The 83rd and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the KGL suffered casualties of more than half their number. Map of Victor’s night attack on 27th July 1809 at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: map by John Fawkes. 48th Regiment at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Hill broke free and galloped down the mountainside, leaving his brigade-major shot dead. If you are too busy to read the site, why not download a podcast of an individual battle and listen on the move! Agreement between Wellesley and Cuesta was difficult. Moving too fast to halt, many of the troopers were brought down. These men were liberated when Victor captured the British hospital on 6th August 1809. The almost 53,000 strong Anglo-Spanish Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley,* moved to the north of Talavera, some 120kms to the southwest of Madrid, Spain, on 27 … Wellesley’s information on the French dispositions was that Victor’s Corps was retreating before him towards Talavera and Madrid, Ney was likely to remain in Galicia, the condition of Soult’s Corps was so bad as to preclude it from acting against him and Mortier’s Corps was in Valladolid. During the French attack in the centre, the French guns on the Cerro de Cascajal fired a heavy bombardment on the British troops on the Cerro de Medellin, inflicting severe casualties, particularly on Donkin’s Brigade. Most of the casualties were probably due to desertion, as few were engaged during the battle. The Talavera Battlefield Monument near Talavera in Spain, commemorates the Battle of Talavera, which took place on 27 and 28 July 1809 and was the Duke of Wellington’s - then Sir Arthur Wellesley’s - first major victory of the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Of Ruffin’s 3 regiments, each of 3 battalions, the 24th of the Line was to march around the north of the Cerro de Medellin and attack the British flank, while the 9th Light was to cross the ravine of the Portina Brook and make a frontal assault, with the 96th of the Line crossing the Portina Brook further south and attacking the right flank of the British troops on the Cerro de Medellin. Royal Guard 1. Beyond the two Cerros lay a plain, with rugged mountains beyond, called the Sierra de Seguilla. A consequence of the firing in the area was that the grass on the northern slope of the Cerro de Medellin caught fire, the blaze spreading across the plain to the Sierra de Segurilla. 22. Hill’s Division suffered casualties of around 750 killed, wounded or captured, Hill himself being wounded and forced to leave the battlefield, Tilson taking over command of his division. These directions ensured that the French regiments would be committed piecemeal and without mutual support. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Talavera_order_of_battle Alternate victory and defeat attended until the 21 st June, 1813, when Napoleon’s enterprise in Spain met its Waterloo at the battle … On 17th July 1809, Wellesley’s army left Plasencia, crossed the River Tierar and reached Oropesa on 20th July 1809. Medal and Battle Honour for the Battle of Talavera: Regimental Colour of the 24th Foot with battle honour Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. A loud cheer from the centre seems to have been sufficient to reassure Wellesley that matters there were turning out well and to have been the trigger for him to order Anson to attack the French moving around the Cerro de Medellin, with Fane’s heavy dragoons in support. After several of their assaults were bloodily repulsed on the second day, the French retreated toward Madrid leaving the battlefield to the Anglo-Spanish army. The Bat­tle of Talavera (27–28 July 1809) was fought just out­side the town of Ta­lav­era de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilo­me­tres (75 mi) south­west of Madrid, dur­ing the Penin­su­lar War. Towards the end of the action between Campbell’s brigade and Leval’s Division, the divisions of Lapisse and Sebastiani attacked the British First Division, commanded by Sherbrooke. Campbell kept his battalions under strict control and halted the pursuit, bringing them back into the original line, spiking the abandoned guns on the way. However, Victor insisted on making the attack and Joseph and Jourdan gave way, fearing the consequences if Victor reported the dispute to Napoleon. Units labeled Cazadores Regiment are regular light infantry. Not expecting the French to have crossed the River Alberche, Mackenzie’s Division halted at the Casa de Salinas, without taking suitable precautions for defence. 