The Tagus is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,007 km long,716 km in Spain,47 km along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon and it drains an area of 80,100 square kilometers. The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course, several dams and diversions supply drinking water to most of central Spain, including Madrid, and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric stations create power. Between dams it follows a very constricted course, but after Almourol it enters a vast alluvial valley prone to flooding, at its mouth is a large estuary on which the port city of Lisbon is situated. The source of the Tagus is the Fuente de García, in the Frías de Albarracín municipal term, Montes Universales, Sistema Ibérico, all its major tributaries enter the Tagus from the right bank. The main cities it passes through are Aranjuez, Talavera de la Reina and Alcántara in Spain, the first notable city on the Tagus is Sacedón.
Below Aranjuez it receives the flow of the Jarama, Algodor. Below Toledo it receives the Guadarrama River, above Talavera de la Reina it receives the Alberche. There is a canal and aqueduct between the Tagus and the Segura, the estuary is protected by the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve. There is the largest bridge across the river, the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the Port of Lisbon, located at its mouth, is one of Europes busiest. The lower Tagus is on a fault line, slippage along it has caused numerous earthquakes, the major ones being those of 1309,1531 and 1755. The Pepper Wreck, properly the wreck of the Nossa Senhora dos Mártires, is a shipwreck located and excavated at the mouth of the Tagus between 1996 and 2001, the river had strategic value to the Spanish and Portuguese empires, as it guarded the approach to Lisbon. For example, in 1587, Sir Francis Drake briefly approached the river after his raid at Cadiz. A major river, the Tagus is brought to mind in the songs, a popular fado song in Lisbon notes that while people get older, the Tagus remains young.
The author, Fernando Pessoa, wrote a poem that begins, but the Tagus is not more beautiful than the river that flows through my village. Richard Crashaws poem Saint Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper refers to the Golden Tagus as wanting Mary Magdalenes silver tears, in classical poetry the Tagus was famous for its gold-bearing sands. List of rivers of Spain List of rivers of Portugal
Luis de Lacy
Luis Roberto de Lacy was a brigadier general in the Spanish Army who fought in the Peninsular War. Luis was the child of Spanish-born Lt. Colonel Patrick de Lacy Jr. who died young. Luis was born in San Roque, a Spanish village near the frontier of Gibraltar, Spanish historians tell us that he was born into a distinguished Irish family. No Irish family has attained fame in the military history of Europe than the de Lacy family of county Limerick. Luis was the grandson of Limerick-born General Patrick de Lacy Sr. who was a Spanish hero of the siege of Oran in 1732. Patrick de Lacy Sr. was part of the de Lacy-Billingari family, Luiss Spanish-born uncle Francis Anthony de Lacy, his fathers brother, was well known for his military and diplomatic exploits. He conducted the siege of Gibraltar in 1779, was sent as minister plenipotentiary to Sweden and Russia. He was created a Knight of the order of Carlos Tecera, one of Luiss aunts married General Count Browne, Governor-General of Livonia and his other aunt married the Marquis Canada, of the ancient family of Terry.
Further back, Luiss descent is traced from John de Lacy of La Garthe in county Limerick in Ireland, Luiss grandfather General Patrick de Lacy Sr. apparently the second son of a large family, married in Spain. His wife was the daughter of the Irishman Sir Ignatius White, Marquis DAlbeville, many references state that Luiss mother Antonia was French, but this is because she married again to a Frenchman named Gautier who was in the Spanish army. In Spanish references even today they call him Luis de Lacy y Gautier which means that his mothers surname was Gautier, his mothers surname and ancestry are unknown, there is nothing to say she was French, and she was probably Spanish. 1785, age 13, Enlisted in the Spanish army, where he served with his French stepfather and step-uncle and Francis Gautier, and participated in an expedition to Puerto Rico. Because of his courage and fearlessness in battle,29 October 29,1786, at only 14 years of age,1789, age 17, Returned to Coruna with his stepfather and step-uncle.
