ke-48, kemudian Rejimen Northamptonshire dan sekarang Royal Anglian *
Kaki ke-53, kemudian King's Shropshire Light Infantry dan sekarang Light Infantry *
Kaki ke-60, kemudian King's Royal Rifles dan kini Royal Green Jackets *
Kaki ke-61, kemudian Rejimen Gloucestershire dan sekarang Rejimen Gloucestershire Diraja, Berkshire dan Wiltshire *
Kaki ke-66, kemudian Rejimen Berkshire Diraja dan sekarang Rejimen Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire dan Wiltshire *
Kaki ke-83, kemudian Royal Ulster Rifles dan sekarang Rejimen Diraja Ireland *
Kaki ke-87, kemudian Royal Irish Fusiliers dan sekarang Royal Irish Regiment *
Kaki ke-88, Connaught Rangers, dibubarkan pada tahun 1922 *
Kaki ke-97, dibubarkan pada tahun 1815
* Rejimen ini memiliki Talavera sebagai penghormatan pertempuran.

Perintah Pertempuran Inggeris:

Panglima besar: Leftenan Jeneral Sir Arthur Wellesley
Berkuda: diperintah oleh Leftenan Jeneral William Payne
Briged ke-1: diperintah oleh Brigadier

Jeneral Henry Fane
Pengawal Dragoon ke-3
Naga ke-4

Briged ke-2: diperintahkan oleh Brigadier Jeneral Stapleton Cotton
Naga Cahaya ke-14
Naga Cahaya ke-16

Briged ke-3: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral George Anson
Naga Cahaya ke-23
Hussars ke-1, Legiun Raja Jerman

Infantri:
Bahagian 1: diperintah oleh Leftenan Jeneral John Sherbrooke
Briged Pertama: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Henry Campbell
Batalion 1, Pengawal Coldstream
Pengawal 1/3
1 Co. Kaki ke-5 / ke-60

Briged ke-2: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Alan Cameron
Kaki 1/61
Kaki ke-2/83
1 Co. Kaki ke-5 / ke-60

Briged ke-3: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Ernst, Baron Langwerth
Batalion 1st Line, King's German Legion
Batalion Line ke-2, Legiun Raja Jerman
Batalion Cahaya 1, Legion Raja Jerman
Batalion Cahaya ke-2, Legion Raja Jerman

Briged ke-4: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Sigismund, Baron Löw
Batalion 5th Line, King's German Legion
Batalion 7th Line, King's German Legion

Bahagian ke-2: diperintah oleh Mejar Jeneral Rowland Hill
Briged ke-1: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Christopher Tilson
Buff 1/3
Kaki ke-2/48
Kaki ke-2 / ke-66
1 Co. Kaki ke-5 / ke-60

Briged ke-2: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Richard Stewart
Kaki ke-29
Kaki 1/48
Detasemen Bn ke-1

Bahagian ke-3: diperintah oleh Mejar Jeneral Randoll Mackenzie
Briged ke-1: diperintah oleh Mejar Jeneral Randoll Mackenzie
Kaki ke-2/24
Kaki ke-2/31
Kaki ke-1/45

Briged ke-2: diperintahkan oleh Kolonel Donkin
Kaki ke-2/87
Kaki ke-1/88
Kaki ke-5 / ke-60

Bahagian ke-4: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Alexander Campbell
Briged ke-1: diperintah oleh Brigadier Jeneral Alexander Campbell
Fusilier ke-2 / ke-7
Kaki ke-2/53
1 Co. Kaki ke-5 / ke-60

Briged ke-2: diperintah oleh Kolonel James Kemmis
Kaki 1/40
Kaki ke-97
Detasmen Batalion ke-2
1 Co. Kaki ke-5 / ke-60

Bateri Lawson, Sillery dan Elliot
Bateri Rettberg dan Heise

Perintah pertempuran Perancis:
Panglima Besar: Joseph Napoleon, Raja Sepanyol
Ketua Kakitangan: Marshal Jourdan

I Corps: diperintah oleh Marshal Victor
Bahagian 1 diperintah oleh Jeneral Ruffin
Bahagian ke-2 diperintah oleh Jeneral Lapisse
Bahagian ke-3 yang diperintah oleh Jeneral Villatte

Kor IV: diperintah oleh Jeneral Sebastiani
Bahagian 1 diperintah oleh Jeneral Sebastiani
Bahagian ke-2 yang diperintahkan oleh Jeneral Valence
Bahagian ke-3 yang diperintah oleh Jeneral Leval

Briged Kavaleri yang diperintahkan oleh Jeneral Merlin

Bahagian Madrid diperintah oleh Jeneral Dessolles

Rizab berkuda:

Bahagian Dragoon ke-1 diperintahkan oleh Jeneral Latour-Maubourg
Bahagian Dragoon ke-2 yang diperintahkan oleh Jeneral Milhaud
Artileri: diperintahkan oleh Jeneral Sénarmont
82 senapang.

Sir Arthur Wellesley melintasi perbatasan dari Portugal ke Sepanyol pada 2 Julai 1809 dengan tujuan untuk bekerjasama dengan tentera Jeneral Cuesta dan Jeneral Venegas dalam serangan ke atas Perancis di Madrid di bawah pimpinan Joseph Bonaparte.

Joseph juga mempunyai rancangan agresif, yang bermaksud menggunakan pasukan Marshal Soult untuk menyerang Portugal. Pada 20 Julai 1809, Wellesley bergabung dengan Jenderal Cuesta dan maju menyerang pasukan Marshal Victor berhampiran Talavera. Pada 22 Julai 1809 British mula menyiasat kedudukan Victor.

Mendengar kemajuan Wellesley, Soult, yang berada di Utara, mengusulkan agar Victor menahan tentera Inggeris dan Sepanyol ketika dia berjalan ke selatan dan menempatkan pasukannya yang berjumlah 30,000 orang di antara Wellesley dan markasnya di Portugal.

Victor dalam menghadapi serangan terhadapnya menarik diri, dengan tentera Sepanyol Cuesta mengikutinya. Di Torrijos, empat puluh lima batu ke Timur, Cuesta dihadapkan oleh tentera Joseph Bonaparte yang terdiri daripada 46,000 orang. Cuesta berundur dan bergabung dengan Wellesley di Talavera.

Semasa bahagian akhir retret ini, pengawal maju Perancis mengejutkan brigade kaki Britain dan menyebabkan korban berat.

