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05/08/2021 03:03am

Military General Service Medal

For General Service In The French Revolutionary Wars, The Napoleonic Wars & The War Of 1812.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
The Military General Service Medal was a British Empire campaign medal presented for various actions during the period 1793-1814 - a period encompassing the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Anglo-American War of 1812. The medal was instituted in June 1847 and was awarded retrospectively to both officers and men who participated in qualifying actions.
Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon, twenty-nine were sanctioned and the maximum awarded to any one man was fifteen. The medal was never issued without a clasp.
The 5th Duke of Richmond, who had fought at Waterloo, was chiefly responsible for the belated institution of the Military General Service Medal for all survivors of the campaigns between 1793 and 1814 - previously there had only been the Waterloo Medal.
He campaigned in Parliament and also enlisted the interest of Queen Victoria, who persuaded a curiously reluctant Duke of Wellington that junior and non-commissioned officers and private soldiers deserved this recognition. Senior officers had previously received the Army Gold Medal thirty years before.
The medal was only awarded to surviving claimants. The recipient had to have survived until 1847 and then to actively apply for it. A combination of factors, from general illiteracy to limited publicity for the new medal meant that very many did not. Consequently there are substantially fewer medals issued compared with the number of men who served during this period.
The next of kin could not apply for a medal on behalf of a deceased relative. However, the medal was awarded to next of kin of those claimants who had died between the date of their application and the date of presentation.
There were some 25,650 applications in total.
An earlier Army Gold Medal had been awarded to field officers for their successful commands’, they were not eligible to claim identical clasps on the Military General Service Medal. To distinguish between the two medals, the Military General Service Medal was referred to as the 'silver medal’.
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in silver. The obverse of this medal bears the head of Queen Victoria with the inscription; 'VICTORIA REGINA'.
The reverse depicts the Queen placing the victor's laurels on the head of the Duke of Wellington with the inscription; 'TO THE BRITISH ARMY' and the dates; '1793-1814'.
The ribbon suspender is of a plain, straight and swivelling style, attached to the medal by a claw mount.
The recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim impressed in Roman capital letters.
Waterloo Medal BAR.svg
The ribbon is 32mm wide and crimson in colour with a narrow blue stripe along either edge.
This medal was issued with the following bars:-
Awarded for service in Egypt between 2 March and 2 September 1801, including the Siege of Alexandria.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Maida on 4 July 1806.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Roliça 17 August 1808.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Vimeiro August 21, 1808.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Sahagún 21 December 1808.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Benavente 29 December 1808.
Sahagún and Benevente
Awarded for service at both the Battles of Sahagún and Benevente.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Corunna 16 January 1809.
Awarded for service during the invasion of Martinique in 1809.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Talavera 27-28 July 1809.
Awarded for service during in the Invasion of Guadeloupe 28 January and 6 February 1810.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Buçaco - also known as Bussaco - 27 September 1810.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Barrosa Chiclana, 5 March 1811.
Fuentes D'Onor
Awarded for service at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro 3-6 May 1811.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Albuera 16 May 1811.
Awarded for service at during the invasion of Java in 1811.
Ciudad Rodrigo
Awarded for service during the 10 day siege in 1812.
Awarded for service during the Siege of Badajoz 16 March - 6 April 1812.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812
Fort Detroit
During the course of the War of 1812, both the Americans and British launched invasions of each other's territory, all of which were un-successful or gained only temporary success.
Awarded for service at the Battle of the Chateauguay 26 October 1813.
Chrysler's Farm
Awarded for service at the Battle of Crysler's Farm - also known as the Battle of Crysler's Field - 11 November 1813.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Vitoria 21 June 1813.
Awarded for service at the Battle of the Pyrenees 25 July 1813.
St Sebastien
Awarded for service during the Siege of San Sebastián 7 July - 8 September 1813.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Nivelle 10 November 1813.
Awarded for service at the Battles of the Nive 9-13 December 1813.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Orthez February 27 1814.
