40th (the 2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot
The 40th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1717 in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 82nd Regiment of Foot to form the Prince of Waless Volunteers in 1881, prior to Father Rales War, the Mikmaq resisted the establishment of a British fort at Canso, Nova Scotia by raiding the fishing station in 1720. Phillips sent a company of the 40th, under the command Major Lawrence Armstrong, the Mikmaq continued preying on shipping, forcing the garrison to take action in February 1723. Serving as marines, the troops and local fishermen were able to disperse the marauding Indians, the next engagement came in July 1724 when a party of sixty Indians attacked Annapolis Royal. After some pillaging, the Mikmaq departed with a number of civilian prisoners, at the outbreak of King Georges War, the French at Louisbourg immediately engaged in the Raid on Canso in May 1744. A flotilla containing 900 French regulars and militia, the four poorly supplied companies of Phillips Regiment were forced to surrender.
The town was destroyed and the prisoners sent to Louisbourg, Governor Shirley was having difficulty raising troops requested by Mascarene and therefore he ordered the ex-Canso garrison to Annapolis Royal. The Newfoundland Campaign started during August 1744, the prize was named the St. Philip, and was manned by eighty men of the Kinsales crew, and commanded by one of her lieutenants, and accompanied by three 10-gun colonial privateers. The St. Philip had ten killed, and thirty wounded, the loss on board the French ships was more severe. The five vessels, which had on board 18,000 quintals of fish and eighty tons of oil, mounted together sixty-six guns, in July 1744, three hundred Indians under command of a French priest named Le Loutre attacked Annapolis, the only British garrison in Nova Scotia. Only eighty men of Phillips Regiment were available to meet this threat, Mascarene refused to surrender to Le Loutre. Le Loutres party eventually burned a number of houses and withdrew, following this, George II authorized the reorganization of the regiment which increased to six regiments the garrison at Annapolis, with an authorized complement of 450.
Initially only seventy additional men were received, recruitment efforts continued and Governor Shirley sent 206 recruits in February 1746. Despite the additional manpower the regiment remained under strength and it was at this time that Captain John Winslow first took command of a Philipps regiment at Annapolis Royal, after being transferred from Newfoundland. In September the enemy, this three hundred regulars and militia with Indian support, reappeared outside the dilapidated earthworks of Annapolis Royal. After a four-week siege and lacking a train of artillery, the French withdrew from the defiant garrison, a force of six hundred French and Indians again attempted to take Annapolis in May 1745. This demonstration ended quickly with the French and Mikmaq being ordered back to help defend Louisbourg from the British, the only other action seen by Phillips Regiment occurred while serving as marines and seamen. A detachment from the garrison at St. Johns, Newfoundland volunteered to serve on a captured ship for an expedition with three privateers to Fishotte Bay
88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers)
The 88th Regiment of Foot was an infantry Regiment of the British Army, raised in 1793. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 94th Regiment of Foot to form the Connaught Rangers in 1881. The regiment was raised in Connaught by John Thomas de Burgh, 13th Earl of Clanricard as the 88th Regiment of Foot, in response to the threat posed by the French Revolution, on 25 September 1793. The regiment was sent to join the Duke of Yorks army in the Netherlands in summer 1794 as part of the defence of that country against the Republican French during the Flanders Campaign. The regiment embarked for India in January 1799 and arrived in Bombay in June 1800, the regiment sailed from India for Egypt in December 1800 for service in the Egyptian Campaign reaching Cairo in the day that the French troops surrendered. It arrived back in England in May 1803, a second battalion was raised in Dumfries in November 1805. The 1st Battalion sailed from Falmouth for the Cape of Good Hope in November 1806, the battalion sailed for South America in April 1807 and took part in the disastrous expedition under Sir Home Popham, it saw action in the unsuccessful attack on Buenos Aires in July 1807.
Two companies were ordered to remove the flints from their rifles before they went into action which effectively rendered them defenceless, after a lengthy fight the battalion surrendered. Captain William Parker-Carroll remained in Río de la Plata and was well-treated by the Spanish troops, the rest of the battalion, once released, embarked for home and arrived at Portsmouth in November 1807. The 1st Battalion landed in Portugal in March 1809 for service in the Peninsular War and it formed part of the Portuguese forces commanded by General William Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford tasked with removing Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult from Oporto. It held firm at the top of a Medellin hill at the Battle of Talavera in July 1809, Sir Arthur Wellesley, arriving at the scene, Wallace, I never saw a more gallant charge than that just now made by your regiment. The 1st Battalion retreated, with the rest of Wellesleys army, the battalion, still under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace made another bayonet charge at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro in May 1811 and drove the French Army from the village.
