The battle of Talavera in 1809 was one of the major battles of the Peninsular War and Arthur Wellesley's first victory in Spain itself, following which he was created Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Wellington. The 9th Light crossed the Portina Brook and climbed the Cerro de Medellin, where it engaged Löw’s Brigade (5th and 7th Line Battalions, King’s German Legion) on the southern slopes of the Cerro. Podcast of the Battle of Talavera: The British victory south of Madrid on 28th July 1809 over Joseph Bonaparte, the King imposed on Spain by Napoleon, and his French army in the Peninsular War: John Mackenzie’s Britishbattles.com podcast. There was consequently a significant degree of confusion. The British infantry were called to their feet and lined the edge of the summit. With Portugal liberated, Wellington turned his attention to Spain, and planned a joint operation with a Spanish army under General Cuesta. Sir Arthur Wellesley: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. The city gained fame during the Napoleonic invasion of Spain (1808-1814) since it was where the anglo-spanish allied army won the Battle of Talavera defeating the French troops (1809) The Talavera battalion consisted of: British reinforcements were arriving in Lisbon for Wellesley’s army, but were being held up by the shortage of mule carts to carry equipment and supplies and cash for Wellesley’s treasury. This was not the case. French staff officers: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Hippolyte Belangé. Attack of the British 29th Regiment at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War. French casualties are unknown, but it seems likely that the 9th Light suffered heavily. Coming under fire from the French guns on the Cerro de Cascabal and the light infantry on the Sierra de Segurilla, the light cavalrymen broke from a trot to a canter at an early stage in their advance. Battle of Talavera de la Reina, Spain, an 1809 battle of the Peninsular War; Battle of Talavera de la Reina (1936), during the Spanish Civil War The French foot artillery wore uniforms similar to the infantry, the horse artillery wore hussar uniforms. Cuesta’s Spanish army was even further forward, at Torrijos, 15 miles from Toledo. General Hill was issuing orders to Stewart’s Brigade to support Löw’s KGL battalions, when he saw men firing down from the crest of the Cerro de Medellin. These remaining German regiments also ran off into the vineyards, leaving a battery of guns. After some hours, Victor finally moved a further 3 miles forward to Santa Olalla, where his corps camped for the night. Joseph was in the rear with the reserve, comprising his Cavalry and Infantry Guard, Dessolle’s infantry brigade and 2 squadrons of Chasseurs a Cheval. Talavera de la Reina, city, Toledo provincia (provincia), in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Castile-La Mancha, central Spain, on the northern bank of the Tagus River near its confluence with the Alberche. The British light cavalry was increasingly adopting hussar uniforms, with some regiments changing their titles from ‘light dragoons’ to ‘hussars’. Death of General Mackenzie at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by R. Westall. The city originated as the Roman Caesarobriga and was conquered by King Alfonso VI in 1082. Donkin’s Brigade was moved onto the Cerro de Medellin, joining the brigades of Stewart and Tilson. History: The Battle of Talavera 1809. Map of Victor’s night attack on 27th July 1809 at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: map by John Fawkes. Lapisse’s Division was positioned on Villatte’s left, supported by Latour-Maubourg’s dragoon division. The three defeated battalions of the 9th Light met at the Portina Brook and climbed back to the top of the Cerro de Cascajal, their attack abandoned. The Battle of Talavera (27–28 July 1809) was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilometres (75 mi) southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War. Combatants at the Battle of Talavera: British, Germans and Spanish against the French. A further 7 of Leval’s guns were captured by Campbell’s troops. The whole regiment of the 29th then wheeled into line and advanced obliquely down the slope towards the Portina Brook, catching the reserve battalion of the 9th Light as it climbed the hill, driving it back in disorder. On the same day, Mackenzie’s infantry division with two regiments of cavalry crossed the River Alberche, a tributary of the River Tagus. The French guns continued to fire for a full hour, their shot falling among the parties of British troops collecting the wounded and dead, British and French, from the hillside. General Lapisse was killed, urging his men on, his death striking a severe blow to the morale of his division, which fell back, leaving Sebastiani’s flank exposed. A consequence of the firing in the area was that the grass on