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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:16 am 
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Posts: 325
British Embassy statement and travel advice concerning the conflict


Napoleon: Total Wargame video

The British ambassador to Portugal, Mr Alex Ellis has issued a statement, concerning the
Napoleonic invasions of Portugal and in particular the efforts of the Anglo-Portuguese army
under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, to halt any anticipated third invasion along
the Lines of Torres Vedras. With the military situation deteriorating rapidly in Europe,
the ambassador feels the time is right to issue some reassurance concerning the defence
of Portugal.

He goes into some detail on the scale of the enterprise in constructing the 142 redoubts
that make up the Lines, together with present day efforts to restore the various redoubts
and earthworks.

The website also includes useful travel advice for expats wishing to visit the battlefields
and other significant landmarks of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as any special
exhibitions being held at local museums.

British Ambassador, Alex Ellis talks about the Lines of Torres Vedras

British, Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement

British, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, statement on the Peninsular Wars in Portugal

Finally the British embassy was pleased to announce the presentation of a Sword of Honour
to General Francisco da Silveira and the people of Portugal, for their heroic defence of the
bridge at Amarante.
Thwarting the second invasion of Portugal by the french, under Marshall Soult.

Sword of honour presented to the Portuguese general defending Amarante

More information concerning Napoleon: Total War, video wargame

Napoleon: Total War video game

Napoleon: Total War, multiplayer game

Napoleon: Total War, multiplayer mode

Napoleon: Total War out of the box - New Players review

Napoleon: Total War, Players review

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:53 pm, edited 27 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:35 am 
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Posts: 325
Napoleon's troops march into Andalusia


Theme Music

On the 10th January 1810, Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte ( crowned King Joseph
by the French in Madrid ) orders Marshall Victor to begin the invasion of the southern
region of Andalusia, where a number of city Junta's continue to resist the french
together with elements of the Spanish army.
With the british and portuguese busy digging in along the Lines of Torres Vedras.
Its left to Marshall Soult to keep an eye on the Portuguese frontier while Victors troops,
accompanied by Sebastiani, invade Andalusia.

Cickable map of the Spanish Peninusular during the Napoleonic Wars

Map of Spain & Portugal 1808

BBC Radio series, The Other Side of the Hill

A BBC radio series called The Other Side of the Hill gives a dramatic account of events
following Wellesley's ( now Viscount Wellington's ) victory at the Battle of Talavera in 1809.
The story follows the fortunes of Sir Harry Smith ( then a Captain in Wellington's Army )
and the sister of a well born Spanish lady, following the storming of the fortress town of
Badajoz. Whose property was destroyed during the siege.
Following the storming of Badajoz in April 1812. This well born Spanish lady and her
sister Juana María de los Dolores de León escaped the sack of Badajoz, seeking refuge
with some British officers they found camping outside the city. One of the officers was
Captain Henry George Smith ( nickname Harry Smith ) who promptly asked for the
sisters hand in marriage. In exchange for their protection from the soldiers.
Despite the age difference ( she being 14 at the time ) they became devoted to each other
and she remained with him throughout the rest of the war, accompanying the baggage
train, sleeping in the open while out on campaign, riding freely among the troops, and sharing
all the privations of soldiering. Her beauty, courage, sound judgment and amiable character
endeared her to the officers, including the Duke of Wellington, who spoke of her familiarity
as Juanita; she was idolized by the rest of the troops.


BBC Radio 7, The Other Side of the Hill - listen to it again on BBC I-Player

Listen again to The Other Side of the Hill, part 1 ( No longer available )

Radio 7, The Other Side of the Hill, part 1

Listen again to The Other Side of the Hill, part 2 ( No longer available )

Radio 7, The Other Side of the Hill, part 2

The Life and times of Lieut General, Sir Harry Smith

Sir Harry Smith

The march through Andalusia, January 1810


As can be seen from the map, the French invasion of Andalusia was conducted by two Generals.
Marshall Claude Victor taking the western route through Andalusia to reach Cadiz by
the 5th February 1810. While General Horace Francois Sebastiani marched down the eastern
side of Andalusia, securing the towns and cities of Linares, Jaen, Granada and finally Malaga
( on the Costa del Sol ) where he encountered some opposition from the defiant
Amoungst General Sebastiani's IV Corps are troops of the Polish Vistula Legion who will
be appearing at this weekends re-enactment held on the 6th & 7th february.

