Order of Calatrava
The Order of Calatrava was the first military order founded in Castile, but the second to receive papal approval. The papal bull confirming the Order of Calatrava as a Militia was given by Pope Alexander III on September 26,1164. Most of the political and military power of the order dissipated by the end of the 15th century and it was founded at Calatrava la Vieja in Castile, in the twelfth century by St. Raymond of Fitero, as a military branch of the Cistercian family. The etymology of the name of military order, conveys the meaning. In the Cistercian Order, recently formed, there had been a large number of knights or sons of knights. In Calatrava, on the contrary, those who had been monks became knights, monastic life has been called a warfare, and it would be a mistake to suppose those rough medieval warriors sought in the cloister only a comfortable asylum after a troubled career. These impetuous natures, who did nothing by halves, were eager to take Heaven, as they took earthly strongholds, by storm.
It runs as follows, Calatrava is the Arabic name of a castle recovered from the Moslems, in 1147, by the King of Castile, Alfonso VII, called el Emperador. Located in what was the southernmost border of Castile, this conquest was difficult to keep than to make. In part to correct this deficiency, the military such as Knights Templars were founded. The Templars, were unable to hold Calatrava, and this step is said to have been suggested to the abbot by Father Diego Velázquez, a simple monk, but one who had been a knight, and thus was well acquainted with military matters. Diego was inspired with the idea of employing the lay brothers of the abbey to defend Calatrava, Diego recommended that they become soldiers of the Cross. Thus a new order was created in 1157, motivated by the desire for religious and pecuniary rewards, these brethren were eager to take the offensive against the Moors. When the Abbot Raymond died, a certain Don García started to lead them in battle as their first grand master.
At the same time, the monks, not without protest, left Calatrava to live under an abbot whom they had chosen. Only Velasquez and a few other clerics, to act as chaplains, remained in Calatrava with the knights and this somewhat revolutionary arrangement was approved by the general chapter at Cîteaux, and by Pope Alexander III. A general chapter held at Cîteaux in 1187 gave to the Knights of Calatrava their definitive rule, Calatrava was subject not to Cîteaux, but to Morimond in Champagne, the mother-house of Fitero, from which Calatrava had sprung. They had already called into the neighbouring Kingdom of Aragon, and been rewarded by a new encomienda
War of the Third Coalition
The War of the Third Coalition was a European conflict spanning the years 1803 to 1806. During the war and its client states under Napoleon I, defeated an alliance, from 1803–05, Britain stood under constant threat of a French invasion. The Royal Navy, secured mastery of the seas, the Third Coalition itself came to full fruition in 1804–05 as Napoleons actions in Italy and Germany spurred Austria and Russia into joining Britain against France. Victory at Austerlitz permitted the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, a collection of German states intended as a buffer zone between France and central Europe. As a direct consequence of events, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist when, in 1806, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated the Imperial throne, emerging as Francis I. These achievements, did not establish a peace on the continent. Austerlitz had driven neither Russia nor Britain, whose armies protected Sicily from a French invasion, Prussian worries about growing French influence in Central Europe sparked the War of the Fourth Coalition in 1806.
Europe had been embroiled in the French Revolutionary Wars since 1792, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the armies of the First Coalition in 1797. A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, but this too was defeated by 1801, in March 1802, France and Britain agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years all of Europe was at peace, many problems persisted between the two sides making implementation of the treaty increasingly difficult. Bonaparte was angry that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta, the tension only worsened when Bonaparte sent an expeditionary force to re-establish control over Haiti. Prolonged intransigence on these issues led Britain to declare war on France on 18 May 1803, Bonaparte had already revived plans for an invasion of England in March 1803. Bonapartes expeditionary army was destroyed by disease in Haiti, and subsequently swayed the First Consul to abandon his plans to rebuild Frances New World empire, without sufficient revenues from sugar colonies in the Caribbean, the vast territory of Louisiana in North America had little value to him.
