A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
The Battle of Barrosa (Chiclana, 5 March 1811, also known as the Battle of Chiclana or Battle of Cerro del Puerco) was part of an unsuccessful manoeuvre to break the siege of Cádiz in Spain during the Peninsular War. During the battle, a single British division defeated two French divisions and captured a regimental eagle.
The Siege of Cádiz was a siege of the large Spanish naval base of Cádiz by a French army from 5 February 1810 to 24 August 1812 during the Peninsular War. Following the occupation of Seville, Cádiz became the Spanish seat of power, and was targeted by 70,000 French troops under the command of the Marshals Claude Victor and Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult for one of the most important sieges of the war. Defending the city were 2,000 Spanish troops who, as the siege progressed, received aid from 10,000 Spanish reinforcements as well as British and Portuguese troops.
The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.
A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.
Cádiz had been invested by the French in early 1810, leaving it accessible from the sea, but in March of the following year a reduction in the besieging army gave its garrison of British and Spanish troops an opportunity to lift the siege. A large Allied strike force was shipped south from Cádiz to Tarifa, and moved to engage the siege lines from the rear. The French, under the command of Marshal Victor, were aware of the Allied movement and redeployed to prepare a trap. Victor placed one division on the road to Cádiz, blocking the Allied line of march, while his two remaining divisions fell on the single Anglo-Portuguese rearguard division under the command of Sir Thomas Graham.
Cádiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.
Investment is the military process of surrounding an enemy fort with armed forces to prevent entry or escape. It serves both to cut communications with the outside world, and to prevent supplies and reinforcements from being introduced.
Tarifa is a small town in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia, on the southernmost coast of mainland Spain. It is primarily known as one of the world's most popular destinations for wind sports. The town is located on the Costa de la Luz and across the Strait of Gibraltar facing Morocco.
Following a fierce battle on two fronts, the British succeeded in routing the attacking French forces. A lack of support from the larger Spanish contingent prevented an absolute victory, and the French were able to regroup and reoccupy their siege lines. Graham's tactical victory proved to have little strategic effect on the continuing war, to the extent that Victor was able to claim the battle as a French victory since the siege remained in force until finally being lifted on 24 August 1812.
In January 1810, the city of Cádiz, a major Allied harbour and the effective seat of Spanish government since the occupation of Madrid, was besieged by French troops of Marshal Soult's I Corps under the command of Marshal Victor. The city's garrison initially comprised only four battalions of volunteers and recruits, but the Duke of Alburquerque ignored orders from the Spanish Junta and instead of attacking Victor's superior force, he brought his 10,000 men to reinforce the city. This allowed the city's defences to be fully manned.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has almost 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU), smaller than only London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).
Marshal General Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia, was a French general and statesman, named Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and often called Marshal Soult. Soult was one of only six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France. The Duke also served three times as President of the Council of Ministers, or Prime Minister of France.
Corps is a term used for several different kinds of organisation.
Under pressure from widespread protests and mob violence the ruling Spanish Junta resigned, and a five-man Regency was established to govern in its place.The Regency, recognising that Spain could only be saved with Allied aid, immediately asked the newly ennobled Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington, to send reinforcements to Cádiz; by mid-February, five Anglo-Portuguese battalions had landed, bringing the garrison up to 17,000 men and making the city effectively impregnable. Additional troops continued to arrive, and by May, the garrison was 26,000 strong, while the besieging French forces had risen to 25,000.
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, was a British soldier and Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. His victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 puts him in the first rank of Britain's military heroes.
Although the siege tied up a large number of Spanish, British and Portuguese troops, Wellington accepted this as part of his strategy since a similar number of French troops were also engaged.However, in January 1811, Victor's position began to deteriorate. Soult ordered Victor to send almost a third of his troops to support Soult's assault on Badajoz, reducing the besieging French army to around 15,000 men. Victor had little chance of making progress against the fortress city with a force of this strength, nor could he withdraw—the garrison of Cádiz, if let loose, was large enough to overrun the whole of Andalusia.
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It is situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana. The population in 2011 was 151,565.
Andalusia is an autonomous community in southern Spain. It is the most populous, and the second largest autonomous community in the country. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a "historical nationality". The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville.
