Combatants at the Battle of Talavera: British, Germans and Spanish against the French. Throughout the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign, the British army was plagued by a shortage of artillery. However, the Spanish were having enough trouble keeping their own troops fed. Talavera de la Reina is a city and municipality in the western part of the province of Toledo, which in turn is part of the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha, Spain.It is the second-largest nucleus of population in Castile–La Mancha and the largest in the province: its population of 83,793 makes it larger than the city of Toledo, although the latter remains the provincial capital. Alternate victory and defeat attended until the 21 st June, 1813, when Napoleon’s enterprise in Spain met its Waterloo at the battle … Lapisse’s Division was to attack on the left of Villatte’s Division. Cuesta refused. Joseph’s chief of staff, Jourdan, was against another attack, urging the danger that the Spanish might advance and force their way through the French army, driving it north into the mountains and leaving the road to Madrid open to the Spanish and British. 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. 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. The French 96th of the Line was additionally subjected to a fire into its left flank from the KGL battalions, brought forward by Sherbrooke. Beyond the two Cerros lay a plain, with rugged mountains beyond, called the Sierra de Seguilla. This in turn triggered Napoleon’s order that a paramount aim for the French armies was to deal a decisive defeat to the British and thereby end their meddling in the Spanish Peninsula. Infantry, Light Infantry and Hussar of the King’s German Legion: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Charles Hamilton Smith. With Portugal liberated, Wellington turned his attention to Spain, and planned a joint operation with a Spanish army under General Cuesta. Victor urged a further attack, saying that the one earlier in the day had failed because Sebastiani’s Fourth Corps had not taken part. 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. Victor’s second attack had failed. 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. 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 … Exploding shells fired by howitzers, yet in their infancy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Talavera_order_of_battle KGL uniforms mirrored the British. The 25th Regiment suffered 320 casualties out of a compliment of 800. 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. Lapisse’s Division was positioned on Villatte’s left, supported by Latour-Maubourg’s dragoon division. The French assault, comprising the 24th and the 96th, but not the 9th Light, which was directed along the level ground, fell on Stewart’s Brigade. The French troopers dismounted and awaited the Spanish were great calm. Joseph was in the rear with the reserve, comprising his Cavalry and Infantry Guard, Dessolle’s infantry brigade and 2 squadrons of Chasseurs a Cheval. As part of the agreement, the Spanish promised to help keep the British army supplied. The battalion of detachments was checked and fell back, the 29th pushing through them and charging on up the hill. 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 British and German infantry waited until the first line of the French columns were within 50 yards, fired a devastating volley and charged. The brigades of Stewart and Tilson fell back behind the crest of the Cerro de Medellin, as Rettberg’s battery struggled to return the French cannonade. The moment was critical for Wellesley’s army. On receiving Victor’s report that he was retreating, Joseph changed the destination of his march from Talavera to Toledo. As they fell back, the Germans were charged by the Spanish King’s Regiment of Horse, two German battalions being badly cut up and 4 guns taken. Hill broke free and galloped down the mountainside, leaving his brigade-major shot dead. The French foot artillery wore uniforms similar to the infantry, the horse artillery wore hussar uniforms. Victor, following his success over Mackenzie’s Division at the Casa de Salinas, brought the rest of his corps over the River Alberche and advanced towards Wellesley’s positions, with Ruffin’s Division to the front on the right, followed by Villatte’s Division, with Lapisse’s Division on the left, followed by Beaumont’s 2 cavalry regiments and with Latour-Maubourg’s cavalry division spread across the plain to the left, in front of the Spanish positions. 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. Many of his battles were won using a combination of the manoeuvrability and fire power of the French guns with the speed of the French columns of infantry, supported by the mass of French cavalry. The French gave way in confusion and were pushed back across the Portina Brook. Casualties at the Battle of Talavera:French casualties 7,268 men killed, wounded or captured, with 17 guns lost. French casualties were heavier. 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. 30,000 French infantry would be attacking 16,500 British infantry. Size of the armies at the Battle of Talavera: 16,500 British and Germans with 35,000 Spanish against 45,000 French. The standard infantry weapon across all the armies was the muzzle-loading musket. Infantry units titled Granaderos or Provincial are the standing militia units from the old army. 