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PostNapisane: 13 lut 2010, o 19:09 
Duc de Castiglione
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Dołączył(a): 25 sty 2010, o 02:17
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On the request of Rafalm please let me present the project Guerra de la Independencia espaniola.

Foreword of CASTIGLIONE:
It is our pleasure to present, that there was set the probe of best polish creation of descripotion of Pennisular war 1808-1814. The project is intended to last for several years. So we kindly ask for the patience. Every help, that could be done, is kindly required. The following both chapters and smaller publications will be prepared by the team Guerra de la Independencia espaniola. All this will be published in the proper chapter of our site. Any discussions and additions are kindly expected. More will be explained soon by Rafalm, Kamp and Zenobi, who decided to start the project of describing the campaign, that in details is not so very well known in Poland.

Additional introduction of Rafalm:
As it is fact polish historiography have not tried to describe pennisular war precisely enough. It is our main reason to fill that blank place. As it was introduced by CASTIGLIONE the project is planned to be realized for several years. it is necessary to reach proper literature in foregin sources, translate it and finally prepare publicaions. So it in not so easy for us to pefrorm the project especially without any financial sources. On the other hand I hope that all the eforts will be ended with satisfying result.
Dear ladies and dear sirs.
In this moment I would like to ask any person about the help. We are looking for all publications, interesting informations, historical descriptions, sources, etc - all wat concerns Pennisular War. Beside that i will be looking for the help of translating. I am counting on the help of Scout and Gipsy (in english), Duroc (in french). And we are still looking for the persons that know spanish. If anyone will be eager to help us - please inform us. In polish part of the forum there was especially created separated group of topics: "Guerra de la Independencia espaniola". We will be trzing to show the just readz publications either in english version of our site or here in forum.
We are looking for yours kind support.

On behalf of team Guerra de la Independencia espaniola
With best regards.

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PostNapisane: 13 lut 2010, o 19:12 
Duc de Castiglione
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Dołączył(a): 25 sty 2010, o 02:17
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Copyright © by Gipsy

Peninsular War (1807-1814)

A Napoleonic War between France and the Allied armies of Portugal, Spain, and Great Britain fought on the Iberian Peninsula and, at the end, in southern France.
The war consisted of two distinct parts. In the initial phase the British attempted to obtain a toehol on the Continent. This phase ended with the British victory in the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808; the British then began their campaign to free Spain.
Portugal had infuriated Napoleon by remaining true to its alliance with Britain and refusing to bow to his threats or be seduced by his promises.
When it refused to comply with any part of his Continental System, essentialy a boycott of British goods that he sought to impose upon all Europe, he determined to bring it into line by military force.
With Spanish permission, he was able to move on Portugal by way of Spain, and on 17 October 1807 General Junot with 24 133 troops stepped onto Spanish soil and on 19 November passed through Alcantara on the Tagus River and into Portugal.
Three weeks earlier, the treaty of Fontainebleau with Godoy and Spanish government has assured Spanish connivance and participation in the agression.
Portuguese resistace was swept aside, and on 30 November General Junot entered Lisbon, only to discover that the royal family, numerous dignitaries, the state trasure, and the Portuguese navy, guarded by a British squadron, had sailed to South America.
Portugal was occupied by French troops, and with Spanish Permission, French troops were garrisoned in key Spanish towns from Bayonne to the Portuguese frontier, supposedly to maintain a line of communication, actually to facilitate French intervention in Spain's affairs, which with French diplomatic help, were drifting towards chaos.
On 16 February 1808 Napoleon, proclaiming his intention to bring order to the country and settle disputes that had arisen in the royal family, seized forts and key positions in northern Spain.
French Marshal Joachim Murat with 18 000 men marched on Madrid, which he occupied on 24 March. Although his troops at first had been cheered, an anti-French riot erupted in the city on 1 April.
It was followed on 2 May by more alarming riots, which were suppressed with great brutality. Undeterred, early that month Napoleon summoned the disputants of the Spanish royal family to a conference in Bayonne, where within a week he settled their quarrels by installing his brother Joseph on the throne.
Spanish resentment against the French soared. Before the end of the month Valencia, Seville, and the Asturias were the scenes of riots. By mid-June emeutes had taken place in every province, and the junta of Seville had sent an appeal for help to Britain.

