The King's German Legion (2)

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The next military encounter for the legion was when its light troops were sent to Ireland in 1806 and it came against local militiamen following an attack on a small party of KGL.

The scrap descended into a bloody skirmish as the KGL withstood musket fire from the militia before charging in with bayonets.

Then followed an a short-lived alliance with Sweden in Pomerania and the British expedition against Denmark.

It was perhaps in the Peninsular War that the KGL achieved their greatest fame as a reliable component of the Duke of Wellington's army.

The KGL cavalry was particularly admired and won undying fame at Garcia Hernandez when it broke formed French infantry squares with no support.

Other major clashes involving the King's Germans included the retreat to Corunna, Talavera, Bussaco, Fuentes de Onoro, Albuera, the sieges at Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, and Salamanca.

In the 100 Days' Campaign, the KGL provided 7000 troops at Waterloo and possibly their most crucial fight occurred at La Haye Sainte where Major George Baring held the vital strongpoinbt until his men had exhausted their ammunition and retreated only when in danger of being overwhelmed.

Of the 400 KGL in La Haye Sainte, only 42 were able to continue to fight.

In December 1815, the KGL was officially disbanded, but many troops rejoined the Hanoverian army and kept the military history of the renowned unit alive.

All up some 28,000 men served with distinction in the KGL and, at its height, the legion had more than 14,000 much-needed professional soldiers under its control.

No other ally gave Britain such dependable and valuable support.



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