Menjelang petang 26 Julai 1809 tentera Inggeris dan Sepanyol berada di Talavera di tebing utara Sungai Tagus. Orang Sepanyol menduduki bandar dan tanah dekat ke Utara. Di luar kedudukan mereka, garis tanah tinggi membentuk posisi utama bagi pasukan Inggeris, berakhir di Cerro de Medellin. Di antara Cerro dan pergunungan di Sierra de Segurilla terdapat sebuah lembah yang sempit.
Kedudukan Talavera memberikan tanah tinggi yang disukai Wellesley untuk pertempuran bertahan.

Pasukan Marshal Victor memimpin kemajuan Perancis dan mengejutkan briged Britain pada waktu petang. Victor memutuskan untuk menyerang Cerro de Medellin, ciri dominasi garis Inggeris, tanpa berlengah, walaupun sekarang sudah malam. Pembahagian Jeneral Ruffin membuat serangan. Orang Perancis sampai di puncak sebelum tentera Inggeris menyedari bahawa mereka berada di sana dan terdapat banyak kekeliruan. General Hill memunculkan brigade simpanan dan mengusir anak buah Ruffin dari Cerro. Selebihnya malam dihabiskan oleh British menunggu serangan Perancis selanjutnya.

Pada pukul 5 pagi Marshal Victor mengirim bahagian Ruffin kembali ke Cerro, sebilangan besar lima puluh senjata yang menyokong serangan itu. Kali ini Inggeris sudah bersedia. Pasukan Wellesley berbaring di belakang puncak bukit di luar barisan tembakan artileri. Ketika infanteri Ruffin sampai di puncak bukit, kaki ke-29 dan ke-48 British berdiri dan menyerang dengan bayonet, mendorong orang Perancis kembali ke bukit dan melintasi sungai Portina.

Terdapat jeda dalam pertempuran selama dua jam sementara Joseph Bonaparte berunding dengan ketua kakitangannya, Jourdan, Victor dan Sebastiani. Victor mendesak agar Sebastiani menyerang Inggeris tepat di persimpangannya dengan formasi Sepanyol, sementara dia menyerang Cerro sekali lagi. Joseph, yang tidak sabar-sabar untuk keputusan yang berjaya disepakati.

Tiang Sebastiani menyerang pada titik di mana bukit paling rendah. Tiang kirinya, setelah bertempur sengit, dihalau oleh Fusiliers ke-7 dan Kaki ke-53. Tiang kanannya menyerang Pengawal Kaki Britain dan Kaki ke-83. Orang-orang Perancis dihalau oleh Pengawal, tetapi selama pengejaran itu, para Pengawal dibawa masuk oleh pasukan Perancis dan kembali kebingungan, sementara tiang Sebastiani kembali menyerang. Wellesley membawa Kaki ke-48, di belakang mana Pengawal dapat melakukan reformasi, dan serangan balas Perancis yang berbahaya diadakan dan ditangkis.

Sementara itu bahagian Ruffin diperintahkan untuk melakukan serangan ketiga ke atas Cerro, yang dilakukannya dengan sedikit semangat dan tidak berjaya.

Di lembah di sebelah utara Cerro, bahagian kanan Victor cuba melepasi garis Inggeris. Wellesley melancarkan brigade kavaleri Anson yang bertanggungjawab atas infanteri Perancis. Kekotoran yang tersembunyi membawa bencana kepada pasukan berkuda. The Light Dragoons 1st, King's German Legion terjun ke dalam najis. Dragonons Cahaya ke-23 dituntut untuk dipenuhi oleh Infanteri Perancis di dataran dan mengalami kerugian yang besar.

Serangan Perancis mereda dan tentera Joseph mundur pada waktu malam, meninggalkan beberapa senjata di tangan Britain dan Sepanyol.

Korban:
Kekalahan Perancis adalah 17 senjata dan 7,268 lelaki. British kehilangan 5,363 lelaki terbunuh dan cedera.

Susulan:
Pagi selepas pertempuran, Briged Cahaya Jeneral Robert Craufurd bergerak ke perkhemahan dengan tanduk bugle bermain, setelah berjalan sejauh 42 batu dalam 26 jam dalam usaha untuk mencapai tentera pada waktunya untuk pertempuran.

Pada keesokan harinya Wellesley mendengar bahawa Soult dengan 30,000 orang hampir memotong jalan ke Portugal, memaksa pengunduran Britain yang pantas ke sempadan Portugis.

Setelah tiba, Briged Ringan harus berjalan selama lima belas jam lagi untuk mengamankan Jambatan Almaraz sebelum Soult dapat menerimanya, dengan demikian menjaga komunikasi terbuka dengan Lisbon.


Sejarah: Pertempuran Talavera 1809

Pada Oktober 1808 Sir John Moore mengambil alih tentera Anglo-Portugis. Dia dengan berani membawa 23,000 orangnya ke Sepanyol, tetapi sebulan kemudian harus mundur dengan cepat, dikejar oleh musuh. Kedudukannya yang strategik tidak bagus, sekutu-sekutunya dari Sepanyol telah dikalahkan dan terbukti tidak dapat dipercaya, dan dia menghadapi pasukan Perancis yang terdiri daripada kira-kira 200,000 orang yang diperintah oleh Napoleon sendiri. Pintas intelijen membolehkannya mengancam pasukan Perancis yang terpencil di Saldana tetapi setelah mengetahui bahawa Napoleon menyedari niatnya, dia memulakan pengunduran epik ke pelabuhan Corunna. Pada bulan Januari 1809 Moore berpaling dan mengejar orang Perancis yang mengejar, mengeluarkan pasukannya, tetapi dengan mengorbankan nyawanya sendiri. Sir John adalah pejuang Albion yang sebenarnya, jadi ini adalah kerugian besar bagi Tentera British dan juga sekutu.

Dengan pengusiran Inggeris, Perancis membanjiri Portugal, cengkaman mereka terhadap negara itu hanya terhambat oleh masalah logistik. Pada 22 April 1809, Inggeris kembali dengan pendaratan Wellesley sebagai komando tentera Anglo-Portugis. Pada bulan Mei, sekutu melakukan kempen cemerlang memaksa Perancis di bawah Marsekal Soult untuk meninggalkan Oporto dengan kehilangan artileri dan bagasi mereka. Menjelang awal bulan Julai, Wellesley telah pindah ke Sepanyol dan melakukan kontak dengan 33.000 tentera Sepanyol yang kuat di bawah Cuesta oleh kedua-dua pasukan ke-20 kemudian melakukan manuver untuk memaksa Pasukan ke-1 Marsekal Claude Victor untuk tidak mengancam perbatasan Portugis. Victor jatuh dan mundur terlebih dahulu ke Almaraz dan kemudian ke Talavera. Wellington kini percaya bahawa dia mempunyai peluang nyata untuk merebut ibu kota Sepanyol, Madrid, sebelum pasukan Perancis dapat bertemu dengannya.