Awarded for service at the Battle of Toulouse 10 April 1814.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
Dealer Retail Value */**
Military GSM with a single clasp from
Military GSM with 2 clasps from
Military GSM with 3 clasps from
Military GSM with 4 clasps from
Military GSM with 5 clasps from
Military GSM with 6 clasps from
Military GSM with 7 clasps from
Military GSM with 8 clasps from
Military GSM with 9 clasps from
Military GSM with 10 clasps from
For valuations for medals with specific clasps, or, 1 or more clasps please ‘contact us’. ***
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
*** Due to the large number of clasps available for this medal, the value for medals which contains certain clasps will vary considerably.
Further Historical Context
This section contains information on:-
- The French Revolutionary Wars.
- The Napoleonic Wars.
- The War Of 1812.
- The Egypt Campaign.
- The Battle Of Maida.
- The Battle Of Roleia.
- The Battle Of Vimiera.
- The Battle Of Sahagun.
- The Battle Of Benevente.
- The Battle Of Corunna.
- The Invasion Of Martinique.
- The Battle Of Talavera.
- The Invasion Of Guadaloupe.
- The Battle Of Busaco.
- The Battle Of Barrosa.
- The Battle Of Fuentes D'Onor.
- The Battle Of Albuhera.
- The Invasion Of Java.
- The Siege Of Ciudad Rodrigo.
- The Siege Of Badajoz.
- The Battle Of Salamanca.
- The Attack On Fort Detroit.
- The Battle Of Chateauguay.
- The Battle Of Chrysler's Farm.
- The Battle Of Vittoria.
- The Battle Of The Pyrenees.
- The Siege Of St Sebastien.
- The Battle Of Nivelle.
- The Battle Of Nive.
- The Battle Of Orthes.
- The Battle Of Toulouse.
The French Revolutionary Wars - The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts fought between the French Republic government and several European Monarchies from 1792 to 1802.
Marked by French revolutionary fervour and military innovations, the campaigns saw the French Revolutionary Armies defeat a number of opposing coalitions. They resulted in expanded French control to the Low Countries, Italy, and the Rhineland. The wars depended on extremely high numbers of soldiers, recruited by modern mass conscription.
The French Revolutionary Wars are usually divided between those of the First Coalition (1792-1797) and the Second Coalition (1798-1801). France was at war with Great Britain continuously from 1793 to 1802.
Hostilities with Great Britain ceased with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but conflict soon started up again with the Napoleonic Wars. The Treaty of Amiens is usually reckoned to mark the end of the French Revolutionary Wars; however, historians have proposed other events before and after 1802 as the starting point of the Napoleonic Wars.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
The Napoleonic Wars - The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) were a series of wars between Napoleon's French Empire and opposing coalitions led by Great Britain. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly owing to the application of modern mass conscription.
French power rose quickly as Napoleon's armies conquered much of Europe but collapsed rapidly after France's disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon was defeated in 1814; he returned and was finally defeated in 1815 at Waterloo, and all France's gains were taken away by the victors.
Before a final victory against Napoleon, five of seven coalitions saw defeat at the hands of France. France defeated the first and second coalitions during the French Revolutionary Wars, the third (notably at Austerlitz), the fourth (notably at Jena, Eylau, and Friedland) and the fifth coalition (notably at Wagram) under the leadership of Napoleon.
These great victories gave the French Army a sense of invulnerability, especially when it approached Moscow. But after the retreat from Russia, in spite of incomplete victories, France was defeated by the sixth coalition at Leipzig, in the Peninsular War at Vitoria and at the hands of the seventh coalition at Waterloo.
The wars resulted in the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of nascent nationalism in Germany and Italy that would lead to the two nations' respective consolidations later in the century.
Meanwhile, the global Spanish Empire began to unravel as French occupation of Spain weakened Spain's hold over its colonies, providing an opening for nationalist revolutions in Spanish America. As a direct result of the Napoleonic wars, the British Empire became the foremost world power for the next century, thus beginning Pax Britannica.
