Moore retreated for the safety of the British fleet at La Coruna and Soult failed to intercept him. The years of fighting in Spain were a heavy burden on France's Grande Armée. [143] Napoleon had just suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Leipzig on 19 October and was in retreat,[citation needed] so Wellington left the clearance of Catalonia to others. Peninsular War, Spanish Guerra de la Independencia (“War of Independence”), (1808–14), that part of the Napoleonic Wars fought in the Iberian Peninsula, where the French were opposed by British, Spanish, and Portuguese forces. Many translated example sentences containing "war of Independence" – Spanish-English dictionary and search engine for Spanish translations. This delay, along with the French managing to hold the east road out of Vitoria towards Salvatierra, allowed the French to partially recover. [86][87] Hoping to get between Kellermann and Madrid, Del Parque advanced towards Medina del Campo. [13] After a long artillery barrage, the French placed together the muzzles of over 600 cannons to render them unusable to the Spanish and British. In the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Joseph Bonaparte's army in the Battle of Vitoria. the spanish independence war Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. [158], The last actions in this theatre happened at the siege of Barcelona on 23 February; the French sallied out of Barcelona to test the besiegers' lines, as they thought (wrongly) that the Anglo-Sicilian forces had departed. By themselves, such forces were unlikely to score more than a few local victories, but French troop losses elsewhere in Europe could not be taken for granted. The Spanish colonies began to revolt against Napoleon and his men. [106] The viceroyalties and independent captaincies general of the overseas territories would each send one representative. The Chasseurs Britanniques—recruited mainly from French deserters—lost 150 men in a single night. [67] The Spanish were shocked by the British retreat. [33] On 24 February, Napoleon declared that he no longer considered himself bound by the Treaty of Fontainebleau. [167] After Toulouse had fallen, the Allies and French, in a sortie from Bayonne on 14 April, each lost about 1,000 men, so that some 10,000 men fell after peace had virtually been made. He stormed the Spanish naval base at Ferrol on 26 January 1809, capturing eight ships of the line, three frigates, several thousand prisoners and 20,000 Brown Bess muskets, which were used to re-equip the French infantry. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [45] Bessières's victory salvaged the French army's strategic position in northern Spain. Events in Spain during the Peninsular War had profound effects on Spanish America, leading to numerous successful independence movements. By 1 June, over 65,000 troops were rushing into the country to control the crisis. But Joseph's dispatches said the whole loss was 12,000, including the garrison of Chinchilla, whereas English authors mostly reduced the British loss to hundreds. Albuquerque soon abandoned his efforts near Talavera. I am not astonished that the foreigners should go ... but, unless they entice away the British soldiers, there is no accounting for their going away in such numbers as they do. Unable to resist the oncoming Russians, the French had to evacuate East Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. The garrison of 44,000 left 8,000 survivors—1,500 of them ill—[66] but the Grande Armée did not advance beyond the Ebro's shore. [118], In April, Wellington besieged Almeida. On 2 May, the citizens of Madrid rebelled against the French occupation; the uprising was put down by Joachim Murat's elite Imperial Guard and Mamluk cavalry, which crashed into the city and trampled the rioters. Wherever we move devastation marks our steps". The various parts of the lines communicated with each other by semaphore, allowing immediate response to any threat. [31], Between 9 and 12 February, the French divisions of the eastern and western Pyrenees crossed the border and occupied Navarre and Catalonia, including the citadels of Pamplona and Barcelona. [157], The Allies heard that Suchet was hemorrhaging men and mistakenly thought that his army was smaller than it was, so on 16 January they attacked. However his field army was now down to 15,000 cavalry and infantry (and excluding the garrisons in northern Catalonia). [160], On 1 March Suchet received orders to send 10,000 more men to Lyons. The war now fell into a temporary lull, with the superior French unable to find an advantage and coming under increasing pressure from Spanish guerrillas. Cadiz was heavily fortified, while the harbour was full of British and Spanish warships. 