The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, in most armies, dragoons came to signify ordinary medium cavalry. Dragoon regiments were established in most European armies during the late 17th, the name is derived from a type of firearm, called a dragon, which was a handgun version of a blunderbuss, carried by dragoons of the French Army. The title has been retained in modern times by a number of armoured or ceremonial mounted regiments, the establishment of dragoons evolved from the practice of sometimes transporting infantry by horse when speed of movement was needed. In 1552 Prince Alexander of Parma mounted several companies of infantry on horses to achieve surprise. Another early instance was ordered by Louis of Nassau in 1572 during operations near Mons in Hainaut and it is suggested the first dragoons were raised by the Marshal de Brissac in 1600. According to old German literature, dragoons were invented by Count Ernst von Mansfeld, one of the greatest German military commanders, there are other instances of mounted infantry predating this.
However Mansfeld, who had learned his profession in Hungary and the Netherlands, often used horses to make his troops more mobile. The name possibly derives from a weapon, a short wheellock called a dragon because the first dragoons raised in France had their carbines muzzle decorated with a dragons head. The practice comes from a time when all gunpowder weapons had distinctive names, including the culverin, falcon, falconet and it is sometimes claimed a galloping infantryman with his loose coat and the burning match resembled a dragon. It has suggested that the name derives from the German tragen or the Dutch dragen. Howard Reid claims that the name and role descend from the Latin Draconarius, Dragoon is occasionally used to mean to subjugate or persecute by the imposition of troops, and by extension to compel by any violent measures or threats. Early dragoons were not organized in squadrons or troops as were cavalry, Dragoon regiments used drummers, not buglers, to communicate orders on the battlefield.
Supplied with inferior horses and more equipment, the dragoon regiments were cheaper to recruit. When in the 17th century Gustav II Adolf introduced dragoons into the Swedish Army, he provided them with a sabre, an axe, many of the European armies henceforth imitated this all-purpose set of weaponry. In the Spanish Army, Pedro de la Puente organized a body of dragoons in Innsbruck in 1635, in 1640, a tercio of a thousand dragoons armed with the arquebus was created in Spain. By the end of the 17th century, the Spanish Army had three tercios of dragoons in Spain, plus three in the Netherlands and three more in Milan, in 1704, the Spanish dragoons were reorganised into regiments by Philip V, as were the rest of the tercios. Towards the end of 1776, George Washington realized the need for a branch of the American military
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms, an individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon or trooper. The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used animals, such as camels. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, and a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height, another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent. In Europe cavalry became increasingly armoured, and eventually became known for the mounted knights, in the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, modern usage of the term generally refers to specialist units equipped with tanks or aircraft.
The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the armored designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was largely performed by light chariots, the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Persian Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC, at this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was more difficult than mere riding. The cavalry acted in pairs, the reins of the archer were controlled by his neighbours hand. Even at this time, cavalry used swords, shields. The sculpture implies two types of cavalry, but this might be a simplification by the artist, Later images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse.
As early as 490 BC a breed of horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour. However, chariots remained in use for purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph. The southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, the last mention of chariot use in battle was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were usually limited to citizens who could afford expensive war-horses
Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the rank of sergeant major general. In the Commonwealth, major general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral. In some countries, including much of Eastern Europe, major general is the lowest of the officer ranks. In the old Austro-Hungarian Army, the general was called a Generalmajor. Todays Austrian Federal Army still uses the same term, see Rank insignias of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces General de Brigade is the lowest rank amongst general officers in the Brazilian Army. AGeneral de Brigada wears two-stars as this is the level for general officers in the Brazilian Army. In tha Brazilian Air Force, the two-star, three-star and four-star rank are known as Brigadeiro, Major-Brigadeiro, see Military ranks of Brazil and Brigadier for more information. In the Canadian Armed Forces, the rank of major-general is both a Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force rank equivalent to the Royal Canadian Navys rank of rear-admiral, a major-general is a general officer, the equivalent of a naval flag officer.
