Michel Ney, 1st Duc dElchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa, popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon and he was known as Le Rougeaud by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves by Napoleon. Michel Ney was born in the town of Sarrelouis, in the French province of the Three Bishoprics and he was the second son of Pierre Ney, a master barrel-cooper and veteran of the Seven Years War, and his wife Margarethe Grewelinger. He was the grandson of Matthias Ney and wife Margarethe Becker. His hometown at the time of his birth comprised a French enclave in a predominantly German region of Saarland and he was educated at the Collège des Augustins, became a notary in Saarlouis and subsequently became an overseer of mines and forges. Life as a civil servant did not suit Ney, and he enlisted in the Colonel-General Hussar Regiment in 1787, under the Bourbon Monarchy entry to the officer corps of the French Army was restricted to those with four quarterings of nobility.
However, Ney rapidly rose through the officer ranks. He served in the Army of the North from 1792 to 1794, with which he saw action at the Cannonade of Valmy, the Battle of Neerwinden, and other engagements. After the dissolution of the monarchy in September of 1792, Ney was commissioned as an officer in October, transferred to the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse in June 1794, Ney was promoted to général de brigade in August 1796, and commanded cavalry on the German fronts. On 17 April 1797, during the Battle of Neuwied, Ney led a charge against Austrian lancers trying to seize French cannons. The lancers were beaten back, but Ney’s cavalry were counter-attacked by heavy cavalry, during the mêlée, Ney was thrown from his horse and captured in the vicinity of the municipality of Dierdorf, on 8 May he was exchanged for an Austrian general. Following the capture of Mannheim, Ney was promoted to géneral de division in March 1799, in 1799, Ney commanded cavalry in the armies of Switzerland and the Danube.
At Winterthur Ney received wounds in the thigh and wrist, after recovering he fought at Hohenlinden under General Moreau in December 1800. From September 1802, Ney commanded French troops in Switzerland and performed diplomatic duties, on 19 May 1804, Ney received his Marshals baton, emblematic of his status as a Marshal of the Empire, the Napoleonic eras equivalent of Marshal of France. In the 1805 campaign, Ney took command of VI Corps of the Grande Armée and was praised for his conduct at Elchingen, in November 1805, Ney invaded the Tyrol, capturing Innsbruck from Archduke John. In the 1806 campaign, Ney fought at Jena and occupied Erfurt, in the campaign, Ney successfully besieged Magdeburg. In the 1807 campaign, Ney arrived with reinforcements in time to save Napoleon from defeat at Eylau, in the campaign, Ney fought at Güttstadt and commanded the right wing at Friedland. On 6 June 1808, Ney was created Duke of Elchingen, in August 1808, he was sent to Spain in command of VI Corps and won a number of minor actions
Royal Horse Artillery
The regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery, dating from 1793, are part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery of the British Army. Horses are still in service for ceremonial purposes but were phased out from deployment during the 1930s. Britain remained in conflict with France for almost 22 years, during which time significant progress was achieved in artillery development. The first two troops of Horse Artillery were raised in January 1793 at Goodwood, East Sussex, by the Master-General of the Ordnance and they were joined by two more troops in November 1793. Each troop had six 6-pounder guns, included in the establishment were 45 drivers and 187 horses, making it the first self-contained fighting unit of artillery. Initially, horses were hired with civilian drivers, in 1794 a Driver Corps was raised which, did not formally become a unit of the Royal Artillery until after Waterloo. There were many disadvantages of the control until horses and drivers were organised into the RHA troops. Another development was the formation of a headquarters staff providing a channel between the regiment and the Board of Ordnance, captain John Macleod was the first brigade major and became the first deputy-adjutant-general in 1795.
By 1806, eleven troops had been formed, with ten companies of the Royal Irish Artillery incorporated, as the Seventh Battalion, the regiment wore light cavalry uniforms of blue with gold lace and red facings. Their overalls were grey with a red stripe and on their heads they wore the distinctive Tarleton helmets, if needed, they carried 1796 light-cavalry sabres or their own semi-official RHA 1796P sabre. In 1859, the battalion was replaced by brigade. The five Horse Artillery brigades consisted of two batteries each, between 1899 and 1924, the Royal Artillery was divided, with the creation of the Royal Field Artillery which utilised horse for its medium-calibre guns. When the Territorial Force was created in 1908, artillery units of the old Volunteer Force were converted into foot, there were 14 batteries of horse artillery,12 of which belonged to the RHA, the remaining two being provided by the Honourable Artillery Company. Territorial batteries were of four guns each rather than the six guns of regular batteries, the principal weapon of Territorial RHA units was the Ordnance QF15 pounder although the Ordnance BLC15 pounder was issued to some second-line RHA units formed in 1914.
