Author: Chartrand, Rene
Publisher: Osprey Pub Co
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: As New
Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
New book, 96 pages, CAM253. The battle of Talavera in 1809 was one of the major battles of the Peninsular War and Arthur Wellesley's first victory in Spain itself, following which he was created Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Wellington. Having driven the French forces in Portugal under Marshal Soult out of the country following his victory at the battle of the Douro, Wellesley went onto the offensive and led his army into Spain where he joined up with a substantial forces under the Spanish General Cuesta in order to attack a smaller French force under Marshal Victor at the town of Talavera de la Reina to the south-west of Madrid. Delays caused by the Spanish allowed Victor to withdraw, whilst promised supplies also did not arrived, and a combined French force gathered opposite Wellesley's position that now outnumbered the Anglo-Spanish force. The French army's nominal commander was King Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, but marshals Victor and Jourdain exercised the actual command. On the night of the 27th the French launched their first attacks, followed up by a general assault on the 28th. Although Wellesely's forces were outnumbers, and a sizeable contingent of the Spanish ran away, he had chosen a superb defensive position and was able to beat off successive French attacks, though at a heavy cost in terms of casualties. Although the French had withdrawn leaving Wellesley the master of the field, his high casualties and approaching French reinforcements led to Wellesley withdrawing to Portugal. His foray into Spain had an enormous effect on Spanish morale as they realized they were not alone in the struggle. British redcoats had had got to within 70km of Madraid, and they would return in future years.