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
Battle of Benavente
The French chasseurs were broken and forced into the River Esla, their commanding officer, General Lefebvre-Desnouettes, was captured. The action was the first major incident in the British armys harrowing retreat to the coast, Sir John Moore led a British army into the heart of northwestern Spain with the aim of aiding the Spanish in their struggle against the French occupation. However, Napoleon had entered Spain at the head of an army in order to retrieve French fortunes. This, together with the fall of Madrid to the French, the British army had begun their retreat and were being pursued by the main French army led by Napoleon, the cavalry under Henry, Lord Paget were performing an effective screening role to cover them. On the 28th the British cavalry were acting as a rearguard posted on the River Esla, the French force consisted of three squadrons of the Chasseurs à cheval of the Imperial Guard, plus a number of Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard. The British forces were drawn from the brigades of John Slade, 10th Hussars, outlying pickets of the British cavalry were stationed along the western bank of the River Esla, which was swollen with rain.
The French forced the outlying pickets of the British cavalry back onto the inlying picket commanded by Loftus Otway, Otway charged, despite heavy odds, but was driven back for 2 miles towards the town of Benavente. The French, though temporarily driven back, had numbers and forced the British hussars to retreat once more. Stewart knew he was drawing the French towards Paget and substantial numbers of British reserves, the French had gained the upper hand in the fight and were preparing to deliver a final charge when Lord Paget made a decisive intervention. He led the 10th Hussars, with squadrons of the 18th in support, Paget managed to conceal his squadrons from French view until he could fall on their left flank. The British swords, often dulled by their iron scabbards, were very sharp on this occasion, an eyewitness stated that he saw the arms of French troopers cut off cleanly like Berlin sausages. Other French soldiers were killed by blows to the head, blows which divided the head down to the chin, the French made a fighting withdrawal back to the river, though their squadrons were eventually broken and a running fight ensued.
The chasseurs were forced into and across the river, those who were left on the bank were either cut down or made prisoner. As the chasseurs swam their horses across the river the British troopers fired on them with their carbines, the French cavalry re-formed on their side of the river and opened carbine fire on the British, though they were subsequently dispersed by the fire of British horse artillery. The retreat of the British army, continued, Napoleon had viewed the action from a height overlooking the river, his reactions were rather muted and he made light of the losses to, and humbling of, his Cherished Children. References Sources Marquess of Anglesey, F. S. A, one-Leg, The Life and Letters of Henry William Paget, First Marquess of Anglesey, KG, 1768–1854. – The Reprint Society, London,1961, galloping at Everything, The British Cavalry in the Peninsula and at Waterloo 1808-15, Staplehurst ISBN 1-86227-016-3. Corunna 1809, Sir John Moores Fighting Retreat Osprey Publishing
Battle of Cogorderos
After seven hours of battle, the French were defeated and retreated to León. Despite the victory, threatened by the bulk of General Jean Pierre François Bonets army, however and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières decided against sending more troops to Extremadura, which favored the advance of Wellington in the south. In June 1811, the French occupied the Páramo Leonés, in response, Spanish troops under the command of Field Marshal José María Santocildes launched a strong attack against the French garrison at León, and forced the French to evacuate the city. The garrison commander of León, Brigadier General Jean-Baptiste Jeanin, destroyed several sections of the wall of the city, and on 19 June, retreated to Benavente. On 22 June and his forces entered in León, after 14 months of French occupation, General Jean Pierre François Bonet moved from Asturias to León, concentrating his troops on the right bank of the river Órbigo. On the morning of 23 June, Brigadier General Jean-André Valletaux with 5,000 men, at heavy cost to themselves, the French forced the Spanish to retreat, who withdrew having suffered few casualties.
The French general decided to attack General Francisco Taboada y Gils troops who located in the town of Cogorderos. Despite having little knowledge of Taboadas troops, and possessing a smaller force than his opponent, in concert with Taboadas cavalry, the newcomers attacked the French flank and turned the tide of the battle. Valletaux himself was killed in the fighting, dying in the first Spanish charge, the Spanish captured three regimental eagles, and hunted down many of the French soldiers as they withdrew. Total French casualties amounted to 500 dead or wounded, while the Spanish lost 17 dead and 83 wounded, despite the victory, threatened by the bulk of the army of General Jean Pierre François Bonet, retired to Astorga. However and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières suspended sending more troops to Extremadura, in July, the French army at León was reinforced with several thousand men under General Jean-Marie Dorsenne, who replaced Bessières. The next battle took place 27 August 1811 at Riego de Ambrós where the French, the Spanish Army in the Peninsular War.
The Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War, Historia política y militar de la guerra de la independencia de España contra Napoleón Bonaparte desde 1808 á1814. Operaciones en el Reino de León, revista de Historia Militar nº19. Toreno, José María Queipo de Llano, Historia del levantamiento, Guerra y Revolución de España. Cogorderos 1811 Pedro Méndez de Vigo y la Batalla de Cogorderos
Battle of Bornos (1811)
The Battle of Bornos on 5 November 1811 saw a Spanish force led by Francisco Ballesteros attack an Imperial French column under Jean-Baptiste Pierre de Semellé. The action was part of an operation in which the French tried to trap Ballesteros. Instead, the Spanish general lashed out at one of the French columns, the French escaped disaster when they fought their way out, but a French-allied Spanish battalion either surrendered or switched sides. Bornos is about 40 miles northeast of Jerez de la Frontera on Route 342, the battle occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. In the fall of 1811, the British navy transported Francisco Ballesteros, the Spanish force marched inland on another one of many forays. The French commander in Andalusia, Marshal Nicolas Soult was irritated by the raiding of his territory by Ballesteros. To trap Ballesteros, Soult organized three columns under General of Division Nicolas Godinot, General of Division Pierre Barrois, and General of Brigade Jean-Baptiste Pierre de Semellé.
In July 1811, Godinot commanded the 2nd Division of the I Corps, Godinot set out from Seville while Barrois and Semellé left the Siege of Cadiz lines. Ballesteros detected the converging French forces and raced south to Gibraltar where he found refuge, on 14 October,10,000 French troops arrived in front of Gibraltar. Lacking the supplies for a siege, the French retreated the next day, Godinot tried to march on Tarifa but his troops were bombarded by British warships as they marched on the coast road. Giving up the attempt, he withdrew to Seville, blamed for the operations failure, Godinot committed suicide. On 5 November, Ballesteros marched to Bornos where he surprised Semellé, who commanded 1,500 men of the 16th Light Infantry, Semellé and the 16th Light cut their way out of the trap, but the Juramentados either surrendered or defected en masse during the fighting. The 16th Light suffered 100 casualties in the combat, since Semellé commanded 2,300 men, including 1,500 French, presumably the lost Juramentados battalion counted 800 men.
Ballesteros led a force consisting of regular and irregular elements. Spanish strengths and casualties in the action were not given, a second Battle of Bornos occurred on 31 May 1812 when Ballesteros surprised Nicolas François Conrouxs troops in the town. The outnumbered French fought back effectively and drove off the Spanish troops with serious losses, the Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War. Rickard, J. Combat of Bornos,5 November 1811
Dos de Mayo Uprising
The city had been under the occupation of Napoleons army since 23 March of the same year. King Charles IV had been forced to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand VII, the uprising in Madrid, together with the subsequent proclamation as king of Napoleons brother Joseph, provoked resistance across Spain to French rule. Murat was the brother-in-law of Napoleon, and would become king of Naples. Initially the governing council of the city refused the request from Murat, on 2 May a crowd began to gather in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Those gathered entered the grounds in an attempt to prevent the removal of Francisco de Paula. Marshal Murat sent a battalion of grenadiers from the Imperial Guard to the palace along with artillery detachments, the latter opened fire on the assembled crowd, and the rebellion began to spread to other parts of the city. What followed was street fighting in different areas of Madrid as the poorly armed population confronted the French troops, Murat had quickly moved the majority of his troops into the city and there was heavy fighting around the Puerta del Sol and the Puerta de Toledo.
Marshal Murat imposed martial law in the city and assumed control of the administration. Little by little the French regained control of the city, the painting by the Spanish artist Goya, The Charge of the Mamelukes, portrays the street fighting that took place. There were Spanish troops stationed in the city, but they remained confined to barracks, the only Spanish troops to disobey orders were from the artillery units at the barracks of Monteleón, who joined the uprising. Two officers of these troops, Luis Daoíz de Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán are still commemorated as heroes of the rebellion, both died during the French assault of the barracks, as the rebels were reduced by vastly superior numbers. The repression following the crushing of the rebellion was harsh. Murat created a commission on the evening of 2 May to be presided over by General Grouchy. This commission issued death sentences to all of those captured who were bearing weapons of any kind, in a statement issued that day Murat said, The population of Madrid, led astray, has given itself to revolt and murder.
All those arrested in the uprising, arms in hand, will be shot, all public meetings were prohibited and an order was issued requiring all weapons to be handed in to the authorities. Hundreds of prisoners were executed the following day, a captured in a famous painting by Goya. The name of this declaration was Bando de los alcaldes de Móstoles or bando de la Independencia which translates to Declaration of Independence. While the French occupiers hoped that their rapid suppression of the uprising would demonstrate their control of Spain, in the weeks that followed there were further rebellions in different parts of the country
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
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
Battle of Castalla
In the Battle of Castalla on 13 April 1813, an Anglo-Spanish-Sicilian force commanded by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray fought Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchets French Army of Valencia and Aragon. Murrays troops successfully repelled a series of French attacks on their hilltop position, the action took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Castalla is located 35 kilometers north-northwest of Alicante, General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington wanted to prevent Suchet from reinforcing the other French armies in Spain. He ordered, whose army had built up to over 18,000 Allied troops. Murrays maneuvers were ineffective and prompted Suchet to lash out at his force, the French marshal fell upon a nearby Spanish force, beating it with heavy losses. Suchet focused on crushing Murray, one of the British brigadiers, Frederick Adam conducted a splendid rear guard action on 12 April, allowing Murray to draw up his army in a formidable defensive position near Castalla. On the 13th, Suchets frontal attacks were repulsed with losses by British troops under Adam and John Mackenzie.
