Author Topic: Back to the Peninsular Wars, events in Portugal and beyond  (Read 154663 times)

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Peninsular War ceremony in Torres Vedras
« Reply #60 on: 13:32 18-Nov-2009 »


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President laying a wreath at the Peninsular War memorial



Model of the Lines of Torres Vedras built by Anglo Portuguese troops to stop the French
before they reached Lisbon in 1810




The President of Portugal receives the salute from his troops of 1809




Commemorations of the Lines of Torres Vedras - 11th November

Expats living in the Torres Vedras area would have no doubt seen last wednesday's
200th anniversary commemorations on the building of the Lines of Torres Vedras.
The President of Portugal, Anibal Cavaco Silva, laid wreaths at the Peninsular War memorial
and opened the Lines of Torres Vedras exhibition, in Torres Vedras.
The exhibition Peninsular War 1807 - 1814 will be open 6 days a week.
Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00hrs to 18:00hrs from the 11th November 2009 until
30th November 2010. Naturally the special emphasis of the exhibition being the Lines of Torres
Vedras.

The RTP Television report on the commorations in Torres Vedras

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Finally two video's of the commoration ceremonies and the Opening of the
Peninsular War exhibition in Torres Vedras on the President of Portugal's
website


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A video recording of the Battle of Corruna, 1809 taken earlier this year

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Finally the Complete - Lines of Torres Vedras program of Events 1810 - 2010

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Highlights of this years Campaign in Portugal as seen in the Press

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« Last Edit: 02:21 18-Dec-2009 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: Sharpes Redoubt and the Napoleonic POW Camp dig
« Reply #61 on: 18:50 07-Dec-2009 »
Sharpes Redoubt and the Napoleonic POW Camp dig

As expats are no doubt aware the french, british, spanish and portuguese armies have
retired to winter quarters. With the festive season descending on Portugal. Wellesley's
quatermaster's have been busy preparing billets for the men, as the digging and
entrenchment work continues unabated along the Torres Vedras lines.

Speaking of digging and entrenchments, I'm sure those expats who like to keep abreast
of the latest developments on the Napoleonic front. Would be interested in a new
series of Channel 4's Time Team to be shown next year. Namely ( a repeat of ) Sharpes
Redoubt and a brand new archealogical dig at the fomer Napoleonic POW Camp, for french
prisoners at Normans Cross, near Peterborough.
The dig at Norman Cross will be Time Team's second Napoleonic excavation where ( under
the shadow of the French Eagle statue ), Tony Robinson and his team hope to uncover
some interesting artifacts from the former prisoner of war camp.
The POW camp at Norman Cross is of particular interest to Time Team as its reputed to be
the first - purpose built POW camp for enemy prisoners. Unlike many french commissioned
officers, who enjoyed somewhat looser confinements, thanks to the parole system.
Most non-commisioned officers and ordinary rank and file enjoyed no such priviledges
and were confined to makeshift POW camps like Portchester castle or Dartmoor prison.
Norman Cross being the first purpose built POW camp ( or barracks ) for french, dutch and
spanish prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars.

Channel 4's Time Team archaeologists investigate the Norman Cross POW
camp, near Peterborough - Times Online, July 2009


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Time Team unearth world's first Prisoner of War camp in Britain
- Daily Mail, July 2009


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More on the Norman Cross POW camp - as featured earlier in my blog

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In March 2006 Time Team was also invited to carry out a dig at the former Rifle Regiment
barracks at Shornecliffe, Kent. Where they excavated a Napoleonic redoubt erected
by the Rifle brigade. In the event of an invasion of England by Napoleon.
Suffice to say the invasion never occured but remnants of the redoubt remain and
can still be seen today. Nicknamed Sharpes Redoubt after the Bernard Cornwell books,
Time Team carried out a thorough investigation of the site.