No consensus exists about when the French Revolutionary Wars ended and the Napoleonic Wars began. An early candidate is 9 November 1799, the date of Bonaparte's coup seizing power in France. However, the most common date is 18 May 1803, when renewed war broke out between Britain and France, ending the one-year-old Peace of Amiens, the only period of general peace in Europe between 1792 and 1814.
Most actual fighting ceased following Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815, although skirmishing continued as late as 3 July 1815 at the Battle of Issy. The Second Treaty of Paris officially ended the wars on 20 November 1815.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
The War Of 1812 - The War of 1812 was a 32-month military conflict between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies and its Indian allies. The outcome resolved many issues which remained from the American War of Independence, but involved no boundary changes.
The United States declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain's continuing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honour after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American interest in annexing British North American territory (part of modern-day Canada) which had been denied to them in the settlement ending the American Revolutionary War.
The war was fought in three principal theatres. Firstly, at sea, warships and privateers of each side attacked the other's merchant ships, while the British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the United States and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war. Secondly, both land and naval battles were fought on the American-Canadian frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River and the northern end of Lake Champlain.
Thirdly, the American South and Gulf Coast also saw major land battles in which the American forces defeated Britain's Indian allies and a British invasion force at New Orleans. Some invasions or counter strikes were unsuccessful, while others successfully attacked enemy objectives and took possession of opposition territory. At the end of the war both sides signed the Treaty of Ghent, and all parties returned occupied land to its pre-war owner.
With the majority of its army and naval forces tied down in Europe fighting the Napoleonic Wars until 1814, the British at first used a defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. The Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and ended the prospect of an Indian confederacy and an independent Indian state in the Midwest under British sponsorship. In September 1814, a British force invaded and occupied eastern Maine.
This territory, along with parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, were seized and held by the British and their Indian allies for the duration of the war. In the southwest, General Andrew Jackson destroyed the military strength of the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 on April 6, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies.
The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C, but they were repulsed in an attempt to take Baltimore. American victories in September 1814 repulsed the British invasion of New York, and the British suffered a major defeat at New Orleans in January 1815.
In the United States, late victories over invading British armies at the battles of Plattsburg, Baltimore (inspiring their national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner'), and New Orleans produced a sense of euphoria over a 'second war of independence' against Britain. Peace brought an 'Era of Good Feelings' to the U.S. in which partisan animosity nearly vanished.
In Upper and Lower Canada, British and Provincial militia victories over invading American armies became iconic and promoted the development of a distinct Canadian identity which included strong loyalty to Britain.
Today, particularly in loyalist-founded Ontario, memory of the war retains its significance because the defeat of the invasions ensured that the Canadas would remain part of the British Empire rather than be annexed by the United States. In Canada, numerous ceremonies took place in 2012 to commemorate the war, offer historical lessons and celebrate 200 years of peace across the border.
The war is scarcely remembered in Britain today, as it regarded the conflict as a sideshow to the much larger Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
The Egypt Campaign - The French Campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) was Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in the Orient, ostensibly to protect French trade interests, undermine Britain's access to India, and to establish scientific enterprise in the region. It was the primary purpose of the Mediterranean campaign of 1798, a series of naval engagements that included the capture of Malta.
Despite many decisive victories and an initially successful expedition into Syria, Napoleon and his Armée d'Orient were eventually forced to withdraw, after sowing political disharmony in France, conflict in Europe, and suffering the defeat of the supporting French fleet at the Battle of the Nile
The Battle Of Maida - The Battle of Maida on 4 July 1806 saw a British expeditionary force fight a First French Empire division outside the town of Maida in Calabria, Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. John Stuart led 5,200 British troops to victory over about 6,000 French soldiers under Jean Reynier, inflicting crippling losses while incurring relatively few casualties. Maida is located in the toe of Italy, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Catanzaro.