The major-general rank is senior to the ranks of brigadier-general and commodore, prior to 1968, the Air Force used the rank of air vice-marshal, instead. In the Canadian Army, the insignia is a wide braid on the cuff. It is worn on the straps of the service dress tunic. On the visor of the cap are two rows of gold oak leaves. Major-generals are initially addressed as general and name, as are all general officers, major-generals are normally entitled to staff cars. In the Estonian military, the general rank is called kindralmajor. The Finnish military equivalent is kenraalimajuri in Finnish, and generalmajor in Swedish and Danish, the French equivalent to the rank of major general is général de division. In the French military, major général is not a rank but an appointment conferred on some generals, usually of général de corps darmée rank, the position of major général can be considered the equivalent of a deputy chief of staff. In the French Army, Major General is a position and the general is normally of the rank of corps general
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
Province of Salamanca
Salamanca is a province of western Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is bordered by the provinces of Zamora, Valladolid, Ávila and it has an area of 12,349 km ² and in 2014 had a population of 342,459 people. It is divided into 362 municipalities,11 comarcas,32 mancomunidades, of the 362 municipalities, more than half are villages with fewer than 300 people. The Vettones occupied the areas of the current Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Ávila, as well as parts of Cáceres and they were a pre-Roman people of Celtic culture. Their numerous archaeological sites exist throughout the province, and several locality names have Vettone origin and this is the case of Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo. Vettone villages were established on the banks of rivers or on mountains. The area between La Armuña and Salamanca marked the border between Vettones and Vaccaei, the other people of the province. They were situated in the northeast area of the province, Salamanca Province is situated in western Spain, in the western part of Castile and León.
Also of note is the Sierra de Francia mountain range, the Salamanca hydrographic network is mainly formed by the Duero basin. The most important rivers are the Duero, Tormes, Águeda, Huebra, of particular note is the Almendra Dam, five kilometres from the village of Almendra. Constructed between 1964 and 1970, the dam forms part of the system known as the Duero Drops, along with the Castro, Saucelle. It is one of the largest reservoirs in Spain with an area of 86.5 square kilometres and 2.5 billion cubic metres of water. The dam itself is more than half a wide and, at a height of 202 metres. There are Roman Catholic cathedrals at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, the Old Cathedral of Salamanca was founded by Bishop Jerome of Périgord, in the 12th century and completed in Romanesque/Gothic style in the 14th century. It is dedicated to Santa Maria de la Sede, the New Cathedral of Salamanca was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Late Gothic and Baroque styles. Building began in 1513 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1733 and it was commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile of Spain.
It was declared a monument by royal decree in 1887. List of municipalities in Salamanca Kingdom of León Media related to Province of Salamanca at Wikimedia Commons
Siege of Burgos
The siege took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Burgos is located about 210 kilometres north of Madrid, after crushing Marshal Auguste Marmonts French army at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812, Wellington exploited his great victory by advancing on Madrid. King Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan retreated to Valencia where they sought refuge with Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet, the magnitude of Wellingtons triumph compelled Marshal Nicolas Soult to evacuate Andalucia in the south and withdraw to Valencia. The combined armies of Soult and Joseph soon posed a menace to Wellingtons grasp on Madrid. The recently defeated French army in the north built up its strength, Wellington made plans to counter the southern French threat while hoping to quickly capture the strategically important Burgos position, which was an important French supply base. Instead, Dubreton led a defense, thwarting Wellingtons assaults time after time. The British commanders hopes were blasted when his attempts to contain the twin French counteroffensives failed and that fall the French lost an opportunity to defeat Wellingtons army.