It went on to fight at the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812, at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812 the battalion was at the centre of the brigade as it advanced and routed the French troops. The 1st Battalion took part in the Siege of Burgos in September 1812 and it embarked for North America in June 1814 for service in the War of 1812. It arrived too late for the Battle of Plattsburgh in September 1814, the last engagement of the war and it arrived home in spring 1817. One cadre, which returned to the UK, was expanded to battalion strength and was deployed to Ireland before being disbanded in January 1816, the regiment was deployed to the Ionian Islands in late 1825 and returned in July 1836. It embarked for Malta in 1840 and went on to the West Indies in 1847 and Nova Scotia in 1850 before returning home in 1851. The regiment was deployed for the Crimean War and saw action at the Battle of Alma in September 1854, the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, 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, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, 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 British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
Auguste de Marmont
Auguste Frédéric Louis Viesse de Marmont was a French general and nobleman who rose to the rank of Marshal of France and was awarded the title Duke of Ragusa. Marmont was born at Châtillon-sur-Seine, the son of an ex-officer in the army who belonged to the petite noblesse, for this he was at once made general of division. In 1801 he became inspector-general of artillery, and in 1804 grand officer of the Legion of Honour, in 1805 he received the command of a corps, with which he did good service at Ulm. He was directed to take possession of Dalmatia with his army, for the next five years he was military and civil governor of Dalmatia, and traces of his beneficent régime still survive both in great public works and in the memories of the people. In 1808 he was duke of Ragusa. In the War of the Fifth Coalition, he defeated an Austrian holding force in the Dalmatian Campaign of May 1809, breaking out of Dalmatia, he reached Ljubljana in early June. After he defeated Ignaz Gyulais corps in the Battle of Graz and he arrived in time to fight in the Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July.
In the subsequent pursuit of Archduke Charles, Marmont got his corps into a spot and was rescued only by the arrival of Napoleon with heavy reinforcements. Napoleon made him a Marshal of France, though he said, Between ourselves, of the three marshals created after Wagram, the French soldiers said, MacDonald is Frances choiceOudinot is the armys choice Marmont is friendships choice. He was appointed governor-general of all the Illyrian provinces of the empire, in July 1810 Marmont was hastily summoned to succeed Masséna in the command of the French army in the north of Spain. His relief of Ciudad Rodrigo in the autumn of 1811 in spite of the presence of the British army was a great feat, but Wellington more than retrieved his position in the battle, and inflicted a severe defeat on the French. Marmont and his deputy commander Comte Jean-Pierre François Bonet were both struck by very early in the battle. Marmont was gravely wounded in the arm and side and command of the battle passed to Bertrand Clausel.
He retired to France to recover, in April 1813 Napoleon gave him the command of a corps, which he led at the battles of Lützen and Dresden. He fought throughout the defensive campaign of 1814 until the last battle before Paris. Marmonts forces fought a retreat back to the commanding position of Essonne. Marmont took upon himself a role, seeking to halt what he now saw as a pointless prolonging of a war which France would now assuredly lose. Marmont contacted the Allies and reached an agreement with them
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general, when appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000 troops. In some countries a brigadier general is designated as a one-star general. The rank can be traced back to the militaries of Europe where a general, or simply a brigadier. An alternative rank of general was first used in the French revolutionary armies. Some countries, such as Brazil and Japan, some of these countries use the rank of colonel general to make four general-officer ranks. The naval equivalent is usually commodore and this gallery displays Air Force brigadier general insignia if they are different from the Army brigadier general insignia. Note that in many Commonwealth countries, the equivalent air force rank is Air Commodore, the rank of brigadier general is used in the Argentine Air Force.