In early 1806, the French invaded and overran the Kingdom of Naples, forcing King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his government to flee to Sicily. The Calabrians revolted against their new conquerors and Stuart's expeditionary force tried to exploit the unrest by raiding the coast.
While ashore, the British encountered Reynier's division and the two sides engaged in battle. The 19th century historians presented the action as a typical fight between French columns and British lines. This view of the battle has been called into doubt by at least one modern historian who argued that the French deployed into lines. Nobody questions the result which was a one-sided British tactical victory.
After the battle, Stuart captured some isolated garrisons in Calabria and was transported back to Sicily by the Royal Navy. Two weeks after the battle, the city of Gaeta fell to the French after a long siege. While Stuart succeeded in preventing a French invasion of Sicily and sustained the revolt in Calabria, he missed an opportunity to assist the defenders of Gaeta.
The Battle Of Roleia - In the Battle of Roliça (17 August 1808) an Anglo-Portuguese army under Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated an outnumbered French army under General Henri Delaborde, near the village of Roliça in Portugal. The French retired in good order. Formerly spelled Roleia in English, it was the first battle fought by the British army during the Peninsular War.
The Battle Of Vimiera - In the Battle of Vimeiro (August 21, 1808) the British under General Arthur Wellesley (later known as the Duke of Wellington) defeated the French under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot near the village of Vimeiro near Lisbon, Portugal during the Peninsular War. This battle put an end to the first French invasion of Portugal.
Four days after the Battle of Roliça, Wellesley's army was attacked by a French army under General Junot near the village of Vimeiro. The battle began as a battle of manoeuvre, with French troops attempting to outflank the British left, but Wellesley was able to redeploy his army to face the assault. Meanwhile, Junot sent in two central columns but these were forced back by sustained volleys from troops in line.
Soon afterwards, the flanking attack was beaten off and Junot retreated towards Torres Vedras having lost 2,000 men and 13 cannon, compared to 700 Anglo-Portuguese losses. No pursuit was attempted because Wellesley was superseded by Sir Harry Burrard and then Sir Hew Dalrymple (one having arrived during the battle, the second soon after).
The Battle Of Sahagun - The Battle of Sahagún (21 December 1808) was a cavalry clash in which the 15th Light Dragoons (Hussars) defeated two regiments of French cavalry during the Corunna Campaign of the Peninsular War.
One of the French regiments lost so heavily that it was subsequently disbanded. The action marked the final phase of the British army's advance into the interior of Spain, before they began their harrowing retreat to the coast and ultimate evacuation by sea.
The Battle Of Benevente - The Battle of Benavente (29 December 1808) was a cavalry clash in which the British cavalry of Lord Paget defeated the elite Chasseurs à cheval of the French Imperial Guard during the Corunna Campaign of the Peninsular War. The French chasseurs were broken and forced into the River Esla; their commanding officer, General Lefebvre-Desnouettes, was captured. The action was the first major incident in the British army's harrowing retreat to the coast and ultimate evacuation by sea.
Sahagun and Benevente
The Battle Of Corunna - The Battle of Corunna (or A Corunha, La Corunna, La Coruña, Elviña, or La Corogne) took place on 16 January 1809, when a French corps under Marshal of the Empire Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult attacked a British army under Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore.
The battle took place amidst the Peninsular War, which was a part of the wider Napoleonic Wars. It was a result of a French campaign, led by Napoleon, which had defeated the Spanish armies and caused the British army to withdraw to the coast following an unsuccessful attempt by Moore to attack Soult's corps and divert the French army.
Doggedly pursued by the French under Soult, the British made an epic retreat across northern Spain, during which both armies suffered extremely from the harsh, winter conditions. The British army suffered a loss of order and discipline during the retreat on several occasions.
