of Wellington, General and British
the most famous soldier, other than Napoleon
Bonaparte, to come out of the era was Arthur Wellesley.
learnt his military trade in India applying his study of the art
of war, brought on by the ineptitude of his fellow officers, to
practical matters in India.
1799 he led a division at Seringapatum, made mistakes, but went
on to win the battles of Argaum (1803) and Assaye
(1803) when in command.
leader, he tried to limit casualties and became a master of the
reverse-slope tactic - keeping his forces screened from artillery
fire behind the brow of a hill.
his Indian service he became the Member of Parliament for Rye, then
Mitchell, then Newport.
1807 and 1809 he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, where his Anglo-Irish
family had estates, but again led a division in the campaign for
a Lieutenant-General in 1808, he went to Portugal
to support that country's fight against Bonaparte.
first contact with the French was at Obidos, then the battle of
Rolica ended with his enemy retreating
to Vimiero where, despite being
reinforced by the main French army of General
Junot, it was defeated.
newly appointed commanders - Sir Harry Burrard
and Sir Hew Dalrymple - shamed the British
army by negotiating the Convention of Cintra,
which allowed repatriation of Junot's army, with equipment - and
on British ships - to the safety of France.
emerged unscathed from the inquiry that followed and celebrated
his return to the Peninsula with the audacious capture of Oporto,
via a hazardous river crossing, from Marshal
French-occupied Spain, Wellesley sought to assist Spanish forces
against the French but, despite their lack of backbone, managed
to win the Battle of Talavera
for which he was given a viscountcy. He became an earl in February
1812, a marquess in October of the same year and the Duke of Wellington
in May 1814.
the battle of Bussaco, Wellington
withdrew behind a formidable defensive barrier known as the Lines
of Torres Vedras.
and eager for battle, the British then moved on to the offensive
winning the battle of Fuentes de Onoro.