Time Team - Sharpes Redoubt

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The parolled officers are confined to parole towns

During the course of Britain's campaign against Napoleon and his allies
in Europe, both by land and sea the british took many prisoners during
the conflict. The soldiers ended up being held in prison hulks ( laid up old
ships ) or if they are lucky, held on dry land like the castles, prisons or
Norman Cross POW camp, as mentioned above.
As most scholars know, the officers taken prisoner by the british, enjoyed
greater freedom in any one of the 50 Parole towns, allocated for officers
'on parole' during the Napoleonic Wars.
So long as these officers remained confined to the area of the
parole town ( boundaries marked by parole stones ) they could,
lodge and participate in all aspects of town life, short of
setting themselves up in business or taking a regular job.
By all accounts a subsistance allowance of half a guinea a week
was paid to the parolled officers.
Records show a number of parolled officers, got married and
had children during their stay in Britain with some choosing to
settle down and stay here, rather than return to France, Spain,
Holland or Denmark after the war.
Of course other officers died during their confinement and are
buried in local church yards in the paroled towns. As witnessed
by this photo of a memorial to the French paroled officers, confined to
Leek during the Napoleonic Wars.



Reading honours her prisoner of war from Denmark

Other soldiers from Denmark ( reluctant allies of the French, at war with
Britain from 1807 to 1814 ) were greatly appreciated in their parole town.
Apparently Danish officers of the Napoleonic Wars were particularly
popular and 'well behaved' in Britain, most of them being confined to
the Berkshire town of Reading, earning them the ultimate accolade as the
Gentlemen Danes of Reading.
The Danes were so much appreciated by the people of Reading,
that a memorial stone to one young Danish officer, Laurenthes Braag
( who died in 1808, aged 26 during his confinement to Reading ) was
mounted on the wall of Reading Minster.
Two hundred years later the Reading Civic Society raised 1300 pounds
for the restoration of the memorial plaque, to one of the young
Danish prisoners of Reading and invited Laurenthes Braag's
descendants over to attend a rededication service at Reading
Minster in October this year.

Reading remembers the gallant men of Denmark

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Ceremony remembers a prisoner of war from Denmark

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Meanwhile on the Eastern Front

Finally with winter here and the sub zero temperatures starting to bite in Ukraine. It shouldn't be long before
the snow arrives. As far as 'Back to the Napoleonic Wars' are concerned, were only a couple of
years away from getting the band together for The 1812 Overture.   :D  :D  :D  ;D
So its heartening to see this recent pic of my brave boys poised, ready to start their March on Moscow !!!


« Last Edit: 23:13 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: French POW scandal in St Ives
« Reply #62 on: 00:31 14-Dec-2009 »
Scandalous behaviour of French officers on parole

As mentioned before, while the ordinary rank and file endured squalid conditions,
aboard one of his majesties prison ships in Chatham dockyard or some remote
inhospitable prison, like Dartmoor.
Those french officers who promised not to escape and gave their parole, could enjoy
the open prison's of the british parole town's. Here they were paid a subsistence of
twenty shillings a week for board and lodging ( so long as they didn't escape and
remained within a mile of the town ) they could participate in all aspects of social life
with few restrictions.

One such town is Leek in Staffordshire, where after a little friction between the parolled
officers and the locals. Many french officers settled down and adapted to their new life
in England, with a number of them becoming acquainted with the local girls, as quite a
few got married and raised children, as witnessed by this article on Staffordshire history.

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The fraternisation between local girls and french officers raised a few eyebrows at the time,
with some legendary accounts being made into books. For instance St Ives
by Robert Louis Stevenson.

This has recently been made into a film called St Ives, All for Love - although rather comical,
its an interesting film. Heres the background to the film plot:
Jacques St. Ives  is an ambitious hussar officer in Napoleon's army who requests a
demotion in rank so as to avoid a number of duels from fellow officers, who may challenge
only those of equal rank. To his surprise his request is accepted and to his
consternation, hes sent abroad on campaign.

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St Ives the movie, Adventures of a French prisoner of war

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« Last Edit: 22:37 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: Operational checks out the Torres Vedras exhibition
« Reply #63 on: 00:26 19-Dec-2009 »
Lines of Torres Vedras exhibition appears in Operational

Inside pictures of the Lines of Torres exhibition at the municiple museam of Torres
Vedras, appears on the front page of Operational. The Portuguese armed forces
weekly edition for 15th December.
I've included the link below for those of us who keep abreast of the latest news
on the Peninsular Wars. Particularly on the forthcoming front lines of Torres Vedras.

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« Last Edit: 00:59 08-Feb-2010 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: Looking back on the 1809 campaign in Europe
« Reply #64 on: 03:06 21-Dec-2009 »
Looking back on the 1809 campaign in Europe

With General Wellesley's forces, firmly enscounced behind the Portuguese border.
The Anglo-Portuguese army settles down to winter quarters around Torres Vedras
and other key areas, as work continues with the lines of Torres Vedras.
With Napoleon's Danube campaign against the Austrains, ending in victory
at Wagram, the Austrian's under Archduke Charles were forced to sign a
humiliating armistice at Znaim in Bohemia, where the last of the Archdukes
forces were cornered in a battle with Marshall's Marmont and Massena.

