Joachim Blake

Spanish General
1759 - 1827

A leading Spanish general Joachim Blake was not the best tactician but made up for his lack of skill with bravery, good organisation and a knowledge of his own limitations.

Of Irish descent, Blake became Captain General of Galicia in 1808 and found himself up against invading French forces at Medina del Rio Seco, Espinosa and Pan Corbo, although then immediately won a victory at Valmaceda.

More defeats followed and in 1809 resigned his command.

In 1810 he took over the army based at Cadiz but his run of defeats continued at Baza and Albuera.

Despite this he gained higher command with the armies of Valencia and Aragon, but was besieged by Marshal Suchet in Valencia and was forced to surrender in 1812.

Imprisoned in Vincennes for the duration of the Peninsular War, Blake went into politics and was a liberal.

He was a strict, brave and able general - but is regarded as being militarily unlucky.

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