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Talavera

27-28 July, 1809

Spanish Battle Tour Guides

The soon-to-be Duke of Wellington had a sizeable force of some 55,000 men and 60 cannons with which to oppose King Joseph Bonaparte, Marshal Jourdan and Marshal Victor's 46,000 troops and 80 guns.

Unfortunately, for Wellington, his force's number included 35,000 Spaniards under General Cuesta, with whom co-operation was difficult.

Arrayed on the left of the positions behind the Alberche River, the British got an indication of the quality of their allies when the Spaniards panicked and fled after their own sentries fired a volley at patrolling French cavalry.

Later that night an assault by General Ruffin almost forced the British lines and only a counterattack sent the French packing.

At 5am the next day, the French commanders launched three columns at the Allied lines, but each was beaten off within two hours.

In extremely high temperatures the French continued to batter the defenders, but the volley fire halted them each time.

A final attempt was made by Joseph and Jourdan to turn the flanks but was driven off by artillery fire.

Following this failure they decided to withdraw. The British lost almost 5500 men, the Spaniards just over 1000 and the French some 7200.

Many men wounded in the battle died in a grassfire that spread across the field.

 

 

 

 
 
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