|Info 1e, Captain George herbert Adams||Close info Window|
The Battle of Talavera (July 27–28, 1809)
was a bloody yet inconclusive battle seventy miles southwest of Madrid, Spain.
With Portugal secured, Wellesley (Duke of Wellinton)advanced into Spain to unite with the General Cuesta's forces.
The combined allied force prepared for an assault on Victor's I Corps at Talavera, July 23. Cuesta, however, was reluctant to agree, and was only persuaded to advance on the following day.
The delay allowed the French to withdraw, but Cuesta sent his army headlong after Victor, and found himself faced by almost the entire French army in New Castile –
Victor had been reinforced by the Toledo and Madrid garrisons. The Spanish retreated precipitously, necessitating two British divisions advancing to cover their retreat.
The next day, July 27, the French advanced in three columns and were repulsed several times throughout the day by British infantry in line. The Battle of Talavera was a costly victory that left the allies precariously exposed, so they retreated westwards, abandoning several thousand of their own wounded to the Spanish who transferred them to the French.
Although the Spanish had promised food to the British if they advanced into Spain, not only was no food forthcoming, but Spanish troops threatened to pillage any town that sold food to their allies, forcing the British to continue retreating back to Portugal.
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© JCC Glass
updated 2th October 2011