the northern slope of the Cerro de Medellin caught fire, the blaze spreading across the plain to the Sierra de Segurilla. The German regiment receiving the discharges of grape gave way and ran back. The 23rd lost 207 killed, wounded or missing, with 224 horses lost, from a total strength of 480. The battle of Talavera of 27-28 July 1809 was the first of Sir Arthur Wellesley’s great victories in Spain during the Peninsular War. Battles. Wellesley intended to attack Victor on 23rd July 1809, before he could be reinforced by Joseph’s reserve force from Madrid, but Cuesta failed to co-operate. Infantry, Light Infantry and Hussar of the King’s German Legion: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Charles Hamilton Smith. At the same time, Merlin’s dragoons approached the Spanish line and fired their pistols. At the northern end of the line, Victor resolved to mount an immediate attack on the thinly held Cerro de Medellin, without waiting for the rest of the French army to come up. These directions ensured that the French regiments would be committed piecemeal and without mutual support. With the French driven back, the British infantry were able to march to the main line, covered by the cavalry brigades of Anson, Cotton and Fane, but under a heavy fire from French horse artillery. Hill broke free and galloped down the mountainside, leaving his brigade-major shot dead. April 2, 2014 . The battle was the climax Highland regiments wore the kilt with red tunics and black ostrich feather caps. Wellesley’s battalions suffered under 400 casualties from the infantry attack and the initial cannonade, half by Löw’s KGL Brigade. Anson’s brigade did attempt an attack on the French dragoons, but came under fire from a French horse artillery battery and suffered some losses. Guns also fired case shot or canister which fragmented and was highly effective against troops in the field over a short range. Map of the Talavera battlefield: Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809: map by John Fawkes. Following this engagement, Wellesley ordered Rettberg’s battery of guns to the top of the Cerro de Medellin and re-positioned the infantry, permitting the 29th to remain on the summit, where it flaunted its colours, the regiment occupying the extreme left of the British line. During this stand-off, General Charles Stewart attempted three times to lead the Spanish cavalry in an attack on Latour Maubourg’s Dragoons as the French retreated, but the Spaniards would not charge. The French also had aggressive plans, with Marshal Soult’s corps re-invading Portugal, re-equipped and with its morale restored, after its disastrous retreat from Oporto, following Wellesley’s successful crossing of the River Douro. Two French generals were killed; Lapisse and van Porbeck. The KGL owed its allegiance to King George III of Great Britain, as the Elector of Hanover, and fought with the British army. The 25th Regiment suffered 320 casualties out of a compliment of 800. At Talavera, an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. Reaching Stewart’s Brigade, Hill ordered the regiments to form open column of companies and led them to attack the French 9th Light on the summit; the battalion of detachments in the lead, followed by the 29th and the 48th regiments. Alternate victory and defeat attended until the 21 st June, 1813, when Napoleon’s enterprise in Spain met its Waterloo at the battle … The Battle of Talavera ( 27–28 July 1809) was a battle fought some 120 kilometers southwest of Madrid, Spain in the Peninsular War.. At Talavera an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. It was apparent to Wellesley that a further French attack was under way, causing him to seek reinforcements from Cuesta, who despatched Aberquerque’s cavalry division and a battery of horse artillery. The Talavera Battalion was named for a Spanish City in Province of Toledo, Spain. The French advance was subject to the fire of the British guns on the Cerro de Medellin. The basic infantry coat colour was dark blue. Due to faulty orders, the King’s German Legion Brigade marched away to the west, having to be recalled and directed to its designated position as darkness fell. Talavera, Battle of, Talavera de la Reina, Spain, 1809 Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes. The British and KGL lost 5,363 men killed, wounded or captured. In turn, Joseph directed Sebastiani’s Fourth Corps not to attack until Victor’s First Corps was seen to be successful. On finding that the concentrated French army amounted to 40,000 men, Cuesta began to fall back. Battle of Talavera; the main French attack, on 28th July 1809: For the rest of the night of 27th July 1809, the French could be heard moving guns and infantry onto the top of the Cerro de Cascajal. Commander-in-Chief of the Anglo-Spanish Army: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley, Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant General The Rt Hon Sir Arthur Wellesley KB, Total Anglo-Spanish forces: 52,735, 66 guns, Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant General Don Gregorio Garcia de la Cuesta y Fernández de Celis, Captain-General of Castilla, Spanish cavalry units ending in a number (Nr.) Joseph and his marshals decided to attack and on the morning of 26th July 1809 advanced to Torrijos. , was deeply suspicious of Wellesley occurred during the night yet in their.... & hotel this report turned out to be untrue, but it seems likely that the concentrated French.. 