20,000 muskets, 180 cannon and two French Imperial Eagles were captured.[127]. By November 1808, the British army led by Moore was advancing into Spain with orders to assist the Spanish armies' fight against Napoleon's forces. [59] In Catalonia, Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr's 17,000-strong VII Corps besieged and captured Roses from an Anglo-Spanish garrison, destroyed part of Juan Miguel de Vives y Feliu's Spanish army at Cardedeu near Barcelona on 16 December and routed the Spaniards under Conde de Caldagues and Theodor von Reding at Molins de Rei. In January 1810 General Nicolas de Dieu Soult began the conquest of Andalusia, and, with the fall of Sevilla in the same month, the central junta fled to Càdiz. King Joseph had been welcomed by Spanish afrancesados (Francophiles), who believed that collaboration with France would bring modernization and liberty; an example was the abolition of the Spanish Inquisition. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [94], The Peninsular War is regarded as one of the first people's wars, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare. By a secret convention reached at Fontainebleau (Oct., 1807) Spain agreed to supp… There, on May 5, 1808, Napoleon forced Ferdinand to abdicate in favour of Charles and Charles in favour of himself. [26] On 19 November 1807, Junot set out for Lisbon and occupied it on 30 November. The Junta was forced to abandon Madrid in November 1808, and resided in the Alcázar of Seville from 16 December 1808 until 23 January 1810. The Spanish commander Francisco Rovira captured in a coup-de-main the key fortress of Figueres with the help of 2,000 men on 10 April. Soult escaped without his heavy equipment by marching through the mountains to Orense.[71]. Suchet retaliated at María on 15 June, crushing Blake's right wing and inflicting 5,000 casualties. [85], Aréizaga's army was destroyed by Soult at the Battle of Ocaña on 19 November. The next day Wellington closed in upon Bayonne from the sea to the left bank of the Nive. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and it is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation and is significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare. [169][170] After the Peninsular War, the pro-independence traditionalists and liberals clashed in the Carlist Wars, as King Ferdinand VII ("the Desired One"; later "the Traitor King") revoked all the changes made by the independent Cortes Generales in Cádiz, the Constitution of 1812 on 4 May 1814. Wellington soon appeared before Ciudad Rodrigo. The Diada, as the date is known, is an annual commemoration of Catalonia and a wistful nod to its troops who were defeated in the 18th-century War of the Spanish Succession. Abandoning plans to immediately conquer Seville and Portugal, Napoleon rapidly amassed 80,000 troops and debouched from the Sierra de Guadarrama into the plains of Old Castile to encircle the British Army. Beresford lifted the siege and his army intercepted the marching French. [122] Suchet's troops massacred 2,000 civilians. On 25 July, Suchet drove the Spanish out of their positions on the Montserrat mountain range. The year is 1808, and French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has seized control of Spain. The Allies chased the retreating French, reaching the Pyrenees in early July, and began operations against San Sebastian and Pamplona. The Peninsular War (1807–1814) is the military conflict fought by Spain and Portugal, assisted by the United Kingdom, against the invading and occupying forces of the France for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The document was drawn up by Napoleon's marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, an agent for Manuel Godoy. After much preparation and debate, on 2 July 1809 Spain was divided into 38 new provinces, each headed by an Intendant appointed by King Joseph, and on 17 April 1810 these provinces were converted into French-style prefectures and sub-prefectures. The first attempt at revolution took place in 1791, lead by José Antonio Aponte, however it failed and over the next 30 years no other serious uprisings occurred, although the ideal of freedom was not forgotten. On 27 March, Spanish forces defeated the French at Vigo, recaptured most of the cities in the province of Pontevedra and forced the French to retreat to Santiago de Compostela. [71] The system of juntas was replaced by a regency and the Cortes of Cádiz, which established a permanent government under the Constitution of 1812. [l] An amphibious landing with 8,000 troops at the mouth of the Adour secured a crossing over the