Sekutu melakukan hubungan dengan Marsekal Victor dekat bandar Talavera pada 23 Julai, tetapi melepaskan peluang untuk menelefonnya ketika orang Sepanyol enggan bertempur, seperti pada hari Ahad, yang memungkinkan Victor menarik diri. Cuesta memilih untuk mengejar, sementara Wellesley tinggal di Talavera de la Reina, kira-kira 75 batu di barat daya ibu kota Sepanyol. Pengejaran Cuesta terhenti ketika dia mengejar Victor, yang sekarang diperkuat oleh Jeneral Sebastiani ke-4 Kor dan oleh cadangan Raja Joseph's Royal di Torrijos. Tidak seberapa, orang Sepanyol berpaling dan bergabung semula dengan Inggeris, yang sekarang dikejar oleh Perancis. Peluang sekutu untuk menawan Madrid telah hilang.

Setibanya di Talavera, orang Sepanyol ditawarkan posisi sayap kanan (di sekitar Talavera sendiri) oleh Wellesley, yang meragukan sama ada orang Sepanyol akan berdiri di tempat terbuka. Talavera dikelilingi oleh kebun zaitun dan dinding batu, yang membuatnya menjadi posisi bertahan yang hebat. Orang Sepanyol yang tidak dikerahkan di Talavera juga mengambil posisi yang kuat di sepanjang jalan yang tenggelam yang dilindungi oleh dinding batu yang lebih banyak. British mengambil sekutu kiri, dan dikerahkan di sepanjang tebing rendah dan bukit yang dikenali sebagai Cerro de Medellin. Untuk memperkuat pusat garisan, mereka membina redoubt di Pajar de Vergara.

Wellesley bermaksud untuk melakukan apa yang dia dan tentara lakukan yang terbaik, bertempur dengan pertahanan. Dia berpuas hati dengan situasi pasukannya sendiri, mempertahankan tanah tinggi di mana dia dapat melindungi mereka dari kebakaran terburuk Perancis. Dia juga berharap sekutu-sekutunya dari Sepanyol akan berdiri di posisi terlindung mereka. Di bahagian British, Divisyen 1 memegang Medellin, dengan Bahagian ke-2 di sebelah kiri Bahagian ke-4 menyokong keraguan. Di barisan kedua, pasukan berkuda Fane dan Cotton berada di tempat simpanan sementara titik penyeberangan Sepanyol di sungai Alberche dilindungi oleh Divisi 3.

Orang Perancis, yang menyedari kekuatan kedudukan Sepanyol, mengerahkan mayoritas 46,000 pasukan mereka menentang Wellesley, berniat untuk mengalahkan Inggeris terlebih dahulu dan kemudian bergerak melawan Sepanyol. Victor's I Corps dikerahkan di sebelah kanan Perancis menghadap Inggeris dan Portugis, sementara Sebastiani's Corps memegang pusat. Di sebelah kiri, penunggang kuda Milhaud menghadapi hampir keseluruhan tentera Sepanyol. Di seberang Medellin, 30 meriam Perancis terletak di Cerro de Cascajal, sementara Latour-Maubourg dan garnisun Madrid tetap dalam simpanan. Hebat!

Perlawanan

Pertempuran Talavera bermula pada petang 27 Julai dan bermula buruk bagi Sekutu dengan tindakan awal yang berlaku di Casa de Salinas, sebuah rumah yang musnah kira-kira satu batu di sebelah barat sungai Alberche. Sebelum kedatangan orang Sepanyol, bahagian Sherbrooke dan Mackenzie telah diposting di tebing timur sungai untuk melindungi penyeberangan sungai untuk orang Sepanyol. Tentera Cuesta tiba pada petang 26, tetapi tidak menyeberangi sungai sehingga 27. British kemudian mengundurkan diri apabila Sepanyol selamat melintasi Alberche. Mackenzie diperintahkan untuk bertindak sebagai pengawal belakang semasa manuver ini, sementara Wellesley menggunakan Casa de Salinas untuk mengawasi prosiding. Walaupun piket telah diposkan, bahagian Lapisse dari Victor's 1st Corps berjaya melintasi Alberche tanpa dikesan dan mengejutkan Mackenzie. Tiga batalion dikawal, 500 orang hilang dan Wellesley hampir ditangkap. Situasi ini dibetulkan oleh tindakan Nottinghamshire ke-45 dan anggota tentera Royal Amerika ke-60, yang memungkinkan Wellesley untuk mengumpulkan buronan. Inggeris dapat melepaskan diri mereka tanpa campur tangan lebih lanjut, walaupun tembakan meriam kuda Perancis mengganggu.

Pada malam 27 Julai, Victor menghantar Bahagian Ruffin untuk merebut Cerro de Medellin. Penglihatan yang terhad menyaksikan dua dari tiga rejimen Ruffin tersesat dalam kegelapan, tetapi Leger ke-9 masih mengarahkan brigade Sigismund Lowe yang terdedah dan menyerang Medellin. Ini berlaku kerana Bahagian Bukit, yang seharusnya berada di puncak Medellin, sebenarnya berkhemah sejauh setengah batu. British berjaya mengawal keadaan dan serangan Perancis akhirnya berjaya diatasi oleh Stewart's Brigade.

Pertempuran untuk Cerro de Medellin milik Osprey Publishing

Pada petang yang sama, naga-naga Perancis dihantar untuk memeriksa garis-garis Sepanyol. Sebelum pasukan Perancis berada dalam jarak jangkauan, seluruh barisan Sepanyol melepaskan tembakan ke arah pasukan berkuda. Acara ini memicu empat batalion Sepanyol untuk melemparkan senjata dan melarikan diri dengan panik, nampaknya takut dengan suara senjata mereka sendiri. Kurang dari 2,000 orang Sepanyol melarikan diri dari lapangan, menjarah kereta bagasi Britain dalam perjalanan.