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The Polish - Austrian War of 1809

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Also the Dutchy of Warsaw ( modern day Poland ) was invaded by the Austrians,
who were Napoleon's closest allies in the east, Polish forces were
weakened by the number of Polish troops, fighting alongside the French in Spain.
The Poles repulsed an attack on Warsaw and brought the Austrains to battle at
Raszyn on 19th April 1809, which ended inconclusively but forced Polish forces
under the flamboyant Prince Poniatowski, to retire across the river Vistula.

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Here the Poles held the line of the Vistula for over a month before gradually
forcing back the Austrians in the south, capturing a number of key towns
including the fortress town of Sandomierz. Where the Austrians held on
grimly to the city fortress before being stormed by Polish troops. With
the Austrian lines being turned in the south, the rest of the Austrain army
in Poland ( commanded by the Archduke Ferdinand ) were forced to retire
to Austria.

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With the threat from the Austrians removed. Napoleon can once more concentrate
his forces on driving the british out of the Spanish peninsular and the final conquest
of Portugal but little does he realise the obstacles that are being put up against him.
« Last Edit: 22:38 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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British Embassy statement and travel advice concerning the conflict




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The British ambassador to Portugal, Mr Alex Ellis has issued a statement, concerning
the Napoleonic invasions of Portugal and in particular the efforts of the Anglo-Portuguese
army under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, to halt any anticipated third invasion
along the Lines of Torres Vedras. With the military situation deteriorating rapidly
in Europe, the ambassador feels the time is right to issue some reassurance concerning
the defence of Portugal.

He goes into some detail on the scale of the enterprise in constructing the 142 redoubts
that make up the Lines, together with present day efforts to restore the various redoubts
and earthworks.

The website also includes useful travel advice for expats wishing to visit the battlefields
and other significant landmarks of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as any special exhibitions
being held at local museums.

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British, Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement

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Finally the British embassy was pleased to announce the presentation of a Sword of Honour
to General Francisco da Silveira and the people of Portugal, for their heroic defence of
the bridge at Amarante.
Thwarting the second invasion of Portugal by the french, under Marshall Soult.

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More information concerning Napoleon: Total War, video wargame

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Napoleon: Total War, multiplayer game

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Napoleon: Total War out of the box - New Players review

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As usual, please click & minimise the concluding theme music:

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« Last Edit: 22:40 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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The French march on Malaga & Cadiz
« Reply #66 on: 03:26 19-Jan-2010 »
Napoleon's troops march into Andalusia



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On the 10th January 1810, Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte ( crowned King Joseph
by the French in Madrid ) orders Marshall Victor to begin the invasion of the southern
region of Andalusia, where a number of city Junta's continue to resist the french
together with elements of the Spanish army.
With the british and portuguese busy digging in along the Lines of Torres Vedras.
Its left to Marshall Soult to keep an eye on the Portuguese frontier while Victors troops,
accompanied by Sebastiani, invade Andalusia.

Cickable map of the Spanish Peninusular during the Napoleonic Wars

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BBC Radio series, The Other Side of the Hill

A BBC radio series called The Other Side of the Hill gives a dramatic account of events
following Wellesley's ( now Viscount Wellington's ) victory at the Battle of Talavera in 1809.
The story follows the fortunes of Sir Harry Smith ( then a Captain in Wellington's Army )
and the sister of a well born Spanish lady, following the storming of the fortress town of
Badajoz. Whose property was destroyed during the siege.
Following the storming of Badajoz in April 1812. This well born Spanish lady and her
sister Juana Mar?a de los Dolores de Lean escaped the sack of Badajoz, seeking refuge
with some British officers they found camping outside the city. One of the officers was
Captain Henry George Smith ( nickname Harry Smith ) who promptly asked for the
sisters hand in marriage. In exchange for their protection from the soldiers.
Despite the age difference ( she being 14 at the time ) they became devoted to each other
and she remained with him throughout the rest of the war, accompanying the baggage
train, sleeping in the open while out on campaign, riding freely among the troops, and sharing
all the privations of soldiering. Her beauty, courage, sound judgment and amiable character
endeared her to the officers, including the Duke of Wellington, who spoke of her familiarity
as Juanita; she was idolized by the rest of the troops.