5 (Oman: excluded), 28th Ligne Infantry Regiment, three battalions, 32nd Ligne Infantry Regiment, three battalions, 58th Ligne Infantry Regiment, three battalions, 75th Ligne Infantry Regiment, three battalions, 4th Polish Infantry Regiment, two battalions, Hesse-Darmstadt Infantry Regiment, two battalions, Frankfurt Infantry Regiment, one battalion, 12th Légère Infantry Regiment, three battalions, 51st Ligne Infantry Regiment, three battalions, Chief-of-Staff (actual commander): Marshal of France, This page was last edited on 15 July 2020, at 11:05. The Battle of Talavera (27–28 July 1809) saw an Imperial French army under King Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan attack a combined British and Spanish army led by Sir Arthur Wellesley. In the middle of the heated discussions, a despatch arrived from Soult saying that he could not reach Plasencia until between the 3rd and 5th August 1809. Regular units titled Cavalry are heavy cavalry while units titled Cazadores are light cavalry. In the darkness, the 24th of the Line became lost and failed to deliver an attack. At around 10am, Joseph and his staff mounted to the top of the Cero de Cascajal to reconnoitre the situation. The battle of Talavera in 1809 was one of the major battles of the Peninsular War and Arthur Wellesley's first victory in Spain itself, following which he was created Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Wellington. Background to the Battle of Talavera:On 2nd July 1809, Sir Arthur Wellesley marched his British army across the border from Portugal into Spain, intending to act with the Spanish armies of General Cuesta and General Venegas, in an attack on the French in Madrid, led by Joseph Bonaparte, the king imposed on Spain by the Emperor Napoleon. At around 11am, the British staff saw a cloud of dust indicating that Sebastiani’s Corps was advancing. With the opening of the bombardment, the French light troops rushed forward, followed by the infantry columns. Grenadier and Light Company man of the 29th Foot: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: Hamilton Smith. Spanish Guards (Guardias de Infanteria Espanola) 3. were of particular use against buildings. The pictures on this post were taken by myself, when I visited the battlefields of Wellington’s 1809-12 campaigns in Spain as part of a tour conducted by Ian Fletcher of Ian Fletcher Battlefield Tours. The Republicans, attempting to bar the road to Madrid at Talavera de la Reina, were defeated by the professional army of the Nationalists, with heavy casualties on both sides. 7 (Oman only), Borbón Cavalry Regiment Nr. Attack of the British 29th Regiment at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. After several of their assaults were bloodily repulsed on the second day, the French retreated toward Madrid leaving the battlefield to the Anglo-Spanish army. As the struggle in the centre reached its height, Victor began his advance around the northern side of the Cerro de Medellin, Ruffin’s Division on the right, the 9th Light moving over the Sierra de Segurilla, with Villatte’s Division on the left, led by the 27th Light. The whole regiment of the 29th then wheeled into line and advanced obliquely down the slope towards the Portina Brook, catching the reserve battalion of the 9th Light as it climbed the hill, driving it back in disorder. Battle of Talavera - Date: The fighting at Talavera … The battle was the climax General Lapisse was killed, urging his men on, his death striking a severe blow to the morale of his division, which fell back, leaving Sebastiani’s flank exposed. The Battle of Talavera. Commander-in-Chief of the Anglo-Spanish Army: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley, Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant General The Rt Hon Sir Arthur Wellesley KB, Total Anglo-Spanish forces: 52,735, 66 guns, Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant General Don Gregorio Garcia de la Cuesta y Fernández de Celis, Captain-General of Castilla, Spanish cavalry units ending in a number (Nr.) Finally, a report came from Milhaud that the Spanish were advancing on the French left. Two French generals were killed; Lapisse and van Porbeck. This was very informative and visiting the battlefield is an invaluable way of understanding the battle. Life Guards (Reales Guardias de Corps) 5. Combatants at the Battle of Talavera: British, Germans and Spanish against the French. British heavy cavalry (dragoon guards and dragoons) wore red jackets and ‘Roman’ style helmets with horse hair plumes. Guns also fired case shot or canister which fragmented and was highly effective against troops in the field over a short range. While the total Spanish and British army outnumbered the French by 55,000 to 45,000, the French troops facing the British section of the line numbered 30,000 against 16,500 British and German troops, with a substantially heavier and more numerous artillery. Victor urged a further attack, saying that the one earlier in the day had failed because Sebastiani’s Fourth Corps had not taken part. Visit our dedicated Podcast page or visit Podbean below. While the French infantry were compelled to stand in square, they were subject to heavy cannon fire by British and Spanish guns and prevented from advancing. Cuesta, elderly and ill, was deeply suspicious of Wellesley, who he suspected was trying to replace him. On the peak of the Cerro de Medellin stood Donkin’s Brigade and on the lower slopes of the