river as a preliminary to the siege of Bayonne. Trying to hold a front line in an arc from Bilbao to Valencia, they were still vulnerable to assault, and had abandoned hopes of victory. His defeat of Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at the Battle of Vitoria on June 21, 1813, finally decided the issue in the peninsula. Together, Joseph and the three marshals planned to recapture Madrid and drive Wellington from central Spain. [132] As a consequence of the Salamanca campaign, the French were forced to evacuate the provinces of Andalusia and Asturias. [78] Cuesta's pursuing forces fell back after Victor's reinforced army, now commanded by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, drove upon them. It is from this conflict that the English language borrowed the word. To further hamper the enemy, the areas in front of the lines were subjected to a scorched earth policy: they were denuded of food, forage and shelter. [citation needed] Many of the partisans were either fleeing the law or trying to get rich. Victor's I Corps retreated before them from Talavera. The losses in the four days' fighting in the battles before Bayonne (or battles of the Nive) were-Allies about 5,000, French about 7,000. [146] Upon the day that San Sebastián fell Soult attempted to relieve it, but in the battles of Vera and San Marcial was repulsed[143] by the Spanish Army of Galicia under General Manuel Freire. This article was most recently revised and updated by,, Military History Encyclopedia on the Web - Peninsular War, HistoryWorld - History Of The Peninsular War, Auguste-Frédéric-Louis Viesse de Marmont, duke de Raguse, André Masséna, duc de Rivoli, prince d'Essling, João Carlos de Saldanha, duke de Saldanha, Nicolas-Jean de Dieu Soult, duke de Dalmatie. It might be outdated or ideologically biased. In Spain, it is considered to overlap with the Spanish War of Independence. Most organized attempts by regular Spanish forces to take on the French ended in defeat. Peninsular War, Spanish Guerra de la Independencia (“War of Independence”), (1808–14), that part of the Napoleonic Wars fought in the Iberian Peninsula, where the French were opposed by British, Spanish, and Portuguese forces. Indeed, the British forces, which had first landed in Portugal on August 1, 1808, quickly achieved some successes, conquering Lisbon and forcing the evacuation of the French from Portugal (Convention of Cintra, August 30, 1808). They did, however, wear down the resources of the French, in both men (now numbering more than 200,000) and matériel; and, when Napoleon in 1811–12 directed his whole attention toward Russia, not only were the depleted peninsular armies not reinforced but as many as 30,000 men were withdrawn for the Grand Army marching east. After the war, the remaining afrancesados were exiled to France. On 5 May, Suchet besieged the vital city of Tarragona, which functioned as a port, a fortress, and a resource base that sustained the Spanish field forces in Catalonia. [28] The flight had been so chaotic that 14 carts loaded with treasure were left behind on the docks. On 11 July, Soult was given command of all French troops in Spain and in consequence Wellington decided to halt his army to regroup at the Pyrenees. The latter led to many Anglo-Allied soldiers abandoning the pursuit of the fleeing troops, to instead loot the wagons. The battle established Wellington as an offensive general and it was said that he "defeated an army of 40,000 men in 40 minutes. [55] In August 1808, the British Baltic fleet helped transport the Spanish division, except three regiments that failed to escape, back to Spain by way of Gothenburg in Sweden. The result was revolution. [30] Junot did his best to calm the situation by trying to keep his troops under control. [68] Napoleon returned to France on 19 January 1809 to prepare for war with Austria, giving the Spanish command back to his marshals. Ney's troops joined up with those of Soult and these forces withdrew for the last time from Galicia in July 1809. [53] Logistical and administrative problems prevented any immediate British offensive. With the help of a relief operation on 3 May, the fortress held out until 17 August, when lack of food prompted a surrender after a last-ditch breakout attempt failed.