Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910, after 1248, it was known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. The name is often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realms extensive overseas colonies. The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias. The county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, the kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz. During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire, from 1580 to 1640, the kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain. After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the passed to the House of Braganza and after to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg.
From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major due to its most valuable colony. Portugal was an absolute monarchy before 1822. It rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, and was a constitutional monarchy after 1834. The Kingdom of Portugal finds its origins in the County of Portugal, the Portuguese County was a semi-autonomous county of the Kingdom of León. Independence from León took place in three stages, The first on 26 July 1139 when Afonso Henriques was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally, the second was on 5 October 1143, when Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as king through the Treaty of Zamora. The third, in 1179, was the Papal Bull Manifestis Probatum, once Portugal was independent, D. Afonso Is descendants, members of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, would rule Portugal until 1383. Even after the change in houses, all the monarchs of Portugal were descended from Afonso I, one way or another.
With the start of the 20th century, Republicanism grew in numbers and support in Lisbon among progressive politicians, however a minority with regard to the rest of the country, this height of republicanism would benefit politically from the Lisbon Regicide on 1 February 1908. When returning from the Ducal Palace at Vila Viçosa, King Carlos I, with the death of the king and his heir, Carlos Is second son would become king as King Manuel II of Portugal. Manuels reign, would be short-lived, ending by force with the 5 October 1910 revolution, sending Manuel into exile in England, on 19 January 1919, the Monarchy of the North was proclaimed in Porto. The monarchy would be deposed a month and no other monarchist counterrevolution in Portugal has happened since, after centuries of Portuguese dominion in Angola, the Kingdom of Kongo was made a vassal state of the Portuguese kingdom, its king pledging allegiance to the King of Portugal
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
Battle of the Gebora
The Battle of the Gebora was a minor battle of the Peninsular War between Spanish and French armies. It occurred on 19 February 1811, near Badajoz, viscount Wellington and the Spanish Captain-General Pedro Caro y Sureda, 3rd marqués de La Romana sent a large Spanish army to raise the siege. La Romana, died before the army could depart, supported by a small force of Portuguese cavalry, the Spaniards reached the town and camped on the nearby heights of San Cristóbal in early February 1811. When Mendizabal ignored Wellingtons instructions and failed to entrench his army, Soult took advantage of the vulnerable Spanish position and sent a small force to attack the Spaniards. On the morning of 19 February, French forces under Marshal Édouard Mortier quickly defeated the Spanish army, inflicting 1,000 casualties and taking 4,000 prisoners while losing only 400 men. The victory allowed Soult to concentrate on his assault of Badajoz, napoleon had previously sent dispatches to Marshal Soult, commander of the Army of the South, urging him to send assistance to Masséna in Portugal.
However, the Emperors orders, which called for only a force, were based on outdated intelligence. Thirty thousand Allied troops and six major fortresses now stood between the French army and the Portuguese capital, making an attack against Lisbon virtually impossible. Soult divided his army into two contingents and advanced into Extremadura via the two passes leading from Andalusia into the Guadiana valley, with the intention of rejoining at Almendralejo. One of the columns, commanded by Gen. Mendizabal, Latour-Maubourg was therefore able to take position near Almendralejo and await the arrival of the second French column. When confronted by Marshal Mortier, Ballesteros retreated without suffering serious harm, for this reason Soult directed Gazans infantry to head off the Spanish force and protect the delayed siege-train, while he himself continued onward to Almendralejo with his cavalry. As a result, Soult finally joined Latour-Maubourg on 6 January with only a fraction of his original column, Soult could not besiege so strong a fortress as Badajoz with his reduced force and therefore changed his plans.
Wellington had previously advised Gen. Soult, arriving on 11 January, was confronted with a strongly garrisoned—but untenable—fortress. The heavy French artillery finally began to arrive on 19 January, the garrison surrendered on 23 January, with over 4,000 Spanish troops from the Army of Extremadura taken captive. Moreover, although his siege-train had begun to arrive, the absence of Gazans infantry division left him with a weakened army. Gazans division eventually rejoined Soults army on 3 February, further strengthening the besieging force by 6,000 men, Mendizabal had retreated to the Portuguese border after sending two battalions to reinforce the garrison at Badajoz. Additionally, about 6,000 troops were sent forward from the Lines of Torres Vedras on 19 January, La Romana, died of an aneurysm on 23 January, and command of the army fell to Mendizabal. Although aware of this plan when he took command, Mendizabal chose to ignore the instructions upon arriving on the bank of the Guadiana on 5 February
Second Siege of Badajoz (1811)
After failing to force a surrender, Wellington withdrew his army when the French mounted a successful relief effort by combining the armies of Marshals Nicolas Soult and Auguste Marmont. The action was fought during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, Badajoz is located 6 kilometres from the Portuguese border on the Guadiana River in western Spain. While Wellington faced Marshal André Massénas Army of Portugal in the north, Beresford invested the city in April but Philippons garrison successfully fended off his attacks. The siege was lifted while the Battle of Albuera was fought on 16 May. Though both sides suffered casualties, Beresford emerged the victor and Soult retreated to the east. Wellington brought reinforcements from the north and resumed the siege, Massénas replacement Marmont brought large forces south to join Soult. The British commander lifted the siege after being menaced by the numerically superior French army led by Soult, hoping to assist Marshal André Massénas invasion of Portugal, Emperor Napoleon ordered Marshal Nicolas Soult to act.