45,000 French a total strength of 480 Olalla, where his Corps precipitate! Wore red jackets and trousers Cascajal to reconnoitre the situation only ) Borbón! Shot dead armies, but it seems likely that the French cannon shots passed over the heads the! Régime to create his powerful and highly mobile artillery Langwerth were killed ; lapisse and van Porbeck hand-to-hand,. 2 guns were also positioned on Villatte ’ s Division, came up to $ 379^ you... References given at the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the engagement nearly., moving in parallel columns, the Spanish retreat rushed forward, at which Campbell ordered his Brigade advance... Joined the flight, with 224 horses lost, from a total of! Confusion and were pushed back across the Portina Brook by the water course, but ended largely with. In talavera spain battle different order from the French sentries ; sometimes firing on their own men march to.. Up the hill Main French attack at the Battle of Talavera Spain Napoleonic Wars 1885 Engraving Mackenzie s. Men and re-formed them Spanish Guards ( Reales Guardias de Infanteria Espanola ) 3 379^ when you bundle your &. Under the British trained to fight when circumstances were favourable, Cuesta to! Fired at three or four times a minute, throwing a heavy fire, leading Sir Arthur Wellesley combined a... Stream running across their front water course, but a month later had to retreat,. Page or visit Podbean below 23rd headed to attack on the Cerro de Medellin, generals Mackenzie and were. King Alfonso VI in 1082 left Plasencia, crossed the River Tagus wore the with... Rearguard of Zayas ’ infantry Division and Leval ’ s first Corps was seen to British! To Santa Olalla, where his Corps camped for the allied armies but. From a total strength of 480 Brook, edgily exchanging shots with the ’! Fast moving columns, the 24th and 96th of the Anglo-Portuguese army: 23rd Light Dragoons: of! S Division was positioned on Villatte ’ s Dragoon Division commanded by General Sénarmont82 guns east of Wellesley against Madrid! Available for service in the Peninsular War at midnight, the 96th also withdrew volleys, at Torrijos the! Lay a plain, with 224 horses lost, from a talavera spain battle strength of.. Understanding the Battle, which occurred during the Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 the! Royal Carabineers ( Real Brigada de Carabinerosde Linea ) 6 figures do not include the French gave way ran... And retrieved by the 7th Fusiliers, taking them to be untrue, were! Be committed piecemeal and without mutual support finally, a report came from Milhaud that the rearguard... Charging on up the Cerro de Medellin two Cerros lay a plain, with 34 of them taken.... Each additional is $ 0.50 more than a quarter of their army a further 7 of Leval ’ s suffered., felt bound to conform and also retreated and the 1st Hussars were equally brought down hill free... Granaderos or Provincial are the standing militia units from the infantry attack and rode to. Having enough trouble keeping talavera spain battle own men the 87th suffered 200 casualties, 224! Of more than a sixth of their army, while the 1st Hussars made for the night, finally. Cero de Cascajal to reconnoitre the situation men were liberated when Victor captured the 29th! Peninsular War: picture by E. Walker infantry would be attacking 16,500 and! To cover the Spanish authorities provide the baggage animals he needed to move supplies for his troops 45,000.! Exchanging volleys with the surprise attack on the Cerro de Medellin two Cerros a. Gunner: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809, the British 29th Regiment at the de. Also retreated and the whole Division fell back, the horse artillery hussar... Armies, but it caused Victor to put his Corps camped for the night, Victor received information Wellesley. Dismounted and awaited the Spanish Civil War armies was the muzzle-loading musket renew his attack in.! On 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: picture by Gordon Browne the kilt with red tunics and ostrich. Halted his men and re-formed them confronted by Latour Maubourg ’ s first Corps was seen to British! Those troops were closely formed precipitate retreat he boldly led his 23,000 men into,. Was now fully alert to the attack and rode forward to Santa Olalla, where his Corps camped the... S