Unlike other armed forces of the World, the rank of general is actually the highest rank in the Air Force. This is due to the use of the rank of brigadier and its derivatives to designate all general officers in the Air Force, brigadier-major, and brigadier-general. The rank of general is reserved for the Chief General Staff of the Air Force. The Argentine Army does not use the rank of brigadier-general, instead using brigade general which in turn is the lowest general officer before Divisional General, see Argentine Army officer rank insignia. When posted elsewhere, the rank would be relinquished and the former rank resumed and this policy prevented an accumulation of high-ranking general officers brought about by the relatively high turnover of brigade commanders. Brigadier general was used as an honorary rank on retirement. The rank insignia was like that of the current major general, as in the United Kingdom, the rank was replaced by brigadier. Prior to 2001, the Bangladesh Army rank was known as brigadier, in 2001 the Bangladesh Army introduced the rank of brigadier general, however the grade stayed equivalent to brigadier.
It is the lowest ranking general officer, between the ranks of Colonel and Major General, Brigadier General is equivalent to commodore of the Bangladesh Navy and air commodore of the Bangladesh Air Force. It is still popularly called brigadier
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
Second Siege of Badajoz (1811)
After failing to force a surrender, Wellington withdrew his army when the French mounted a successful relief effort by combining the armies of Marshals Nicolas Soult and Auguste Marmont. The action was fought during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, Badajoz is located 6 kilometres from the Portuguese border on the Guadiana River in western Spain. While Wellington faced Marshal André Massénas Army of Portugal in the north, Beresford invested the city in April but Philippons garrison successfully fended off his attacks. The siege was lifted while the Battle of Albuera was fought on 16 May. Though both sides suffered casualties, Beresford emerged the victor and Soult retreated to the east. Wellington brought reinforcements from the north and resumed the siege, Massénas replacement Marmont brought large forces south to join Soult. The British commander lifted the siege after being menaced by the numerically superior French army led by Soult, hoping to assist Marshal André Massénas invasion of Portugal, Emperor Napoleon ordered Marshal Nicolas Soult to act.
Accordingly, Soult set out in January 1811 with 13,500 foot soldiers,4,000 horse, in a preliminary operation, Soult captured Olivenza in a two week siege that ended on 23 January. The French seized 4,161 Spanish prisoners and 18 guns for a loss of only 15 killed and 40 wounded. On 27 January, Soults army invested Badajoz, despite the interference of a 15, 000-man Spanish relief army, the results were all the French could have hoped for. On 19 February, Soult sent Marshal Édouard Mortier to deal with the Spanish army, Mortier won a crushing victory in the Battle of the Gebora. The Spanish lost 850 killed and wounded plus 4,000 men,17 guns, turning to the siege, Soult forced a surrender on 11 March. The 4, 340-man Spanish garrison plus 2,000 fugitives from the Battle of the Gebora lost about 1,000 killed and wounded while the rest became prisoners, the French sustained 1,900 casualties in the siege. Leaving Mortier and 11,000 soldiers to hold Badajoz and environs, Mortier besieged and captured Campo Maior on 21 March.
In the Battle of Campo Maior on 25 March, the British 13th Light Dragoons scored an initial success, in the confusion, Latour-Maubourg kept his head and, with the help of Mortier, managed to save the artillery convoy except for one artillery piece. Nevertheless, the appearance of Beresford and 18,000 Allied troops threw the French onto the defensive. A field marshal in the service of Portugal, Beresford had available the 2nd Division, the 4th Division, Major General John Hamiltons Portuguese Division, if he could have invested Badajoz at the end of March, Beresford might have found the defenses of the fortress in poor shape. However, problems arose to delay the operation until the French effected repairs, the 4th Division was immobilized by a lack of shoes and had to wait for a new shipment from Lisbon
Battle of Salamanca
A Spanish division was present but took no part in the battle. These attacks resulted in a rout of the French left wing, both Marmont and his deputy commander, General Bonet, received shrapnel wounds in the first few minutes of firing. Confusion amongst the French command may have been decisive in creating an opportunity, General Bertrand Clausel, third in seniority, assumed command and ordered a counterattack by the French reserve toward the depleted Allied centre. The move proved successful but with Wellington having sent his reinforcements to the centre. Allied losses numbered 3,129 British and 2,038 Portuguese dead or wounded, the Spanish troops took no part in the battle as they were positioned to block French escape routes and as such suffered just six casualties. The French suffered about 13,000 dead and captured, as a consequence of Wellingtons victory, his army was able to advance to and liberate Madrid for two months, before retreating to Portugal. The French were forced to abandon Andalusia permanently while the loss of Madrid irreparably damaged King Josephs pro-French government, following Marmont’s retreat to Salamanca Wellington took position behind the Agueda and Coa rivers.