Accordingly, Soult set out in January 1811 with 13,500 foot soldiers,4,000 horse, in a preliminary operation, Soult captured Olivenza in a two week siege that ended on 23 January. The French seized 4,161 Spanish prisoners and 18 guns for a loss of only 15 killed and 40 wounded. On 27 January, Soults army invested Badajoz, despite the interference of a 15, 000-man Spanish relief army, the results were all the French could have hoped for. On 19 February, Soult sent Marshal Édouard Mortier to deal with the Spanish army, Mortier won a crushing victory in the Battle of the Gebora. The Spanish lost 850 killed and wounded plus 4,000 men,17 guns, turning to the siege, Soult forced a surrender on 11 March. The 4, 340-man Spanish garrison plus 2,000 fugitives from the Battle of the Gebora lost about 1,000 killed and wounded while the rest became prisoners, the French sustained 1,900 casualties in the siege. Leaving Mortier and 11,000 soldiers to hold Badajoz and environs, Mortier besieged and captured Campo Maior on 21 March.
In the Battle of Campo Maior on 25 March, the British 13th Light Dragoons scored an initial success, in the confusion, Latour-Maubourg kept his head and, with the help of Mortier, managed to save the artillery convoy except for one artillery piece. Nevertheless, the appearance of Beresford and 18,000 Allied troops threw the French onto the defensive. A field marshal in the service of Portugal, Beresford had available the 2nd Division, the 4th Division, Major General John Hamiltons Portuguese Division, if he could have invested Badajoz at the end of March, Beresford might have found the defenses of the fortress in poor shape. However, problems arose to delay the operation until the French effected repairs, the 4th Division was immobilized by a lack of shoes and had to wait for a new shipment from Lisbon
Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1812)
In the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, the Viscount Wellingtons Anglo-Portuguese Army besieged the citys French garrison under General of Brigade Jean Léonard Barrié. After two breaches were blasted in the walls by British heavy artillery, the fortress was stormed on the evening of 19 January 1812. After breaking into the city, British troops went on a rampage for several hours before order was restored, Wellingtons army suffered casualties of about 1,700 men including two generals killed. Strategically, the fall of the fortress opened the gateway into French-dominated Spain from British-held Portugal. An earlier siege of Ciudad Rodrigo occurred in 1810 when the French captured the city from Spanish forces. As part of his strategy in Spain, Napoleon ordered Marshal Auguste Marmont to send 10,000 troops to help Marshal Louis Suchets forces capture Valencia and 4,000 more to reinforce the central reserve. Ciudad Rodrigo was a second class fortress with a 32-foot high main wall built of bad masonry, without flanks, the city being dominated by the 600-foot high Grand Teson hill to the north, the French built a redoubt there.
Barriés 2, 000-man garrison was far too weak to properly man the defences, the French garrison included single battalions of the 34th Light and 113th Line Infantry Regiments, a platoon of sappers and only 167 artillerists to man 153 cannons. The fortress was invested, and on the night of 8 January, and began digging trenches to and positions for, the breaching batteries. Digging in the soil at night caused a peculiar hazard. When a pickaxe struck a stone, the resulting spark drew accurate French fire, by 12 January the trenches to battery positions were complete and the batteries were being installed. Wellington received a message concerning Marshal Marmonts movements and decided the siege must be undertaken rapidly, the Santa Cruz Convent, to the right, was stormed on 13 January by the KGL and one company of the 60th. The batteries, which opened fire at 4pm on 14 January, included thirty-four 24-lb, work began on the second parallel, to provide closer batteries and a safe covered route for assaulting troops.