Spanish preperations to resist the French in Malaga

Video of the Spanish resistance in Malaga

Details of the french and spanish campaign for Malaga 1810

Resisting the french in Malaga

La Opinion de Malaga, newspaper journal on the event

La Opinion de Malaga - Malaga resists Napoleon's troops

The Malaga 1810 poster

Malaga event poster

Spanish gunboat patrolling the Isla de Leon channel, Cadiz


Latest news from Spain - the Spanish army under the Duke of Albuquerque, are
falling back on Cadiz, following the fall of Seville to Victor's french army


Spanish forces resisted as best they could but faced by Victors veteran french troops, they were
forced to retire from cities like Seville, to the spanish naval base of Cadiz where the spanish
government sits in defiance of the french.
Victors army soon arrives before Cadiz on the 5th february where they are eventually
joined by Soult. Together they surround the naval base with 60,000 men although the
fortifications surrounding Cadiz are too much for the french to take by frontal
assualt. Therefore siege cannons are brought in to reduce the spanish fortress.

Spanish gun emplacement, Cadiz


The Siege of Cadiz 1810

So the french settle down to a long siege that will last almost two and a half years
as the hard pressed spanish garrison are reinforced by british and portuguese
troops, ferried in to help the spanish.
The terrain surrounding the strong fortifications of Cádiz, would prove difficult
for Victor to attack, as the French also suffered from a lack of supplies, particularly
ammunition from continuous guerrilla raiding parties attacking the rear of their
siege lines and threatening their communications within Andalusia.
From time to time the british would mount naval landings along the Andalusian coast
to threaten Victors communications with Seville and Malaga further frustrating
the french siege effort.

Spanish troops preparing to defend the city against the French

Video of Spanish preparations in Cadiz

Conclusion of the Sharpe theme music

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: The French besiege Cadiz
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 325

As usual, click and minimise the following link, Please remember to close the
window once the theme music ends.
New theme Music

Cannons roar as the Siege of Cadiz begin’s

When Marshal Claude Victor-Perrin arrived at the gates of the island fortress of
Cadiz, in Andalusia, he was confident the poorly defended town would surrender
He and his troops had marched eighty-three miles in four days to
take control of the last outpost of Spanish rebellion against the Emperor Napoleon.
Madrid was already in french hands, along with the rest of northern Spain.
The only Spanish government left in Spain was the Central Junta of Seville, who
fled to Cadiz following the approach of the French. By taking Seville, Victor’s troops
had seized 200 cannon, together with magazines, plus the only iron foundry in Spain.
Days earlier on February 1, 1810, Napoleon’s brother, King Joseph, had ridden
triumphantly through the gates of Seville, as Spain seemed all but conquered.

Spanish officer rows out to greet a royal naval ship, at anchor in Cadiz Bay


But Cadiz’s governor refused to surrender. Over the centuries, the town’s thick
stone walls had repelled the Moors, Barbary pirates, and the British. That morning,
its walls harbored something else: twelve thousand men representing the last
remnants of the Spanish army. Realizing Seville was lost, the Duke of Albuquerque
had marched his ten thousand men to Cadiz, picking up another two thousand
men from towns along the way. He arrived two days before Victor. If the French
wanted the town, they would have to lay siege to it.

After being turned down by the governor, Victor surveyed Cadiz’s defenses.
The island fortress sat at one end of the Isla de Leon, surrounded by water on
three sides. It could only be reached from the mainland by boat or by using a
bridge and then walking five miles along the marshy isthmus to the city gates.
After Albuquerque had marched his Spanish troops across the bridge, he
destroyed it, setting up makeshift artillery batteries to prevent the French from
taking the bridge and repairing it.

While awaiting the arrival of heavy artillery from Seville. Victor endeavors to
take the garrison by surprise. To do so he prepares for a dawn attack, under
cover of darkness in order to assault the Spanish fort ( overlooking the bridge )
in the early hours of the morning.

