If you are too busy to read the site, why not download a podcast of an individual battle and listen on the move! The French advance was subject to the fire of the British guns on the Cerro de Medellin. The combined Allied force had a sterling opportunity to defeat the Fren… Those Spanish regiments that were engaged performed well. Cuesta, elderly and ill, was deeply suspicious of Wellesley, who he suspected was trying to replace him. 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. Sir Arthur Wellesley positioning Spanish regiments at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The musket could be fired at three or four times a minute, throwing a heavy ball inaccurately for a hundred metres or so. Wellesley intended to attack Victor on 23rd July 1809, before he could be reinforced by Joseph’s reserve force from Madrid, but Cuesta failed to co-operate. 9. 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. 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. The French troopers dismounted and awaited the Spanish were great calm. Field guns fired a ball projectile, of limited use against troops in the field unless those troops were closely formed. British 24th Foot during the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Richard Simkin, In Fortescue’s words: ‘Thus the contest in the centre came to an end, both sides having suffered appalling losses in one of the stubbornest fights that occurred during the whole course of the war.’. Wellesley was concerned about his left flank and wanted Cuesta to detach a substantial force to occupy the passes over the mountains on his left, not wishing to use British troops. Death of General Mackenzie at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by R. Westall. were of particular use against buildings. Attack of the British 29th Regiment at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. As part of the agreement, the Spanish promised to help keep the British army supplied. 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 French foot artillery wore uniforms similar to the infantry, the horse artillery wore hussar uniforms. Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by E. Walker. Talavera has been obscured in the historical record by later battles in the Peninsular War, but Field's painstaking narrative explains why the battle is worthy of examination. The German regiment receiving the discharges of grape gave way and ran back. With the French driven back, the British infantry were able to march to the main line, covered by the cavalry brigades of Anson, Cotton and Fane, but under a heavy fire from French horse artillery. On arrival, Wellesley reviewed the Spanish regiments and formed the opinion, in Fortescue’s words, that, although physically fit, they were ‘untrained and undisciplined’. Wellesley was consequently unavailable to supervise the disposition of the British regiments along the Portina Brook line. Several battalion commanders were killed or wounded. Sebastiani, seeing the movement by Victor, felt bound to conform and also retreated. 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 moment was critical for Wellesley’s army. The following units and commanders fought at the battle, which occurred during the Peninsular War. are regular units and so is the Carabineros Reales Regiment. On the French left, Sebastiani’s Fourth Corps was still coming up. It would seem that General Cuesta’s coach driver joined the flight, with the general an unwitting passenger. The Spanish unleashed a terrific volley along their whole line, following which, four Spanish battalions turned and fled the battlefield. The KGL comprised both cavalry and infantry regiments. The Spanish cavalry did not attack the French Dragoons and, even with the arrival of Spanish infantry, no aggressive move was made against Latour Maubourg’s men. 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. Lapisse’s Division was to attack on the left of Villatte’s Division. French staff officers: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Hippolyte Belangé. 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. 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. 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. Following this engagement, Wellesley ordered Rettberg’s battery of guns to the top of the Cerro de Medellin and re-positioned the infantry, permitting the 29th to remain on the summit, where it flaunted its colours, the regiment occupying the extreme left of the British line. Cotton’s cavalry brigade took the rear of the British right wing, with Anson’s and Fane’s cavalry brigades further back on the right. 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. Units labeled Cazadores Regiment are regular light infantry. It was decided that Victor would make a third attempt to take the Cerro de Medellin, while Joseph attacked the Spanish wing. 6 SwissRegiments 5. 