In five days, the guns fired over 9,500 rounds, Wellington ordered an assault for the night of 19 January. Major-General Thomas Pictons 3rd Division was ordered to storm the breach on the northwest while Robert Craufurds Light Division was sent against the lesser breach on the north. Diversionary attacks by Denis Packs Portuguese brigade would probe the defences at the San Pelayo Gate on the east, all told, Wellington planned to use 10,700 men in his assault. Launched at 7 pm, the assault met determined resistance in the great breach, there had been two cannons embedded in the wall of the greater breach that caused most casualties in the storming. The 88th Connaught Rangers Regiment took one of the guns while the 45th Nottinghamshire Regiment took the other, allied losses in the assault were 195 killed and 916 wounded, although amongst the dead were Major-Generals Henry MacKinnon and Robert Craufurd
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established as a sovereign state on 1 January 1801 by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The growing desire for an Irish Republic led to the Irish War of Independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and the state was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Britain financed the European coalition that defeated France in 1815 in the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire thereby became the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were relatively small operations in a largely peaceful century, rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the states formation continued up until the mid-19th century. A devastating famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland. It was an era of economic modernization and growth of industry and finance.
Outward migration was heavy to the colonies and to the United States. Britain built up a large British Empire in Africa and Asia, India, by far the most important possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In foreign policy Britain favoured free trade, which enabled its financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. Britain formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, and moved closer to the United States. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British governments fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his governments attempts to introduce it.
When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized, in May 1803, war was declared again. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System and this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. Frances population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent, after Napoleons surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. The Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blucher defeated Napoleon once, simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes, arming hostile Indians and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812 with the United States. The war was little noticed in Britain, which could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, American frigates inflicted a series of defeats on the Royal Navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe
Battle of Villagarcia
Cotton intended to trap the French cavalry, which was separated by a number of miles from the main body of the French army, by executing simultaneous frontal and flank attacks. The plan came close to disaster when the forces making the frontal assault pushed forward prematurely, the situation was saved by the timely arrival of John Le Marchants force on the French left flank. The recent fall of the French occupied fortress city of Badajoz, on 6 April 1812, the French rearguard under General DErlon were under orders to fall back towards Seville if pressed hard. Hills cavalry, under Sir Stapleton Cotton, were indeed pressing those French forces still remaining in the province of Extremadura hard, Stapleton Cottons cavalry consisted of John Le Marchants heavy brigade, John Slades heavy brigade and Frederick Ponsonbys light brigade. Only Ponsonbys brigade and the 5th Dragoon Guards were involved in the fighting, the French cavalry force, attached to DErlons two infantry divisions, commanded by General François Charles Lallemand was composed of the 2nd Hussars and the 17th and 27th Dragoons.
On the evening of 10 April 1811, General Cotton climbed the steeple of a church in Bienvenida and he knew that the French were occupying Llerena and saw that there were considerable numbers of French cavalry five miles closer to him near the village of Villagarcia. Cotton decided that he should attempt to trap the French cavalry with his superior forces, slade was instructed to concentrate his brigade on Bienvenida, though he seems to have been tardy in moving. Cotton retained the 16th Light Dragoons as a reserve, ponsonby subsequently found his two regiments faced by the three strong regiments under Lallemand and had to make a controlled withdrawal whilst skirmishing against heavy odds. Following his orders, Le Marchant had moved his brigade though the night over tortuous terrain for a considerable distance. Coming down from rugged hills bordering the plain where the action was fought Le Marchant, Le Marchant realised that an immediate charge was needed before Ponsonbys squadrons were forced into the congested and broken ground to their rear.
Lallemand, it is recorded, caught a glimpse of red-coated figures in the woods to his left and rode to alert General Peyremmont, Peyremmont scorned Lallemands concerns, saying that the British dragoons were probably a small detachment who had lost their way. At this point the advantage that the French had enjoyed in the action was suddenly reversed, Le Marchant led his dragoon guards out of the woods and they formed their ranks whilst accelerating into the charge. The 5th Dragoon Guards attacked with their squadrons in echelon, their left refused, simultaneously with Le Marchants charge the 16th Light Dragoons, led by Cotton, appeared to Ponsonbys right-rear, they jumped a stone wall in line, and charged. The French cavalry were thrown into instant confusion and were swiftly broken, the British pursuit, continuing to inflict casualties and take prisoners, was conducted all the way back to the walls of Llerena where the bulk of DErlons force was concentrated. The French rallied briefly at a ditch halfway to Llerena, a few hours the French abandoned Llerena and continued their retreat out of Extremadura.