The Siege of Cadiz in history

The Siege of Cadiz, 1810

The Siege of Cadiz as seen on Spanish TV, no commentary

Siege of Cadiz on windows media player

The inhabitants of Cadiz made these video recordings of the
french bombarding the fort

Video of Cadiz under siege, part1

Video of Cadiz under siege, part2

Marshal Victor surveys the fortifications guarding Cadiz


Spanish fort on the Isla de Leon guarding the approach to Cadiz, in the
background can be seen the French tricolour marking the french lines


A poster with a map showing the current dispositions of the french and spanish
armies with another view of the french flag, just out of range in the distance


Albuquerque's troops strengthen the town garrison bringing with them more
cannon to guard the forts


The Duke makes his final dispositions as the French make a show of force
outside Cadiz


Dawn sees french troops approaching the fortress walls. Ahead of them
officers are surveying the walls for any signs their approach has been


Surprise is complete as the only officer on lookout is otherwise engaged


French grenadiers take postion ready for the assualt, when from nowhere a
shot is heard


The Spanish lookout hears the shot as his girlfriend points out the french


The french move forward with artillery in support as the spanish line the
fortress walls


The Spanish give fire from the walls and redoubts surrounding the fort



The french scale the wall only to be met by Spanish grenadiers determined
not to give way


More french troops scale the walls, as bitter fighting breaks out along the





Its a close run thing but finally Napoleon's troops are beaten back


After making a brief stand outside the fortress walls, the french retire to their
siege lines


The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: The French storm Malaga
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 325

Theme Music

People of Malaga protest against those who would hand their town over
to the French


A new and more aggressive governor is installed to hold the town


As the Duke of Albuquerque's troops, fend off Victor's french battalion on the ramparts
of Cadiz. The citizens of Malaga face an even graver danger for beyond the city gates,
lies seasoned troops of General Sebastiani's french Imperial Corps, who have won
numerous victories in the emperors campaigns in Europe. Included amoungst its
ranks are Polish troops of the Vistula Legion from the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw,
who boast cavalry in the form of the Polish Lancers.

French Infantry march in to face the Spanish defenders


The Battle of Malaga begins

Facing Sebastiani are a mixed bag of Spanish infantry and cavalry, troops that have
seen defeat at the Battle of Ocana last November and had suffered again in
their attempts to prevent the french from crossing the mountain passes into
Andalusia. Other regiments like the Swiss Reding's and the Royal Artillery of Malaga
are made of sterner stuff, having seen victory at Bailen but are few in numbers.
Augmenting the regulars are the armed militia and citizenry, vain and enthusiastic
but exceedingly volatile.

Sebastiani knowing that Malaga lacks defences, resolves to take the city by storm
and sends his Polish troops forward to skirmish with the enemy while his
massed battalions form up behind them to begin the assualt.

In the re-enactment the French decide to attack down a disused highway with the
Spanish fending off the assualt for as long as possible. At first the Spanish
fight off Sebastiani's Poles but as the evening wears on, the presure gets
too much for them and they are finally put to flight by the Polish Lancers.

Polish skirmishers move forward to exchange shots with the Spanish


French and Polish infantry form line to engage the Spanish troops


French skirmishers firing on the Spanish line


Battle of Malaga video, part1

The Spanish take their positions

Battle of Malaga video, part2

The battle begins as the french & Poles attack

Battle of Malaga video, part3

Polish cavalry charge the Spanish line

Battle of Malaga video, part4

The Spanish fall back as the fighting continues well into the evening

Battle of Malaga video - the final scenes

The fighting continues through the streets of Malaga as Sebastiani's Polish
troops wait for the french cannons to bombard a spanish strongpoint

Battle of Malaga video - Special Commemoration film

Video scenes from the military parades and battle re-enactment in Malaga
compiled to music

Battle of Malaga video - Special Commemoration film tribute

Highlights from the Battle of Malaga, 1810

The following day sees more french troops marching into Malaga to secure
the town centre, while the spanish march out to meet the french. In what
will turn out to be the final days battle for Malaga, the spanish garrison
fight to the very end, in what will be a last ditch stand against Napoleon's

Battle for Malaga - film of the battle through the streets

Malaga street battles against the french

Spainish garrison marches out to meet the French


Spanish troops form a firing line along the road into Malaga town centre


Polish and spanish skirmishers exchange fire over a bridge


Sebastiani brings forward more men to engage the spanish line, while a
Polish officer looks on to observe his troops in action