Keesokan paginya tidak ada perubahan dalam rancangan Victor. Dia yakin bahawa dia dapat menawan Cerro de Medellin tanpa sokongan dari tentera yang lain. Ini adalah kali pertama Victor bertempur melawan British dan dia tidak menyangka mereka akan menentang pasukannya. Sekali lagi, 5.000 lelaki Ruffin dipilih untuk serangan Medellin berikutan pengeboman artileri. Orang Perancis datang di lajur serangan yang ditutupi oleh pasukan pertempuran, masing-masing tiga batalion rejimen maju berdampingan. Ketika Ruffin's Brigade berada dalam jangkauan musket yang efektif, Tilson's dan Stewart's Brigades, yang disokong oleh Sherbrooke's Brigade, muncul dari sampul dalam barisan kedalaman British yang sekarang standard. Tembakan voli mereka menghentikan tiang Perancis yang gemerisik, yang berusaha membentuk garis dan membalas tembakan. Untuk sorakan orang Inggeris, Perancis segera melepaskan diri dan melarikan diri ketika Sherbrooke terus memaksa mereka. Orang Perancis yang melarikan diri dikejar dari Cerro de Medellin oleh Stewart's Briged, Inggeris mengakhiri pengejaran mereka di portina dan kemudian mengundurkan diri ke garis belakang mereka.

Fasa pertempuran ini mengorbankan hampir 1,500 orang Perancis. Hill's Brigade, formasi British yang paling sibuk, kehilangan 750 orang, dengan Hill sendiri mengalami luka di kepala.

Kekalahan Divisi Ruffin menandakan pertemuan komando Perancis: Victor, Sebastiani, Joseph dan ketua kakitangannya, Jourdan. Dua yang terakhir memilih aksi pertahanan mereka tahu bahawa Marshal Soult berbaris dengan 30,000 orang untuk mengancam bahagian belakang Sekutu yang akan memaksa mereka mundur. Sementara itu, Victor berhujah untuk menyerang habis-habisan di kiri dan tengah Sekutu. Hujah itu berakhir ketika berita sampai ke Perancis bahawa pasukan Sepanyol di bawah Jeneral Venegas bergerak untuk mengambil Madrid pada masa yang sama para jeneral mendapati bahawa Soult ditunda dan sekarang tidak akan dapat mengancam bahagian belakang Sekutu. Orang Perancis tidak boleh membiarkan ibukota simbolik politik jatuh kepada orang Sepanyol, dan perlu membebaskan formasi dari pertemuan ini untuk menangkis mereka. Serangan skala penuh diperintahkan terhadap barisan British.

Bahagian Lapisse dan Sebastiani dan Jerman Leval dipilih untuk tugas mengusir pasukan gabungan Cuesta dan Wellesley. Lapisse's Division menyerang Serro de Meddelin, diikuti oleh Leval's Division, yang menyerang titik di garis di mana pasukan Inggeris dan Sepanyol bertemu. Akhirnya Sebastiani menyerang Briged Pengawal dan sebahagian Briged Cameron di pusat bersekutu. Leval akan menghantar pasukannya ke depan setelah serangan Lapisse diserahkan tetapi ketika pasukan Leval bergerak ke posisi awal mereka melalui medan yang kasar, mereka segera kehilangan kontak dengan tentera Perancis yang lain. Leval, percaya perjalanannya sudah terlalu lama menghantar pasukannya maju ke serangan - tetapi dia terlalu awal. Medan yang kasar, terutama terdiri dari kebun zaitun, menggerakkan tiang-tiangnya dan mereka muncul dari kawasan yang menghadap ke kiri Sepanyol, kanan Britain dan bateri pistol di Pajar de Vergara.

Api mematikan dari artileri merobohkan tiang Perancis sebelum itu dan dengan cepat menyebarkannya. Leval menikmati beberapa kejayaan, tetapi akhirnya diusir oleh brigade Campbell dan Kemmis, kehilangan 700 orang dan enam senjata.

Bahagian Lapisse dan Sebastiani menyerang seterusnya. Lajur batalion Perancis muncul dalam dua gelombang serangan yang terpisah dan tersendiri yang terdiri dari dua puluh empat batalion, yang dipasang di lapan batalion Divisyen 1 Sherbrooke. Kemaraan Perancis membuat masa yang tepat sehingga mereka bergerak ke julat musket yang berkesan. Rejimen Inggeris melepaskan tembakan secara serentak, dan sekali lagi orang Perancis diperiksa oleh kesan voli Inggeris. Eselon depan segera pecah dan melarikan diri, dan dengan sorakan hati orang Inggeris menyerang ke hadapan untuk menyelesaikan ketidakselesaan mereka. Beberapa batalion Britain, termasuk Pengawal, keluar dari tangan dan mengejar terlalu jauh dan pada gilirannya diperiksa oleh artileri dan musket dari gelombang kedua pasukan Perancis. Ini menyebabkan banyak korban jiwa dan Inggeris berhenti kerana kebingungan.

Pergerakan mendakan ini telah membuat lubang di garis Inggeris, yang kini dipindahkan Lapisse untuk dieksploitasi. Dalam semua pertempurannya, Wellesley menunjukkan kemampuan luar biasa untuk berada di tempat yang tepat pada waktu yang tepat ketika krisis muncul. Keadaan di Talavera ini tidak terkecuali dan dia secara peribadi memerintahkan Rejimen Northamptonshire ke-48 untuk menutup jurang, untuk segera diperkuat dengan Briged Mackenzie. Tahap seterusnya pertembungan ini menyaksikan 3,000 orang Inggeris menghadapi 8,000 orang Perancis gelombang kedua. Pertempuran sengit menyaksikan Perancis berpaling dalam kekalahan, garis dua dalam mengalahkan tiang sekali lagi. Aksi itu mengorbankan lebih daripada 2.000 korban Perancis, termasuk Lapisse yang cedera parah. British menderita lebih dari 600 korban, termasuk Mackenzie yang telah terbunuh. Wellesley telah mempertahankan kedudukan dengan cemerlang.

