Oldest Allies - Alcantara 1809
Osprey Raid sequence #34
During the battle for Spanish independance from Napoleonic France, Portuguese and British troops introduced a bold raid into southern Spain, siezing the traditional urban of Alcantara.
Napoleon had left his brother Joseph as King of Spain with a few 300,000 French troops to place down the Spaniards, the majority of whom had revolted opposed to French rule. at the start of 1809, British forces held so much of Portugal, whereas Marshal Soult attacked the north. Porto and many of the top Douro River basin have been taken by means of the French, yet they met with stiff resistance from semi-regular and guerrilla-like Portugese troops led via common Silveira within the northeast. Taking the struggle to the French, a part of the British-led unswerving Lusitanian Legion, besides quite a few Portuguese troops, raided deep into Spain.
Both British and Portuguese leaders (including the warrior-like Bishop of Porto!) initiated raids into Spain. whilst Soult occupied Porto in January 1809, Sir Robert Wilson was once additional east with a part of his green-uniformed dependable Lusitanian Legion on the fort of Almeida, having led quite a few hundred males into Spain, to be joined by means of hundreds of thousands of patriots, and at last achieving the outskirts of Salamanca. in the meantime, in Lisbon, command of the British military handed to Wellington. In may well 1809, he marched north to free up Porto whereas Silveira's levies pressed the French within the northeast.
While Wellington and Silveira attacked Porto and northern Portugal, it used to be vital to maintain the French occupied somewhere else in Spain, to avoid their large armies in Spain converging on northern Portugal and supporting Soult. To this finish, Marshal Beresford, commanding the reorganized Portuguese military, indifferent a wide a part of his most desirable troops - the British-led dependable Lusitanian Legion - to raid the Spanish province of Estramadura, a ways to the south.
1,800 males of the dependable Lusitanian Legion, besides different Portuguese troops, lower than the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mayne crossed the mountains into Estarmadura and raided the French border posts. The French quickly fled, and the raiders quick occupied Alcantara (the seat of the Medieval knightly order that bears its name). From the following, a few raiding events went extra east into Spain to reason as a lot hassle as attainable to draw the eye of the French. This new Raid identify will element all features of this compelling conflict of forces.
Troops and their offers on Iberian roads, similar to there have been. The neighborhood population frequently used mules for transporting provides, and after some time the French and British armies adjusted to this mode of shipping. So, through the use of mules, offers might keep on with a physique of sunshine troops that may flow rapidly around the plains and mountains. Horsed squaddies should be most sensible within the flatter panorama, yet, except the plains of Leon, the terrain used to be frequently filled with hills south of Ciudad Rodrigo and.
specifically because it didn't have a siege artillery teach. nonetheless, his competitors, which consisted of Sir Robert’s legion detachments and a corps of Spanish irregulars lower than Don Carlos de España, destined to turn into a hero of the conflict, have been a lot too susceptible to forestall him from going south. the single challenge used to be dealing with the sierra passes; that may develop into a tough affair if good defended by way of the Portuguese and Spanish. however, he marched southwards. On 6 April, he arrived inside of view of Ciudad.
59–62, 63–5, 66–7, sixty eight, sixty nine, 70–1, seventy two, seventy four, seventy four seventy six activities in Spain 26, 30, 31–3, 34, 36, 37, 40–1, 42–3, 44–5, forty seven, forty eight, 49–50, fifty three, 60, seventy three, seventy four British officer cadre 22, 23, 24, 25, 31–2, 39, forty-one, forty four, seventy three calibre/morale of 20, 32, seventy two components of: auxiliaries 40–1; cavalry 21, 24, 32, 36, forty-one, fifty one, fifty nine, sixty five, sixty eight, sixty nine; Idanha defense force Rgt fifty six, fifty nine, sixty one, sixty two, sixty four, sixty five, 66–7, sixty nine; infantry 21, 24, 25, 26, 32, forty-one, fifty six, fifty eight, fifty nine, 61–2, 66–7, seventy three, seventy four formation/training five, 20, 22–3, 24–5, 26 energy of 25, forty five, fifty nine, seventy four strategies 5,.
In Spain; Napoleon desired to dispose of the ‘degenerate’ Bourbons at the Spanish throne, chase the knavish leading Minister Manuel Godoy from strength and make his brother Joseph king, to control and ‘modernize’ Spain with the backing of the French military. there have been already pro-French components among the the Aristocracy and the highbrow periods who were seduced through propaganda into considering Napoleonic management might finish the previous ‘corrupt’ methods and produce forth actual growth. faster or later,.
Accoutrements. At concerning the similar time, one other requisition used to be made for guns, particularly 2,070 muskets with bayonets, a hundred and twenty rifles with bayonets, sixty four pistols, 24 bugles, 24 drums, 12 axes, 12 saws and 316 swords. The excessive variety of swords used to be simply because ‘corporals within the Portuguese provider hold swords in addition to muskets’. The artillery may have 4 mild 4-pounder weapons and gentle howitzers with ammunition in share (WO 6/172; FO 63/67). Command of the Legion might visit one of many flamboyant.