17 August, 1808
Battle Tour Guides
landed unopposed at Mondego Bay, Sir
Arthur Wellesley led the British army of some 15,000
men south towards Lisbon.
initial skirmish against the French came at Obidos on the
16th, but the first real battle involving British troops
occurred at Rolica.
reinforcements from General
Andoche Junot and General Louis Loison, France's General
Henri Delaborde had prepared to fight a delaying action
against Wellesley's advance.
sat watching as the British sent flank columns to encircle
him and, when he judged the time to be right, withdrew his
force out of harm's way.
second position was an extremely strong one. It sat along
a ridge and could only be reached frontally by four rugged
again sent out flank forces, but his plan was ruined when
the colonel of the 29th (Worcesters) Regiment prematurely
assaulted the French. Realising his plan had been compromised,
Wellesley ordered a general attack.
29th suffered horrendous casualties - almost half its strength
- but the support attacks saved them and forced Delaborde
French had 700 casualties, while the British around 500.