The French withdrew and Murray did not follow up his victory, alone among Napoleons marshals, Suchet won his baton by his victories in Spain. However, he avoided cooperating with his fellow French commanders and acted as though the provinces of Aragon, even so, General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess Wellington knew that if Suchets forces intervened in the battles in central and northern Spain, things might go badly for the British army. So Wellington requested that amphibious operations be directed against the east coast of Spain in order to keep Suchets men occupied. Since the summer of 1812, an 8, 000-strong Anglo-Sicilian force, joined by about 6,000 Spanish troops from Minorca, the army frequently changed generals but did nothing to contribute to the Anglo-Allied war effort. In February 1813, Murray was appointed to command the reinforced 18, in early April, after making some indecisive maneuvers, Murray posted his small army at Villena, northwest of Alicante. Meanwhile, Suchet decided to surprise the British general and his Spanish allies, the French marshal split his force into two columns, sending one column under General of Division Jean Isidore Harispe to attack a Spanish force at Yecla.
A second column under Suchets personal command marched against Murray at Villena, on 11 April 1813, Harispe fell upon General Mijares and his 3,000 Murcians at Yecla. In a surprise attack led by the 4th Hussar and 24th Dragoon Regiments, two infantry battalions were virtually annihilated. The French admitted losses of 18 killed and 61 wounded, Murray heard about the disaster by noon that day. He immediately beat a retreat toward Alicante, dropping off a 2, on the morning of 12 April, Suchet captured a Spanish battalion at Villena and set out in pursuit of Murray. At Biar, the French came up with Adams rearguard but were unable to overrun the well-handled force, in a brilliant five-hour action, Adam successfully fended off his French pursuers, allowing Murray to concentrate his army at Castalla
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 Albuera
The Battle of Albuera was a battle during the Peninsular War. Acting on Napoleons orders, in early 1811 Marshal Soult led a French expedition from Andalusia into Extremadura in a bid to draw Allied forces away from the Lines and ease Massénas plight. Napoleons information was outdated and Soults intervention came too late and understrength, Soult left Badajoz strongly garrisoned. In April, following news of Massénas complete withdrawal from Portugal, the Allies drove most of the French from the surrounding area and began the Siege of Badajoz. Soult rapidly gathered a new army from the French forces in Andalusia and, joining with the troops retreating before Beresford, with intelligence of another approaching force—a Spanish army under Gen. Joaquín Blake—he planned to turn Beresfords flank and interpose his army between the two. The opposing armies met at the village of Albuera, both sides suffered heavily in the ensuing struggle and the French finally withdrew on 18 May. Beresfords army was too battered and exhausted to pursue, but was able to resume the investment of Badajoz, despite Soults failure to relieve the town, the battle had little strategic effect on the war.
Just one month later, in June 1811, the Allies were forced to abandon their siege by the approach of the reconstituted French Armies of Portugal, by 10 October 1810 only the British light division and some cavalry patrols remained outside the Lines. Massénas Army of Portugal concentrated around Sobral, apparently in preparation to attack, after a fierce skirmish on 14 October in which the strength of the Lines became apparent, the French dug themselves in rather than launch a costly full-scale assault. They remained entrenched for a month before falling back to a position between Santarém and Rio Maior, the Emperors orders were based on outdated intelligence and called for only a small force, by the time Soult received them the situation had changed considerably. Along with V Corps, this venture pulled both infantry and cavalry from Marshal Victors I Corps who were besieging Cádiz at the time, following a successful campaign in Extremadura, on 27 January 1811 Soult began his investment of Badajoz.
Almost immediately the Spanish Army of Extremadura arrived in the vicinity with some 15,000 troops under the command of Gen. Mendizabal. Soults army, too small to surround Badajoz, was unable to prevent 3,000 of Mendizabals men from reinforcing the fortress and this posed a major threat to the French, so Soult moved at once to engage. In the ensuing Battle of the Gebora the French inflicted 1,000 casualties on the Spanish field army and took 4,000 prisoners, the remnants of Mendizabals defeated army fled towards Badajoz or into Portugal. The garrison of Badajoz, ably commanded by Gen. Rafael Menacho, initially put up strong resistance and by 3 March the French had made little progress against the powerful fortress. On that day, Menacho was killed on the ramparts by a shot, command of the garrison fell to Brig. Gen. José Imaz. The walls were breached on 10 March. Concerned that the British would now be free to send a contingent to relieve Badajoz, Imaz duly capitulated and the French took possession of the fortress on 11 March