21 August, 1808
Battle Tour Guides
days after the initial clash at Rolica, the Duke
of Wellington's army of 17,000 Anglo-Portuguese troops
was attacked by General Junot
and his Army of Portugal as it attempted to defeat the redcoats
before reinforcements arrived by sea.
Vimiero began as French battle of manouevre but keen British
eyes watched as Junot tried to move against their left and
Wellington was able to redeploy his army to face the assault.
While outflanking troops tried to move around the British
left, Junot sent in two central columns but these were forced
back by sustained volleys from troops in line.
Soon afterwards, the flanking attack was beaten off and
so Junot retreated towards Torres Vedras having lost 2000
men and 13 cannon.
Wellington suffered 700 casualties to his army and considerable
damage to his prestige when, following the battle, the new
British commanders Generals "Dowager"
Dalrymple and "Betty" Burrard
worked out a deal whereby Junot would leave for France
on British ships and take all his guns and equipment.
This Convention of Cintra caused
a massive outcry in Britain and, following an official enquiry,
both Dalrymple and Burrard were blamed. Wellington - who
had opposed the deal - was exonerated.