Following Soult's appropriation of many of Victor's troops, the Allies sensed an opportunity to engage Marshal Victor in open battle and raise the siege of Cádiz.To that end, an Anglo-Spanish expedition was sent by sea from Cádiz south to Tarifa, with the intention of marching north to engage the French rear. This force comprised some 8,000 Spanish and 4,000 British troops, with the overall command ceded to the Spanish General Manuel la Peña, a political accommodation since he was widely regarded as incompetent. To coincide with la Peña's assault, it was arranged that General José Pascual de Zayas y Chacón would lead a force of 4,000 Spanish troops in a sally from Cádiz, via a pontoon bridge from the Isla de León.
The Anglo-Portuguese contingent – a division commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Graham – sailed from Cádiz on 21 February 1811, somewhat later than planned.Graham's forces were unable to land at Tarifa due to bad weather and were forced to sail on to Algeciras, where they disembarked on 23 February. Joined by a composite battalion of flank companies under Colonel Browne, the troops marched to Tarifa on 24 February, where they received a further reinforcement from the fortress garrison there. By 27 February, they were joined by la Peña's Spanish troops, who had left Cádiz three days after Graham and, despite encountering similar weather difficulties, had succeeded in landing at Tarifa.
To further strengthen the Allied ranks, a force of Spanish irregulars under General Antonio Begines de los Ríos had been ordered to come down from the Ronda mountains by 23 February and join the main Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish force. Unaware of the delays in sailing, Begines had advanced as far as Medina-Sidonia in search of the Allied army; unsupported, and embroiled in skirmishes with Victor's right flank, he returned to the mountains. General Louis Victorin Cassagne, Victor's flank commander, informed the marshal of the developing threat. Victor responded by sending three infantry battalions and a cavalry regiment to reinforce Cassagne, and ordering the fortification of Medina-Sidonia.
Having concentrated, the combined Allied force began marching north towards Medina-Sidonia on 28 February, and la Peña now ordered Beguines's irregulars to join them at Casas Viejas. Once there, however, Beguines's scouts reported that Medina-Sidonia was held more strongly than had been anticipated. Rather than engaging the French and forcing Victor to weaken his siege by committing more of his troops to the town's defence, la Peña decided that the Allied army should march across country and join the road that ran from Tarifa, through Vejer and Chiclana, to Cádiz.
This change of plan, combined with further bad weather and la Peña's insistence on marching only at night, meant the Allied force was now two days behind schedule.La Peña sent a message to Cádiz informing Zayas of the delay, but the dispatch was not received and on 3 March, Zayas launched his sally as arranged. A pontoon bridge was floated across the Santi Petri creek and a battalion sent across to establish a bridgehead prior to the arrival of the main force. Victor could not allow the Cádiz garrison, which still numbered about 13,000 men, to make a sortie against his lines while he was threatened from outside, so on the night of 3–4 March he sent six companies of voltigeurs to storm the bridgehead entrenchments and prevent a breakout. Zayas's battalion was ejected from its positions, with 300 Spanish casualties, and Zayas was forced to float the pontoon bridge back to the island for future use.
Marshal Victor had, by now, received intelligence from a squadron of dragoons that had been driven out of Vejer, informing him of the strong Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish force making its way up the western road from Tarifa. In conjunction with the aggressive action of the Cádiz garrison, this led him to conclude that the approaching troops were heading for Cádiz; their line of march was therefore predictable, so he prepared a trap.General Eugène-Casimir Villatte's division was sent to block the neck of the peninsula on which the western road ran, preventing access to the Santi Petri creek and the Isla de Léon. Two other divisions, under the commands of Generals François Amable Ruffin and Jean François Leval, were ordered to conceal themselves in the thick Chiclana forest in position to attack the flank of the Allies as they engaged Villatte's division.
After another night march, on 5 March the Allies reached a hill to the south east of Barrosa, the Cerro del Puerco (also referred to as the Barrosa Ridge). Scouts reported the presence of Villatte's force, and la Peña ordered his vanguard division to advance. With the aid of a fresh sortie of Zayas's troops from Cádiz, and reinforced by a brigade of the Prince of Anglona's division, the Spanish drove Villatte's force across the Almanza Creek.La Peña refused his vanguard permission to pursue the retreating French, who were consequently able to regroup on the far side of the creek. Graham's Anglo-Portuguese division had remained behind on the Cerro del Puerco to defend the rear and right flank of la Peña's main force.