Nevertheless, during the withdrawal to Portugal the Anglo-Portuguese army lost many men to pursuing French cavalry, Wellingtons victory over Marshal Marmont at the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812 gravely weakened the French position in Spain. Before the engagement, King Joseph had set out with 14,000 troops, intending to reinforce the marshal, on 25 July, Joseph received a report from the wounded Marmont which covered up the extent of the disaster. Soon, General of Division Clausel reported the state of affairs. He wrote to the king, armies usually suffer in morale after a setback, I cannot conceal that a very bad spirit prevails. Disorders and the most revolting excesses mark every stage of our retreat, desperate to salvage the situation, the king ordered Marshal Nicolas Soult to send help and to evacuate Andalucia, but the marshal refused. On 30 July, Wellingtons army reached Valladolid, northwest of Madrid, leaving 18,000 troops with Lieutenant General Henry Clinton to watch Clausel, the British army commander turned toward Madrid with 36,000 men.
On 11 August, General of Division Anne-François-Charles Trelliards dragoon division fought a skirmish with the Allies at the Battle of Majadahonda northwest of Madrid. At first, the French dragoons routed Brigadier General Benjamin dUrbans Portuguese cavalry, King Joseph evacuated Madrid which the Anglo-Portuguese entered on 12 August, to the cheers of the inhabitants. Harassed by guerillas and tortured by thirst, Josephs soldiers retreated all the way to the east coast city of Valencia, Valencia was held by Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet. Wellington knew that if Joseph and Soult joined forces, his position in central Spain would become perilous and he counted on the autumn rains keeping the Tagus River high and preventing Joseph and Soult from threatening his southern flank. He hoped that the Spanish might delay any French counterattack toward Madrid and he believed that the capture of Burgos would slow any French drive from the north
Battle of Campo Maior
Initially successful, some of the Allied horsemen indulged in a reckless pursuit of the French. An erroneous report was given that they had been captured wholesale, in consequence, Beresford halted his forces and the French were able to escape and recover a convoy of artillery pieces. Masséna finally ran out of supplies and withdrew toward Almeida in March, farther to the south, Marshal Nicolas Soult laid siege to Badajoz on 26 January. The fortress fell to the French on 11 March, on 15 March, Marshal Édouard Mortier and 4,500 troops belonging to the V Corps laid siege to Campo Maior Castle. Major José Talaya with 800 Portuguese militia and 50 old cannon stoutly defended the ancient Portuguese fortress, the castle held out until 21 March when the French bombardment rendered the place indefensible. Mortier assigned Latour-Maubourg to escort a convoy of French siege cannons from Campo Maior, the only units to see action were the 13th Light Dragoons, the 1st and 7th Portuguese Cavalry Regiments, and part of Cleeves KGL artillery battery, a total of 700 sabres and two cannon.
On 25 March, Long hurled the 13th Light Dragoons at the 26th Dragoons, the French dragoons were broken and their commanding officer, General Chamorin, was killed. The whole French cavalry covering force of six squadrons - two remained in support of the infantry - was routed and fled in the direction of Badajoz, the British horsemen, followed by the 7th Portuguese Dragoons under Loftus Otway, embarked on a wild pursuit of the defeated Frenchmen. They came upon the convoy of 18 siege guns, overran it, some of the Light Dragoons charged onto the glacis of the Badajoz fortress and were repulsed by its fire. French cavalry emerged from the city to drive away the allied horsemen, the allied cavalry managed to retain and carry off one captured cannon. Out of 2,400 engaged, the French suffered 200 casualties, including 108 from the 26th Dragoons, the 13th Light Dragoons lost 10 killed,27 wounded, and 22 captured. The Portuguese regiments lost 14 killed,40 wounded, and 55 captured, the pursuit of Latour-Maubourgs force faltered despite the British and Portuguese outnumbering them greatly.
