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|Battle of Burgos|
|Part of the Peninsular War|
Battle of Burgos or Gamonal (National Library of Spain)
|Commanders and leaders|
|Jean-Baptiste Bessières|| Conde de Belveder|
Vicente Genaro de Quesada
Fernando María de Alós
| 20,000 infantry|
|Casualties and losses|
| 50 killed|
|2,000 killed, wounded, or captured|
The Battle of Burgos, also known as Battle of Gamonal, was fought on November 10, 1808, during the Peninsular War in the village of Gamonal, near Burgos, Spain. A powerful French army under Marshal Bessières overwhelmed and destroyed the outnumbered Spanish troops under General Belveder, opening central Spain to invasion.
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.
Burgos is a city in northern Spain and the historic capital of Castile. It is situated on the confluence of the Arlanzón river tributaries, at the edge of the Iberian central plateau. It has about 180,000 inhabitants in the actual city and another 20,000 in the metropolitan area. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. Burgos was once the capital of the Crown of Castile, and the Burgos Laws or Leyes de Burgos which first governed the behaviour of Spaniards towards the natives of the Americas were promulgated here in 1512.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Spanish history remembers this battle for the vain gallantry of the Guard and Walloon regiments under Vicente Genaro de Quesada. Forming a rearguard for the shattered Spanish lines, these troops repelled repeated charges by General Lasalle's. The cost was high for the Spaniards, with only 74 of the 307 men in the rearguard surviving.
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Vicente Genaro de Quesada was a Spanish military figure. He participated in the Battle of Burgos (1808) during the Peninsular War, leading the Royal Guard and Walloon Guard. Forming a rearguard for the shattered Spanish lines, these troops absorbed repeated charges by General Lasalle's French cavalry without yielding any ground.
It is said that Bessières personally returned Quesada's sword and had his wounds treated in the French field hospital [ citation needed ]. These acts of chivalry became increasingly rare as the Peninsular War dragged on.
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Events from the year 1813 in France.
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