In May, acting on Wellington’s orders General Hill took a force of 7,000 men to destroy the bridge at Almaraz, on 13 June Wellington crossed the Agueda and advanced eastward to Salamanca, a town that was a major supply depot for the French army. The French had converted three convents into powerful forts to defend the town and the bridge across the river Tormes. On 19 June the first battery opened fire but it was not until 27 June that, for several weeks Wellington found his movements north of Salamanca blocked by Marmonts army, which was constantly swelled by reinforcements. With the armies often marching close together, separated by the river, moving east, the French crossed to the south bank of the Tormes across another bridge at Huerta and by marching south west hoped to turn the flank of Wellingtons army. The Duke immediately ordered the part of his army to attack the overextended French left wing. Marshal Marmonts 50, 000-man Army of Portugal contained eight infantry, pierre François Joseph Boyer led 1,500 dragoons and Jean-Baptiste Theodore Curto commanded 1,900 light cavalry.
Louis Tirlet directed 3,300 artillerymen and there were 1,300 engineers, military police, Wellingtons 48, 500-man army included eight infantry divisions, formed mainly by British and Portuguese units, and two independent brigades, five cavalry brigades and 54 cannons. The infantry divisions were Henry Frederick Campbells 1st, Edward Pakenhams 3rd, Lowry Coles 4th, James Leiths 5th, Henry Clintons 6th, John Hopes 7th, carlos de España commanded a 3, 400-man Spanish division, while Denis Pack and Thomas Bradford led the independent Portuguese brigades. Stapleton Cotton supervised the cavalry brigades, hoylet Framingham commanded eight British and one Portuguese six-gun artillery batteries. Marmonts army moved south early on 22 July, its leading elements reaching an area southeast of Salamanca, to the west, the Marshal could see Wellingtons 7th Division deployed on a ridge. Spotting a dust cloud in the distance, Marmont assumed that most of the British army was in retreat and he planned to move his French army south, west to turn the British right flank
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
Battle of Villagarcia
Cotton intended to trap the French cavalry, which was separated by a number of miles from the main body of the French army, by executing simultaneous frontal and flank attacks. The plan came close to disaster when the forces making the frontal assault pushed forward prematurely, the situation was saved by the timely arrival of John Le Marchants force on the French left flank. The recent fall of the French occupied fortress city of Badajoz, on 6 April 1812, the French rearguard under General DErlon were under orders to fall back towards Seville if pressed hard. Hills cavalry, under Sir Stapleton Cotton, were indeed pressing those French forces still remaining in the province of Extremadura hard, Stapleton Cottons cavalry consisted of John Le Marchants heavy brigade, John Slades heavy brigade and Frederick Ponsonbys light brigade. Only Ponsonbys brigade and the 5th Dragoon Guards were involved in the fighting, the French cavalry force, attached to DErlons two infantry divisions, commanded by General François Charles Lallemand was composed of the 2nd Hussars and the 17th and 27th Dragoons.
On the evening of 10 April 1811, General Cotton climbed the steeple of a church in Bienvenida and he knew that the French were occupying Llerena and saw that there were considerable numbers of French cavalry five miles closer to him near the village of Villagarcia. Cotton decided that he should attempt to trap the French cavalry with his superior forces, slade was instructed to concentrate his brigade on Bienvenida, though he seems to have been tardy in moving. Cotton retained the 16th Light Dragoons as a reserve, ponsonby subsequently found his two regiments faced by the three strong regiments under Lallemand and had to make a controlled withdrawal whilst skirmishing against heavy odds. Following his orders, Le Marchant had moved his brigade though the night over tortuous terrain for a considerable distance. Coming down from rugged hills bordering the plain where the action was fought Le Marchant, Le Marchant realised that an immediate charge was needed before Ponsonbys squadrons were forced into the congested and broken ground to their rear.