The reason behind this failure was subsequently disputed between supporters of Brigadier Long and Marshal Beresford, the cavalry clash at Campo Maior was to become a very controversial action. Beresford considered that Long had lost control of his light cavalry, Beresford claimed that his taking personal command of the heavy dragoon brigade had prevented Long from ordering them to attempt a suicidal charge against French infantry squares. The next major action in the sector would be the Battle of Albuera. The officers of the regiment wrote a letter to Wellington detailing the particulars of the action. Wellington is reported as saying that had he known the facts he would never have issued the reprimand. Galloping at Everything, The British Cavalry in the Peninsula and at Waterloo 1808-15, lapène, E. Conquête de l’Andalousie Campagne de 1810 et 1811 dans le Midi de l’Espaigne, Paris
Lower Saxony State Museum
The Lower Saxony State Museum is a museum in Hanover, Germany. It is located opposite the New City Hall, the museum comprises the State Gallery, featuring paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, plus departments of archaeology, natural history and ethnology. The museum includes a vivarium with fish, reptiles, the museums forerunner was the Museum of Art and Science, inaugurated in 1856 in the presence of George V of Hanover. Based in the present-day Hanover Künstlerhaus, it was renamed the Museum of the Province of Hanover or Provincial Museum. The museum soon ran out of space for its art collections, prompting the construction of the current building, on the edge of the Maschpark and it was designed by Hubert Stier in a Neo-Renaissance style. The buildings relief frieze, titled Key Moments in the Evolution of Humanity, was created by the Hanoverian artist Georg Herting in partnership with Karl Gundelach and it was renamed the State Museum in 1933, and finally the Lower Saxony State Museum of Hanover in 1950.
The cupola above the central risalit was destroyed by Allied bombs during the war, extensive renovations and modernisations were carried out in the buildings interior from 1995 to 2000. The reopening took place on 13 May as part of Expo 2000, the State Gallery features art from the 11th to the 20th centuries. Some of the artists include Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer. Caspar David Friedrichs four-piece Tageszeitenzyklus is the only such series by Friedrich in a single museum. The Lower Saxony State Museum has an archaeological collection, containing some unique finds. The archaeology department is supported by the Lower Saxony State Society of Prehistory, the ethnological collection is among the oldest in German-speaking territory, and includes around 20,000 artworks and everyday artefacts from all parts of the world. A wide range of religions and cultures in America, Africa and Asia is displayed through the findings of explorers, the Lower Saxony State Museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions on changing themes.
The museum offers its own pest control facility for infested artworks and artefacts, heide Grape-Albers, Das Niedersächsische Landesmuseum Hannover 2002. 150 Jahre Museum in Hannover –100 Jahre Gebäude am Maschpark, festschrift commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Maschpark building. Lower Saxony State Museum, Hanover,2002, ur- und Frühgeschichtliche Goldfunde aus Niedersachsen. Lower Saxony State Museum, Oldenburg,2003
Siege of Tarifa (1812)
In the Siege of Tarifa from 19 December 1811 to 5 January 1812, an Imperial French army under Jean François Leval laid siege to an Anglo-Spanish garrison led by Francisco Copons. Despite the advice of British Colonel John Byrne Skerrett to evacuate the town, some wanted to evacuate to and defend the small island that was attached by a causeway from the town. Tarifa is located on Route 340 on the southernmost tip of Spain, the siege occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. General of Division Jean François Leval commanded a corps of 15,000 soldiers, levals Polish contingent was made up of two battalions each of the 7th and 9th Infantry Regiments and his cavalry comprised four squadrons each of the 16th and 21st Dragoon Regiments. General Francisco Copons led the defenders, who numbered under 3,000 men and 26 guns and his Spanish brigade included one battalion each of the Irlanda and Cantabria Infantry Regiments, one company of Cazadores,120 gunners, and 25 cavalrymen.