French grenadiers open fire in the town square


The Spanish regulars although hopelessly outnumbered, make their
final stand in the town square


The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 325
Preperations for the defence of Portugal 1810

With the french securing Andalusia and with it the sun kissed beaches of
the Costa del Sol. No doubt expats are wondering when Napoleon's
troops will be turning their attention on Portugal again.
Its a concern shared by the General of the Anglo - Portuguese army,
Viscount Wellington as his engineers and civilian labourers continue their
toil on the many forts and redoubts dotted along the Lines of Torres Vedras.
The fact that Victor has become engrossed in the siege of Cadiz and
has called upon Marshall Soult to provide more men and guns to
reduce Cadiz, has taken some pressure off the Portuguese frontier.

Friends of Torres Vedras launched in London

While Napoleon's troops are busy securing their hold on Andalusia. A
Portuguese parliamentary delegation arrived in London last month to
petition support from both Houses of Parliament, for the work currently
taking place along the Lines of Torres Vedras. That will prove critical for
the defence of Lisbon against the anticipated third invasion of Portugal.

Early day motion passed in the House of Commons, that this house
recognises the extensive works and fortifications carried out by the
future Duke of Wellington in defence of Britain's oldest ally Portugal.

Early Day Motion passed on the 14th Jan 2010

Early day motion in support of the Friends of Torres Vedras, signed by 20 MP's

Check for Item 611 of Parliamentary business

Battle of Amarante, 1809 - Portuguese tribute film

The lull in the fighting has given the Portuguese time to reflect on
one of the key moments of the French invasion of northern Portugal,
namely the heroic defence of the bridge at Amarante.
As you know it was a battle that lasted almost a month, causing Soult
to wait in Oporto while sending more troops to secure this vital
bridge on his left flank.
Although the French eventually took the bridge at Amarente on the
2nd May, the delay gave Wellesley time to march his new british army
upto Oporto from Lisbon.

Eight minute Portuguese video on the Battle of Amarante, includes
scenes from the evening attacks across the bridge with barrels of

Battle of Amarante, 1809

Finally, for all those Armchair Generals amoungst you, who have been
following events from afar on your home PC.
As you all know I have been featuring the new Napoleonic wargame,
Napoleon: Total War which is due for release this week, on the
26th february. New preview video's are being released all the time
on the run up to launch day. See my previous post at the top of
this webpage for new video's. Its inclusion in my posts are ( just a
matter of interest ) as I'm completely neutral over the merits or
otherwise of the game.

As usual, please click & minimise the concluding theme music:

Johnny has gone for a Soldier

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject: Siege of Gerona
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:04 am 
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Posts: 325
Siege of Gerona, May to December 1809

As the siege of Cadiz continues in Andalusia, other regions of Spain
had risen up against their french overlords in 1809, most notably the
city fortress of Gerona in Catalonia.

The Spanish garrison of Gerona


Gerona, situated in the north east corner of Spain has been besieged 25
times during its history, mostly against the french and therefore in
May 1809 it was against Napoleon's armies that the Catalan garrison, led
by General Mariano Alvarez decided to defy the french Marshall Augereau,
when called upon to surrender.
Alvarez had only 5,600 men under arms including some spanish infantry
and hussars, against him Augereau commanded 35,000 french troops which
proceeded to set up their siege works around the city fortress mounting
40 guns which for seven months proceeded to fire 20,000 explosive shells
and 60,000 cannon balls into the city.
In August, the French captured the castle of Montjuich, the main defensive point.
Undeterred, de Castro constructed barricades and trenches inside the city and
battle raged for another four months before Alavarez, exhausted and ill, handed
over command to a subordinate. Two days later, on 12 December, the town
capitulated. It is estimated that some 10,000 people, soldiers and civilians,
had died inside. French losses were around 15,000, over half of them to

Spanish light infantry parade


Spanish troops manning the barricades against the french


The Spanish garrison led by General Alvarez march through Gerona to
confront the French

Spanish troops take their positions in the fortress

Spanish troops exchange fire with the french along the side streets of

Street fighting in Gerona

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:40 pm
Posts: 433
:D superb capt william

keep it coming

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 325
ged&kas wrote:
:D superb capt william
keep it coming

I will certainly do my best, anyway:

Back to the Russian Front

Although I hate to tear you away from events in Spain and Portugal, as you know
the PC wargame campaign Napoleon: Total War was released a couple of weeks ago,
with the gaming community producing some excellent online commentary

One of them is the Webbg6 Channels, Russian campaign against Sweden, the
Ottoman empire and ultimately France. Started 5 days ago, this is an ongoing account
of a Napoleonic wargame as played using NTW. As you will see, Graham's commentary
is very good and easy to follow.