When the British eventually reached the port of Corunna on the northern coast of Galicia in Spain a few days ahead of the French they found their transport ships had not arrived. The fleet arrived after a couple of days and the British were in the midst of embarking when the French forces marched up and forced the British to fight a battle before they could depart for England.
In the resulting action, the British were able to fend off the French and complete their embarkation, saving their army from destruction but leaving the port cities of Corunna and Ferrol, as well as northern Spain, to be captured and occupied by the French. During the battle, Sir John Moore, the British commander, was mortally wounded, dying after hearing all the French attacks had been repulsed.
The Invasion Of Martinique - The invasion of Martinique of 1809 was a successful British amphibious operation against the French West Indian island of Martinique that took place between 30 January and 24 February 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars.
Martinique, like nearby Guadeloupe, was a major threat to British trade in the Caribbean, providing a sheltered base from which privateers and French Navy warships could raid British shipping and disrupt the trade routes that maintained the British economy.
The islands also provided a focus for larger scale French operations in the region and in the autumn of 1808, following the Spanish alliance with Britain, the Admiralty decided to order a British squadron to neutralise the threat, beginning with Martinique.
The British mustered an overwhelming force under Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and Lieutenant-General George Beckwith, who collected 29 ships and 10,000 men – almost four times the number of French regular forces garrisoning Martinique.
Landing in force on both the southern and northern coasts of the island, British troops pushed inland, defeating French regulars in the central highlands and routing local militia units in the south of the island.
By 9 February, the entire island was in British hands except Fort Desaix, a powerful position intended to protect the capital Fort-de-France, which had been bypassed during the British advance. In a siege lasting 15 days the Fort was constantly bombarded, the French suffering 200 casualties before finally surrendering.
The capture of the island was a significant blow to French power in the region, eliminating an important naval base and denying safe harbours to French shipping in the region. The consequences of losing Martinique were so severe, that the French Navy sent a battle squadron to reinforce the garrison during the invasion.
Arriving much too late to affect the outcome, these reinforcements were intercepted off the islands and scattered during the Action of 14–17 April 1809: half the force failed to return to France. With Martinique defeated, British attention in the region turned against Guadeloupe, which was captured the following year.
The Battle Of Talavera - The Battle of Talavera (27–28 July 1809) was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War in Spain.
At Talavera an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. After fierce fighting, the Grande Armée's attacks were repulsed several times; during the overnight lull in action it withdrew from the field. Wellesley was ennobled as Viscount Wellington of Talavera and of Wellington for the action.
The Invasion Of Guadaloupe - The Invasion of Guadeloupe was a British amphibious operation fought between 28 January and 6 February 1810 over control of the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe during the Napoleonic Wars. The island was the final remaining French colony in the Americas, following the systematic invasion and capture of the others during 1809 by British forces.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the French colonies had provided protected harbours for French privateers and warships, which could prey on the numerous British trade routes in the Caribbean and then return to the colonies before British warships could react. In response, the British instituted a blockade of the islands, stationing ships off every port and seizing any vessel that tried to enter or leave.
With trade and communication made dangerous by the British blockade squadrons, the economies and morale of the French colonies began to collapse, and in the summer of 1808 desperate messages were sent to France requesting aid.
Despite repeated efforts, the French Navy failed to reinforce and resupply the garrison, as their ships were intercepted and defeated either in European waters or in the Caribbean itself. The British had intercepted a number of these messages, and launched a series of successful invasions during 1809, until Guadeloupe was the only French colony remaining.
A British expeditionary force landed on 28 January 1810, and found that much of the island's militia garrison had deserted. Advancing from two landing beaches on opposite sides of the island, they were able to rapidly push inland. It was not until they reached Beaupère–St. Louis Ridge outside the capital Basse-Terre that the expeditionary force faced strong opposition, but in a battle lasting for most of 3 February, the French were defeated and driven back. The island's commander, Jean Augustin Ernouf, began surrender negotiations the following day.