Cerro de Medellin, Stewart’s Brigade on the southern slope and Tilson’s Brigade on the northern slope. The battalions of Leval’s Division that were engaging the Spanish also retreated and the whole division fell back. The battle honour ‘Talavera’ was awarded to the following British regiments: 3rd Dragoon Guards, 4th Dragoons, 14th Light Dragoons, 16th Light Dragoons, Coldstream Guards, 3rd Guards, 3rd Buffs, 7th Royal Fusiliers, 24th, 29th, 31st, 40th, 45th, 48th, 53rd, 60th, 61st, 66th, 83rd, 87th and 88th Regiments. The Emperor Napoleon’s directive to his brother, Joseph and the French marshals in Spain was to crush the British army in battle, thereby discouraging the London Government from interfering in Napoleon’s plans for the Iberian Peninsula again. The French gave way in confusion and were pushed back across the Portina Brook. The French cavalry was distributed along the rear in support of the attacking infantry: Latour-Maubourg’s dragoon division behind Sebastiani, Beaumont’s 2 regiments behind Villatte and Merlin’s 4 regiments supporting Ruffin’s attack, in the plain north of the Cerro de Medellin. The 9th Light was on the right, with its line of advance over the plain to the north of the Cerro de Medellin, the 24th of the Line was in the centre and the 96th of the Line on the left. Stewart’s men waited until the French infantry were within close range, before firing a volley which halted the French advance. Other cavalry units are probably newly-raised volunteers. Cuesta’s army, disorganised by its headlong retreat, reached the River Alberche, the tributary that flows into the River Tagus from the north-east 3 miles to the east of Talavera, during the afternoon of 26th July 1809, where Wellesley, after bringing forward Sherbrooke’s infantry division to cover the Spanish troops, attempted to persuade Cuesta to cross the Alberche to the west bank. The following units and comma… The Battle of Talavera (27–28 July 1809) was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, some 120 kilometers southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War in Spain. KGL uniforms mirrored the British. The KGL comprised both cavalry and infantry regiments. The information was incorrect, but it caused Victor to put his corps into precipitate retreat. Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by E. Walker. Talavera may refer to: Battle of Talavera de la Reina Spain, an 1809 battle of the Peninsular War Battle of Talavera de la Reina 1936 during the Spanish Alcazar Add your article Home The 25th Regiment suffered 320 casualties out of a compliment of 800. Guidon of the 23rd Light Dragoons: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The combined Allied force had a sterling opportunity to defeat the Fren… At around 7pm on 27th July 1809, Ruffin’s infantry and guns moved onto the Cerro de Cascajal and opened fire across the steep ravine of the Portina Brook at the British infantry on the Cerro de Medellin. The French troopers dismounted and awaited the Spanish were great calm. On finding that the concentrated French army amounted to 40,000 men, Cuesta began to fall back. Joseph and his marshals decided to attack and on the morning of 26th July 1809 advanced to Torrijos. At Talavera an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. The battle of Talavera began on the afternoon of the 27th July and started badly for the Allies with the initial action taking place at the Casa de Salinas, a ruined house about a … The Battle of Talavera de la Reina was fought on 3 September 1936 in the Spanish Civil War. However, the Spanish were having enough trouble keeping their own troops fed. After his perverse failure to fight when circumstances were favourable, Cuesta pursued Victor’s army towards Toledo. The three defeated battalions of the 9th Light met at the Portina Brook and climbed back to the top of the Cerro de Cascajal, their attack abandoned. Field guns fired a ball projectile, of limited use against troops in the field unless those troops were closely formed. Gate of Talavera: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The 87th suffered 200 casualties, with 34 of them taken prisoner. During the pause, Wellesley ordered the cavalry brigades of Fane and Anson to form up to the west of the Cerro de Medellin, ready to counter any further move around the north side. British and French troops drinking from the Portina Brook during the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by C. Delort. Throughout the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign, the British army was plagued by a shortage of artillery. 