At the outbreak of World War I the regular RHA comprised twenty-five batteries and they were equipped with the Ordnance QF13 pounder. In the 1920s, development of trucks and track vehicles brought an end to use of horses. By 1927, medium artillery was drawn by tractors instead of heavy draught horses, by 1937, nine field brigades had been mechanised as well as a brigade of RHA. The last battery to be mechanised was K Battery, in 1939, the ceremonial Kings Troop alone retains the glamour of the mounted batteries
Battle of Sabugal
In poor weather, with heavy rain and fog, Allied forces succeeded in forcing the demoralized French force into retreat. By October 1810, Marshal Massena’s French army had halted by the Lines of Torres Vedras. Having survived the winter, Massena order a retreat on 3 March 1811. By the onset of April, the French forces were just inside Portugal, jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte dErlons 9th Corps defended to the north, Louis Henri Loisons 6th Corps was in the centre and Jean Reyniers 2nd Corps held the south flank at Sabugal. Resting in the areas was Jean-Andoche Junots 8th Corps. It was at Sabugal that Wellesley attempted to crush the French flank by attacking forces of the isolated 2nd Corps, with the leading British units cut off, and poor weather approaching, the British situation became increasingly difficult. The 1st Brigade of the British-Portuguese Light Division crossed the Côa at 10.00 hrs on the morning of 3 April, the French 4th Légére from Pierre Hugues Victoire Merles 1st Division was alerted by musket fire as the 1st Brigade drove off a small number of French pickets.
The French formed a column and advanced on the British, while making good progress initially, the concentrated French force was driven back by British artillery. The 1st Brigade followed the retreating French forces up a hill, however it was quickly ousted by the remaining French forces. The British were forced back into cover behind some stone walls. Heavy rain had begun to interfere with the muskets of both sides. An attempted counter-attack by the 1st Brigade ended in failure, together with further French reinforcements, Reynier forced the British back to the cover of the stone walls at the foot of the hill. The crest was attacked for a time by the 1st Brigade, now supported by the 2nd Brigade. While the French were initially pushed back, Reynier sent in a stream of French units to meet the arriving British 16th Light Dragoons, with the rain clearing, Reynier could see the British divisions beginning a frontal assault. Sources differ in the number of French prisoners taken, ranging from 186 to over 1,500, major-General William Erskine commanded the Light Division during the battle.
Wellington planned to have the Light Division and two brigades of cavalry circle behind Reyniers open left flank while the four divisions attacked in front. When the day dawned with heavy fog, the commanders decided to wait until visibility improved. Undeterred, Erskine peremptorily ordered Lieut-Colonel Thomas Sydney Beckwiths 1st Brigade forward, instead of crossing the Côa beyond Reyniers flank, the brigade drifted to the left in the fog, crossed at the wrong location and struck the French left flank
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
His defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 put him in the top rank of Britains military heroes. Wellesley was born in Dublin, belonging to the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland and he was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons and he was a colonel by 1796, and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, following Napoleons exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the army which defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellesleys battle record is exemplary, he participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career. Wellington is famous for his defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses.
He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, after ending his active military career, Wellington returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party, from 1828 to 1830 and he oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the figures in the House of Lords until his retirement. As such, he belonged to the Protestant Ascendancy and his biographers mostly follow the contemporary newspaper evidence in saying that he was born 1 May 1769, the day that he was baptised. He was most likely born at his parents townhouse,24 Upper Merrion Street, but his mother Anne, Countess of Mornington, recalled in 1815 that he had been born at 6 Merrion Street, Dublin. He spent most of his childhood at his familys two homes, the first a house in Dublin and the second Dangan Castle,3 miles north of Summerhill on the Trim Road in County Meath. In 1781, Arthurs father died and his eldest brother Richard inherited his fathers earldom and he went to the diocesan school in Trim when at Dangan, Mr Whytes Academy when in Dublin, and Browns School in Chelsea when in London.