Dengan kekalahan serangan utama Perancis, Brigade Ruffin yang malang sekali lagi dikirim ke hadapan untuk melakukan gerakan manuver di Medellin, yang disokong oleh unsur-unsur Bahagian Villatte. Usaha ini terhenti oleh penyebaran Wellesley dari pasukan Briged berkuda Anson dan Fane. Wellesley juga meminta bantuan dari Cuesta, yang bertindak balas dengan mengirimkan Bahagian Bassecourt dan bahagian pasukan berkuda Duke of Albuquerque. Tekanan yang diturunkan oleh pasukan berkuda Inggeris bermaksud bahawa serangan Perancis gagal ketika mereka terpaksa kembali dalam formasi persegi. Walaupun Dragonons Cahaya KGL ke-1 maju dengan baik, Dragoons Cahaya ke-23 British tidak terkawal, melewati dataran yang dibentuk oleh infanteri Ruffin ke dalam pasukan berkuda Perancis yang menyokong. Yang ke-23 dikuasai dengan teruk, kehilangan separuh kekuatan sebelum mereka berjaya. Huru hara ini adalah aksi terakhir pertempuran, tentera Joseph meninggalkan padang untuk mempertahankan Madrid daripada ancaman Sepanyol.

Tuduhan Kapal Kuda Sepanyol dari Osprey Publishing

Satu catatan pos yang mengerikan dalam pertempuran itu adalah kebakaran rumput yang tiba-tiba terjadi di ladang kering, menyebabkan banyak cedera terlantar dari kedua belah pihak.

Selepas

Korban Perancis di Talavera berjumlah 7,300. Orang Sepanyol kehilangan kira-kira 1.200 lelaki Wellesley kerugian sebanyak 5,500 berjumlah lebih dari 25% dari keseluruhan kekuatannya.

Walaupun kemenangan taktik bersekutu, Talavera dapat dilihat sebagai kemenangan strategik bagi Perancis. Tentera Wellesley telah berdarah putih dan tentera segar Marshal Soult berpusing ke selatan, mengancam akan memotong Wellesley dari Portugal. Memikirkan bahawa Perancis lebih lemah daripada yang sebenarnya, Wellesley bergerak ke timur pada 3 Ogos untuk menyekat mereka, setelah menyebabkan 1.500 cedera dalam perawatan Sepanyol. Terkejut dengan jumlah Soult, komander Britain menghantar Light Brigade yang baru tiba untuk mendapatkan jalan keluar dari Sepanyol. With a safe line of retreat, Wellesley considered joining with Cuesta again, when he found out that his Spanish ally had abandoned the British wounded to the French and was proving to be generally uncooperative. Wellesley was further compromised by poorly coordinated Spanish troop movements and broken promises over the supply of equipment and rations. In the spring, the threat of French reinforcement led to Wellesley retiring into Portugal.

For his efforts, after this battle Wellesley was created Viscount Wellington of Talavera.


Aquatint by T Sutherland after W Heath, published by J Jenkins, 1 June 1815. From 'The Martial Achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies from 1799 to 1815'.

The Battle of Talavera on 27-28 July 1809 took place to the south-west of Madrid. An Anglo-Spanish army of 50,000 men commanded by Sir Arthur Wellesley and the Spanish General Gregorio de la Cuesta, faced 46,000 Frenchmen under Marshal Claude Victor and the French King of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte.

One of the bloodiest battles of the war, Talavera was something of a stalemate. Although the French withdrew from the field, Wellesley was forced to return with his force to Portugal after another French army under Marshal Soult threatened his lines of communication. Further operations were also restricted by the lack of co-operation between the British and their Spanish allies.


Pertempuran

Victor urged his superiors for a massive attack, but Joseph and Jourdan chose to peck away at the Anglo-Spanish position. At dawn, the guns on the Cascajal opened up, causing some loss among the British infantry formed in the open. Having learned the hard way about the destructive power of French artillery, Wellesley soon pulled his soldiers back into cover.

Again, Ruffin's division attacked the Medellín. Each battalion was formed in a column of divisions with a width of two companies and a depth of three. (French battalions had recently been re-organized into six companies.) Each regiment's three battalions advanced side-by-side with only a small gap between units. This would make each regimental attack roughly 160 files across and nine ranks deep. When Ruffin's men got within effective range, the British emerged from cover in two-deep lines to overlap the French columns. Riddled by fire from front and flank, and with their rear six ranks unable to fire, the French columns broke and ran.

Victor shifted Ruffin's survivors to the right against the Segurilla and supported them with one of Villatte's brigades. Lapisse, Sebastiani and Leval (from right to left) then launched a frontal attack against the British 1st and 4th Divisions. Alexander Campbell's men and the Spanish defeated Leval's attack, which went in first. Lapisse and Sebastiani then advanced in two lines using the same regimental columns that Ruffin had employed. Henry Campbell's Guards brigade (1st Division) routed the French regiments opposite them, then charged in pursuit. Running into the French second line and intense artillery fire. The Guards and the Germans with them were routed in their turn, losing 500 men, and carried away Cameron's brigade with them. Seeing Guards and his centre broken, [12] Wellesley personally brought up the 48th Foot to plug the hole caused by the dispersal of Sherbrooke's division. Backed by Mackenzie's brigade (3rd Division), the 48th broke the French second line's attack as the Guards rallied in the rear. Lapisse was mortally wounded.

The main French attack having been defeated, Victor pushed Ruffin's men into the valley between the Medellín and the Segurilla. Anson's cavalry brigade was ordered to drive them back. While the 1st KGL Hussars advanced at a controlled pace, the 23rd Light Dragoons soon broke into a wild gallop. The undisciplined unit ran into a hidden ravine, hobbling many horses. Those horsemen who cleared the obstacle were easily fended off by the French infantry, formed into squares. The 23rd Light Dragoons charged past the squares and ploughed into Beaumont's cavalry, drawn up behind Ruffin. The British dragoons lost 102 killed and wounded and another 105 captured before they cut their way out. After the battle, the mauled regiment had to be sent back to England to refit. However, this ended the French attacks for the day. Joseph and Jourdan failed to employ their reserve, for which they were bitterly criticized by Napoleon.


Talavera and Wellington’s 1809-10 Campaigns

The previous post in this series on the Napoleonic Wars described the background to the Peninsular War and the situation in April 1812.

General Sir Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, returned to Portugal on 22 April 1809 to take command of the British troops there. He re-organised the army, improved its administration, set up a divisional structure that improved its fighting efficiency and made it more flexible, increased the number of skirmishers and integrated the British and Portuguese armies. The re-opening of hostilities between France and Austria meant that the French were able to deploy fewer troops in Spain than in 1808, and Napoleon no longer commanded them in person.

The pictures on this post were taken by myself, when I visited the battlefields of Wellington’s 1809-12 campaigns in Spain as part of a tour conducted by Ian Fletcher of Ian Fletcher Battlefield Tours. This was very informative and visiting the battlefield is an invaluable way of understanding the battle. I have no connection with IFBT except as a very satisfied customer.