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Listen again to The Other Side of the Hill, part 1 ( No longer available )

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Listen again to The Other Side of the Hill, part 2 ( No longer available )

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The Life and times of Lieut General, Sir Harry Smith

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The march through Andalusia, January 1810



As can be seen from the map, the French invasion of Andalusia was conducted by two Generals.
Marshall Claude Victor taking the western route through Andalusia to reach Cadiz by the
5th February 1810. While General Horace Francois Sebastiani marches down the eastern side
of Andalusia, securing the towns and cities of Linares, Jaen, Granada and finally Malaga
( on the Costa del Sol ) where he encountered some opposition from the defiant spainiards.
Amoungst General Sebastiani's IV Corps are troops of the Polish Vistula Legion who will
be appearing at this weekends re-enactment held on the 6th & 7th february.


Spanish preperations to resist the French in Malaga

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Details of the french and spanish campaign for Malaga 1810

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La Opinion de Malaga, newspaper journal on the event

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The Malaga 1810 poster

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Spanish gunboat patrolling the Isla de Leon channel, Cadiz




Latest news from Spain - the Spanish army under the Duke of Albuquerque, are
falling back on Cadiz, following the fall of Seville to Victor's french army




Spanish forces resisted as best they could but faced by Victors veteran french troops, they
were forced to retire from cities like Seville, to the spanish naval base of Cadiz where the
spanish government sits in defiance of the french.
Victors army soon arrives before Cadiz on the 5th february where they are eventually
joined by Soult. Together they surround the naval base with 60,000 men although the
fortifications surrounding Cadiz are too much for the french to take by frontal
assualt. Therefore siege cannons are brought in to reduce the spanish fortress.

Spanish gun emplacement, Cadiz



The Siege of Cadiz 1810

So the french settle down to a long siege that will last almost two and a half years
as the hard pressed spanish garrison are reinforced by british and portuguese
troops, ferried in to help the spanish.
The terrain surrounding the strong fortifications of Cadiz, would prove difficult
for Victor to attack, as the French also suffered from a lack of supplies, particularly
ammunition from continuous guerrilla raiding parties attacking the rear of their
siege lines and threatening their communications within Andalusia.
From time to time the british would mount naval landings along the Andalusian coast
to threaten Victors communications with Seville and Malaga further frustrating
the french siege effort.

Spanish troops preparing to defend the city against the French

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« Last Edit: 23:15 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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The French besiege Cadiz
« Reply #67 on: 02:29 07-Feb-2010 »


As usual, please remember to close the window once the theme music ends
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Cannons roar as the Siege of Cadiz begins

When Marshal Claude Victor-Perrin arrived at the gates of the island fortress of
Cadiz, in Andalusia, he was confident the poorly defended town would surrender
immediately.
He and his troops had marched eighty-three miles in four days to
take control of the last outpost of Spanish rebellion against the Emperor Napoleon.
Madrid was already in french hands, along with the rest of northern Spain.
The only Spanish government left in Spain was the Central Junta of Seville, who
fled to Cadiz following the approach of the French. By taking Seville, Victors troops
had seized 200 cannon, together with magazines, plus the only iron foundry in Spain.
Days earlier on February 1, 1810, Napoleon?s brother, King Joseph, had ridden
triumphantly through the gates of Seville, as Spain seemed all but conquered.

Spanish officer rows out to greet a royal naval ship, at anchor in Cadiz Bay



But Cadizs governor refused to surrender. Over the centuries, the towns thick
stone walls had repelled the Moors, Barbary pirates, and the British. That morning,
its walls harbored something else: twelve thousand men representing the last
remnants of the Spanish army. Realizing Seville was lost, the Duke of Albuquerque
had marched his ten thousand men to Cadiz, picking up another two thousand
men from towns along the way. He arrived two days before Victor. If the French
wanted the town, they would have to lay siege to it.

After being turned down by the governor, Victor surveyed Cadizs defenses.
The island fortress sat at one end of the Isla de Leon, surrounded by water on
three sides. It could only be reached from the mainland by boat or by using a
bridge and then walking five miles along the marshy isthmus to the city gates.
After Albuquerque had marched his Spanish troops across the bridge, he
destroyed it, setting up makeshift artillery batteries to prevent the French from
taking the bridge and repairing it.

