Battle of Espinosa de los Monteros

Last updated
Battle of Espinoza
Part of the Peninsular War
Batalla de Espinosa de los Monteros, Ilustracion de "Napoleon en Chamartin" de Galdos.jpg
Date10-11 November 1808
Location
Result French victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg French Empire Flag of Spain (1785-1873, 1875-1931).svg  Spain
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Claude Victor Flag of Spain (1785-1873, 1875-1931).svg Joaquín Blake
Flag of Spain (1785-1873, 1875-1931).svg Pedro Caro
Strength
22,000 23,000
Casualties and losses
1,200 killed or wounded 3,000 killed, wounded, or captured

The Battle of Espinosa de los Monteros was a battle of the Napoleonic Wars, fought on 10 and 11 November 1808 at the township of Espinosa de los Monteros in the Cantabrian Mountains. It resulted in a French victory under General Victor against Lieutenant General Joaquín Blake's Army of Galicia.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

Espinosa de los Monteros Municipality and town in Castile and León, Spain

Espinosa de los Monteros is a municipality located in the province of Burgos, Castile and León, Spain, with a population of c. 2,100 inhabitants.

Cantabrian Mountains

The Cantabrian Mountains or Cantabrian Range are one of the main systems of mountain ranges in Spain. They stretch for over 300 km (180 miles) across northern Spain, from the western limit of the Pyrenees to the Galician Massif in Galicia, along the coast of the Cantabrian Sea. Their easternmost end meets the Sistema Ibérico.

Contents

Battle

On the first day of the battle, Victor, seeking an easy victory to erase his humiliation at Valmaseda, launched a series of ill-advised attacks that were thrown back with heavy losses by the disciplined regulars of General La Romana's Division of the North. By nightfall, Blake's positions still held. On the morning of 11 November, Victor regained his composure and coordinated a massive French attack that pierced Blake's left wing and drove the Spaniards from the field. The French captured a healthy total of 30 guns and 30 standards.

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.

Division of the North

The Division of the North was a 19th-century Spanish infantry division.

Although not a decisive defeat in itself, the hopeless confusion of the tattered and weary Spanish army, which had neither a government nor a military command structure to coordinate it, meant that Espinosa marked the deathblow to Blake's Army of Galicia. Blake, to his credit, led his remaining men through an heroic retreat west through the mountains, escaping, to Napoleon's disbelief, Soult's pursuit. However, when he arrived at León on 23 November, only 10,000 men remained under his banner.

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References

Coordinates: 43°04′00″N3°32′00″W / 43.0667°N 3.5333°W / 43.0667; -3.5333

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.