Having opened up the route to Cádiz, la Peña instructed Graham to move his troops forward to Bermeja.However, on Graham's strenuous objections to vacating a position that would result in both an exposed flank and rear, a force of five Spanish battalions and Browne's battalion was left to hold the Barrosa Ridge. In addition, three Spanish and two King's German Legion (KGL) squadrons of cavalry, under the command of Colonel Samuel Whittingham, were sent to flank this rearguard force on the coast track. Graham's division then moved north as ordered—instead of descending from the heights on the coast road, they followed a path through a pine wood to the west of the ridge. This route was shorter and more practical for artillery, but the trees restricted visibility in all directions, meaning that they were effectively marching blind.
Victor was disappointed that Villatte had failed to block the Cádiz road for longer, but he was still confident that his main force could drive the Allies into the sea.He could see that the bulk of the Spanish troops had taken station opposite Villatte and, on hearing reports that Barrosa Ridge was deserted, realised that here was an opportunity to take this commanding position. Ruffin was ordered to occupy the heights while Leval struck at Graham's troops in the woods, and three squadrons of dragoons were sent around the Cerro to take the coastal track.
Victor's plan rapidly developed momentum. Ruffin's advance sufficed to send the five rearguard Spanish battalions running, leaving only Browne's battalion defending the ridge and, confronted by the French dragoons, Whittingham's cavalry decided to retire.Whittingham lent a single squadron of KGL hussars to Browne to cover his retreat; Browne initially positioned his battalion in the ruins of a chapel at the summit but, seeing Whittingham's retreat and spotting six French battalions advancing on his position, he had little choice but to give way and seek Graham's force in the woods. Barrosa Ridge fell unopposed as Victor had intended, and Ruffin emplaced a battery of artillery on the heights.
Meanwhile, midway through his march to join la Peña's Spaniards, Graham received news from Spanish guerrilleros that French soldiers had emerged from the Chiclana forest.Riding to the rear of his marching columns, he witnessed the Spanish battalions retreating from the ridge, Ruffin's division climbing its slopes, and Leval's division approaching from the east. Realizing that the Allied force was in danger of being swamped, Graham disregarded his orders and turned his division to deal with the threats to his flank and rear. He ordered General Dilkes's brigade to retake the ridge while Colonel Wheatley's brigade was sent to see off Leval's force to the east.
Because of the time it took to deploy a full brigade into battle formation, Graham knew he needed to delay the French. He therefore ordered Browne, who had rejoined the division, to turn his single "Flankers" battalion of 536 men around and advance up the slope of the Barrosa Ridge against the 4,000 men and artillery of Ruffin's division. Colonel Barnard, who led the light battalion of Wheatley's brigade, and Colonel Bushe, leading two light companies of Portuguese skirmishers, were ordered to attack through the woods to hold up Leval's advance.
Advancing up the ridge they had just abandoned, Browne's battalion came under intense fire from Ruffin's emplaced infantry and artillery. Within a few salvoes, half the battalion was gone and, unable to continue, Browne's men scattered amongst the cover provided by the slope and returned fire.Despite his success, Ruffin could not descend the hill to brush away the remnants of Browne's battalion, as Dilkes's brigade had by now emerged from the wood and was forming up at the base of the slope.
Dilkes, instead of following Browne's route up the slope, advanced to the right where there was more cover and ground not visible to the French. As a result, the French artillery could not be brought to bear, and Dilkes's brigade managed to get near the top of the ridge without suffering serious loss. By this time, though, its formation had become disorganised, so Ruffin deployed four battalion columns in an attempt to sweep both Dilkes and the remaining "Flankers" back down the slope. Contrary to French expectations, the crude British line stopped the attacking columns in their tracks, and the two forces exchanged fire.Marshal Victor, by then himself on the crest of the ridge, brought up his reserve in two battalion columns of grenadiers. These columns were, as with the previous four, subjected to intense musket fire and were brought to a halt just metres from the British line. The first four columns had started to give ground, so Victor tried to disengage his reserves and bring them to their support. However, as the two grenadier columns attempted to move off from their stalled positions, they came under additional fire from the remnants of Browne's battalion, which had renewed its own advance. Prevented from rallying, the entire French force broke and fled to the valley below.