While awaiting the arrival of heavy artillery from Seville. Victor endeavors to
take the garrison by surprise. To do so he prepares for a dawn attack, under
cover of darkness in order to assault the Spanish fort ( overlooking the bridge )
in the early hours of the morning.

The Siege of Cadiz in history

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The Siege of Cadiz as seen on Spanish TV, no commentary

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The inhabitants of Cadiz made these video recordings of the
french bombarding the fort


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Marshal Victor surveys the fortifications guarding Cadiz



Spanish fort on the Isla de Leon guarding the approach to Cadiz, in the
background can be seen the French tricolour marking the french lines




A poster with a map showing the current dispositions of the french and spanish
armies with another view of the french flag, just out of range in the distance




Albuquerque's troops strengthen the town garrison bringing with them more
cannon to guard the forts




The Duke makes his final dispositions as the French make a show of force
outside Cadiz




Dawn sees french troops approaching the fortress walls. Ahead of them
officers are surveying the walls for any signs their approach has been
detected




Surprise is complete as the only officer on lookout is otherwise engaged



French grenadiers take postion ready for the assualt, when from nowhere a
shot is heard




The Spanish lookout hears the shot as his girlfriend points out the french



The french move forward with artillery in support as the spanish line the
fortress walls




The Spanish give fire from the walls and redoubts surrounding the fort





The french scale the wall only to be met by Spanish grenadiers determined
not to give way




More french troops scale the walls, as bitter fighting breaks out along the
ramparts










Its a close run thing but finally Napoleon's troops are beaten back



After making a brief stand outside the fortress walls, the french retire to their
siege lines


« Last Edit: 23:17 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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The French storm Malaga
« Reply #68 on: 00:57 08-Feb-2010 »


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People of Malaga protest against those who would hand their town over
to the French




A new and more aggressive governor is installed to hold the town



As the Duke of Albuquerque's troops, fend off Victor's french battalion on the ramparts
of Cadiz. The citizens of Malaga face an even graver danger for beyond the city gates,
lies seasoned troops of General Sebastiani's french Imperial Corps, who have won
numerous victories in the emperors campaigns in Europe. Included amoungst its
ranks are Polish troops of the Vistula Legion, from the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw,
who boast cavalry in the form of the Polish Lancers.

French Infantry march in to face the Spanish defenders



The Battle of Malaga begins

Facing Sebastiani are a mixed bag of Spanish infantry and cavalry, troops that have
seen defeat at the Battle of Ocana last November and had suffered again in
their attempts to prevent the french from crossing the mountain passes into
Andalusia. Other regiments like the Swiss Reding's and the Royal Artillery of Malaga
are made of sterner stuff, having seen victory at Bailen but are few in numbers.
Augmenting the regulars are the armed militia and citizenry, vain and enthusiastic
but exceedingly volatile.

Sebastiani knowing that Malaga lacks defences, resolves to take the city by storm
and sends his Polish troops forward to skirmish with the enemy while his
massed battalions form up behind them to begin the assualt.

In the re-enactment the French decide to attack down a disused highway with the
Spanish fending off the assualt for as long as possible. At first the Spanish
fight off Sebastiani's Poles but as the evening wears on, the presure gets
too much for them and they are finally put to flight by the Polish Lancers.

Polish skirmishers move forward to exchange shots with the Spanish



French and Polish infantry form line to engage the Spanish troops




French skirmishers fire on the Spanish line




Battle of Malaga video, part1

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Battle of Malaga video, part2

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Battle of Malaga video, part3

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Battle of Malaga video, part4

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Battle of Malaga video - the final scenes

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Battle of Malaga video - Special Commemoration film

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Battle of Malaga video - Special Commemoration film tribute

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The following day sees more french troops marching into Malaga to secure the
town centre, while the spanish march out to meet the french. In what
will turn out to be the final days battle for Malaga, the spanish garrison
fight to the very end, in what will be a last ditch stand against Napoleon's
troops.

