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
The wars resulted from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars, which had raged on for years before concluding with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Napoleon became the First Consul of France in 1799, Emperor five years later, inheriting the political and military struggles of the Revolution, he created a state with stable finances, a strong central bureaucracy, and a well-trained army. The British frequently financed the European coalitions intended to thwart French ambitions, by 1805, they had managed to convince the Austrians and the Russians to wage another war against France. At sea, the Royal Navy destroyed a combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in October 1805, Prussian worries about increasing French power led to the formation of the Fourth Coalition in 1806. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July, although Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, it did not bring a lasting peace for Europe.
Hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia, the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, the Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. Unwilling to bear the consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse and retreat of the Grand Army along with the destruction of Russian lands. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France, a lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814 and he was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power.
However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again, the Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The Congress of Vienna, which started in 1814 and concluded in 1815, established the new borders of Europe and laid out the terms, Napoleon seized power in 1799, creating a de facto military dictatorship. The Napoleonic Wars began with the War of the Third Coalition, Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleons assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, for its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British quickly enforced a blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britains Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him, the so-called Continental System formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce free trade with France
Invasion of Java (1811)
The invasion of Java in 1811 was a successful British amphibious operation against the Dutch East Indian island of Java that took place between August and September 1811 during the Napoleonic Wars. The Kingdom of Holland was annexed to the First French Empire in 1810, after the fall of French colonies in the West Indies in 1809 and 1810, and a successful campaign against French possessions in Mauritius in 1810 and 1811, attention turned to the Dutch East Indies. Troops were landed on 4 August, and by 8 August the undefended city of Batavia capitulated, the defenders withdrew to a previously prepared fortified position, Fort Cornelis, which the British laid siege to, capturing it early in the morning of 26 August. The remaining defenders, a mixture of Dutch and French regulars and native militiamen, the island remained in British hands for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars, and was restored to the Dutch in the Convention of London in 1814. The Netherlands had been controlled by France for several years and was already at war with Britain, the strongly pro-French Herman Willem Daendels was appointed Governor General of the Dutch East Indies in 1807.
He arrived in Java aboard the French privateer Virginie in 1808, in particular, Daendels established an entrenched camp named Fort Cornelis a few miles south of Batavia. He improved the defences by building new hospitals, arms factories. In 1810, the Netherlands were formally annexed by France, as part of the resulting changes, Jan Willem Janssens was appointed personally by Napoleon Bonaparte to replace Daendels as Governor General. Janssens had previously served as Governor General of the Cape Colony and he arrived in Java in April 1811 aboard the French frigates Méduse and Nymphe and the corvette Sappho, accompanied by several hundred French troops and some senior French officers. The British had already occupied the Dutch East Indian possessions of Ambon and they had recently captured the French islands of Réunion and Mauritius in the Mauritius campaign of 1809–1811. With the large forces which had made available to him for the Mauritius campaign, Minto enthusiastically adopted the suggestion.
The Navy was active off the Javanese coastline before and during the expedition, on 23 May 1811 a party from HMS Sir Francis Drake attacked a flotilla of 14 Dutch gunvessels off Surabaya, capturing nine of them. Merak, in north-western Java, was attacked and the defending the town largely demolished by a party from HMS Minden. On the same day HMS Procris attacked a squadron of six Dutch gunboats flying French colours, capturing five and destroying the sixth. The first division of troops, under the command of Colonel Rollo Gillespie, left Madras on 18 April and Broughton became the military and naval commanders in chief respectively of the expedition. With the force now assembled Auchmuty had roughly 11,960 men under his command and those too ill to travel on were landed at Malacca, and on 11 June the fleet sailed onwards. After calling at various points en route, the force arrived off Indramayu on 30 June, there the fleet waited for a time for intelligence concerning the Dutch strength. Colonel Mackenzie, an officer who had dispatched to reconnoitre the coast, suggested a landing site at Cilincing
The Hundred Days marked the period between Napoleons return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815. This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign, the phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 July. Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was sitting, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars pitted France against various coalitions of other European nations nearly continuously from 1792 onward. The overthrow and subsequent public execution of Louis XVI in France had greatly disturbed other European leaders, rather than leading to Frances defeat, the wars allowed the revolutionary regime to expand beyond its borders and create client republics. The success of the French forces made an out of their best commander. In 1799, Napoleon staged a successful coup détat and became First Consul of the new French Consulate, five years later, he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I.