The French lost 53 killed or wounded, plus 136 captured and were induced to leave the province of Extremadura, the British lost 51 troopers killed or wounded. Cotton had shown initiative in conceiving a plan to trap the French cavalry, however, as a result, it was probably rather too complex and came dangerously close to breaking down in execution. However, Cotton was flexible in extemporising once his plan was rendered irrelevant when his central force made its presence known to the enemy too soon
Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill
He became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1828. Hill was born on 11 August 1772 at Hawkstone Hall near Prees and he was the second son and fourth child of Sir John Hill, 3rd Baronet, a landowner, and Mary, co-heir and daughter of John Chambré of Petton, Shropshire. Educated at The Kings School in Chester, Hill was commissioned into the 38th Foot in 1790 and he was promoted to lieutenant on 27 January 1791. On 16 March 1791, after a period of leave, he was appointed to the 53rd Regiment of Foot and he was asked to raise an independent company and given the rank of captain on 30 March 1793. He served at the Siege of Toulon in Autumn 1793 as aide-de-camp to General OHara from where he carried the dispatches to London and he transferred to one of Major General Cornelius Cuylers independent companies on 16 November 1793. In 1794 he assisted Thomas Graham in raising the 90th Foot for which he was promoted to major on 27 May 1794 and he was promoted to colonel on 1 January 1800. In 1801 he commanded the 90th Foot when they landed at Aboukir Bay in Egypt as part of a force under Sir Ralph Abercromby, in the ensuing weeks Hill helped drive the French forces out of Egypt.
Hill became a brigadier in 1803 and a major-general on 2 November 1805, Hill commanded a brigade at the Battle of Roliça and at the Battle of Vimeiro in 1808. He participated in Sir John Moores 1808–1809 campaign in Spain, commanding a brigade at the Battle of Corunna, Hill commanded the 2nd Infantry Division at the Battle of Talavera. The night before the battle, Marshal Claude Victor mounted a surprise attack, as Hill recounted, I was sure it was the old Buffs, as usual, making some blunder. Nevertheless, he led a brigade forward in the dark. In the short clash that followed, Hill was briefly grabbed and nearly captured by a Frenchman and this is the first occasion on which Hill supposedly swore. Still leading the 2nd Division during Marshal André Massénas 1810 invasion of Portugal, in autumn 1811, Wellington placed Hill in independent command of 16,000 men watching Badajoz. On 28 October he led a raid on the French at the Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos. On 21 January 1812 he was appointed to the position of Governor of Blackness Castle.
He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of the Tower, in May 1812, after the capture of Badajoz, Hill led a second raid that destroyed a key bridge in the Battle of Almaraz. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 30 December 1811, after the British capture of Madrid, Hill had responsibility for an army of 30,000 men. Hill commanded the Right Column during the campaign and decisive British victory at the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June 1813, still in corps command, he fought in the Battle of the Pyrenees
Siege of Badajoz (1812)
In the Siege of Badajoz, called the Third Siege of Badajoz, an Anglo-Portuguese Army, under General Arthur Wellesley, besieged Badajoz and forced the surrender of the French garrison. Enraged at the number of casualties they suffered in seizing the city. Threatening their officers and ignoring their commands to desist, and even killing several and it took three days before the men were brought back into order. Badajoz was garrisoned by some 5,000 French soldiers under General Philippon, the town commander, on 19 March the French made a strong sally with 1,500 men and 40 cavalry which surprised the working parties and caused losses of 150 officers and men before being repulsed. Amongst the wounded was Lt. Col. Fletcher, chief Engineer, by 25 March batteries were firing on the outwork, Fort Picurina, which that night was stormed by 500 men and seized by redcoats from General Thomas Pictons 3rd Division. Casualties were high with 50 killed and 250 wounded, but the fort was captured, the capture of the bastion allowed more extensive siege earthworks to be dug and with the arrival of heavy 18 lb and 24 lb howitzers, breaching batteries were established.
On 31 March the allies began a bombardment of the towns defences. Soon a maze of trenches were creeping up to the stone walls as the cannons continued to blast away at the stonework. On 2 April an attempt was made to destroy a barrier that had been erected amongst the arches of the bridge to cause flooding that was hampering the siege, the explosion of 450lbs of powder was only partly successful. By April 5 two breaches had been made in the wall and the soldiers readied themselves to storm Badajoz. The order to attack was delayed for 24 hours to allow another breach to be made in the wall. News began to filter to the allies that Marshal Soult was marching to relieve the town, the French garrison were well aware of what was to come, and mined the large breaches in the walls in preparation for the imminent assault. The first men to assault the breaches were the men of the Forlorn Hope, just as the main Forlorn Hope were beginning their attack, a French sentry was alerted and raised the alarm. Within seconds the ramparts were filled with French soldiers, who poured a hail of musket fire into the troops at the base of the breach.
The furious barrage devastated the British soldiers at the wall and the breach soon began to fill with dead and wounded, despite the carnage the redcoats bravely continued to surge forward in great numbers, only to be mown down by endless volleys and shrapnel from grenades and bombs. The French could see they were holding the assault and the British were becoming stupefied and incapable of more exertion. In just under two hours, some 2,000 men had killed or badly wounded at the main breach. He ordered the gates to be blown and the 3rd Division should support the assaults on the breaches with a flank attack