NTW - The Russian campaign video's

Another interesting feature of the game is the technology tree, where
Graham has to carry out research by building Universities and Institutes to
progress down the technology tree, which enables him to build new iron
foundaries, etc.

British industrialist establishes Russian iron foundaries

Did this happen in real life ? well yes it did. The british industrialist, Charles
Gascoigne was sent by the british government to Russia, to render military
assistance to Catherine the Great in 1786 and ( to avoid bankrupcy back home )
stayed on in Russia, to establish a number of iron foundaries and coal mines.
Charles Gascoigne was one of the founding partners and managers of the
Carron Ironworks, near Falkirk in Scotland that mass produced new types of
cannon for the Royal Navy, including the fearsome Carronade cannon.
Despite british attempts to prevent Gascoigne, from supplying new cannon
and armanents from the Carron works to Russia, he did make off with
his plans and documents.
One of his foundaries was established at Lugansk, in the Donetsk coal mining
region of Ukraine and Charles Gascoigne is widely regarded as the founder of
the Ukrainian city of Lugansk.

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 7 times in total.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 325
A Napoleonic Weekend in Leeds & Felixstowe

Despite the present lull in fighting on the spanish peninsular, the UK Napoleonic
season gets in full swing next week with a Napoleonic double bill at the Royal
Armouries in Leeds & Landguard Fort in Felixstowe, over the weekend of
the 27th & 28th March.

Fans of the Sharpe series ( who no doubt are suffering withdrawl symptoms since
the last Sharpe adventure in Sharpes Peril ) will be spoilt for choice next weekend.
Where to go Leeds or Felixstowe ?

Royal Armouries events, Leeds on facebook

Well the show at the Royal Armoury in Leeds includes:
Meet actor Jason Salkey alias “Rifleman Harris” from Sharpe’s Rifles.
Napoleonic drill and musket firing by the 33rd Regiment of foot & the 68th Rifles.
See what life was like in the Royal Navy 200 years ago including the
notorious Press Gang.

British 95th Rifles parade at Landguard Fort


Landguard Fort, events

Meanwhile over the same weekend the 95th Rifles will be parading at Landguard
Fort near Felixstowe.
Here the 95th will be putting on a full display of military life in the 1800's
including infantry drills with musket and rifle firing. Finally the forts audio and
visual centre will be playing video's of the 95th's battle re-enactments.


Finally please note, I've added a couple more video's of the British attack on
the french held fort at Walcheren in Holland last year.

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 325
1812 - Bicentennial commemorations in Russia

As the Russian government finalise their plans for the bicentennial commemorations
of the Patriotic War of 1812. We see russian forces already clashing with French
and Polish troops at the town of Jonkowa in Poland.

Govt Plans for The Patriotic War of 1812

Clashes near the Polish border

An interesting battle took place in Poland over the weekend of the 20th & 21st
March near the town of Jonkowa, south east of Gdansk and towards the
russian border at Kaliningrad.
As many of you are aware, Polish troops are already fighting alongside the
french in the Spanish peninsular. Therefore this will provide an interesting background
to the Polish allegiance to Napoleon's cause during the Napoleonic Wars.
In the following video's we see french troops led by Soult and supported by Polish
troops of the Duchy of Warsaw, clashing with russian forces commanded by
General Bennigsen.
The result of the battle in february 1807 was to force the russians ( together with
their Prussian allies ) back towards Konigsburg and another battle with
Napoleon's troops at Eylau.

Russian officers encouraging their men


Battle of Jonkowa on Russian tv news

Russian Channel 1 news

Also a nice video of how easy it is to cycle Back to the Napoleonic Wars

Back to the Napoleonic Wars in Poland

French cannon at Jonkowa Poland

French battery in action

The first in the field and the last from the Taverna.

Last edited by Capt William on Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:35 am, edited 8 times in total.

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