Battle of Castellón

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Battle of Castellón
Part of the Peninsular War
Location of Roses.png
Date1 January 1809
Location Castelló d'Empúries, near Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Result Spanish victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg French Empire Flag of Spain (1785-1873, 1875-1931).svg Spain
Commanders and leaders
Honoré Charles Reille Marqués de Lazán
Strength
500 regulars
Casualties and losses
300 dead or wounded,
90 captured

The Battle of Castellón was an ambush delivered against a French Imperial detachment under General Reille near Girona during the Peninsular War (1807–14).

Ambush military tactics

An ambush is a long-established military tactic in which combatants take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops. Ambushes have been used consistently throughout history, from ancient to modern warfare. In the 20th century, an ambush might involve thousands of soldiers on a large scale, such as over a choke point such as a mountain pass, or a small irregular band or insurgent group attacking a regular armed force patrol. Theoretically, a single well-armed and concealed soldier could ambush other troops in a surprise attack.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

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.

First French Empire Empire of Napoleon I of France between 1804–1815

The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.

Having crept his force up along the right bank of the Fluvià River and set up headquarters at La Armentera, a village near the river's mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, General Lazán prepared a coup de main against the French battalion installed atop Castelló d'Empúries. Since bad roads precluded a night attack, Lazán moved in the early morning, and brusquely forced the French off the ridge. While Reille's troops effected a disciplined fighting withdrawal toward Rosas, the Chasseurs of Juan Clarós  (es ), acting as the vanguard for General Castro's division, circled across their path of retreat and set up a position in a grove next to the main road, preparing to block the French passage. Caught in a pincer movement, the French were cut down. Only 80 escaped unwounded and 90 surrendered.

Fluvià river in Catalonia in Spain

The Fluvià is a river in Catalonia. It rises in the Serralada Transversal, passes through Olot, and flows into the Mediterranean Sea near Sant Pere Pescador. The ancient city of Empúries was founded near the mouth of the Fluvià, when it was 6 km south of its present location.

Mediterranean Sea Sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean between Europe, Africa and Asia

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

Luis Rebolledo de Palafox y Melci, 1st marqués de Lazán was an Aragonese officer and general during the Spanish War of Independence. Alongside his brother José de Palafox, the Duke of Saragossa, Lazán was a national hero in 19th century Spain for his defence of Saragossa from the French Imperial armies in 1808 and 1809.

Sequel

When Reille, established at Figueras, learned of the rout of his men, he set out against the Spaniards the next day with 3,000 infantry and cavalry, aiming to cut their communications with Gerona. In spite of the rapid French movements, Reille was unable to achieve a surprise, and Lazán awaited him with his men solidly entrenched at Castellón. Seeing his attacks repulsed everywhere along the line, Reille decided not to try conclusions with the Spaniards, and Lazán fell back on Gerona unmolested.

Coordinates: 42°15′N3°05′E / 42.250°N 3.083°E / 42.250; 3.083

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

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.

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