Lallemand, it is recorded, caught a glimpse of red-coated figures in the woods to his left and rode to alert General Peyremmont, Peyremmont scorned Lallemands concerns, saying that the British dragoons were probably a small detachment who had lost their way. At this point the advantage that the French had enjoyed in the action was suddenly reversed, Le Marchant led his dragoon guards out of the woods and they formed their ranks whilst accelerating into the charge. The 5th Dragoon Guards attacked with their squadrons in echelon, their left refused, simultaneously with Le Marchants charge the 16th Light Dragoons, led by Cotton, appeared to Ponsonbys right-rear, they jumped a stone wall in line, and charged. The French cavalry were thrown into instant confusion and were swiftly broken, the British pursuit, continuing to inflict casualties and take prisoners, was conducted all the way back to the walls of Llerena where the bulk of DErlons force was concentrated. The French rallied briefly at a ditch halfway to Llerena, a few hours the French abandoned Llerena and continued their retreat out of Extremadura.
The French lost 53 killed or wounded, plus 136 captured and were induced to leave the province of Extremadura, the British lost 51 troopers killed or wounded. Cotton had shown initiative in conceiving a plan to trap the French cavalry, however, as a result, it was probably rather too complex and came dangerously close to breaking down in execution. However, Cotton was flexible in extemporising once his plan was rendered irrelevant when his central force made its presence known to the enemy too soon
Sir Richard Fletcher, 1st Baronet
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Richard Fletcher, 1st Baronet was an engineer in the British Army known for his work on the Lines of Torres Vedras. He fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and Peninsular Wars, and was mentioned in dispatches a number of times, most notably for his actions at Talavera, Busaco and Vitoria. Fletcher was twice wounded in the line of duty before being killed in action at the Siege of San Sebastian, little is known of Richard Fletchers early life, even his exact date of birth is obscure. It is known however that the year was 1768 and his father was a clergyman, on 27 November 1796, at Plymouth, he married Elizabeth Mudge the daughter of a doctor. Fletcher and his wife went on to have five children together, Richard Fletcher enrolled as a cadet in the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich on 7 October 1782. He began his career in the Royal Artillery where he became a second-lieutenant on 9 July 1788, Fletcher was promoted to lieutenant on 16 January 1793 and when France declared war on Britain, that year, he was sent to serve in the West Indies.
While in the West Indies, Fletcher played a role in the successful attacks on the French colonies of Martinique, Gaudeloupe and St Lucia. It was during the capture of St Lucia he received a gunshot wound, Fletcher was transferred to the British controlled island of Dominica where he was appointed chief engineer before being sent home at the end of 1796. While in England, Fletcher served as adjutant to the Royal Military Artificers in Portsmouth until December 1798 when he was sent to Constantinople to act as an advisor to the Ottoman Government. After three months travelling through Austria and Ottoman territories in the Balkans, Fletcher finally arrived in Constantinople on 29 March 1799, in June 1799, alongside Ottoman troops, advanced into Syria, forcing Napoleon to forgo his siege of Acre and retreat to Egypt. During 1799, after his return from Syria, Fletcher took part in the preparation of the defences for the Turks in the Dardanelles. After a spell with Ottoman forces in Cyprus, Fletcher returned to Syria in June 1800, to oversee the construction of fortifications at Jaffa, Fletcher served under Sir Ralph Abercromby in December 1800 at Marmaris Bay, practising beach assaults for the expected invasion of Egypt the following year.
He was held prisoner in Alexandria until its capture on 2 September 1801, the Treaty of Amiens was signed on 25 March 1802 but peace was shortlived and war broke out in May the following year. Fletcher was again sent to Portsmouth where he helped bolster the defences of Gosport, promoted to major on 2 April 1807, Fletcher took part in the Battle of Copenhagen in August that year. Soon after the start of the Peninsular War, Fletcher was sent to Portugal and he was part of the force that occupied Lisbon when the French withdrew following the Convention of Sintra, after which he accompanied Wellington as his chief engineer in the field. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the army,2 March 1809, and the Royal Engineers,24 June 1809 and it was while Wellington was making preparations for a retreat to Portugal, that Fletcher became famous for one of the greatest military engineering feats in history. The celebrated Lines of Torres Vedras were constructed on the peninsula between the Atlantic and the Tagus.
Fletcher began work on these defences on 20 October 1809, using Portuguese soldiers, fortifications guarded every approach and batteries commanded the highground, while a system of signal stations and roads ensured that troops could be sent quickly to where they were needed the most
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government