Maps are also vital in understanding battles for copyright reasons I have provided links to websites with maps of the battlefields rather than copying the maps directly into this post. Click here for a low resolution map of the Peninsular War.

On 12 May Wellesley crossed the River Douro, forcing the French out of Portugal. His army of 20,000 men then joined up with Cuesta’s 35,000 strong Spanish army. They were attacked at Talavera de la Reina on the night of 27 July by 46,000 French troops. A hard fought battle lasted the whole of the next day, before the French withdrew. Wellesley was created Earl of Wellington for his victory.

Monument to Battle of Talavera

There was no reverse slope at Talavera the belief that Wellington’s battles always featured one is based on the incorrect assumption that Waterloo was typical. A motorway now runs through the battlefield and a modern memorial has been constructed. Wellington and Cuesta agreed to attack Marshal Victor’s 22,000 French troops on 23 July, but the Spanish did not move. Charles Esdaile suggests that the most likely reason is that Cuesta thought that he was heading into a trap.[1] Wellington also halted as well as lacking support from Cuesta, his army was suffering from supply problems. Cuesta moved forward, encountering the French on 25 July. Victor had now been reinforced by General Sebastiani and King Joseph, bringing the French army to 46,000. Luck and French mistakes enabled him to escape the trap and rejoin Wellington. The Allied army withdrew to a better defensive position, covered by Mackenzie’s Division of British troops. Wellington was almost killed or captured whilst conducting a forward reconnaissance.

The Allied army was now deployed along the Portiña, a stream that was easily crossed. Woods and olive groves restricted the scope for cavalry charges but gave infantry the opportunity to launch surprise attacks. The French were outnumbered, but they could concentrate against either the British or the Spanish, screening the other with cavalry, and obtaining local superiority.

Victor, the only French commander then present, attacked the British position on the Medellin hill on the night of 27 July. This attack failed, as did another one on at 5 am the next day. Sebastiani and Joseph then arrived. They and Marshal Jourdan, Joseph’s military adviser, were reluctant to attack, but Victor persuaded them to resume the assault on the British. The debate amongst the French commanders meant that the attack did not start until 2 pm.

Portina stream. More foliage today than in 1809.

Until then, British and French troops fraternised at the Portiña, the only source of water on the battlefield. During this war British and French soldiers, including officers, maintained good relations when not required to kill each other. Sentries were not fired on, enemy wounded were cared for, prisoners were not mis-treated and sources of food and water in no man’s land were shared.

The French attacks failed, but British casualties were high, 5,365 dead, wounded and captured out of 20,000 according to Jac Weller.[2] French casualties were 7,268, but there were 46,000 French troops present. Spanish casualties were light, since the French attacked only the British.

The battle prejudiced Wellington against Spanish troops, whose commanders were slow to move, and against his own cavalry, which performed poorly. Ian Fletcher argues that the cavalry did well elsewhere in the war, but usually when Wellington was not present.

Until he was appointed to command the Spanish Army in 1813, Wellington commanded an Anglo-Portuguese army, including a contingent of Germans, that was about 50,000 strong. It normally faced similar sized French forces, although there were up to 300,000 French troops in Spain. The others were tied down by the Spanish Army, Spanish guerillas, and the threat of a popular uprising. Most of the battles of the Peninsular War were won by the Anglo-Portuguese army, but the Spanish played a significant role in the war.

Napoleon had left Spain in January 1809 he believed that the campaign was won and was concerned that Austria was planning to re-enter the war. His 1809 campaign against Austria began when he arrived in Germany on 16 April, a week after the Austrians invaded Bavaria. On 21 May at Aspern-Essling the Archduke Karl became the first general to defeat Napoleon. The Emperor re-grouped and avenged this loss at Wagram on 5-6 July, but suffered heavier casualties than in his previous victories. He imposed harsh terms on Austria and was able to send reinforcements to Spain.

Wellington was not able to follow up his success at Talavera. Another 50,000 French troops under Marshal Soult were advancing and threatened to cut Wellington’s communications with Portugal. He therefore withdrew south, halting in Badajoz in September 1809 for a period before moving the bulk of his army to Almeida. He used the subsequent period of inactivity to begin construction of the Lines of Torres Vedras. British and Portuguese engineers constructed a formidable defensive barrier in the hills north of Lisbon.

There were then two main routes between Spain and Portugal, each protected by a fortress on either side of the border. In the north these were Ciudad Rodrigo in Spain and Almeida in Portugal. The southern route was covered by Badajoz in Spain and Elvas in Portugal. The terrain in between was unsuitable for artillery and supply wagons, as the French had found in 1807 when Junot invaded Portugal through this route.

An army crossing the frontier between Spain or Portugal had to take all four of these fortresses in order to protect its lines of communication. Elvas, weaker than the others, was returned to Portugal by France in 1808 under the terms of the Convention of Cintra and remained in Portuguese hands for the rest of the war.

Marshal Massena now commanded the French troops in the Peninsula, who were reinforced after the end of the war with Austria. He began his campaign by laying siege to Ciudad Rodrigo in May 1810. A gallant defence by the Spanish under General Herrasti lasted until 10 July. Wellington refused to march to their aid because he could not risk facing Massena in the open. Massena had less difficulty in taking Almeida, which had to surrender on 26 August after its magazine accidentally blew up.

Massena then advanced on the Busaco Ridge, a move that played into Wellington’s hands as it was a strong defensive position. Massena had 65,000 men, but his attacks on 27 September were beaten off by the 52,000 strong Anglo-Portuguese army. Wellington declined to follow up, instead withdrawing to the defensive Lines of Torres Vedras. Massena realised that he had no chance of successfully assaulting these and withdrew to Santarem, suffering significant losses to starvation and disease because of Wellington’s scorched earth policy.

The next post in this series will cover Wellington’s 1811 campaign, including the battles of Fuentes de Oñoro and Albuera.

[1] Charles Esdaile, The Peninsular War: A New History (London: Allen Lane, 2002), p. 201.

[2] Jac Weller, Wellington in the Peninsular (London: Greenhill Books, 1992), p. 104.