The Battle Of Busaco - The Battle of Buçaco or Bussaco (27 September 1810) resulted in the defeat of French forces by Lord Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese Army, in Portugal during the Peninsular War.
Having occupied the heights of Bussaco with 25,000 British and the same number of Portuguese, Wellington was attacked five times successively by 65,000 French under Marshal André Masséna.
Masséna was uncertain as to the disposition and strength of the opposing forces because Wellington deployed them on the reverse slope of the ridge, where they could neither be easily seen nor easily softened up with artillery.
The actual assaults were delivered by the corps of Marshal Michel Ney and General of Division (MG) Jean Reynier, but after much fierce fighting they failed to dislodge the allied forces and were driven off after having lost 4,500 men against 1,250 Anglo-Portuguese casualties.
The Battle Of Barrosa - The Battle of Barrosa (Chiclana, 5 March 1811) was part of an unsuccessful manoeuvre to break the siege of Cádiz in Spain during the Peninsular War. During the battle, a single British division defeated two French divisions and captured a regimental eagle.
Cádiz had been invested by the French in early 1810, leaving it accessible from the sea, but in March of the following year a reduction in the besieging army gave its garrison of Anglo-Spanish troops an opportunity to lift the siege.
A large Allied strike-force was shipped south from Cádiz to Tarifa, and moved to engage the siege lines from the rear. The French, under the command of Marshal Victor, were aware of the Allied movement and redeployed to prepare a trap.
 Victor placed one division on the road to Cádiz, blocking the Allied line of march, while his two remaining divisions fell on the single Anglo-Portuguese rearguard division under the command of Sir Thomas Graham.
Following a fierce battle on two fronts, the British succeeded in routing the attacking French forces. A lack of support from the larger Spanish contingent prevented an absolute victory, and the French were able to regroup and reoccupy their siege lines.
Graham's tactical victory proved to have little strategic effect on the continuing war, to the extent that Victor was able to claim the battle as a French victory since the siege remained in force until finally being lifted on 24 August 1812.
The Battle Of Fuentes D'Onor - In the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro (3–6 May 1811), the British-Portuguese Army under Viscount Wellington checked an attempt by the French Army of Portugal under Marshal André Masséna to relieve the besieged city of Almeida.
In 1810, Masséna had followed the British-Portuguese back to Lisbon before arriving at the Lines of Torres Vedras, but was determined to avoid storming the extensive double line of interlocking fortifications. After starving outside Lisbon through a miserable winter, the French withdrew to the Spanish border with the British-Portuguese army in pursuit.
Wellington first secured Portugal and then set about re-taking the fortified frontier cities of Almeida, Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo. Whilst Wellington besieged Almeida, Masséna reformed his battered army and marched to relieve the French garrison in the city. Wellington chose to check the relief attempt at the small village of Fuentes de Oñoro, leaving his line of retreat exposed in order to cover all routes to Almeida.
He felt this risk was justified because the French would not have more than a few days supplies whereas he had more than that. The British-Portuguese army had 34,000 infantry, 1,850 cavalry, and 48 guns. The French had 42,000 infantry, 4,500 cavalry and 38 guns.
The Battle Of Albuhera - The Battle of Albuera (16 May 1811) was a battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi (Army of the South) at the small Spanish village of Albuera, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain.
From October 1810 Marshal Masséna's Army of Portugal had been tied down in an increasingly hopeless stand-off against Wellington's Allied forces, safely entrenched in and behind the Lines of Torres Vedras. Acting on Napoleon's orders, in early 1811 Marshal Soult led a French expedition from Andalusia into Extremadura in a bid to draw Allied forces away from the Lines and ease Masséna's plight.
Napoleon's information was outdated and Soult's intervention came too late; starving and understrength, Masséna's army was already withdrawing to Spain. Soult was able to capture the strategically important fortress at Badajoz on the border between Spain and Portugal from the Spanish, but was forced to return to Andalusia following Marshal Victor's defeat in March at the Battle of Barrosa.