The French moved to suppress what had become a major rebelion.
They were initially successful; the Spanish forces, scattered and badly armed, could offer little effective opposition, but on 1 August 1808 Lieutenant General Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, commanding more than 10 000 troops, landed in Portugal at Mondeo Bay, 110 miles north of Lisbon.
Moving south, he defeated the French under General Francois Delaborde (1764-1813) at Obidos and Rolica, and took up a position at Vimeiro to cover the landing of more British troops under General Sir Harry Burrard (1755-1813).
Here on 21 August Wellesley defeated a French force under General Jean Junot; he would have captured the entire force if Burrard had not arrived and, as senior officer, taken command. Within twenty-four hours Burrard was superseded by General Sir Hew Whitefoord Dalrymple, who declined to pursue the beaten French and on 31 August signed the Convention of Cintra, which allowed the 26 000 French troops with all their arms and impedimenta to be evacuated in British ships. The agreement set off a furor in Britain. Dalrymple was recalled and replaced by General Sir John Moore.
Meanwhile, in Spain on 21 July, Spanish forces had scored a major victory, General Dupont was forced to capitulate with his full corps to Castanos at Bailen, and the French had driven behind the line of the Ebro River.
All autumn the Supreme Junta had been arguing at Madrid.
In the end seven armies under seven discordant captains general emerged, with no Supreme Commander. These forces numbered some 125 000 men in the front line supported by perhaps 75 000 more in reserve or garrisons, backed by possibly 30 000 guerrillas in numeros independent bands, and the 30 000 strong British army, now under command of General Sir John Moore in distant Lisbon.
In response, Napoleon set out across the Pyrenees with 80 000 men and on 6 November took personal command of the 200 000 troops in Spain.
By the 29th the French were at the foot of the last mountain barier before the capital.
Next day the magnificent battle of Somosierra with famous charge of the Polish Light Horse squadron took place, and with San Juan's ultimate rout, Madrid lay defenseless before the victorious French.
On 3 December the Junta evacuated toward Badajoz, and next day the French assaulted the Retiro Heights and received the surrender of Madrid.
Napoleon's conquest was now almost complete.

By 4 December Napoleon had swept away Spanish opposition and occupied Madrid. There he learned that General Moore was advancing to attack the division of Marshal Jean Soult. Leading an army across the mountains in blizard by way of the Guadarrama Pass, he moved to attack Moore, who realizing his danger, began an arduous retreat over the montains to Corunna where his force could be evacuated by British ships. When Corunna was finally reached, no British ships were in sight. Two days passed before the first sail appeared, giving the pursuing Soult time to arrive.
On 16 January 1809 in the ensuing Battle of Corunna, Moore's army narrowly escaped destruction, and Moore himself was killed.
On 22 April 1809 Wellesley assumed command of the 22 000 British troops on the Iberian Peninsula. In the interim, French forces had again invaded Portugal, taken Oporto, and were in the process of subjugating Galicia. In early May Wellesley moved north and cleared the French from Oporto, effestively driving them from Portugal. Counting on Spanish support, he led an army into Spain.
On 27-28 July he defeated the French in Battle of Talavera and was raised to the peerage as Viscount Wellington. But failing to get the support he had expected from Spanish General Gregorio de la Cuesta and threatened by large French force under Soult, he withdrew into Portugal and ordered the secret construction of the celebrated Lines of Torres Vedras just north of Lisbon.
This proved a sensible precaution.
Napoleon newly victrious from Wagram, sent reinforcements to Spain and ordered that the great Marshal Massena soon to be Prince of Essling was to invade Portugal at the head of three strong corps d'armee to settle with the British once and for all.
Meantime the Spanish General Del Parque pulled off a notable success at Tamames, leading to the temporary liberation of Salamanca from French control, but his colleague Areizaga was less fortunate, and after a rapid retreat from Aranjuez he was caught by the French at Ocana and soundly beaten in the largest cavalry battle of the Peninsular War. However the major events of the next year (1810) were to be in Portugal and Andalusia.
During the first two months of 1810 Soult and the Army of the South undertook the formal conquest and occupation of Andalusia.
The Junta abandoned Badajoz and fled to Cadiz, where they surrendered power to the Regency on behalf of the Infante Ferdinand.
There the new goverment was promptly invested by Marshal Victor, but British reinforcement arrived by sea from Gibraltar to assist General Albuquerque in the defence of the great naval port, and there he was later joined by Graham and more British troops. The blockade of Cadiz would continue until 1812.

In 1810 Wellesley resumed his Spanish Campaign and defeated Andre Massena, Michel Ney and Jean Andoche Junot. In the same year he was created Duke of Wellington. As Massena retreated, Wellington pursued and defeated him in the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro on 5 May 1811.
This further setback cost Massena his command which Napoleon awarded to Marmont.
Before, Wellington sent a force under Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Graham to help the Spanish goverment besieged in Cadiz.
Graham won the Battle of Barrosa outside Cadiz on 5 March 1811, but he resigned in fit of pique when Spanish generals claimed most of the credit.
Meanwhile, however, Soult had captured the important fortress of Badajoz from its Spanish garrison, and from it threatened to advance on Elvas, and thence the Tagus opposite Lisbon. These events did not in fact take place, but it was thought politic to protect Lisbon from the Tagus side by undertaking the siege of Badajoz.
Wellington meanwhile reorganized his army into permanent divisions and integrated into his own army a newly raised Portuguese army supplied, armed, trained, and largely commanded by British officers under Lieutenant General Sir William Carr Beresford.
On 16 May 1811 Beresford with 32 000 troops was engaged in Battle of Albuera against 25 000 French troops under Marshal Soult when he advanced to relieve Philipon's garrison.
The result was the hard and controversial won Allied victory of Albuera. Badajoz was reblockaded from 19 May, but even Wellington arrival from operations to the north along the river Coa did not bring a solution. Short of vital equipment, he abandoned the siege on 19 June as French forces converged upon him.
Elsewhere, the year 1811 saw Venezuela declare itself independent from Spain on 5 of July. In eastern Spain, Suchet besieged Sagunto and and defeated the resilient Blake between 23 September and 25 October.

to be continued....

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