Talavera, battle of

Talavera, battle of, 1809. On 28 July Wellesley's British army of 20,000 men, co-operating with Cuesta's Spanish army of 34,000 men (who saw little action), were attacked by 46,000 French commanded by King Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jourdan. A night attack achieved surprise but was thrown back. Then the French mounted a series of assaults against the British centre, followed by a turning movement in the north. All were unsuccessful. Although Talavera was a clear British victory, Wellesley, who had been abandoned by Cuesta, retreated to Portugal. As a reward for his victory, Wellesley was created Viscount Wellington.

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The Armies at Talavera, 27-28 July 1809 - History

The 1st Guards were in the Peninsula from the beginning but were reinforced by the 2nd Guards Brigade (Coldstream and Scots) in May 1909. In overall command was Sir Arthur Wellesley, under whom they successfully crossed the Douro, captured Oporto and covered themselves in glory at Talavera on 28th July 1809. They were part of Sherbrooke's 1st Division, in the centre of the line. They suffered a severe artillery bombardment and then an attack by 15,000 French infantry. They held their fire until the enemy were at a range of 50 yards and then fired a withering volley. As the French struggled to recover, the Division charged them and drove them back. Unfortunately they pressed on too far and had to be rescued by the 48th Foot. The Coldstreamers lost 300 out of 1,000 men. They were awarded a battle honour for Talavera on 12th Feb 1812 and a special medal was struck for 'meritorious officers'.

Fuentes d'Onoro 1811

Wellesley withdrew to his well prepared defensive lines of Torres Vedras for the winter. 1810 was not a very active year but in the spring of 1811, after a long march, the Guards Brigade were present at Fuentes d'Orno (3rd-5th May 1811) where the 1st Division was now under the command of Maj-Gen Miles Nightingall, a hypochondriac who managed to get himself wounded in the foot. Only the Light Companies saw action, while the rest of the Brigade remained on the crest of a ridge overlooking the village, also suffering casualties from artillery fire. It was a victory against the French, led by Massena, but Wellesley, who was now Viscount Wellington of Talavera said that 'if Boney had been there we should have been beat'. However, it was a battle honour for the Coldstreamers.

A composite Guards Battalion was sent to Spain in March 1810 which included 3 companies from the 2nd Battalion, all commanded by Maj-Gen W T Dilkes. They were garrisoned in Cadiz but found themselves under siege for two and a half years. In 1811 they were part of a sortie under Maj-Gen Thomas Graham which turned out to be a hard 15 hour march to Barossa followed by a desperate fight, lasting an hour and a half, against a well-rested force that was twice their number. They suffered the loss of a third of their number but earned a battle honour and another gold medal for the officers. They returned to Cadiz where the siege continued.

Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz 1812

Although the Guards Brigade were part of the 1st Division which was present at all the major battles of this year they did not have a central role. In the unwritten rules of war, armies were supposed to rest during the winter months but Wellington stole a march on the French and besieged Ciudad Rodrigo in January. The siege lasted from 8th January to 19th and Viscount Wellington received an Earldom as a reward. He moved on to Badajoz, in April, which was not so easy. Another unwritten rule of war at the time was that during a siege, if the walls are breached, the besieged must surrender. But the French Governor, Armand Philipon decided to make life very difficult for the British. As a result, when the town was finally captured the soldiers went on the rampage that lasted for two days.

The Battle of Salamanca was fought on 22nd July 1812. The action took place south of the Spanish city of Salamana which is on the River Tormes, 100 miles north-west of Madrid. Wellington commanded an army of 50,000 British, Portuguese and Spanish against Marmont's French. It was a brief battle lasting less than an hour, resulting in a resounding victory for the Allies and the shattering of the French Army of Portugal. The Allies marched triumphantly into Madrid on 12th August and then moved on to besiege Burgos in September. But this had to be abandoned on receipt of news of the impending approach of King Joseph and Marshal Suchet. Wellington was forced to withdraw to Portugal on a march that brought considerable suffering to his hungry troops.

Two Guards Brigades, 1813

When the siege of Cadiz was lifted after Salamanca, the composite Guards Battalion were free to join Wellington's army. There were now two Guards Brigades, both of which had Coldstream Guards. The 2nd Brigade was composed of the 1st Battalions of the Coldstream and Scots Guards while the 1st Brigade was composed of the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 1st Guards and the composite battalion of Coldstream and Scots Guards. After a quiet winter they moved north-east to drive the French from Spain. They crossed the Duoro on 4th June and won the Battle of Vittoria on 21st June 1813.

San Sebastian 1813

The last two obstacles to Wellington in Spain were Pamplona and San Sebastian. The task of storming the fortified coastal town of San Sebastian was given to Lieut-Gen Thomas Graham who had commanded the Guards at Cadiz. The siege took 9 weeks from 12th July to 8th Sept and resulted in heavy casualties. The Guards battalions offered a volunteer party of 200 which suffered the loss of 160. The first storming of a breach took place on 25th July and failed, but on 31st August the attack succeeded and the town was taken. The French still occupied the castle which was not surrendered until 8th September. Much of the horror of Badajoz was repeated at San Sebastian and this time the looting, raping and killing lasted a week.

The Guards Brigades were involved with the crossings of various hazardous rivers. These were the Bidossa 7th Oct 1813, the Nivelle 10th Nov 1813, the Nive 9th Dec 1813 and the Adour 23rd Feb 1814.

The 2nd Guards Brigade distinguished themselves on this last operation when 6 companies of the Scots Guards and two of the Coldstream crossed the river before dark and held a precarious bridgehead all night, until relieved the next morning. The operation is also of interest because this assault force used a new rocket battery against the French and it apparently had a very discouraging effect on them.

The Guards were not involved in the battle of Toulouse but Bayonne proved to be a final and tragic chapter in the Peninsula War for them. The French commander of Bayonne, Thourenot made a sortie from the town with 6,000 men and was met by both Guards Brigades. This was a confused battle in the dark on the night of the 10th April 1814 (5 days after Napoleon had abdicated), and 506 men from the Guards were lost, including Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Sullivan. These men lie in a special Guards cemetery which still exists today.

Bergen-op-Zoom 1814

In March 1814 a composite Brigade of Guards, numbering 1,000 men, from all three regiments joined an unsuccessful expedition against Antwerp. The fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom was the scene of a disaster when a failed attack ended in the death or capture of two thirds of the Guards Brigade.

The Waterloo Campaign 1815

The leaders of the Allied nations were assembled in Vienna, carving up Napoleon's empire when they heard of his escape from Elba. When it was realised that this was a serious comeback the four countries, Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia agreed to contribute 150,000 men each to an army to be led by Wellington. In the event, only Britain and Prussia provided troops although the British Divisions included a large number of Hanoverians and King's German Legion.