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. After exchanging volleys with the KGL, the 96th also withdrew. They marched up the Tagus valley to Talavera, some 120 km southwest of Madrid. The two battalions of Foot Guards suffered 600 casualties out of a compliment of 2,000. 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.) 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. 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. At the same time, the French guns on the Cero de Cascajal fired into the left flank of the German brigades, inflicting terrible casualties. These remaining German regiments also ran off into the vineyards, leaving a battery of guns. When Anson’s British brigade of light dragoons (23rd Light Dragoons and 1st KGL Light Dragoons) appeared, the French Dragoons mounted, retired around the northern side of Talavera and crossed the River Alberche. The German regiment receiving the discharges of grape gave way and ran back. Soon the Foot Guards and Cameron’s Brigade, followed by the German battalions, reformed themselves and joined the regiments of Mackenzie’s Brigade in engaging the French, who began to waver. British casualties amounted to more than a quarter of their army, while French casualties were less than a sixth of their army. 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. 12 Regiments of Light 3. 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. Talavera de la Reina, city, Toledo provincia (provincia), in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Castile-La Mancha, central Spain, on the northern bank of the Tagus River near its confluence with the Alberche. In turn, Joseph directed Sebastiani’s Fourth Corps not to attack until Victor’s First Corps was seen to be successful. Gate of Talavera: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The following units and commanders fought at the battle, which occurred during 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. Those Spanish regiments that were engaged performed well. On reaching the summit of the Cerro de Medellin, the leading company of the 29th fired a volley into the French and charged them, driving them back into the ravine. On the same day, Mackenzie’s infantry division with two regiments of cavalry crossed the River Alberche, a tributary of the River Tagus. 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. Life Guards (Reales Guardias de Corps) 5. With these failings, during the course of the afternoon and evening of 27th July 1809, Wellesley’s army formed along the Portina Brook line, north of the Paiar de Vergarar to the Cerro de Medellin, in this order: from the right, British guns on the Paiar de Vergarar, with Campbell’s Brigade next in line; behind the Portina Brook, Kemmis’ Brigade, the Foot Guards, with Mackenzie’s Brigade behind the Foot Guards, then more British guns, Cameron’s Brigade, Langwerth’s KGL Brigade with the rest of the British guns. A discussion took place as to the next move for the French army. 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. 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 The Ba Add your article Home Cuesta’s Spanish army was even further forward, at Torrijos, 15 miles from Toledo. Moving too fast to halt, many of the troopers were brought down. 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. … 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. Units labeled Regiment are probably regular infantry from the old army, though Badajoz, Canarias, Mallorca, Osuna and Salamanca are not in Charles Oman's list. The city originated as the Roman Caesarobriga and was conquered by King Alfonso VI in 1082. Napoleon exploited the advances in gunnery techniques of the last years of the French Ancien Régime to create his powerful and highly mobile artillery. are regular units and so is the Carabineros Reales Regiment. Finally, a report came from Milhaud that the Spanish were advancing on the French left. Save up to $379^ when you bundle your flight & hotel. In the darkness, the 24th of the Line became lost and failed to deliver an attack. Marshal Victor: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Sir Arthur Wellesley positioning Spanish regiments at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Some regiments did reach the army: 23rd Light Dragoons and the 48th and 61st Foot. During this stand-off, General Charles Stewart attempted three times to lead the Spanish cavalry in an attack on Latour Maubourg’s Dragoons as the French retreated, but the Spaniards would not charge. 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. Fortescue reports that the most important feature of the day’s action was that for the first time Victor discovered there were British troops with Cuesta. 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 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. 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. At around 10am, Joseph and his staff mounted to the top of the Cero de Cascajal to reconnoitre the situation. 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. 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. Generals at the Battle of Talavera: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley against King Joseph Bonaparte. The KGL owed its allegiance to King George III of Great Britain, as the Elector of Hanover, and fought with the British army. 