Battle of Albuera
A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Al Buera. Both sides suffered heavily in the ensuing struggle and the French finally withdrew on 18 May. The battle was won by the Allied troops, mainly the British, but the French were able to hold on to the fortress until the end of the war in 1811.
About Battle of Albuera in brief
The Battle of Albuera was a battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Al Buera, about 20 kilometres south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain. Both sides suffered heavily in the ensuing struggle and the French finally withdrew on 18 May. Despite Soult’s failure to relieve the town, the battle had little strategic effect on the war. Just one month later, in June 1811, the Allies were forced to abandon their siege by the approach of the reconstituted French Armies of Portugal and Andalusia. The Allied troops were only 30,000 men, mainly from the Vps. of the South, but they were enough to repel a French attack on Lisbon. The battle was won by the Allied troops, mainly the British, but the French were able to hold on to the fortress until the end of the war in 1811. The Allies were eventually driven out of the area by the French Army of Portugal, which had been weakened by the Battle of Bussaco in September 1810. The French were unable to regain the fortress, which was captured by the Allies in April 1811 and fell under French control the following month. The Battle was the first of several battles between the Allied and French armies in the region between 1810 and 1812. The outcome of the battle was a turning point in the war, with the Allies eventually winning the war and taking control of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Channel ports of Coimbra and Algarve, among other things.
It was also the first time the French had been forced to retreat from their main base of operations in Spain, and the last time they had to wait until 1811 for the fall of the city of Madrid to take their revenge. The allied forces were eventually able to retake the fortress and hold it for a month until the French retreated again in May 1811 with the help of the Spanish. The siege was eventually broken by the British and the Portuguese armies, who took over the strategically important border town of Badjoz in June and July. The British and Portuguese armies were then able to take control of most of the region, but only the French remained behind the Lines of Torres Vedras to protect the approaches to Lisbon. In October 1810, Marshal Masséna’s Portuguese army had been tied down in an increasingly hopeless stand-off against Wellington’s Allied forces. After a fierce skirmish on 14 October in which the strength of the Lines became apparent, the French dug themselves in rather than launch a costly full-scale assault. In early 1811 Marshal Soult led a French expedition into Extremadura in a bid to draw Allied forces away from the Lines and ease Massénna’s plight. He planned to turn Beresford’s flank and interpose his army between the two. However, Soult was again acting on outdated information; unknown to the Marshal, the Spaniards had already linked up with the Anglo-Portuguese corps, and his 24,000 troops now faced a combined Allied army 35,000 strong.