He ran away and walked 200 miles to Oporto with the idea of catching a ship to the Moluccas, instead his stepfather found him and brought him back to Spain. 1791, age of 19, As a Captain in the infantry of the Spanish Irish Regiment of Ultonia, there he distinguished himself fighting against the French. 1794, age 22, Participated in the Campaign Roussillon in the Great War, 1795–1803, In 1795, age 23, Luis was sent to the Canary Islands. There he fell in love with a local girl, unfortunately his rival in love was no less a person than the Captain General of the Canary Islands. They fought a duel and Luis wounded his opponent, Luis was banished by the jealous Captain General to the island of El Hierro, which a Spanish commentator called the only means of disposing of a rival as daring as he was fortunate
Francisco Javier Venegas
Venegas began studies for a literary career, but gave them up to serve in the military. He rose in rank to lieutenant colonel, taking part in the fighting against the French Republic and he had retired from service at the time of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, but returned to active duty. He took part in the Battle of Bailén, and was named commander of a division in Andalucía and his services in the war with the French were valuable, and he demonstrated his intelligence and courage. With the patronage of the minister Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, he advanced rapidly, on Christmas Day 1808, Venegas and his division attempted a surprise attack on a brigade of French dragoons at Tarancón. They surrounded the town but the French cavalrymen became aware of the trap, when the Spanish infantry formed into squares across their path, the enemy cavalry galloped through the gaps between the squares. The French escaped with the loss of about 60 troopers, the late arrival of Venegas cavalry prevented further damage from being inflicted on the dragoons.
On 13 January 1809, Venegas with 9,500 infantry,1,800 cavalry, in the Battle of Uclés,12,500 French foot soldiers and 3,500 horsemen under Marshal Claude Perrin Victor crushed the force led by Venegas. Victor ordered one division and his cavalry to mount an assault while his second division attempted an envelopment. The frontal attack was successful in driving the Spanish force into the arms of the second division, for only 150 casualties, the French inflicted losses of 1,000 killed and wounded and captured 5,866 prisoners and all four guns. His superior officer, who had failed to come to Venegas aid with 9,000 troops, despite the setback, Venegas was given command of the Army of La Mancha after its previous commander was badly beaten at the Battle of Ciudad-Real on 27 March 1809. In mid-July 1809 Venegas and his 23,000 soldiers sparred with the French IV Corps, the IV Corps managed to elude Venegas and join the army of Joseph Bonaparte for the Battle of Talavera on 27–28 July. Fortunately the action resulted in an Anglo-Spanish victory, with only a handful of enemies in front of him, Venegas had a brief chance to recapture Madrid, but he allowed the opportunity to slip away.
At the head of an army of 20,000 foot and 3,000 horse, Venegas ignored Cuestas orders to retreat, Venegas believed that he faced only 14,000 Frenchmen, but in fact Josephs army consisted of 17,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. In the Battle of Almonacid the Spanish army was defeated with the loss of 800 killed,2,500 wounded,2,000 prisoners, French casualties numbered 319 killed and 2,075 wounded, indicating that the Spanish troops fought well. A few weeks later, Venegas was replaced in command by Juan Carlos de Aréizaga, during the French invasion of Andalusia in January 1810, Venegas was military governor of Cádiz. Before the powerful invading army, the Spanish defenders rapidly collapsed, José María de la Cueva, 14th Duke of Albuquerque was able to bring 12,000 troops to reinforce the weak Cádiz garrison. A squabble arose between Venegas and Albuquerque over who was the superior officer and this problem was resolved when the Junta appointed Venegas to the position Viceroy of New Spain and gave Albuquerque command of Cádiz.
Venegas was a man of few words, cruel, on February 20,1810 he was named viceroy of New Granada
Gaspar de Vigodet
Gaspar de Vigodet was a Spanish military with French roots and last Royalist Governor of Montevideo. He participated in the Great Siege of Gibraltar in 1783 and in the War of the Pyrenees in 1793 and he was in command of a division in the lost Battles of Almonacid and Ocana. By the end of 1811, he was made Governor of Montevideo, by October 1812, the entire region was under control of the rebels, except for the city of Montevideo, which was besieged. On December 31, Vigodet broke out of the city, but was defeated in the Battle of Cerrito. Supplied from over the sea, the city held out until May 17,1814, when the naval victories of Admiral William Brown, cut off the supply route. By the end of June, Vigodet was forced to surrender Montevideo to General Carlos María de Alvear, the following years he stayed in Río de Janeiro, where he tried to take revenge on Alvear, who was exiled to this city, due to political differences. He returned in 1820 to Spain, where he became general of Castille. When King Ferdinand VII of Spain was restored in 1823, he went into exile in France, from where he could return in 1834.