While Dilkes was moving on Ruffin's position on Barrosa Ridge, Barnard and the light companies advanced through the woods towards Leval's division. Unaware of the impending British assault, the French had taken no precautions and were advancing in two columns of march, with no forward line of voltigeurs . The unexpected appearance of British skirmishers caused such confusion that some French regiments, thinking there were cavalry present, formed square. These were prime targets for shrapnel rounds fired by the ten cannon under Major Duncan which, having made rapid progress through the woods, arrived in time to support the skirmish line.As the situation became clearer, the French organised themselves into their customary attacking formation—the 'column of divisions'—all the time under fire from Barnard's light companies and Duncan's artillery. Finally, with the French now in their fighting columns and beginning their advance, Barnard was forced to draw back. Leval's men then encountered Bushe's companies of the 20th Portuguese, who supported the light battalion's retreat and kept the French engaged until Wheatley's brigade had formed up in line on the edge of the woods. The retreating light companies joined Wheatley's troops; Leval's division of 3,800 men was now marching on an Anglo-Portuguese line of 1,400 men supported by cannon.
Although they had the advantage in numbers, the French were under the impression that they were facing a superior force.Having been mauled by Barnard's and Bushe's light companies, and now facing the rolling volleys of the main British line, the French needed time to form from column into line themselves. However, Wheatley attacked as soon as the light companies cleared the field, and only one of Leval's battalions was able to even partially redeploy. The first French column Wheatley engaged broke after a single British volley. The 8th Ligne, part of this column, suffered about 50 percent casualties and lost its eagle. The capture of the eagle—the first to be won in battle by British forces in the Peninsular wars—cost Ensign Keogh of the 87th his life and was finally secured by Sergeant Patrick Masterson (or Masterman, depending on source). As Wheatley's brigade moved forward, it encountered the only French battalion, from the 54th Ligne, that had begun to form line. It took three charges to break this battalion, which eventually fled towards the right where it encountered the remainder of Leval's fleeing division.
Ruffin's and Leval's divisions fled towards the Laguna del Puerco, where Victor succeeded in halting their disorganised rout. The Marshal deployed two or three relatively unscathed battalions to cover the reorganisation of his forces and secure their retreat, but Graham had also managed to call his exhausted men to order and he brought them, with Duncan's artillery, against Victor's new position. Morale in the re-formed French ranks was fragile; when a squadron of KGL hussars rounded the Cerro and drove a squadron of French dragoons onto their infantry,the shock was too much to bear for the demoralised soldiers, who retreated in a sudden rush.
Throughout the battle, la Peña steadfastly refused to support his Anglo-Portuguese allies. He learnt of the French advance at about the same time as Graham, and decided to entrench his full force on the isthmus defending the approach to the Isla de Léon. Learning of Graham's decision to engage the two French divisions, the Spanish commander was convinced that the French would win the day and so stayed in place;Zayas repeatedly asked for leave to go to Graham's support, but le Peña denied permission each time. On hearing that the British had prevailed, la Peña further declined to pursue the retreating French, again over-riding the continued protestations of Zayas.
Furious at la Peña, the following morning Graham collected his wounded, gathered trophies from the field and marched into Cádiz; snubbed, la Peña would later accuse Graham of losing the campaign for the Allies. Corps to retreat to Seville. Cassagne took temporary control of Villatte's division, since that general was wounded. Victor assigned Cassagne to command the rearguard and instructed him not to retreat until the Allies advanced. Such was the French discomposure that, despite the Allied inactivity, one battery was destroyed without any orders being given.It is almost certain that, had the Allies pushed the French positions either immediately after the battle or on the morning of 6 March, the siege would have been broken. Even though Victor had managed to rally his troops at Chiclana, panic was rife in the French lines. Fully expecting a renewed offensive, Victor had made plans to stall any Allied advance just long enough to blow up most of the besieging forts and to allow I
La Peña had determined not to heed plans from Graham and Admiral Keats to make a cautious advance against the French at Chiclana, and he even refused to send out cavalry scouts to find out what Victor was doing. After remaining entrenched at Bermeja during 5–6 March, the Spanish army crossed to the Isla de León the following day, leaving only Beguines's irregulars on the mainland. This force did manage to briefly secure Medina-Sidonia, but then returned to the Ronda mountains. Cassagne's division remained in place since the Allies never threatened it. To Victor's amazement, a cavalry patrol on 7 March found no evidence of Allied forces. By 8 March, just three days after the battle, Victor had reoccupied even the evacuated southern section of his lines and the siege was back in place.It would remain so for another eighteen months, until finally being abandoned on 24 August 1812, when Soult ordered a general French retreat following the Allied victory at Salamanca.