43rd Regiment collecting the dead after the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Lady Butler, British order of battle at the Battle of Talavera:Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley, commanded by Lieutenant General William Payne1st Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Henry Fane: 3rd Dragoon Guards and 4th Dragoons, 2nd Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Stapleton Cotton: 14th and 16th Light Dragoons, 3rd Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General George Anson: 23rd Light Dragoons and 1st Hussars, King’s German Legion, Corporal of First Foot Guards: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War, Infantry:1st Division: commanded by Lieutenant General John Sherbrooke1st Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Henry Campbell: 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, 1st/3rd Guards and 1 company 5th/60th Foot, 2nd Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Alan Cameron: 1st/61st and 2nd/83rd Foot and 1 company 5th/60th Foot, 3rd Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Ernst, Baron Langwerth: 1st and 2nd Line Battalions and 1st and 2nd Light Battalions, King’s German Legion, 4th Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Sigismund, Baron Löw: 5th and 7th Line Battalions, King’s German Legion, 2nd Division: commanded by Major General Rowland Hill1st Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Christopher Tilson: 1st/3rd Buffs, 2nd/48th and 2nd/66th Foot and 1 company 5th/60th Foot, British 5th/60th Rifles: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Atkinson, 2nd Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Richard Stewart: 29th and 1st/48th Foot and 1st Battalion Detachments, 3rd Division: commanded by Major General Randoll Mackenzie1st Brigade: commanded by Major General Randoll Mackenzie: 2nd/24th, 2nd/31st and 1st/45th Foot, 2nd Brigade: commanded by Colonel Donkin: 2nd/87th, 1st/88th and 5th/60th Foot, 4th Division: commanded by Brigadier General Alexander Campbell1st Brigade: commanded by Brigadier General Alexander Campbell: 2nd/7th Fusiliers and 2nd/53rd Foot and 1 company 5th/60th Foot, 2nd Brigade: commanded by Colonel James Kemmis: 1st/40th and 97th Foot and 2nd Battalion Detachments and 1 company 5th/60th Foot, Artillery:Lawson’s, Sillery’s and Elliot’s batteriesRettberg’s and Heise’s batteries, British Light Dragoons: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War, French order of battle at the Battle of Talavera:Commander in Chief: Joseph Bonaparte, King of SpainChief of Staff: Marshal Jourdan, I Corps: commanded by Marshal Victor1st Division commanded by General Ruffin2nd Division commanded by General Lapisse3rd Division commanded by General Villatte, IV Corps: commanded by General Sebastiani1st Division commanded by General Sebastiani2nd Division commanded by General Valence3rd Division commanded by General Leval, Cavalry Brigade commanded by General Merlin, Madrid Division commanded by General Dessolles. The French 96th of the Line was additionally subjected to a fire into its left flank from the KGL battalions, brought forward by Sherbrooke. 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. Joseph and his marshals decided to attack and on the morning of 26th July 1809 advanced to Torrijos. He boldly led his 23,000 men into Spain, but a month later had to retreat rapidly, pursued by the enemy. Alternate victory and defeat attended until the 21 st June, 1813, when Napoleon’s enterprise in Spain met its Waterloo at the battle … Field provides an extended introduction to the battle that identifies the opposing armies and how they came to be at Talavera in western Spain in July of 1809. 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. 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. The city gained fame during the Napoleonic invasion of Spain (1808-1814) since it was where the anglo-spanish allied army won the Battle of Talavera defeating the French troops (1809) The Talavera battalion consisted of: The 31st Regiment suffered 260 casualties out of a compliment of 730. The regiments to the right of the 29th were the First Battalion of Detachments and the 48th Regiment of Stewart’s Brigade: then Tilson’s Brigade, flanked by the 2 brigades of King’s German Legion, then Sherbrooke’s Division, with Donkin’s Brigade in the rear. Seeing their fellow regiments driven back, the 9th Light abandoned its advance to the north of the Cero de Medellin and fell back to its starting position, joining the soldiers of the 24th and 96th of the Line back on the summit of the Cero de Cascajal. Each infantryman carried a bayonet for hand-to-hand fighting, which fitted the muzzle end of his musket. In the British Army, Generals Mackenzie and Langwerth were killed and Generals Hill, A. Campbell and H. Campbell wounded. Talavera, Battle of, Talavera de la Reina, Spain, 1809 Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes. Combatants at the Battle of Talavera: British, Germans and Spanish against the French. ‘The General’s Hat’ at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809. The information was incorrect, but it caused Victor to put his corps into precipitate retreat. Uniforms, arms, equipment at the Battle of Talavera:The British infantry wore red waist-length jackets, grey trousers, and stovepipe shakos. Guns also fired case shot or canister which fragmented and was highly effective against troops in the field over a short range. Ruffin’s infantry climbed the side of the Cerro de Medellin in ‘close column of divisions’, giving them a frontage of around 150 men and a depth of 9 men. Spanish losses were said by Cuesta to be 1,500. Although Wellesely's forces were outnumbered, and a sizeable contingent of the Spanish ran away, he had chosen a superb defensive position and was able to beat … Wellesley and Cuesta knew that Victor lay beyond Talavera with a corps of 22,000 French troops, while a further 13,000 were in reserve at Madrid under Joseph and his chief of staff, Jourdan. After exchanging volleys with the KGL, the 96th also withdrew. Save up to $379^ when you bundle your flight & hotel. Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Great collectible Engraving Engraving measures approximately: 10.1 inches high Each additional one ships free in US, Internationally each additional is $0.50. 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. 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. After Wellesley finally repeated his request to Cuesta on bended knee, the Spanish began the river crossing in the hours before dawn on 27th July 1809, under the jaundiced eyes of Mackenzie’s and Sherbrooke’s British divisions. The basic infantry coat colour was dark blue. The King’s German Legion battalions arrived in the line late in the evening, after an exhausting day and many soldiers then fell asleep. Place of the Battle of Talavera: south-west of Madrid in New Castile, on the road from the Portuguese border to the Spanish Capital, on the bank of the River Tagus. Soult ordered Ney and his other subordinate commanders to march to Salamanca. Victor’s first attack on the Cerro de Medellin was over. KP128) Truce during Battle of Talavera Spain Napoleonic Wars 1885 Engraving. The British and German infantry waited until the first line of the French columns were within 50 yards, fired a devastating volley and charged. The British light cavalry was increasingly adopting hussar uniforms, with some regiments changing their titles from ‘light dragoons’ to ‘hussars’. In the darkness, the 24th of the Line became lost and failed to deliver an attack. During the night, Victor received information that Wellesley was seeking to march around his right flank. See the extensive list of references given at the end of the Peninsular War Index. It was apparent to Wellesley that a further French attack was under way, causing him to seek reinforcements from Cuesta, who despatched Aberquerque’s cavalry division and a battery of horse artillery. On the night of 22nd July 1809, Mackenzie’s infantry division and Anson’s light cavalry brigade camped in front of Victor’s right wing, with the rest of Wellesley’s army to their rear and Cuesta’s army beyond Talavera. Follow-up to the Battle of Talavera:The next day Wellesley heard that Soult, with 30,000 French troops, was near to cutting his route to Portugal. Royal Carabineers (Real Brigada de Carabinerosde Linea) 6. Two French generals were killed; Lapisse and van Porbeck. Royal Artillery gunner: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. 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. Victor again assigned the main assault to Ruffin’s battered division, presumably on the basis that it was in the correct position and it would take time and be risky to move it out of the way and replace it with one of his other two divisions. 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. However, the Spanish were having enough trouble keeping their own troops fed. The French gave way in confusion and were pushed back across the Portina Brook. In a bloody contest the British and Spanish under Wellesley and Cuesta won a tactical victory over the French forces of Victor and Joseph Bonaparte. The two French divisions, preceded by a swarm of skirmishers, crossed the Portina Brook and advanced in solid masses against the line of the German brigades of Löw and Langwerth, Cameron and the British Foot Guards. Grenadier and Light Company man of the 29th Foot: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: Hamilton Smith. These figures do not include the French wounded left on the battlefield and retrieved by the British. 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. 29th Regiment attacking the French at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Mackenzie’s Brigade hurried forward from the Second Line to meet the oncoming French, while the 48th Regiment came down from Cerro de Medellin to assist the retreating German battalions. Cotton’s Brigade (14th and 16th Light Dragoons) launched a charge into the left flank of Sebastiani’s division and the whole of the French centre began to fall back. The French infantry of the 27th opened a damaging fire on the helpless troopers. British casualties in the engagement were nearly 450 men killed, wounded or captured. At the same time, the French guns on the Cero de Cascajal fired into the left flank of the German brigades, inflicting terrible casualties. Generals at the Battle of Talavera: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley against King Joseph Bonaparte. Talavera, Battle of, Talavera de la Reina, Spain, 1809 Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes. 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. Due to the age and indisposition of General Cuesta, Wellesley became responsible for positioning the Spanish troops along the line from Talavera town to the Paiar de Vergarar. Gate of Talavera: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Victor halted the advance and his cavalrymen dispersed to find forage for their horses, enabling the Spanish formations to get away without further molestation. 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