Second Siege of Montevideo Dissolution of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
Battle of Alcantara (1809)
The Battle of Alcantara saw an Imperial French division led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor attack a Portuguese detachment under Colonel William Mayne. After a three hours skirmish, the French stormed across the Alcántara Bridge and forced the Portuguese to retreat, the clash happened during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Alcántara, Spain is situated on the Tagus river near the Portuguese border,285 kilometres west-southwest of Madrid, while Marshal Nicolas Soult invaded northern Portugal in early 1809, two other French forces stood ready to cooperate in the subjugation of Portugal. Pierre Belon Lapisses division lurked near Ciudad Rodrigo while Victors I Corps operated in the Tagus valley, a weak force under Robert Thomas Wilson watched Lapisse while Alexander Randoll Mackenzies Anglo-Portuguese corps kept an eye on Victor. After being outgeneraled by Wilson, Lapisse marched south to join Victor, as Sir Arthur Wellesleys Anglo-Portuguese army disposed of Soults corps, the detachment under Mayne moved to occupy Alcántara.
Believing Maynes troops to be a threat, Victor marched against him. The Loyal Lusitanian Legion battalion stoutly defended the Alcántara Bridge for three hours, the French artillery silenced their guns and a supporting battalion of militia took to its heels. The bridge was mined, but when Mayne ordered the charges to be detonated, Victors infantry rushed the incompletely demolished span. The French hung around the area for a few days but finally withdrew, the next action was the Battle of Talavera. Emperor Napoleons strategy for early 1809 called for an invasion of Portugal by three columns, Napoleons plan called for Soult to capture Porto by 5 February 1809. From there, Soult was supposed to march to Lisbon and occupy it by the 16th of the same month, Lapisse was directed to move from Salamanca to seize Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, Portugal as soon as Soults II Corps got to Porto. Victor was ordered to be at Mérida by this time and he was instructed to detach a column from there to advance on Lisbon.
The emperor assumed that Soult and Victor would be able to send messengers to each other. This assumption ignored the likelihood that Portuguese and Spanish guerillas would prevent Soults dispatches from reaching his colleagues, Soult marched south on 30 January 1809, aiming for Portugal. After being repelled in his attempt to cross the Minho River in mid-February, his forces marched to Ourense. Soults cavalry crushed a Spanish brigade at La Trepa on 6 March, at the Battle of Braga on 20 March, the French routed a Portuguese army consisting of a few regulars and 22,000 militia. The First Battle of Porto on the 29th was another lopsided French victory marked by terrible Portuguese loss of life, but despite being established in Porto, Soult found his communications cut by General Silveiras regular and irregular forces and he had no idea of the whereabouts of Lapisse. Meanwhile, Marshal Victor won a victory over General Gregorio García de la Cuestas Spanish army at the Battle of Medellín on 28 March 1809
Battle of Talavera
The Battle of Talavera was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War. 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 French army withdrew at night after several of its attacks had been repulsed. After Marshal Soults French army had retreated from Portugal, General Wellesleys 20,000 British troops advanced into Spain to join 33,000 Spanish troops under General Cuesta and they marched up the Tagus valley to Talavera, some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid. There they encountered 46,000 French under Marshal Claude Victor and Major-General Horace Sebastiani, with the French king of Spain, the French crossed the Alberche in the middle of the afternoon on 27 July. A couple of later, the French attacked the right of the Spaniards. A strategic hill was taken and lost, finally, a French cannonade lasted until noon when a negotiated armistice of two hours began.
That afternoon, an exchange of cannon fire started ahead of various infantry and cavalry skirmishes. Early in the evening, a major engagement resulted in the French being held off, a cannon duel continued until dark. At daylight, the British and Spanish discovered that the bulk of the French force had retired, leaving their wounded, Wellesley was ennobled as Viscount Wellington of Talavera and of Wellington for the action. On 27 July, Wellesley sent out the 3rd Division and some cavalry under the command of Anson to cover Cuestas retreat into the Talavera position. But when Ansons cavalry mistakenly pulled back, the French rushed in to surprise and inflict over 400 casualties on Rufane Donkins brigade and that night Victor sent Ruffins division to seize the hill known as Cerro de Medellín in a coup de main. Two of Ruffins three regiments went astray in the dark, but the 9th Light Infantry routed Sigismund Lowes KGL brigade, Hill sent Richard Stewarts brigade on a counter-attack which drove the French away.
The British suffered some 800 casualties on the 27th, during the evening of 27th, French Dragoon squadrons were riding close to the Spanish position firing their carbines at Spanish skirmishers. Suddenly, without orders, Cuestas entire Spanish line fired a volley at the French Dragoons. The French were outside the range of the Spanish muskets, four Spanish battalions threw down their weapons and fled in panic. Wellesley wrote, Nearly 2,000 ran off on the evening of the 27th, plundered the baggage of the British army which had been sent to the rear. While a majority of the troops were brought back, many hundreds continued to flee. Wellesleys British army consisted of four divisions, three cavalry brigades and 30 cannon, totaling 20,641 troops
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, situated between the Baltic Sea in the north and two mountain ranges in the south. Bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south and Belarus to the east, the total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the 8th most populous country in Europe, Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, and its capital and largest city is Warsaw. Other metropolises include Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin, the establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.