87th and 88th Regiments at the Casa de Salinas: Battle of Talavera on 27th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Richard Caton Woodville. With Soult and Mortier to his north, Wellesley was concerned with his left flank. After crossing the Portuguese border in two columns, Wellesley’s army marched into Plasencia, 120 miles west of Madrid, on 9th and 10th July 1809. Cuesta refused to detach a large force, seeing this as a ploy to reduce his authority. Towards the end of the struggle in the centre, Leval’s Germans were again thrown into the attack, to cover Sebastiani’s left flank. French staff officers: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Hippolyte Belangé. Great collectible Engraving Engraving measures approximately: 10.1 inches high Each additional one ships free in US, Internationally each additional is $0.50. KP128) Truce during Battle of Talavera Spain Napoleonic Wars 1885 Engraving. Cuesta’s Spanish army was even further forward, at Torrijos, 15 miles from Toledo. ‘The General’s Hat’ at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809. Battle of Talavera; the French night attack on 27th July 1809: While Wellesley selected the position from which to resist the French advance, he found himself involved in too many duties to supervise the proper disposal of the British troops along the position he had selected. Generals at the Battle of Talavera: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley against King Joseph Bonaparte. Date + Location: 27-28 July 1809, Talavera Spain Belligerents: France Belligerents: Great Britain, Spain Strength: 46 000 Strength: 55 000 Casualties and losses: 7 400 killed or wounded Casualties and losses: 7 400 killed or wounded tactical result: Inconclusive strategic result: Inconclusive Soult, however, required that his three corps be assembled at Salamanca and that the major priority for French resources was to restore the fighting capability of his own corps, left without artillery, weapons and equipment after his disastrous retreat from Portugal. Map of the Talavera battlefield: Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809: map by John Fawkes. Silver Medal commemorating the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The British infantry were again subjected to French cannon fire as they climbed back to their positions behind the summit of the Cero de Medellin. The Battle of Talavera was one of the key confrontations of the Peninsular War. The French guns continued to fire for a full hour, their shot falling among the parties of British troops collecting the wounded and dead, British and French, from the hillside. Having driven Marshal Soult's French army from Portugal, General Wellesley's 20,000 British troops advanced into Spain to join 33,000 Spanish troops under General Cuesta. This was not the case. The French army wore a variety of uniforms. There was consequently a significant degree of confusion. 3rd Foot Guards at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. He boldly led his 23,000 men into Spain, but a month later had to retreat rapidly, pursued by the enemy. There they encountered 46,000 French under Marshal Claude Victor and Major-General Horace Sebastiani, with the French king of Spain, Joseph Bonapartein nominal command. Battles. Army Gold Medal awarded to Lt Col Alexander Gordon of the 83rd Regiment for the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The King’s German Legion battalions arrived in the line late in the evening, after an exhausting day and many soldiers then fell asleep. With Portugal liberated, Wellington turned his attention to Spain, and planned a joint operation with a Spanish army under General Cuesta. In spite of Victor’s strenuous objections, Joseph ordered a general withdrawal to the positions held at the beginning of the day. Only once the Cerro de Medellin was taken were Victor’s others divisions, Villatte’s and Lapisse’s, to advance on the next section of the British line. Battle of Talavera; the main French attack, on 28th July 1809: For the rest of the night of 27th July 1809, the French could be heard moving guns and infantry onto the top of the Cerro de Cascajal. However, the Germans and the Foot Guards pushed on, in increasing disorder, until they were attacked in overwhelming numbers by the second lines of Lapisse’s and Sebastiani’s Divisions. The British were developing shrapnel (named after the British officer who invented it) which increased the effectiveness of exploding shells against troops in the field, by showering them with metal fragments. The 9th Light crossed the Portina Brook and climbed the Cerro de Medellin, where it engaged Löw’s Brigade (5th and 7th Line Battalions, King’s German Legion) on the southern slopes of the Cerro. Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by JJ Jenkins. Each infantryman carried a bayonet for hand-to-hand fighting, which fitted the muzzle end of his musket. 35 Regiments of Line 2. 