Though Spain had not yet completed the transfer of Louisiana to France per the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed on 30 April 1803. Despite issuing orders that the over 60 million francs were to be spent on the construction of five new canals in France, Bonaparte spent the whole amount on his planned invasion of England. The execution of Enghien shocked the aristocrats of Europe, who remembered the bloodletting of the Revolution. The statement is sometimes attributed to French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Sometimes the quote is given as, It was worse than a crime, pitt scored a significant coup by securing a burgeoning rival as an ally
A lancer was a type of cavalryman who fought with a lance. Lances were used in mounted warfare by the Assyrians as early as 700 BC and subsequently by Greek, Gallic, Han-Chinese and Roman horsemen. The weapon was used in Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages. In a modern context, a lancer regiment usually denotes an armoured regiment, the Polish winged lancers were amongst the last to abandon the armour in Europe. At the Battle of Waterloo, French lances were nearly three meters long, weighed three kilograms, and had a point on a wooden staff, according to historian Alessandro Barbero. He adds that they were terrifyingly efficient, in the Siege of Los Angeles, during the war between Mexico and the United States, a company of Californio lancers temporarily recaptured the town, expelling a company of U. S. Marines. Although the lance had its greatest impact in the charge, lancers were vulnerable against other cavalry, as the lance proved a clumsy, Lancers typically wore a double-breasted jacket with a coloured panel at the front, a coloured sash, and a square-topped Polish cap.
Their lances usually had small swallow-tailed flags just below the spearhead, the pennons were normally removed or wrapped in a canvas cover on active service. With the improved range and accuracy of rifles, the high-profile presented by lancers with their conspicuous weapons became a problem. The ułans or uhlans, as lancers are known in the Polish, in 1914, lances were still being carried by regiments in the British, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Russian armies, amongst others. Almost all German cavalry retained a steel lance as their primary weapon, as late as 1914, half of the troopers in each Russian regular cavalry regiment carried lances on active service, as did all cossacks. The British lancer regiments lost this weapon for all but ceremonial use following the Boer War, the French army did not have lancer regiments as such, but steel lances 2.97 metres in length were carried by the twenty-six dragoon regiments and some light cavalry units in 1914. The French had earlier tested the Indian bamboo lances used by the British cavalry, prior to the outbreak of World War I, there had been controversy as to whether lances or sabres were the more effective armes blanches for cavalry, but neither proved a match for modern firearms.
Some armies continued to use throughout this war, but they seldom saw use on the Western Front after initial clashes in France. On the Eastern Front, mounted cavalry still had a role, during the 1920s, the use of lances ceased for active service in most armies. British and Indian lancer regiments continued to carry lances on mounted parades, some other armies retained lance armed ceremonial units. The Polish cavalry did not discard the lance as a weapon until 1934, some modern armored cavalry units are still designated as lancer regiments for historical reasons. There are examples in the armies of Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan and Australia, the elite troops of the Colombian National Army are called lanceros
French invasion of Russia
Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia, Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions. The Grande Armée was a large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages and this was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. The actions forced the French to rely on a system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food and these men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.
The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months, the continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done, on 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars until that point, involving more than 250,000 soldiers, the French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor, the Russians had evacuated the city, and the citys governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.
Napoleons hopes had been set upon an end to his campaign. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, the French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for an action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement
First French Empire
The First French Empire, Note 1 was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Its name was a misnomer, as France already had colonies overseas and was short lived compared to the Colonial Empire, a series of wars, known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars, extended French influence over much of Western Europe and into Poland. The plot included Bonapartes brother Lucien, serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, on 9 November 1799 and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. They dispersed the legislative councils, leaving a rump legislature to name Bonaparte, Sieyès, although Sieyès expected to dominate the new regime, the Consulate, he was outmaneuvered by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured his own election as First Consul. He thus became the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of the Year X, the Battle of Marengo inaugurated the political idea that was to continue its development until Napoleons Moscow campaign.
Napoleon planned only to keep the Duchy of Milan for France, setting aside Austria, the Peace of Amiens, which cost him control of Egypt, was a temporary truce. He gradually extended his authority in Italy by annexing the Piedmont and by acquiring Genoa, Parma and Naples, he laid siege to the Roman state and initiated the Concordat of 1801 to control the material claims of the pope. Napoleon would have ruling elites from a fusion of the new bourgeoisie, on 12 May 1802, the French Tribunat voted unanimously, with exception of Carnot, in favour of the Life Consulship for the leader of France. This action was confirmed by the Corps Législatif, a general plebiscite followed thereafter resulting in 3,653,600 votes aye and 8,272 votes nay. On 2 August 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Consul for life, pro-revolutionary sentiment swept through Germany aided by the Recess of 1803, which brought Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden to Frances side. The memories of imperial Rome were for a time, after Julius Caesar and Charlemagne.