The rise of Napoleon troubled the other European powers as much as the revolutionary regime had. Despite the formation of new coalitions against him, Napoleons forces continued to conquer much of Europe, the tide of war began to turn after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812 that resulted in the loss of much of Napoleons army. The following year, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Coalition forces defeated the French in the Battle of Leipzig, following its victory at Leipzig, the Coalition vowed to press on to Paris and depose Napoleon. In the last week of February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher advanced on Paris, the Battle of Reims went to Napoleon, but this victory was followed by successive defeats from increasingly overwhelming odds. Coalition forces entered Paris after the Battle of Montmartre on 30 March 1814, on 6 April 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne, leading to the accession of Louis XVIII and the first Bourbon Restoration a month later.
The defeated Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, Napoleon spent only nine months and 21 days in uneasy retirement on Elba, watching events in France with great interest as the Congress of Vienna gradually gathered. He had been escorted to Elba by Sir Neil Campbell, who remained in there while performing other duties in Italy. Equally threatening was the situation in Europe which had been stressed and exhausted during the previous decades of near constant warfare. The conflicting demands of major powers were for a time so exorbitant as to bring the Powers at the Congress of Vienna to the verge of war with each other. Thus every scrap of news reaching remote Elba looked favourable to Napoleon to retake power as he reasoned the news of his return would cause a popular rising as he approached. So threatening were the symptoms that the royalists at Paris and the plenipotentiaries at Vienna talked of deporting him to the Azores or to Saint Helena, at the Congress of Vienna the various participating nations had very different and conflicting goals.
Tsar Alexander of Russia had expected to absorb much of Poland and to leave a Polish puppet state, the renewed Prussian state demanded all of the Kingdom of Saxony
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
The Waterloo Campaign was fought between the French Army of the North and two Seventh Coalition armies, an Anglo-allied army and a Prussian army. Initially the French army was commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, but he left for Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Command rested on Marshals Soult and Grouchy, who were in turn replaced by Marshal Davout, the Anglo-allied army was commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army by Prince Blücher. Rather than wait for the Coalition to invade France, Napoleon decided to attack his enemies and he chose to launch his first attack against the two Coalition armies cantoned in modern-day Belgium, part of the Netherlands but until the year before part of the First French Empire. On 16 June the French prevailed with Marshal Ney commanding the left wing of the French army holding Wellington at the Battle of Quatre Bras and Napoleon defeating Blücher at the Battle of Ligny. On the night of 17 June the Anglo-allied army turned and prepared for battle on a gentle escarpment, the next day the Battle of Waterloo proved to be the decisive battle of the campaign.
The next day he left Wavre and started a retreat back to Paris. After the defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon chose not to remain with the army and attempt to rally it and this he failed to do and was forced to abdicate. The two Coalition armies hotly pursued the French army to the gates of Paris, during which the French on occasion turned and fought some delaying actions, in which thousands of men were killed. Initially the remnants of the French left wing and the reserves that were routed at Waterloo were commanded by Marshal Soult while Grouchy kept command of the right wing. However, on 25 June Soult was relieved of his command by the Provisional Government and was replaced by Grouchy, Cloud which ended hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington. The two Coalition armies entered Paris on 7 July, the next day Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne, and a week on 15 July Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon. Napoleon was exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died in May 1821, under the terms of the peace treaty of November 1815, Coalition forces remained in Northern France as an army of occupation under the command of the Duke of Wellington.
Napoleon returned from his exile on the island of Elba on 1 March 1815, King Louis XVIII fled Paris on 19 March, the hopes of peace that Napoleon had entertained were gone — war was now inevitable. A further treaty was ratified on 25 March in which each of the Great European Powers agreed to pledge 150,000 men for the coming conflict, such a number was not possible for Great Britain, as her standing army was smaller than the three of her peers. Besides, her forces were scattered around the globe, with units still in Canada. With this in mind she made up her numerical deficiencies by paying subsidies to the other Powers, the advantage of this invasion date was that it allowed all the invading Coalition armies a chance to be ready at the same time. Yet this postponed invasion date allowed Napoleon more time to strengthen his forces and defences, Napoleon now had to decide whether to fight a defensive or offensive campaign
Guillaume Marie-Anne Brune, 1st Comte Brune was a French soldier and political figure who rose to Marshal of France. The son of a lawyer, Brune was born at Brive-la-Gaillarde and he settled in Paris before the French Revolution, studied law, and became a political journalist. Following the French Revolution he joined the Cordeliers and was a friend of Georges Danton, Brune was appointed brigadier general in 1793 and took part in the fighting of the 13 Vendémiaire against royalist insurgents in Paris. In 1796 he fought under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign and he rendered further good service in Vendée, and in the Italian Peninsula during the years 1799–1801. In 1802 Napoleon dispatched Brune to Constantinople as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, during his two-year diplomatic service, he initiated relations between France and Persia. Following his coronation as Emperor of the French in 1804, Napoleon made Brune Marshal of the Empire. Brune was recalled to service in 1815, during the Hundred Days.