Battle for Malaga - film of the battle through the streets

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Spainish garrison marches out to meet the French



Spanish troops form a firing line along the road into Malaga town centre



Polish and spanish skirmishers exchange fire over a bridge



Sebastiani brings forward more men to engage the spanish line, while a
Polish officer looks on to observe his troops in action




French grenadiers open fire in the town square



The Spanish regulars although hopelessly outnumbered, make their
final stand in the town square



« Last Edit: 23:19 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: Portuguese invasion film
« Reply #69 on: 02:35 19-Feb-2010 »
Preperations for the defence of Portugal 1810

With the french securing Andalusia and with it the sun kissed beaches of
the Costa del Sol. No doubt expats are wondering when Napoleon's
troops will be turning their attention on Portugal again.
Its a concern shared by the General of the Anglo - Portuguese army,
Viscount Wellington as his engineers and civilian labourers continue their
toil on the many forts and redoubts dotted along the Lines of Torres Vedras.
The fact that Victor has become engrossed in the siege of Cadiz and
has called upon Marshall Soult to provide more men and guns to
reduce Cadiz, has taken some pressure off the Portuguese frontier.

Friends of Torres Vedras launched in London

While Napoleon's troops are busy securing their hold on Andalusia. A
Portuguese parliamentary delegation arrived in London last month to
petition support from both Houses of Parliament, for the work currently
taking place along the Lines of Torres Vedras. That will prove critical for
the defence of Lisbon against the anticipated third invasion of Portugal.

Early day motion passed in the House of Commons, that this house
recognises the extensive works and fortifications carried out by the
future Duke of Wellington in defence of Britain's oldest ally Portugal.


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Battle of Amarante, 1809 - Portuguese tribute film

The lull in the fighting has given the Portuguese time to reflect on
one of the key moments of the French invasion of northern Portugal,
namely the heroic defence of the bridge at Amarante.
As you know it was a battle that lasted almost a month, causing Soult
to wait in Oporto while sending more troops to secure this vital
bridge on his left flank.
Although the French eventually took the bridge at Amarente on the
2nd May, the delay gave Wellesley time to march his new british army
upto Oporto from Lisbon.

Eight minute Portuguese video on the Battle of Amarante, includes
scenes from the evening attacks across the bridge with barrels of
gunpowder


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Finally, for all those Armchair Generals amoungst you, who have been
following events from afar on your home PC.
As you all know I have been featuring the new Napoleonic wargame,
Napoleon: Total War which is due for release this week, on the
26th february. New preview video's are being released all the time on
the run up to launch day. See my previous post ( under British Embassy
statement ) for new video's. Its inclusion in my posts are ( just a matter
of interest ) as I'm completely neutral over the merits or otherwise
of the game.


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« Last Edit: 23:20 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Siege of Gerona 1809
« Reply #70 on: 02:14 04-Mar-2010 »
Siege of Gerona, May to December 1809

As the siege of Cadiz continues in Andalusia, other regions of Spain
had risen up against their french overlords in 1809, most notably the
city fortress of Gerona in Catalonia.

The Spanish garrison of Gerona



Gerona, situated in the north east corner of Spain has been besieged 25
times during its history, mostly against the french and therefore in
May 1809 it was against Napoleon's armies that the Catalan garrison, led
by General Mariano Alvarez decided to defy the french Marshall Augereau,
when called upon to surrender.
Alvarez had only 5,600 men under arms including some spanish infantry
and hussars, against him Augereau commanded 35,000 french troops which
proceeded to set up their siege works around the city fortress mounting
40 guns which for seven months proceeded to fire 20,000 explosive shells
and 60,000 cannon balls into the city.
In August, the French captured the castle of Montjuich, the main defensive point.
Undeterred, de Castro constructed barricades and trenches inside the city and
battle raged for another four months before Alavarez, exhausted and ill, handed
over command to a subordinate. Two days later, on 12 December, the town
capitulated. It is estimated that some 10,000 people, soldiers and civilians,
had died inside. French losses were around 15,000, over half of them to
disease.

Spanish light infantry parade



Spanish troops manning the barricades against the french




The Spanish garrison led by General Alvarez march through Gerona to
confront the French


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Spanish troops exchange fire with the french along the side streets of
Gerona


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« Last Edit: 23:21 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: Back to the Russian Front
« Reply #71 on: 20:17 12-Mar-2010 »
Although I hate to tear you away from events in Spain and Portugal, as you know
the PC wargame campaign Napoleon: Total War was released a couple
of weeks ago, with the gaming community producing some excellent online
commentary games.

One of them is the Webbg6 Channels, Russian campaign against Sweden, the
Ottoman empire and ultimately France. Started 5 days ago, this is an ongoing
account of a Napoleonic wargame as played using NTW. As you will see,
Graham's commentary is very good and easy to follow.

