Iberian Peninsula

Napoleonic Wars in the Iberian Peninsula: Battles during 1811


Other battles and skirmishes fought in the Iberian Peninsula

The battles discussed below are usually smaller skirmishes, or sometimes battles fought outside the main areas of conflict between the French and the Allied Armies.

The French often overwhelmed or scattered Spanish forces of various sizes. Wellington occaisionally detached forces for specific purposes. Some of these battles are mentioned below.

Battle, the Bridge at Almaraz. May 19th, 1812

Wellington is forward from his recent victories and taking of the border fortresses between Spain and Portugal. As he plans his next move, he must keep Marmont and Soult from making timely consolidation in mutual support. To this end he sent orders to General Hill on May 4th 1812, to destroy the bridge over the Tagus river at Almaraz.

The bridge was guarded by a fort at each end, the larger being Fort Napoleon. The approach was overlooked by three posts along the Mirabete ridge. The British spent 2 days marching to the bridge, and bypassed the posts by moving behind a smaller ridge parallel to Mirabete.

The assault began with stones and grenades hurled over the walls. Too short ladders were lashed together to allow access, and the British soon owned the fort. The bridge was destroyed, as were the stores on their side of the river.

The British retreated quickly when Major General Lumley, of their cavalry screen, warned of approaching forces. French reinforcements would now take 7-10 days longer to reach each other around the obstacle of the river.

 




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This site last updated March 2006 by babbage