Peninsular War, Spanish Guerra de la Independencia (“War of Independence”), (–14), that part of the Napoleonic Wars fought in the Iberian Peninsula. A brief history of the Peninsular War with more information on the battles of Albuera, Bailén, Roliça, Vimeiro, La Coruña, Porto, Talavera, Almeida, Buçaco. PENINSULAR WAR, (also known as the Peninsular Campaign) is the name generally applied to a war waged by the French Empire under Napoleon and British.


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The Peninsular War

He landed at Figueras, Portugal, and on Aug. Wellington was superseded in the command by Sir Harry Burrard, who soon after was superseded by Sir H. As Portugal's ally, Britain had full warrant the peninsular war intervening. Technically the case was different with Spain.

Formally the Bourbon dynasty had abdicated of its own free win and the new king had been elected by a body masquerading as a national assembly. Technically therefore the Spanish insurgents were rebels.

Peninsular War

The capitulation of Baylen gave promise that the Spaniards would not collapse, that they were embarking on an adventure which was not altogether desperate; and the rising of the Spaniards encouraged the idea of helping Portugal to break from the bonds which had just been imposed upon her. The country the peninsular war be entirely friendly, and the British command of the sea secured free entry and uninterrupted communication, whereas French armies the peninsular war only get to Portugal through hostile Spanish territory.

If Portugal were secured it would become a base whence the Spanish insurgents could be supported and helped to eject the French.

For the first time a British army under a British general was about to take the lead in a land war against a European power.

The Peninsular War

Even in Marlborough's day that great general's achievements were only in part due to the British army. The British did not fight their battles single-handed; but in the Peninsula, although invaluable service was rendered in the war by the Spanish guerillas, Wellington's own battles were fought and won by British troops who received practically no assistance from the Spanish regulars who were acting with them.

Campaigns in subsequent years involve prolonged fighting over the fortified towns between Portugal and Madrid; both Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz are eventually taken by Wellington in Later in that year he wins a significant victory at Salamanca and briefly occupies Madrid.

The decisive campaign comes inwhen Wellington moves north from Portugal and meets the army of Napoleon's brother Joseph The peninsular war technically at this stage king of Spain at Vitoria on June Wellington captures the entire French artillery train, of some guns, and all the baggage - including Joseph's impressive collection of art, which now graces Apsley House Wellington's residence in London.


the peninsular war Although the Madrid revolt was ruthlessly suppressed by the French, provincial insurrections took place thoroughout Spain, and the Spaniards showed great capacity for guerrilla warfare. The Spaniards now advanced upon the capital and expelled Joseph Bonaparte August. Enlightenment in Spain Bythe Kingdom of Spain was in a state of social unrest.

Peninsular War | European history |

Townsfolk and peasants all over the country, who had been forced to bury family members in new municipal cemeteries, took back their bodies the peninsular war night and tried to restore them to their old resting-places.

This was quickly followed by the surrender of Gen Dupont's French army at Baylen.


For the time being Junot was cut off in Portugal and to make matters worse for the French a British expeditionary force under the temporary command of Sir Arthur Wellesley later to become the Duke of Wellington landed in Portugal on 1st August Wellesley quickly gained two victories, first at Rolica on 17 August and then at Vimerio or Vimiero on 21st Augustbut these gains were reversed when his superiors arrived the peninsular war inept Hew Dalrymple and Harry Burrard.

Still believing in war as the sport of nobility these two foolishly signed the Convention of Cintra which by allowing Junot's army home in British ships caused an outrage back home.

The peninsular war three British Generals were recalled home but only Wellesley was cleared. The Spanish were not yet ready to move from insurgency to conventional war and when Moore advanced into Spain he found himself facing the French alone.

To make matters worse Napoleon himself led the French armies. Ciudad Rodrigo fell on 19th January followed, after a costly assault, by Badajoz on 6th The peninsular war.

Wellington's ability to push on eastwards in the face of an enemy that was numerically far superior was made possible by Spanish regular and guerrilla forces pinning down The peninsular war armies elsewhere in Spain.

On 17th June, Wellington entered Salamanca with the peninsular war Marmont's army in the vicinity. The two armies shadowed each other over the next few weeks until Marmont attempted to out-flank Wellington on 22nd July.

Wellington seized the opportunity to attack and in the ensuing Battle of Salamanca won a crushing victory. Wellington entered Madrid on 6th August and penetrated as far as Burgos before being forced to withdraw to Salamanca and then to Ciudad Rodrigo when threatened by a combined French force under Soult, Joseph and Suchet.