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. Coming under fire from the French guns on the Cerro de Cascabal and the light infantry on the Sierra de Segurilla, the light cavalrymen broke from a trot to a canter at an early stage in their advance. 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. As Anson’s regiments advanced, the 23rd Light Dragoons on the right and the 1st Hussars of the KGL on the left, the French infantry regiments formed squares. Wellesley was consequently unavailable to supervise the disposition of the British regiments along the Portina Brook line. 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. Donkin’s Brigade was moved onto the Cerro de Medellin, joining the brigades of Stewart and Tilson. 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. These men were liberated when Victor captured the British hospital on 6th August 1809. Podcast of the Battle of Albuera: Marshal Beresford’s hard-fought battle against Marshal Soult on 16 th May 1811 during the Peninsular War, with his army of British, Portuguese and Spanish troops: John Mackenzie’s britishbattles.com podcasts The previous battle in the Peninsular War is the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro. Towards the end of the struggle in the centre, Leval’s Germans were again thrown into the attack, to cover Sebastiani’s left flank. 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. British piquets crowded along the Portina Brook, edgily exchanging shots with the French sentries; sometimes firing on their own side. The medal was only issued to those entitled to one or more of the clasps. 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. The Battle of Talavera was one of the key confrontations of the Peninsular War. Grenadier and Light Company man of the 29th Foot: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: Hamilton Smith. 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 … The 7th KGL lost heavily while the 5th was seriously disordered. 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. Spanish Guards (Guardias de Infanteria Espanola) 3. British heavy cavalry (dragoon guards and dragoons) wore red jackets and ‘Roman’ style helmets with horse hair plumes. With Soult and Mortier to his north, Wellesley was concerned with his left flank. 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. It would seem that General Cuesta’s coach driver joined the flight, with the general an unwitting passenger. 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. Walloon Guards (Guardias Walonas) 4. 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 E. Walker. Battles. After his perverse failure to fight when circumstances were favourable, Cuesta pursued Victor’s army towards Toledo. 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. The French army wore a variety of uniforms. 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. The British and KGL lost 5,363 men killed, wounded or captured. Soldiers of the French 9th Light Regiment: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. Reserve of cavalry: 1st Dragoon Division commanded by General Latour-Maubourg2nd Dragoon Division commanded by General MilhaudArtillery: commanded by General Sénarmont82 guns. 22. 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 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. Spanish troops leaving the battlefield at the Battle of Talavera on 27th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Richard Caton Woodville. As the Spanish approached Gamonal, they were confronted by Latour Maubourg’s Dragoon Division. The Battle of Albuera almost resulted in defeat for the allied armies, but ended largely inconclusively with terrible losses on both sides. On 25th July 1809, Joseph marched into Vargas, to the north of Toledo, Sebastiani’s Corps reached the city of Toledo, while Victor halted on the River Guararrama, 10 miles west of the city, thereby concentrating the French First Corps, Fourth Corps and Reserve in an army of 46,000 men. There were 21 clasps available for service in the Peninsular War. 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. If you are too busy to read the site, why not download a podcast of an individual battle and listen on the move! 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. … [6], Marshal of France Claude Perrin Victor, Duke of Belluno, General of Division Horace-Francois-Bastien Sebastiani de La Porta, Don Gregorio Garcia de la Cuesta y Fernández de Celis, José María de la Cueva y de la Cerda, Duke of Albuquerque, Horace-Francois-Bastien Sebastiani de La Porta, Jean-Baptiste Cyrus de Timbrune de Thiembronne, Count of Valence, Marie-Victor-Nicolas de Fay, Marquis de La Tour-Maubourg, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Talavera_order_of_battle&oldid=967797983, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Sillery's Company, RA (six light 6-pounders), Heise's Battery, KGA (six light 6-pounders), Rettberg's Battery, KGA (six heavy 6-pounders), Elliot's Company, RA (six light 6-pounders), Cazadores de Barbastro Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Cazadores de Valencia Regiment, 1st Battalion (Oman: 2nd), Tiradores de Estremadura (Oman: excluded), Lanceros de Andalusia (cavalry) (Oman: excluded), Voluntarios de Castilla Regiment (Oman: excluded), 2nd Provincial de Burgos (Oman: omit 2nd), 2nd Provincial de Guadix (Oman: omit 2nd), Sevilla Regiment, 2nd Battalion (Oman: 3rd), Carabineros Reales Regiment, one squadron, Alcantara Cavalry Regiment Nr. 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