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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Napoleonic Era

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Napoleonic Era Discuss the many wars fought around the globe around the time of Napoleon. This forum is dedicated to the memory of Ben Weider and our late friend and long time ACG Staff member, Michael Brown, better known here as Post Captain.

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  #1  
Old 09 Dec 13, 08:34
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The Battles of the Pyrenees 1813

With all the talk about Waterloo (always) etc., I thought it might be worth talking about these rather ignored battles of the Napoleonic Wars. Yet at the time many British Soldiers and Officers considered them just as tough and dangerous as the above fight.

This campaign was one of the few times Wellington was surprised by Soult's counter offensive (himself who had formed and repaired the beaten wrecks of several armies in just 2 weeks) and also the only time his Army lost some guns. Both the first Siege of San Sebastian/Maya/Roncesvalles and Hills defeat in the Baztan Valley can all be called (albeit dearly bought) French victories.

While the 2nd battle of Souaren was an Offensive battle by Wellington, destroying the myth on here that he was a defensive general with Salamanca being the exception. That wrecked the French Army
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  #2  
Old 09 Dec 13, 08:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by History fan View Post
While the 2nd battle of Souaren was an Offensive battle by Wellington, destroying the myth on here that he was a defensive general with Salamanca being the exception. That wrecked the French Army
Is there any reason for such a myth? Is not enough the battles of Assaye, Salamanca and Vitoria (for example) to prove he was a great commander for offencive battles also?!
(In addition to his military talents, he had a wonderful sence of humor...
"At Vienna Wellington was compelled to sit through a performance of Beethoven's "Battle of Victoria" (or, "Wellington's Victory"). Afterward, a Russian envoy asked him if the music had been anything like the real thing. "By God, no," said the duke. "If it had been like that I'd have run away myself."")
Sincerely,
Paul

Last edited by comte Ouvarov; 09 Dec 13 at 09:36..
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  #3  
Old 09 Dec 13, 09:39
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And lest we forget the battle of San Marcial where the Spanish under Freire and Longa with about 3,000 less troops beat Soult's 18,000 when the latter tried to get through and relieve St Sebastian. The French lost an estimated 2,500, the Spanish 1,700. The Duke saw that the Spaniards were doing well and left them to gain the laurels without his interference. No other Allied units were involved.

Freire requested reinforcements from the British to shore up his battered line, Wellington replied, "As he has already won his victory, he should keep the honour of it for his countrymen alone".



Paul
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Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 09 Dec 13 at 09:44..
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Old 09 Dec 13, 10:07
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
And lest we forget the battle of San Marcial where the Spanish under Freire and Longa with about 3,000 less troops beat Soult's 18,000 when the latter tried to get through and relieve St Sebastian. The French lost an estimated 2,500, the Spanish 1,700. The Duke saw that the Spaniards were doing well and left them to gain the laurels without his interference. No other Allied units were involved.

Freire requested reinforcements from the British to shore up his battered line, Wellington replied, "As he has already won his victory, he should keep the honour of it for his countrymen alone".



Paul
Your right of course Paul, It was one of the few victories the Spanish Army had over the French.

Btw That pic is really good
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  #5  
Old 09 Dec 13, 12:02
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the Battle of Ivantelly (Echalar) (West Pyrenees, Franco Spanish Border) 2nd August 1813

As Marshal Soult completed his retreat to France after Sorauren, he gathered his men (25,000) on the ridge north of Echalar. Wellington had only 12,000 exhausted men to attack this formidable position. Yet aware of the state of the French morale, he took the occasion by the scruff of the neck and attacked.

The 4th and 7th Divisions were directed to attack the French centre on either side of the Echalar while the Light Division assaulted the western flank.

The 7th Division under Lt General Lord Dalhousie attacked frontally. French resistance crumpled. The 4th Division under Maj General Robert Ross, then attacked in support of the 7th, while the Light Division smashed the right wing, losing only 27 casualties in taking the formidable peak of Ivantelly from forces that greatly out numbered it.

So the result was that Soult who had his centre smashed and his right dispersed, had to retreat

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Your right of course Paul, It was one of the few victories the Spanish Army had over the French.

Btw That pic is really good
Yup! yer dead right there. It's a good, detailed 'smash the bastards' picture.

By a very talented artist, Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Ferrer-Dalmau

http://ferrerdalmaunoticias.blogspot.co.uk/

Paul
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The Pixie is a little shite.

Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 09 Dec 13 at 12:23..
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Old 09 Dec 13, 12:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
And lest we forget the battle of San Marcial where the Spanish under Freire and Longa with about 3,000 less troops beat Soult's 18,000 when the latter tried to get through and relieve St Sebastian. The French lost an estimated 2,500, the Spanish 1,700. The Duke saw that the Spaniards were doing well and left them to gain the laurels without his interference. No other Allied units were involved.

Freire requested reinforcements from the British to shore up his battered line, Wellington replied, "As he has already won his victory, he should keep the honour of it for his countrymen alone".



Paul
Not only a great pic, Paul, but a very fitting one by modern standards. Their flag, of course, bears the Cross of Valdivia. This cross, (sorry, Von, not St Andrew's), is the international maritime flag for "v" and means , "I need assistance".
Cheers,
Phil
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Old 09 Dec 13, 12:44
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The red cross on the Spanish regimental flags is the Burgundy Cross, not the valdivis cross, based on the cross upon which St. Andrew was crucified.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 09 Dec 13, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
The red cross on the Spanish regimental flags is the Burgundy Cross, not the valdivis cross, based on the cross upon which St. Andrew was crucified.

Sincerely,
M
If you read his post again you will see that Phil is bowling a googlie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilinYuma View Post
Not only a great pic, Paul, but a very fitting one by modern standards. Their flag, of course, bears the Cross of Valdivia. This cross, (sorry, Von, not St Andrew's), is the international maritime flag for "v" and means , "I need assistance".
Cheers,
Phil
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Valdivia

Paul
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The Pixie is a little shite.
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Old 09 Dec 13, 13:20
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If you read his post again you will see that Phil is bowling a googlie.
LMAO...Hay to go Dib...
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Old 10 Dec 13, 08:10
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Didn't know the guy. Thanks for posting. Espscially the Rocroi painting is fantastic!

Good to know that there is a painter left who is not confining himself to throwing colour on a canvas
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Old 11 Dec 13, 07:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
If you read his post again you will see that Phil is bowling a googlie.
I realize that and got the 'joke.' However, that being the case and the correct information not being provided I thought it appropriate to post the information.

The Spanish were not always as poorly led as they were in the Peninsular War and do have a rich military history. They should get their just due.

Making fun of people and nations isn't always the best course of action.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 11 Dec 13, 12:16
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
The Spanish were not always as poorly led as they were in the Peninsular War and do have a rich military history. They should get their just due.
On that theme, last year I wrote a lenghty post quoting from Desperta Ferro magazine and other historians that sets the record straight.

The poor performance of the Spanish field armies wasn't, generally speaking, faulty leadership, but green troops and lack of cavalry support, wich led to repeated disasters against a French army that was well led by veteran commanders and line officers, and had no serious deficiencies, though its average troop quality was not as good as during the great victories of 1800-07

Since I made the effort to translate those papers, you might be interested in reading the post, wich seems to have been overlooked

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...0&postcount=14

Last edited by von Junzt; 11 Dec 13 at 13:05..
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Old 11 Dec 13, 12:40
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Spanish regiment in the French service "Joseph Napoleon" ("Jose Napoleon"), fought excellently at Shevardino and repelled the famous attack of cuirassiers, imprinted on the picture of Averiyanov.
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