Francisco Castanos

Spanish General
1756 - 1852

Dignified and intelligent, Francisco Castanos made a glorious start to his war against the French by forcing the surrender of an enemy army at Bailen in 1808.

His career, however, would not hit the same heights again and in November of 1808 he resigned after being defeated at Tudela.

Within two years his fortunes turned when he was appointed for a short time to the Spanish Regency following his rescue of the Central Junta from an angry mob.

Castanos got on well with the British and the Duke of Wellington, who liked the Spaniard's lack of pretension or overconfidence in his military skills.

In 1811, Castanos became Captain-General of Estremadura and took overall charge of three armies.

Working well with Wellington, Castanos received much support from the British commander when political back-stabbing led to his being removed.

It says a lot about Castanos that Wellington, who was not slow to criticise Spanish regular officers, said he could rely upon him.


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