He enrolled at Eton, where he studied from 1781 to 1784, Eton had no playing fields at the time. In 1785, a lack of success at Eton, combined with a shortage of funds due to his fathers death, forced the young Wellesley. Until his early twenties, Arthur showed little sign of distinction and his mother grew concerned at his idleness, stating. A year later, Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers, where he progressed significantly, becoming a good horseman and learning French, upon returning to England in late 1786, he astonished his mother with his improvement
King's German Legion
The Kings German Legion was a British Army unit of mostly expatriate German personnel during the period 1803–16. The Legion achieved the distinction of being the only German force to fight without interruption against the French during the Napoleonic Wars, the Legion was formed within months of the dissolution of the Electorate of Hanover in 1803, and constituted as a mixed corps by the end of 1803. The Legion was disbanded in 1816, several of the units were incorporated into the army of the Kingdom of Hanover, and became a part of the Imperial German Army after unification in 1871. The British German Legion, recruited for the Crimean War, is erroneously referred to as the Kings German Legion. After the occupation of Hanover by Napoleonic troops the Convention of Artlenburg, called the Convention of the Elbe, was signed on 5 July 1803, the Electors army was disbanded. Many former Hanoverian officers and soldiers fled the French occupation of Hanover to Britain, George III, the same year, Major Colin Halkett and Colonel Johann Friedrich von der Decken were issued warrants to raise a corps of light infantry, to be named The Kings German Regiment.
On 19 December 1803, Halketts and von der Deckens levies were combined as a basis of a mixed corps renamed the Kings German Legion, the KGL infantry were quartered in Bexhill-on-Sea and the cavalry in Weymouth, Dorset. Some units were involved in a fight in Tullamore, Ireland with a British Light infantry unit in the so-called Battle of Tullamore. The number of Officers and Other Ranks grew over time to approximately 14,000 and it saw active service as an integral part of the British Army from 1805–1816, after which its units were disbanded. In the Peninsular Campaign, the Germans enhanced the veteran core of the British army, at Sabugal, in April 1811, several hundred German hussars augmented the Light Division, and the Hussars found the proper ford of the Coa River. At the Battle of Garcia Hernandez, the Dragoons performed the feat of smashing two French square formations in a matter of minutes. At the Battle of Waterloo, the 2nd Light Battalion — with members of the 1st Light Battalion, after a six-hour defence, without ammunition, or reinforcements, the Germans were forced to abandon the farm, leaving the buildings in shambles and their dead behind.
The Legion was known for its excellent discipline and fighting ability, the cavalry was reputed to be among the best in the British army. According to the historian Alessandro Barbero, the Kings German Legion had such a degree of professionalism that it was considered equal in every way to the best British units. After the victory at Waterloo, the Electorate of Hanover was re-founded as the Kingdom of Hanover, the army of Hanover had been reconstituted even before the final battle, so that there were two Hanoverian armies in existence. In 1816 the Legion was dissolved and some officers and men were integrated into the new Hanoverian army, the Waterloo Companion London, Aurum Press,2001 ISBN 1-85410-764-X Barbero, Alessandro. Walker and Company,2005, ISBN 0-8027-1453-6, history of the Kings German Legion vol 1,1832 reprint Naval and Military Press,1997 ISBN 0-9522011-0-0 Beamish, N. Ludlow. History of the Kings German Legion vol 2,1832 reprint Naval and Military Press,1997 ISBN 0-9522011-0-0 Chappell, Die Kings German Legion 1803–1816, Lebenswirklichkeit in einer militärischen Formation der Koalitionskriege
Almeida is a fortified village and a municipality in the sub-region of Beira Interior Norte and the District of Guarda, Portugal. The town proper has a population of 1,300 people, the municipality population in 2011 was 7,242, in an area of 517.98 square kilometres. It is located in Riba-Côa river valley, the present Mayor is António Baptista Ribeiro, elected by the Social Democratic Party. The municipal holiday is July 2, the village lies 7.2 kilometres west of the border with Spain and straddles the N332 road. The Rio Côa run northwards a short distance to the west of the village, the towns castle fortress was completed in 1641 and is located to the north of the village and is approached through the two tunnel gates and dry moat named the Portas de São Francisco. Mutzig, Bas-Rhin, France In and around the environment of Almeida, evidence of Human occupation can be back to the Bronze Age. Evidence has found of Roman occupation followed by the Suevi. The first fortification constructed in the settlement were constructed by the Muslims who occupied the village until Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula and it was during this time that the current name was first used, in the form of the Arabic al-Maida.
The village of Almeida was captured from the Moors by the king of Portugal. So important to the security of the country, Sancho had the heavily fortified. The castle was refortified on three occasions by King Dinis, King Manuel I and by King João VI. During the Seven Years War which involved most of the powers of Europe. As a result of the invasion Almeida was captured by Spain in 1762, the fortress around the town guards an important cross-border road from Spain, and underwent several sieges. The siege of 1810, during the Peninsular War, ended spectacularly when a chance shell ignited the gunpowder magazine. Administratively, the municipality is divided into 16 civil parishes, Municipality official website Photos from Almeida
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