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Another interesting feature of the game is the technology tree, where
Graham has to carry out research by building Universities and Institutes to
progress down the technology tree, which enables him to build new iron
foundaries, etc.

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Did this happen in real life ? well yes it did. The british industrialist, Charles
Gascoigne was sent by the british government to Russia to render military
assistance to Catherine the Great in 1786 and ( to avoid bankrupcy back home )
stayed on in Russia, to establish a number of iron foundaries and coal mines.
Charles Gascoigne was one of the founding partners and managers of the
Carron Ironworks, near Falkirk in Scotland that mass produced new types of
cannon for the Royal Navy, including the fearsome Carronade cannon.
Despite british attempts to prevent Gascoigne, from supplying new cannon
and arnaments from the Carron works to Russia, he did make off with his
plans and documents.
One of his foundaries was established at Lugansk, in the Donetsk coal mining
region of Ukraine and Charles Gascoigne is widely regarded as the founder of the
city of Lugansk.
« Last Edit: 01:08 02-Apr-2010 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline clanholmes

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Campers, what are your thoughts on the Tin button controversy?
Quote
Napoleon's buttons

The story is often told of Napoleon's men freezing in the bitter Russian winter, their clothes falling apart as tin pest ate the buttons. Whether failing buttons were indeed a contributing factor in the failure of the invasion remains disputed; critics of the theory point out that the tin used would have been quite impure and thus more tolerant of cold temperatures. Laboratory tests provide evidence that the time required for unalloyed tin to develop significant tin pest damage at lowered temperatures is about 18 months, which is more than twice the length of Napoleon's Russian campaign.[1]

Are you familar with Fortress Louisberg in Canada and its significance?
I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.
Socrates

Read, but not write

Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Napoleonic revelations
« Reply #73 on: 21:44 20-Mar-2010 »
Hi Clan,
First regarding the tin buttons on the french greatcoats, yes I have heard the story
and how it failed during harsh weather conditions. Apparently many of these
greatcoats were 'made in England' probably bought on the blackmarket, in breach
of Napoleon's own ban on trade with Britain.

The Battle for North America - 1759

Also yes, I'm well aware of the significance of Louisburg in Canada during the Seven
Years War. In fact their was a very good ( Dan Snow ) historical documentary called
The Battle for North America on BBC2 tuesday. Where Dan blames George
Washington for starting the French and Indian War ( Seven Years War in N. America )
back in 1756.
The documentary follows the British campaign leading upto the Battle of Quebec in 1759.
If your based in the UK you can see it again on I-Player but this will not be possible
outside the UK unless you use a Proxy IP address for the UK.
Although I haven't tested this myself - but this video explains all about Proxy IP addreses.


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Heres BBC I-Player to see The Battle of North America

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« Last Edit: 23:22 28-Oct-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: A Nap weekend in the UK
« Reply #74 on: 21:54 20-Mar-2010 »
A Napoleonic Weekend in Leeds & Felixstowe

Despite the present lull in fighting on the spanish peninsular, the UK Napoleonic
season gets in full swing next week with a Napoleonic double bill at the Royal
Armouries in Leeds & Landguard Fort in Felixstowe, over the weekend of
the 27th & 28th March.

Fans of the Sharpe series ( who no doubt are suffering withdrawl symptoms since
the last Sharpe adventure in Sharpes Peril ) will be spoilt for choice next weekend.
Where to go Leeds or Felixstowe ?

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Well the show at the Royal Armoury in Leeds includes:
Meet actor Jason Salkey alias Rifleman Harris from Sharpe?s Rifles.
Napoleonic drill and musket firing by the 33rd Regiment of foot & the 68th Rifles.
See what life was like in the Royal Navy 200 years ago including the
notorious Press Gang.

British 95th Rifles parade at Landguard Fort



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Meanwhile over the same weekend the 95th Rifles will be parading at Landguard
Fort near Felixstowe.
Here the 95th will be putting on a full display of military life in the 1800's
including infantry drills with musket and rifle firing. Finally the forts audio and
visual centre will be playing video's of the 95th's battle re-enactments.




Finally please note, I've added a couple more video's of the British attack on
the french held fort at Walcheren in Holland, last year.
« Last Edit: 02:32 21-Mar-2010 by Lt. Campers »
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