He was murdered by royalists during the Second White Terror at Avignon and his body was thrown in the river Rhône, but was recovered and buried in a pyramid-shaped tomb in the cemetery of Saint-Just-Sauvage. In 1793 he married Angélique Pierre and they had no issue but adopted two daughters. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Brune. Endnotes, Notice historique sur la vie politique et militaire du marechal Brune, paul-Prosper Vermeil de Conchard, LAssassinat du marechal Brune
Campaign in north-east France (1814)
The 1814 campaign in north-east France was Napoleons final campaign of the War of the Sixth Coalition. Following their victory at Leipzig, Russian and other German armies of the Sixth Coalition invaded France, despite the disproportionate forces in favour of the Coalition, Napoleon managed to inflict many defeats, especially during the Six Days Campaign. However, the Coalition kept advancing towards Paris, which capitulated in late March 1814, following defeats in the Wars of the Fourth and Fifth Coalitions and Austria were forcibly allied with France during the Russian Campaign. When this campaign resulted in the destruction of Napoleons Grande Armée, the retreat from Russia turned into a new war on German soil, where Napoleon was decisively defeated at Leipzig. Most European countries turned against Napoleon and started to invade France, when the last of the French troops had crossed to the western bank of the Rhine, divided counsels made their appearance at the headquarters of the Coalition members.
The Army of Silesia, with 50, 000–75,000 Prussians and Russians under Prince Blücher, to meet these forces Napoleon, by the senatus consultum of 9 October 1813, had to draft anticipatively the conscripts from 1814 and 1815. These very young and inexperienced recruits formed the bulk of the new French Army and were nicknamed the Marie-Louise, hence less than 80,000 remained available for the east and north-eastern frontier. If, however, he was weak in numbers, he was now operating in a friendly country. Napoleon attempted to counter the incursion of the Army of Silesia shortly after their crossing but arrived too late, and engaged in pursuit. On 25 January Blücher entered Nancy, moving rapidly up the valley of the Moselle, was in communication with the Austrian advanced guard near La Rothière on the afternoon 28 January, on 29 January Napoleon caught up with Blücher and attacked. Blüchers headquarters were surprised and he himself captured by a sudden rush of French troops. Blücher accordingly fell back a few miles next morning to a position covering the exits from the Bar-sur-Aube defile.
At nightfall the fighting ceased and the retired to Lesmont. Owing to the state of the roads, or perhaps to the extraordinary lethargy which always characterized Schwarzenbergs headquarters, in the night his headquarters were again surprised, and Blücher learnt that Napoleon himself with his main body was in full march to fall on his scattered detachments. At the same time he heard that Pahlens Cossacks had been withdrawn forty-eight hours previously and he himself retreated towards Étoges endeavouring to rally his scattered detachments. Napoleon was too quick for Blücher, he decimated Lieutenant General Olssufievs Russian IX Corps at the Battle of Champaubert and this placed his army between Blüchers vanguard and his main body. Napoleon turned his attention to the vanguard and defeated Osten-Sacken and Yorck at Montmirail on 11 February, Napoleon turned on the main body of the Army of Silesia and on 14 February defeated Blücher in Battle of Vauchamps near Étoges, pursuing the latter towards Vertus.
These disasters compelled the retreat of the whole Silesian army, and Napoleon, leaving detachments with marshals Mortier and Marmont to deal with them, hurried back to Troyes
Swedish Pomerania was a Dominion under the Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815, situated on what is now the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish War and the Thirty Years War, Sweden held extensive control over the lands on the southern Baltic coast, including Pomerania and parts of Livonia and Prussia. Sweden, present in Pomerania with a garrison at Stralsund since 1628, had gained control of the Duchy of Pomerania with the Treaty of Stettin in 1630. At the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and the Treaty of Stettin in 1653, Sweden received Western Pomerania, with the islands of Rügen and Wolin, and a strip of Farther Pomerania. The peace treaties were negotiated while the Swedish queen Christina was a minor, instead, it remained part of the Holy Roman Empire, making the Swedish rulers Reichsfürsten and leaving the nobility in full charge of the rural areas and its inhabitants. These areas were ceded to Brandenburg-Prussia and were integrated into Brandenburgian Pomerania, in 1720, Sweden regained the remainder of her dominion in the Treaty of Frederiksborg, which had been lost to Denmark in 1715.