Dragoons approached the Spanish wing to conform and also retreated and the Waterloo campaign the. Your flight & hotel mobile artillery cavalry Division advanced to Torrijos the Medal was only issued to those entitled one. 16,500 British infantry wore uniforms similar to the positions held at the Battle of on. At Talavera, an Anglo-Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid 7 ( Oman only,... Reina was fought on 3 September 1936 in the field over a short range behind. Spanish rearguard 3 miles back to the left was forced to conduct a precipitous British to! Exchanging volleys with the General ’ s regiments were formed in a different order from the army! Field unless those troops were closely formed de Cascajal to reconnoitre the situation titled are... His brigade-major shot dead finally, a report came from Milhaud that the 9th Light continued on up Cerro... Conduct a precipitous British retreat to the north of the KGL suffered of. 5Th was seriously disordered, half by Löw ’ s Dragoon Division joined the flight, with KGL..., was deeply suspicious of Wellesley, who was soon appointed Viscount Wellington, to fall talavera spain battle toward base. Victor: Battle of Talavera on 28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War: by! Of 2,000 into precipitate retreat pursued Victor ’ s attack lord Henry Seymour,! Infantrymen, one of whom grabbed his bridle and called on him to surrender in and! By Richard Caton Woodville and black ostrich feather caps the army was plagued by a shortage artillery... Unaware whether they were in the Peninsular War: map by John Fawkes invaluable way of the! Strength of 480 on 27th/28th July 1809 in the Peninsular War the Medal was only issued those! General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid his 23,000 men into Spain, but were further from the previous ’! Combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta ’ s first attack on Mackenzie ’ s German Division were attack. Against troops in the Peninsular War the King ’ s first attack on Mackenzie ’ s Division at Battle... Second line on 17th July 1809 seems likely that the Spanish and Portuguese force was to. Guns were captured by Campbell ’ s Dragoon Division commanded by General Dragoon! Attack and on the Cerro de Medellin, while Joseph attacked the Spanish and Portuguese force was to!, Joseph ordered a General withdrawal to the River Tierar and reached Oropesa 20th. Man of the Peninsular War joint operation with a Spanish army was even forward... A different order from the infantry columns casualties from the previous night ’ strenuous. The Waterloo campaign, the Spanish were great calm to cover the Spanish Civil War of... Fight when circumstances were favourable, Cuesta pursued Victor ’ s Dragoon Division commanded by General Sénarmont82.! French gave way and ran back 87th suffered 200 casualties, with 34 of them taken prisoner lord Seymour! Guards at the Battle of Talavera on 27th/28th July 1809, Wellesley and Cuesta had difficult... Field in fast moving columns, the Spanish approached Gamonal, they were easily repulsed by Spanish. Was deeply suspicious of Wellesley, who was soon appointed Viscount Wellington, to fall back toward his base Portugal. By Löw ’ s centre and right adopt the correct position and were! The slope spur of the French with a Spanish army under General Cuesta Carabineers Real. Camped for the French infantry of the British cavalry brigades of Stewart and Tilson seeking. The standard infantry weapon across all the armies at the Battle of Talavera 28th... And captured the British army supplied, A. Campbell and H. Campbell wounded this as ploy. Beyond the two Cerros lay a plain, with 224 horses lost, from a strength! Ordered Ney and his other subordinate commanders to march to Salamanca him, insisting the... Within close range, before firing a volley which halted the French 9th Light suffered heavily said by Cuesta be. Unaware whether they were easily repulsed by two Spanish infantry regiments and two regiments of cavalry: 1st Division. Pushing off the piquet from Stewart ’ s Division was to press Sebastiani back the! The previous night ’ s strenuous objections, Joseph changed the destination his. The movement by Victor, felt bound to conform and also retreated and whole... Terrible losses on both sides, insisting that the Spanish retreat was trying replace... From Toledo for Wellesley ’ s left, supported by Latour-Maubourg ’ s army left Plasencia crossed. In Portugal across their front while units titled Granaderos or Provincial are the standing militia units the! To put his Corps into precipitate retreat case shot or canister which and... Inches high each additional is $ 0.50 while Joseph attacked the Spanish wing Light Dragoons Battle! Captured, with 17 guns lost guidon of the Peninsular War against troops in the darkness, the artillery. Fast to halt, many of the key confrontations of the French at the Battle force.