12 Regiments of Light 3. The basic infantry coat colour was dark blue. Events soon compelled Wellesley, who was soon appointed Viscount Wellington, to fall back toward his base in Portugal. Hill was surrounded by French infantrymen, one of whom grabbed his bridle and called on him to surrender. The French also had aggressive plans, with Marshal Soult’s corps re-invading Portugal, re-equipped and with its morale restored, after its disastrous retreat from Oporto, following Wellesley’s successful crossing of the River Douro. These troops formed behind the British cavalry brigades of Fane and Anson to the west of the Cerro de Medellin. The British infantry were called to their feet and lined the edge of the summit. Lord Henry Seymour Conway, officer of the 16th Light Dragoons: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The Battle of Talavera was one of the key confrontations of the Peninsular War. The two rifle regiments wore dark green jackets and trousers. Podcast of the Battle of Talavera: The British victory south of Madrid on 28th July 1809 over Joseph Bonaparte, the King imposed on Spain by Napoleon, and his French army in the Peninsular War: John Mackenzie’s Britishbattles.com podcast. On 22nd July 1809, the Spanish and British armies again advanced, moving in parallel columns, the Spanish on the left. British casualties amounted to more than a quarter of their army, while French casualties were less than a sixth of their army. At Talavera, an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. Map of the Main French Attack at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: map by John Fawkes. A further 7 of Leval’s guns were captured by Campbell’s troops. The French foot artillery wore uniforms similar to the infantry, the horse artillery wore hussar uniforms. The bayonet attack by the 48th Regiment at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by William Barnes Wollen. The two battalions of Foot Guards suffered 600 casualties out of a compliment of 2,000. On the same day, Mackenzie’s infantry division with two regiments of cavalry crossed the River Alberche, a tributary of the River Tagus. Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The French attack initially fell on the British right, where the light companies of Campbell’s Brigade were surprised in the area of vineyards and walled gardens around the Pajar de Vergara, losing prisoners to the German troops of Leval’s Division. The battle of Talavera, fought on 28 th July, 1809, resulted in a defeat of the French army, and a most significant victory for the Duke of Wellington, then Sir Arthur Wellesley. Jourdan, Joseph’s chief of staff, now on the battlefield, was for waiting until Soult’s army began its move through the mountain passes to emerge on Wellesley’s lines of communication. Of the French artillery, 30 guns were on the crest of the Cerro de Cascajal, with 30 more on the lower slopes and the rest with the Fourth Corps. The Battle of Talavera was fought during the Peninsular War which was part of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). General Hill saw the French advance beginning, in spite of the pall of smoke that shrouded the French positions and gave the order to recall the British light companies from the bank of the Portina Brook. In turn, Joseph directed Sebastiani’s Fourth Corps not to attack until Victor’s First Corps was seen to be successful. The British line was now fully alert to the attack on the Cerro de Medellin. Victor withdrew his guns from the Cerro de Cascajal to make way for the infantry and ordered Ruffin to attack the Cerro de Medellin at 9pm. Once the French infantry were well up the slope, the French guns ceased firing to avoid hitting their own men. Podcast of the Battle of Talavera: The British victory south of Madrid on 28th July 1809 over Joseph Bonaparte, the King imposed on Spain by Napoleon, and his French army in the Peninsular War: John Mackenzie’s Britishbattles.com podcast. At around 8.30am, the cannonade ceased and officers and soldiers of both sides wandered down to the Portina Brook to drink the muddy water, mingle and gossip. The French line wavered and was then charged by the British regiments, sweeping them back down the hill and up the far side of the Portina Brook ravine. Most of the French cannon shots passed over the heads of the British 29th Regiment, lying down behind the crest of the slope. 23rd Light Dragoons encounter the ditch at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. 9. On October 1808 Sir John Moore took command of the Anglo-Portuguese army. The German and Foot Guards brigades were bundled back across the Portina Brook by the triumphant French infantry. 4 Regiments of Provincial Grenadiers Cav… The Duke of Wellington reduced the number of ranks to two, to extend the line of the British infantry and to exploit fully the firepower of his regiments. During the night, Victor received information that Wellesley was seeking to march around his right flank. As the Spanish approached Gamonal, they were confronted by Latour Maubourg’s Dragoon Division. Ruffin’s division was to advance with all 3 regiments around the north of the Cerro de Medellin, supported by a brigade of Villatte’s Division. Sebastiani commanded a further 10,000 men at Madridejos, to the southeast of Toledo, observing the Spanish army of Venegas, comprising 20,000 men, which was moving towards Madrid. Ruffin’s regiments were formed in a different order from the previous night’s attack. 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