The Coldstream Guards were represented by their 2nd Battalion in this campaign. They were in the 2nd Guards Brigade with the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards under Major-General Sir John Byng. The two Guards Brigades were in the 1st Division under Major-General George Cooke. On Thursday 15th June 1815 the Guards brigades were camped at Enghien. Many of the officers were at Lady Richmond's Ball in Brussels with Wellington. Some time after midnight, news came through that Napoleon's army was two and a half miles away from Quatre Bras, so everyone had to move fast.

Quatre Bras 1815

The Guards had very little sleep that night and set off at a brisk pace, arriving at the cross roads at 1700 hrs on 16th June by which time the battle had been going for three hours. It was a hot day and the men were exhausted and thirsty after their 26 mile march but they had to go straight into battle as they arrived. Despite this they managed to fight bravely against the French in Bossu Wood. The battle was a long hard struggle and the men were exhausted.

The hot weather turned into a severe thunderstorm and torrential downpour on the evening of the the 17th. The army spent the wettest night many of them had ever experienced and woke up on sodden, muddy ground. It was 18th June 1815. The two armies were occupying ridges with 1,200 yards between them along a frontage of about 4,200 yards. Napoleon delayed the start of the battle in the hope that the ground would dry out, so little happened until 11.30am.

From Wellington's viewpoint the three main buildings that formed landmarks on the battlefield were La Haye Sainte in the middle, Papelotte on the left, and Hougoumont on the right. The chateau of Hougoumont was a manor house and farm with ornamental garden, orchard and woods. The 1st Guards were posted on the ridge behind the chateau and some of them had been involved in a skirmish around Hougoumont on the evening of the 17th. But the defense of the buildings was given, initially, to the Light Companies of the Coldstream and Scots Guards under the command of Coldstreamer, Lieut-Col James Macdonnell, the personal choice of Wellington. They spent the morning barricading all the gateways into the enclosure of buildings, except for the north gate which had to remain accessible to supplies and reinforcements.

The first attack came from troops in Reille's Corps under the command of Jerome, who was ordered by his brother Napoleon, to take Hougoumont at all costs. He took the order literally and many Frenchmen died in the attempt, by the end of the day the number was 8,000. The first attack was repulsed by firing from within the chateau and outside. More attacks came, but thankfully without artillery which could have destroyed the walls of the enclosure. Those guardsmen who were still outside managed to withdraw into the chateau and the north gate was shut, but before it could be barricaded it was rushed by a party of 12 brave Frenchmen led by Lieutenant Legros, a large man with an axe. They barged in but all died fighting. Only a young French drummer was allowed to live. The closing and barricading of the gates was accomplished by Macdonnell and nine others.

Sir John Byng ordered three companies of the Coldstream Guards under Lt-Col Dan Mackinnon to go down and support the beleaguered garrison. They drove the French from the west wall and entered the enclosure. Napoleon himself became involved and ordered howitzer fire to be used. Incendiary shells were fired at the buildings and they caught fire, killing many of the wounded who were inside. Colonel Alexander Woodford entered the struggle with the remainder of the Coldstream Guards, leaving two companies on the ridge to guard the Colours. They fought their way into Hougoumont to reinforce the defenders. Woodford outranked Macdonnell but at first declined to take command away from him.

The situation became critical at one stage so that the King's German Legion were sent forward to counter-attack on the outside of the building. This effectively proved the last straw for the French who gave up their attempts to take Hougoumont. Woodford was commanding the garrison at the end of the battle when Wellington ordered a general advance to pursue the French. The force inside the enclosure ranged from 500 to 2000, but they managed to keep a whole French Corps occupied all day. The casualty figures for the Coldstream Guards on the 18th June was one officer and 54 other ranks killed, 7 officers and 249 other ranks wounded. Four men were unaccounted for.


Battle Notes

British Army
• Commander: Wellington
• 6 Command Cards
• 6 Tactician Cards

5 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 3 7 3 2 1 2 3

Tentera Perancis
• Commander: Joseph and Victor
• 5 Command Cards
• 3 Tactician Cards
• Move First

15 6 2 5 1 1 4 6

Kemenangan
15 Banners

Peraturan Khas
• The French gain 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn for each Cerro De Medellin hill hex occupied.
• The French gain 2 Temporary Victory Banners at the start of the turn if enemy units do not occupy both redoubt hexes.
• The French gain 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn for each building hex occupied.
• The Allies gain 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn if no French units occupy any Cerro De Medellin hill hexes. The Allies start with 1 Victory Banner.
• The Allies gain 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn if no French units occupy any town hexes in Talavera. The Allies start with 1 Victory Banner.
• The Portina Brook will stop movement, but does not have any battle restrictions.
• The Spanish Guerrilla Action rule is in effect. The Allies start with one Guerrilla counter.
• Exception to Terrain Tile rules: Rugged Hill hexes of Sierra De Segurilla can be entered. Treat as hill terrain except: Infantry battle at –1 die up and hill to hill, and Cavalry battle up, down and hill to hill at –2 dice.


Battle Notes

Allies Army
• Commander: Wellesley
• 5 Command Cards

Allies Corps Commanders
Right Center Left
Command 2 2 2
Tactician 1 2 2
Guerilla 1 - -

10 2 1 1 3 2 7 2 1 4 2 3 1

Tentera Perancis
• Commander: Joseph / Victor
• 5 Command Cards
• Move First

French Corps Commanders
Left Center Right
Command 2 3 3
Tactician 2 2 2

20 5 6 4 6 1 5

Kemenangan
13 Banners

Peraturan Khas
• The Spanish Guerrilla Action rule is in effect. The Spanish player starts with one Guerrilla counter.

• The Portina Brook will stop movement, but does not cause any battle restrictions.


Tonton videonya: Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Talavera 1809 - The Peninsular War (Mungkin 2022).


Komen:

  1. Gard

    Yes, it was advised!

  2. Tad

    Pada pendapat saya anda melakukan kesilapan. Saya boleh mempertahankan jawatan. Tulis kepada saya dalam PM, kami akan berhubung.

  3. Rook

    Sudah tentu. Semua perkara di atas adalah benar. Mari kita bincangkan isu ini.

  4. Selvyn

    But you yourself were trying so?

  5. Norward

    Saya mengesahkan. Itu juga dengan saya. Kita boleh berkomunikasi dengan tema ini.



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