Friday, July 22, 2011

Battle of Salamanca

'Looking towards Spain, Napoleon saw his affairs there in a better posture than he could have expected, after the battle of Salamanca, and the capture of Madrid. Lord Wellington, indifferently supported by the Spanish army, among whom quarrels and jealousies soon rose high, had been unable, from want of a sufficient battering-train, to take the fortress of Burgos; and was placed in some danger of being intercepted by Soult’s army, who had raised the siege of Cadiz, while engaged with that under D'Erlon, with whom was the intrusive king. The English general, therefore, with his usual prudence, retreated into the territories of Portugal, and Napoleon, seeing that his army in Spain amounted to 270,000 men, thought them more than sufficient to oppose what forces Spain could present, with the regular allied army of perhaps 70,000 at most, under Lord Wellington's command. He withdrew, accordingly, 150 skeletons of battalions, which he meant to make the means of disciplining his young conscripts...'

Arthur Wellesley, then Earl of Wellington, scored a major victory over Napoleon’s forces at the Battle of Salamanca, Spain.  The French were badly defeated, but not destroyed, and ultimately regrouped, as Walter Scott alludes to in the text above, which is from “Life of Napoleon Bonaparte”.  The Battle of Salamanca took place on July 22, 1812.

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