The French drove the advanced posts of the garrison in on 19 December, seeing the apparent advantage of the high ground to the east, they opened trenches on 22 December and by dawn on 29 December were ready to fire their sixteen-pounder canon. It only took a few hours for the walls to tumble down, the small walled town of Tarifa seemed almost impossible to defend. Overlooked at short range by higher ground, with walls unprotected against artillery fire, Skerrett proposed abandoning the defence and embarking on ships. Captain C. F. Smith of the Corps of Royal Engineers strongly opposed the idea and he had noted that inside the walls, the ground level was much lower which combined with a deep narrow river that flowed through the town would make that assault quite hazardous. Skerrett was checkmated when the ships were ordered back to Gibraltar, the commanders being forbidden to embark a single soldier, by General Campbell, Smith having foreseen where the French would attack had prepared internal defences against the impending assault.
The 14 foot sheer drop inside the wall would trap the French from retreating and every house overlooking the area was loopholed and garrisoned, all debris was cleared from inside the wall, despite the grape being fired by the besiegers. Surrender terms were offered and refused, French Grenadiers advanced along the now dry river bed trying to enter through the portcullis, however it held and the 87th Regiment blunted their attack with withering fire. Going over to the offensive, the Allies sallied forth in the morning, forcing the French to retreat, Leval withdrew after making his one abortive assault and seeing sickness begin to ravage his soldiers. Unable to extract their heavy artillery from the mud, the besiegers destroyed and abandoned most of their cannons. to the British Engineer. Charles Felix Smith went on to part in many more conflicts over the next 30 years. He became a Lieutenant General and was knighted, General Francisco Copons y Navia went on to fight many more battles alongside the British, his shining star failing on the return to Spain of King Fernando VII.
The French did not return to Tarifa and their Siege of Cadiz was abandoned in August 1812, over the next year, the Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War. Rickard, J. Siege of Tarifa,20 December 1811-5 January 1812, History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Vol I
George Anson (British Army officer, born 1769)
General Sir George Anson, GCB, was a British officer and politician from the Anson family. He commanded a British cavalry brigade under the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War, Anson was the second son of George Anson and his wife The Hon. Mary Vernon, daughter of the first Lord Vernon. He had an elder brother Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson and a younger brother Sir William Anson, 1st Baronet, another brother was Frederick Anson. He was the uncle of Thomass sons, Thomas Anson, 1st Earl of Lichfield and George Anson (who became the Commander-in-Chief and he was uncle of Fredericks son, George Edward Anson, Keeper of the Privy Purse, who died a few days before him in 1849. Also, Admiral George Anson, 1st Baron Anson was his great-uncle and he entered the British Army in 1786 and served under the Duke of York and Sir Ralph Abercromby in Holland. It was to be in the Peninsular War where his reputation grew markedly and he served in all the campaigns between 1809 and 1813 and gained distinction in his command of the 16th Light Dragoons at the Second Battle of Porto.
His reputation was enhanced by his command of a brigade of light cavalry at the Battles of Talavera, Salamanca. He fought in the Battle of Venta del Pozo during the retreat from Burgos, for his services in the Battles of Talavera and Vittoria he received a medal and two clasps. So prominent was he during these campaigns that the House of Commons thanked him in November 1816 for his services generally during the Peninsular Wars. In August 1814 he was appointed to the colonelcy of the 23rd Regiment of Dragoons and he was promoted to the rank of full General on 10 January 1837. Aside from his career he sat as Member of Parliament for Lichfield from 1806 to 1841. He was the Groom of the Bedchamber to Prince Albert from 1836 to September 1841, in 1846 he was appointed the lieutenant-governor of the Royal Hospital and became governor in May 1849. Anson married Frances, daughter of John William Hamilton, in 1800 and she was the sister of Sir Frederick Hamilton. They had six sons and five daughters and their son Talavera Vernon Anson became an Admiral in the Royal Navy.
Another son Thomas Anson was a first class cricketer, Anson survived her by fifteen years and died at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea in November 1849. In Who Do You Think You Are, transmitted on the BBC on 18 October 2007, it was discovered that Sir Matthew Pinsent, the multiple gold medal Olympic rower, is a direct descendant of Sir George Anson. Leigh Rayments Peerage Page www. thepeerage. com Hansard 1803–2005, contributions in Parliament by George Anson
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
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