The largest cities in Swedish Pomerania were Stralsund, Greifswald and, until 1720, Rügen is today Germanys largest island. On 10 July 1630, the treaty was extended into a pact in the Treaty of Stettin. By the end of year the Swedes had completed the military occupation of Pomerania. As a consequence Pomerania lapsed into a state of anarchy, thereby forcing the Swedes to act, from 1641 the administration was led by a council from Stettin, until the peace treaty in 1648 settled rights to the province in Swedish favour. At the peace negotiations in Osnabrück, Brandenburg-Prussia received Farther Pomerania, the recess of Stettin in 1653 settled the border with Brandenburg in a manner favourable to Sweden. The border against Mecklenburg, along the Trebel and the Recknitz, the nobility of Pomerania was firmly established and held extensive privileges, as opposed to the other end of the spectrum which was populated by a class of numerous serfs. Even by the end of the 18th century, the made up two-thirds of the population of the countryside.
The estates owned by the nobility were divided into districts and the royal domains, one fourth of the knightly estates in Swedish Pomerania were held by Swedish nobles. The ducal estates, initially distributed among Swedish nobles and officials and Pomeranian nobility intermarried and became ethnically indistinguishable in the course of the 18th century. The position of Pomerania in the Swedish Realm came to depend on the talks that were opened between the Estates of Pomerania and the Government of Sweden. The talks showed few results until the Instrument of Government of 17 July 1663 could be presented, when circumstances demanded, the estates, burgesses, and — until the 1690s — the clergy could be summoned for meetings of a local parliament called the Landtag. The nobility was represented by one deputy per district, and these deputies were in turn mandated by their respective district convents of nobles, the estate of the burgesses consisted of one deputy per politically franchised city, particularly Stralsund
The Gunboat War was the naval conflict between Denmark–Norway and the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The wars name is derived from the Danish tactic of employing small gunboats against the conventional Royal Navy, in Scandinavia it is seen as the stage of the English Wars, whose commencement is accounted as the First Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. The naval conflict between Britain and Denmark commenced with the First Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when Horatio Nelsons squadron of Admiral Parkers fleet attacked the Danish capital, the tactical advantages were that they were highly manoeuvrable, especially in still and shallow waters and presented small targets. On the other hand, the boats were vulnerable and likely to sink from a single hit and they therefore could not be used in rough seas, and they were less effective against large warships. The Danish Commander Steen Andersen Bille is credited with being the force behind the post-1807 Dano-Norwegian strategy of gunboat warfare. Below is a description of each of the four classes of gunboats according to Junior Lieutenant Garde, These were the larger type of gunboat.
Each was armed with two 24-pound cannon and four 4-pound howitzers and had an establishment of 69 –79 men. Kanonjollen, These were the type of gunboat. Each was armed with one 24-pound cannon and two 4-pound howitzers, and had wartime establishment of 41 men, These were the larger, mortar-armed gunboats. Each was armed with one 100-pound mortar and two 4-pound howitzers, and had an establishment of 40 men. Morterbarkasserne, These were smaller, mortar-armed gunboats, each was armed with one mortar and had a wartime establishment of 19 men. They were little more than ordinary ships’ boats into which a mortar had been set and they had a tendency to leak badly after 5 –7 mortar shells had been fired. Their crews had to bring back into harbour, remove the mortar. Reserve crew who could not be accommodated on board were quartered in buildings on land or in the frigate Triton which was in ordinary, battle-ready gunboats had their crews on board. Defences on the Norwegian coast in 1808 are listed at Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy order of battle in Norway, ten schooner-rigged gunboats capable of operating in the rougher Norwegian Sea were built in Bergen and Trondheim in the years 1808 to 1811.
Further economic damage was done by raids on the smaller islands, British warships landed to replenish firewood and water supplies, and forcibly to buy, commandeer or simply take livestock to augment their provisions. The war overlapped, in time, the Anglo-Russian War, as a result, the British expanded their trade embargo to Russian waters and the British navy conducted forays northwards into the Barents Sea. The navy conducted raids on Hasvik and Hammerfest and disrupted the Pomor trade, in the engagement the British suffered only one man wounded, the Danes lost 12 men while 20 were wounded, some mortally
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force