Despite the conduct of their commanding general,both the Spanish success at Almanza Creek and Graham's actions at Barrosa Ridge gave a much needed boost to Spanish morale. La Peña was subsequently arraigned for court-martial, mainly for his refusal to pursue the retreating French, where he was acquitted but relieved of command. At a time when Anglo-Spanish relations were already strained, Graham's criticism of his Spanish allies meant that it was no longer politic for him to remain in Cádiz, so he was transferred to Wellington's main army.
Both tactically and in terms of the casualties inflicted, the battle was a British victory. Graham's troops had beaten a French force approaching twice their number despite having marched through the previous night and part of that day. The British lost approximately 1,240 men, including Portuguese and German contingents under Graham's command, while Victor lost around 2,380. The Spanish suffered 300–400 casualties.Strategically, however, the failure of the Allies to follow up their victory allowed Victor to reoccupy his siege lines; Cádiz was not relieved and the campaign effectively failed to achieve anything. Victor even claimed the battle as a French victory, since the positions of the opposing sides remained unchanged following the action.
In November 1811, the British Prince Regent commanded that a medal be struck to commemorate the "brilliant Victory obtained over the Enemy"; this was awarded to the senior British officers present at the battle.
Four Royal Navy ships have taken their names from the battle including HMS Barrosa (1812) launched the year after the battle.
An officer in the 4th Dragoons, Lieutenant William Light who later became the Surveyor General of South Australia in the 1830s, named a range of hills in the new colony Barossa Range (home to the modern Barossa Valley (wine) region) in memory of the battle.
The Battle of Uclés saw an Imperial French corps led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor attack a Spanish force under Francisco Javier Venegas. The French easily crushed their outnumbered foes, capturing over half of the Spanish infantry. Uclés is located in the province of Cuenca 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of Tarancón and 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of Madrid. The action occurred during what is called the Peninsular War in English-speaking countries and the Spanish War of Independence in Spain. The war was part of a larger struggle known as the Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Albuera was a battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Albuera, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain.
The Battle of Talavera was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilometres (75 mi) southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War. At Talavera, an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. The French army withdrew at night after several of its attacks had been repulsed.
General Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch was a Scottish aristocrat, politician and British Army officer. After his education at Oxford, he inherited a substantial estate in Scotland was married and settled down to a quiet career as a landowning gentleman. However, with the death of his wife, when he was aged 42, he immersed himself in a military career, during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Valmaseda took place on 5 November 1808, during Lieutenant-General Blake's retreat from superior French armies in northern Spain. Reinforced by veteran regular infantry from General La Romana's Division of the North, Blake's force suddenly turned on its pursuers and ambushed General Victor's errant vanguard under Général de division Villatte.
The Battle of Orthez saw the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington attack an Imperial French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France. The outnumbered French repelled several Allied assaults on their right flank, but their center and left flank were overcome and Soult was compelled to retreat. At first the withdrawal was conducted in good order, but it eventually ended in a scramble for safety and many French soldiers became prisoners. The engagement occurred near the end of the Peninsular War.
Manuel Lapeña Rodríguez y Ruiz de Sotillo, sometimes referred to as Lapeña, was a Spanish military officer who served during the Peninsular War. He rose through the Spanish army's ranks to become Captain General of Andalusia. He is primarily known for commanding an Anglo–Spanish expedition from Cádiz, with the intention of raising the siege on that city, which led to the Battle of Barrosa.
François Amable Ruffin was a general of division in Napoleon's First French Empire. He was mortally wounded while leading his troops against the British.
The Battle of the Gebora was a battle of the Peninsular War between Spanish and French armies. It took place on 19 February 1811, northwest of Badajoz, Spain, where an outnumbered French force routed and nearly destroyed the Spanish Army of Extremadura.
The Battle of Garris or Battle of Saint-Palais saw an Allied force under the direct command of General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess Wellington attack General of Division Jean Harispe's French division. The French defenders were driven back into the town of Saint-Palais in confusion. Because of this minor victory, the Allies were able to secure a crossing over the Bidouze River during this clash from the final stages of the Peninsular War.