The Treaty of Pressburg, signed on 26 December 1805, did little other than create a more unified Germany to threaten France. On the other hand, Napoleons creation of the Kingdom of Italy, the occupation of Ancona, to create satellite states, Napoleon installed his relatives as rulers of many European states. The Bonapartes began to marry into old European monarchies, gaining sovereignty over many nations, in addition to the vassal titles, Napoleons closest relatives were granted the title of French Prince and formed the Imperial House of France. Met with opposition, Napoleon would not tolerate any neutral power, Prussia had been offered the territory of Hanover to stay out of the Third Coalition. With the diplomatic situation changing, Napoleon offered Great Britain the province as part of a peace proposal and this, combined with growing tensions in Germany over French hegemony, Prussia responded by forming an alliance with Russia and sending troops into Bavaria on 1 October 1806. In this War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon destroyed the armies of Frederick William at Jena-Auerstedt, the Eylau and the Friedland against the Russians finally ruined Frederick the Greats formerly mighty kingdom, obliging Russia and Prussia to make peace with France at Tilsit.
The Treaties of Tilsit ended the war between Russia and the French Empire and began an alliance between the two empires that held power of much of the rest of Europe, the two empires secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes
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
The Guadiana River, or Odiana, is an international river defining a long stretch of the Portugal-Spain border, separating Extremadura and Andalucia from Alentejo and Algarve. With a course that covers a distance of 829 kilometres, it is the fourth-longest in the Iberian peninsula, the Romans referred to the river as the Flumen Anas, the river of ducks. During the Moorish occupation and settlement, the name was extended and referred to as Wadi Ana, passed on to Portuguese and Spanish settlers as the Ouadiana, and just Odiana. It is 818 kilometres long, of which 578 kilometres are within Spanish territory,140 kilometres within Portugal, about 82 percent,55,444 square kilometres, of its basin is in Spain, while about 17 percent,11,560 square kilometres is in Portugal. This legend developed from a belief that the river appeared and disappeared over time. In fact, no subterranean course exists, and the belief that the Lagunas de Ruidera is the source is controversial and traditionally the Upper Guadiana, which runs from Viveros until Argamasilla de Alba had been identified as the main branch of the Guadiana.
But even hydro-geological characteristics indicate that the Upper Guadiana may not be the river within the system. Another of the theories, postulated that the Cigüela and Záncara rivers were the sources of the Guadiana. Today, they are considered parts of the rivers headwaters and important tributaries. The Ciguelas source is in Altos de Cabreras and pertains to the Sistema Ibérico and its course is 225 kilometres long, receiving contributions from the rivers Jualón, Torrejón, Riánsares, Amarguillo and Záncara. From its origin/spring runs from the southern Iberian plain in a direction east to west, to near the town of Badajoz, where it begins to track south leading to the Gulf of Cádiz. The Guadiana marks the border of Spain and Portugal twice as it runs to the ocean, for the most part, the Guadiana is navigable from the Atlantic ocean until Mértola, a distance of 68 kilometres. North of Mértola on the Guadiana is the highest waterfall is Southern Portugal called Pulo do Lobo, the ecosystem has Mediterranean hydrological characteristics, including high variation in intra- and inter-annual discharge, large floods and severe droughts.
This variability is a consequence of variation in rainwater supply averaging around an annual mean of 400 to 600 millimetres. The climate is semiarid with an annual temperature of 14 to 16 °C. The estuary has a width of 550 metres, and its depth ranges from 5 to 17 metres. Tides are semi-diurnal, ranging from 0.8 to 3.5 metres, in Spain, three autonomous communities, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia) are crossed by the Guadiana. Meanwhile, in Portugal the river crosses the regions of Alentejo and Algarve, there are over 30 dams on the river basin