This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, Poland regained its independence in 1918 at the end of World War I, reconstituting much of its historical territory as the Second Polish Republic. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed thereafter by invasion by the Soviet Union. More than six million Polish citizens died in the war, after the war, Polands borders were shifted westwards under the terms of the Potsdam Conference. With the backing of the Soviet Union, a communist puppet government was formed, and after a referendum in 1946. During the Revolutions of 1989 Polands Communist government was overthrown and Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy, informally called the Third Polish Republic. Since the early 1990s, when the transition to a primarily market-based economy began, Poland has achieved a high ranking on the Human Development Index.
Poland is a country, which was categorised by the World Bank as having a high-income economy. Furthermore, it is visited by approximately 16 million tourists every year, Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union and was the 6th fastest growing economy on the continent between 2010 and 2015. According to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is ranked 19th in the list of the safest countries in the world to live in. The origin of the name Poland derives from a West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta River basin of the historic Greater Poland region in the 8th century, the origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the western Slavic word pole. In some foreign languages such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish the exonym for Poland is Lechites, historians have postulated that throughout Late Antiquity, many distinct ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland. The most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, the Slavic groups who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD.
With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the authority of the Roman Church
Battle of Arzobispo
Albuquerques troops rapidly retreated after suffering disproportionate losses, including 30 artillery pieces. El Puente del Arzobispo is located 36 kilometres southwest of Talavera de la Reina, the action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of a larger conflict known as the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle of Talavera in late July 1809 saw a victory by Arthur Wellesleys British army, Wellesley found that he was unable to exploit the triumph due to the failure of his logistical arrangements. Within a few days, Wellesley discovered that Soults large French army was attempting to cut off his army from Portugal, the British and Spanish armies withdrew to the west, narrowly avoiding interception by Soults forces. Albuquerque was left with 3,000 cavalry and 5,000 infantry to hold the bridge of Arzobispo, because their position was so strong, the Spanish were lulled into a false sense of security. Meanwhile, French officers found and secretly reconnoitered a hidden ford near the bridge, achieving tactical surprise, the French cavalry plunged across the ford during the Spanish siesta, followed by the infantry of Marshal Édouard Mortiers V Corps.
Before Albuquerque could react, his cavalry was routed and one of his infantry battalions crushed, during the pursuit, Soults horsemen not only seized 16 Spanish guns, but recaptured at least 14 of the 17 French artillery pieces lost at Talavera. Though the Anglo-Spanish armies triumphed over King Joseph Bonapartes army at the Battle of Talavera on 27 and 28 July 1809, the butchers bill was steep. The British counted 5,365 casualties, including 3,915 wounded while Gregorio García de la Cuestas Spanish army lost only 400 to 500 men killed and wounded, the battles losers suffered more, a total of 7,268 Frenchmen were casualties. On the morning of 29 July, General Robert Craufurds Light Infantry Brigade, even so, General Wellesleys army was in no shape to exploit its victory. The soldiers were on one-third rations due to the collapse of the supply system, with few wagons and carts, Wellesley was unable to bring supplies forward from his base at Plasencia or evacuate his wounded. The British commander received intelligence that a French force was moving down from the north, as it happened, the threat was much worse than Wellesley imagined.
On 12 June 1809, Emperor Napoleon ordered Marshal Soult to take command of the II Corps, V Corps, and VI Corps and move against the British army. It took some time to assemble this host but on 27 July, Marshal Mortiers 16, on the 29th, Soults own II Corps received a convoy of artillery to replace the guns lost in the 1809 Portugal Campaign. Thus equipped, the 18, 740-strong II Corps marched south on the 30th, Marshal Michel Ney and the 12, 500-man VI Corps followed on 31 July, after dropping off a brigade of 3,200 men. Napoleon insisted that Soult keep his corps closed up to defeat in detail. At most, about 10,000 French Imperial soldiers under General of Division François Étienne de Kellermann were left behind to defend León, Soult was aware that the Spanish and Portuguese could bring 20,000 men against Kellermann. But he accepted the risk because he understood that Wellesleys British army was the main objective, in this, Venegas was completely unsuccessful, but another opportunity opened up