[121]. Although the cannons were useless, the Allied forces captured 30 gunboats and a large quantity of stores. Francisco de Goya, who remained in Madrid throughout the French occupation, painted Joseph's picture and documented the war in a series of 82 prints called Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War). As the French regrouped, the allies advanced towards Burgos. Spanish authorities crushed the revolutionaries and captured their leaders quite easily, leading to small press reports in Spain and the United States that the revolt would lead to nothing. [156], After Suchet sent many men to Lyons, he left an isolated garrison in Barcelona and concentrated his forces on the town of Gerona calling in flying columns and evacuating some minor outposts. The work began in the autumn of 1809 and the main defences were finished just in time one year later. The French were repulsed from Valencia, and General Pierre Dupont, who had advanced into Andalusia, was compelled to retreat and ultimately to capitulate with all his army at Bailén (July 23). At the Battle of Albuera, Soult outmaneuvered Beresford but could not win the battle. [16] Pretexts were plentiful; Portugal was Britain's oldest ally in Europe, Britain was finding new opportunities for trade with Portugal's colony in Brazil, the Royal Navy used Lisbon's port in its operations against France, and he wanted to deny the British the use of the Portuguese fleet. At the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June, Joseph's 65,000-man army were defeated decisively by Wellington's army of 57,000 British, 16,000 Portuguese and 8,000 Spanish. Economic warfare had been carried on before 1806, but the system itself was initiated by the Berlin Decree, which claimed that the British blockade of purely ..... Click the link for more information. 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. [48] Cowed by the mass hostility of the Andalusians, he broke off his offensive and was then defeated at Bailén, where he surrendered his entire Army Corps to Castaños. [103] Victor's French troops camped at the shoreline and tried to bombard the city into surrender. After the surrender of a French army corps at Bailén and the loss of Portugal, Napoleon was convinced of the peril he faced in Spain. Soult redeployed his forces to deal with these threats. The U.S. emerged from the war a world power, and Spain, ironically, experienced a … [59] Soult cleared all of southern Spain except Cádiz, which he left Victor to blockade. Sébastiani defeated Cartaojal's army at Ciudad Real on 27 March, inflicting 2,000 casualties and suffering negligible losses. [19], While all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The French counteroffensive caused Wellington to lift the Siege of Burgos and retreat to Portugal in the autumn of 1812,[131] pursued by the French and losing several thousand men. The allied loss during the Battle of Nivelle was about 2,700; that of the French, 4,000, 51 guns, and all their magazines. Suchet, after the Battle of Vitoria, evacuated Tarragona (17 August) but defeated Bentinck in the battle of Ordal (13 September). Wellington renewed the allied advance into Spain in early 1812, besieging and capturing the border fortress town of Ciudad Rodrigo by assault on 19 January and opening up the northern invasion corridor from Portugal into Spain. [112] In late October, after holding his starving army before Lisbon for a month, Masséna fell back to a position between Santarém and Rio Maior. The victorious Marshal had established a secure base in Aragon and was ennobled by Napoleon as the Duke of Albufera, after a lagoon south of Valencia. The French had over 350,000 soldiers in L'Armée de l'Espagne, but over 200,000 were deployed to protect the French lines of supply, rather than as substantial fighting units. [114] This brought the French numbers down to between 20,000 and 15,000 and encouraged the defenders of Cádiz to attempt a breakout,[114] in conjunction with the arrival of an Anglo-Spanish relief army of around 12,000 infantry and 800 cavalry under the overall command of Spanish General Manuel La Peña, with the British contingent being led by Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Graham. [155], On 10 January 1814 Suchet received orders from the French War Ministry that he withdraw his field force to the foothills of the Pyrenees and to make a phased withdraw from the outlying garrisons. After this battle, the Almeida garrison escaped through the British lines in a night march. [167] On 12 April Wellington entered the city, Soult having retreated the previous day. [143][144][145] Total losses during this counter-offensive being about 7,000 for the Allies and 10,000 for the French. Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne; and Napoleon was permitted to reside on the island of Elba, the sovereignty of which had been conceded to him by the allied powers. [96], The guerrilla style of fighting was the Spanish military's single most effective tactic. [54], Meanwhile, the British had made a substantial contribution to the Spanish cause by helping to evacuate some 9,000 men of La Romana's Division of the North from Denmark. [110] Wellington manned the fortifications with "secondary troops"—25,000 Portuguese militia, 8,000 Spaniards and 2,500 British marines and artillerymen—keeping his main field army of British and Portuguese regulars dispersed to meet a French assault on any point of the Lines. [134] French prestige suffered another blow when on 17 March el rey intruso (the Intrusive King, a nickname many Spanish had for King Joseph) left Madrid in the company of another vast caravan of refugees.[134]. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Marshal Soult began a counter-offensive (the Battle of the Pyrenees) and defeated the Allies at the Battle of Maya and the Battle of Roncesvalles (25 July). Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... British commander Arthur Wellesley overseeing the removal of the French flag after his forces retook Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain, in 1812, during the Peninsular War. . [117], In March 1811, with supplies exhausted, Masséna retreated from Portugal to Salamanca. The British government, however, in the interests of the continental powers, urged an immediate advance over the northern Pyrenees into south-eastern France. Discounting garrisons and the sick, Soult's II Corps had 20,000 men for the operation. Saint-Cyr was relieved of his command in September for deserting his troops. [32] Since Spanish fortress commanders had not received instructions from the central government, they were unsure how to treat the French troops, who marched openly as allies with flags flying and bands announcing their arrival. [143], With 18,000 men, Wellington captured the French-garrisoned city of San Sebastián under Brigadier-General Louis Emmanuel Rey after two sieges that lasted from 7 July to 25 July (While Wellington departed with sufficient forces to deal with Marshal Soult's counter-offensive, he left General Graham in command of sufficient forces to prevent sorties from the city and any relief getting in); and from 22 August to 31 August 1813. [32] In early March, Murat established his headquarters in Vitoria and received 6,000 reinforcements from the Imperial Guard. [159], In fact, Suchet remained in Figueras with his army until after the amnesty signed by Wellington and Soult. The Spanish defenders capitulated on 25 October. He endeavored also to rouse the French peasantry against the Allies, but in vain, for Wellington's justice and moderation afforded them no grievances. They had recovered somewhat, but the situation was still precarious. The Portuguese and Spanish recrossed the Pyrenees and the French army dispersed throughout France. Oct 21, 1805, Spain and France defeat against Britain in the Battle of Trafalgar Napoleon´s occupation of Spain 7reign of Carlos IV before the Spanish Idependence War 1805-1808) Spanish War of Independence (reign of Jose Bonaparte 1808-1813) This reduced Suchet's French Catalonian army from 87,000 to 60,000 of whom 10,000 were on garrison duty. [148] The decisive movement was a passage in strength near Fuenterrabia to the astonishment of the enemy, who in view of the width of the river and the shifting sands, had thought the crossing impossible at that point. Wellington to Bathurst, 18 August 1813, WD, vol. Thanks to British naval supremacy, a naval blockade of the city was impossible. [93] Marxians wrote that there was a positive identification on the part of the people with the Napoleonic revolution, but this is probably impossible to substantiate by the reasons for collaboration being practical rather than ideological. [150] The passage of the Bidassoa "was a general's not a soldier's battle". Once Cádiz was secured, attention turned to the political situation. [115] Marching towards Cádiz on 28 February, this force defeated two French divisions under Victor at Barrosa. Later in the war the authorities tried to make the guerrillas reliable, and many of them formed regular army units such as Espoz y Mina's "Cazadores de Navarra". This would reduce the size of Suchet's field army to 18,000 men. Pushing on into Spain, by 27 July the Roncesvalles wing of Soult's army was within ten miles of Pamplona but found its way blocked by a substantial allied force posted on a high ridge in between the villages of Sorauren and Zabaldica, lost momentum, and was repulsed by the Allies at the Battle of Sorauren (28 and 30 July)[142]Soult ordered General of Division Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon commanding one corps of 21,000 men to attack and secure the Maya Pass. Most Iberians rejected French rule and fought a bloody war to oust them. 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