Napoleon's Loss in Spain

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  • Topic: Peninsular War, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Napoleonic Wars
  • Pages : 2 (573 words )
  • Download(s) : 588
  • Published : March 7, 2011
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Napoleon’s Loss In Spain

Dear Journal,

In 1808,

I have lost to Spain in the Peninsular War in Spain. The Spanish didn’t like it when I put my brother, Joseph, in control of Spain in 1808. The Spanish then rebelled. The Spanish fought using Guerrilla Warfare, and they even had British troops accompanied by the Duke of Wellington, I knew that I could not win, and that I had lost many soldiers. The road to war began in the autumn of 1807 when I moved French troops through Spain to invade Portugal. After feeding more than 100,000 troops into Spain under the pretext of supporting the invasion, I deposed the existing Spanish monarch in April 1808 in order to place my own brother Joseph on the throne. Britain now had a new ally in Spain and landed an expeditionary force under the command of Lt.-Gen. Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, at the mouth of the Mondego River in Portugal. Moving south towards Lisbon, Wellesley defeated Delaborde at Roliça before turning to the mouth of the Maceira River to protect the landing of reinforcements. Later, Junot attacked Wellesley’s position around Vimeiro Hill from the east. The Battle of Vimeiro was the first occasion on which my offensive tactics combining skirmishers, columns and supporting artillery fire failed against the British infantry line and Wellesley's defensive skills. Junot was defeated. Wellesley's victory was sufficient to persuade the French to evacuate Portugal as part of a controversial agreement, which became known as the Convention of Sintra. Napoleon meanwhile had transferred command of the pursuit to Soult and returned to Paris, never again to lead an army in the Peninsula. After Wellesley defeated Soult at Porto; Wellesley crossed the border into Spain, and joined forces with the Spanish general Cuesta. The way Wellington could beat armies that were more superior to him was made possible by Spanish regular and guerrilla forces pinning down French armies...
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