Anne Gilbert de Laval or Anne-Gilbert Laval or Anne Guilbert de La Val became a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and led a division in the Napoleonic Wars. Like many other officers, he saw rapid promotion during the French Revolution. He commanded a demi brigade beginning in 1794. He fought in numerous actions during the 1796 campaign in Germany, including the battles of Ettlingen and Neresheim.
In the Battle of Zújar of the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, on 9 August 1811 an Imperial French division from Nicolas Soult's army attacked a Spanish division belonging to Manuel Alberto Freire de Andrade y Armijo's Army of Murcia. The French division, led by Nicolas Godinot, defeated Joseph O'Donnell's Spanish division with heavy losses. Zújar is located on Route 323, 13 kilometres (8 mi) northwest of Baza, Granada in Spain.
The Battle of Alcantara saw an Imperial French division led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor attack a Portuguese detachment under Colonel William Mayne. After a three hours skirmish, the French stormed across the Alcántara Bridge and forced the Portuguese to retreat. The clash happened during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Alcántara, Spain is situated on the Tagus river near the Portuguese border, 285 kilometres (177 mi) west-southwest of Madrid.
The Dutch Brigade was a unit of the Royal Army of the Kingdom of Holland. It was sent out in September 1808, by King Louis Bonaparte at the request of his brother Emperor Napoleon of France, to take part in the Peninsular War on the French side. The brigade, under the command of Major-General David Hendrik Chassé, was made part of the so-called "German Division". The Division also consisted of units from the Nassau, the Baden and other German allies of the French empire under command of the French general Leval. It was, in turn, part of the IVth French Corps under command of Marshals Lefebvre and Sébastiani, and was later part of the Ist Corps of Marshal Victor. The brigade distinguished itself initially in several major battles, and was later employed mainly in counter-guerrilla warfare. After the annexation of the Kingdom of Holland by the French empire in 1810, the brigade was formally decommissioned and its personnel, now French subjects, absorbed into the French 123rd Line Infantry Regiment, and later into the 130th Line Infantry Regiment, the other battalions of the 123rd back home being reassigned to the Russian campaign of 1812.
The campaign in south-west France in late 1813 and early 1814 was the final campaign of the Peninsular War. An allied army of British, Portuguese and Spanish soldiers under the command of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington fought a string of battles against French forces under the command of Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult, from the Iberian Peninsula across the Pyrenees and into south-west France ending with the capture of Toulouse and the besieging of Bayonne.
Claude Marie Meunier became a French division commander during the Napoleonic Wars. He joined a volunteer regiment in 1792 and fought on the Rhine and in Italy as a captain. After a stint in the Consular Guard as a major, he became colonel of the 9th Light Infantry Regiment in 1803. His regiment fought at Haslach and Dürenstein in 1805, Halle, Waren and Lübeck in 1806, and Mohrungen and Friedland in 1807. Transferred to Spain, he led his troops at Uclés, Medellín and Talavera in 1809. He was promoted general of brigade in 1810 and fought at Barrosa in 1811.
Pierre Barrois became a French division commander during the Napoleonic Wars. He joined a volunteer battalion in 1793 that later became part of a famous light infantry regiment. He fought at Wattignies, Fleurus, Aldenhoven, Ehrenbreitstein and Neuwied in 1793–1797. He fought at Marengo in 1800. He became colonel of a line infantry regiment in 1803 and led it at Haslach, Dürrenstein, Halle, Lübeck and Mohrungen in 1805–1807. Promoted to general of brigade, he led a brigade at Friedland in 1807.
Louis Victorin Cassagne became a French division commander during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1793 he joined a free company which was immediately absorbed into a volunteer battalion. Until 1795 he fought in the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees as a captain. In 1795–1797 he served in the Army of Italy, fighting at Loano, Lonato and Tarvis. In 1798–1801 he participated in the French campaign in Egypt and Syria, fighting at the Pyramids, Acre and Alexandria. In 1801 he was made commander of an infantry regiment. Cassagne was wounded an extraordinary number of times, especially during his early campaigns.
Named By: Colonel William Light; Alternative Name: Yampoori; Derivation of Name: A location in Spain; Dual Name; Barossa Range / Yampoori; Other Details: Named by Colonel Light in 1837 after a location in Spain being the site of a battle won by Light's friend Lord Lynedock in 1811.