However, Soult left Badajoz strongly garrisoned. In April, following news of Masséna's complete withdrawal from Portugal, Wellington sent a powerful Anglo-Portuguese corps commanded by Sir William Beresford to retake the border town. The Allies drove most of the French from the surrounding area and began the Siege of Badajoz.
The Invasion Of Java - The invasion of Java in 1811 was a successful British amphibious operation against the Dutch East Indian island of Java that took place between August and September 1811 during the Napoleonic Wars. Originally established as a colony of the Dutch Republic, Java remained in Dutch hands throughout the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, during which time the French invaded the Republic and established the Batavian Republic in 1795, and the Kingdom of Holland in 1806.
The Kingdom of Holland was annexed to the First French Empire in 1810, and Java became a titular French colony, though it continued to be administered and defended primarily by Dutch personnel.
After the fall of French colonies in the West Indies in 1809 and 1810, and a successful campaign against French possessions in Mauritius in 1810 and 1811, attention turned to the Dutch East Indies. A expedition was dispatched from India in April 1811, while a small squadron of frigates was ordered to patrol off the island, raiding shipping and launching amphibious assaults against targets of opportunity.
Troops were landed on 4 August, and by 8 August the undefended city of Batavia capitulated. The defenders withdrew to a previously prepared fortified position, Fort Cornelis, which the British laid siege to, capturing it early in the morning of 26 August.
The remaining defenders, a mixture of Dutch and French regulars and native militiamen, withdrew, pursued by the British. A series of amphibious and land assaults captured most of the remaining strongholds, and the city of Salatiga surrendered on 16 September, followed by the official capitulation of the island to the British on 18 September. The island remained in British hands for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars, and was restored to the Dutch in the Treaty of Paris in 1814.
The Siege Of Ciudad Rodrigo - Ciudad Rodrigo is a small cathedral city in the province of Salamanca, in western Spain, with a population of about 14,000. It is the seat of a judicial district as well.
The site of Ciudad Rodrigo, perched atop a rocky rise on the right bank of the River Águeda, has been occupied since the Neolithic Age. Known also as Mirobriga by those who wish to associate the city with an ancient Celtic village in the outskirts of the modern city.
A key border fortress, it was the site of a 10-day siege by the Duke of Wellington and its capture from the French opened up the invasion of Spain in 1812.
The Siege Of Badajoz - In the Siege of Badajoz (16 March – 6 April 1812), also called the Third Siege of Badajoz, an Anglo-Portuguese Army, under the Earl of Wellington, besieged Badajoz, Spain and forced the surrender of the French garrison.
The siege was one of the bloodiest in the Napoleonic Wars and was considered a costly victory by the British, with some 4,800 Allied soldiers killed in a few short hours of intense fighting during the storming of the breaches as the siege drew to an end.
Enraged at the huge amount of casualties they suffered in seizing the city, the troops broke into houses and stores consuming vast quantities of liquor with many of them then going on a rampage. Threatening their officers and ignoring their commands to desist, and even killing several, the troops massacred as many as 4,000 Spanish civilians. It took three days before the men were brought back into order.
The Battle Of Salamanca - The Battle of Salamanca saw the Anglo-Portuguese army under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles, south of Salamanca, Spain on 22 July 1812 during the Peninsular War. A Spanish division was also present but took no part in the battle.
The battle was a succession of strokes in oblique order, initiated by the British heavy cavalry brigade and Pakenham's 3rd division, and continued by the cavalry and the 4th, 5th and 6th divisions. The French left wing was routed.
By chance, both Marmont and his deputy commander General Bonet were wounded by shrapnel in the first few minutes of firing. The French command confusion may have been decisive in creating the opportunity, which Wellington successfully seized and exploited.
General Bertrand Clausel, third in seniority, assumed command and ordered a counterattack by the French reserve toward the depleted Allied centre. It had some success but Wellington had sent his reinforcements to the centre, and they decided the fight in his favour.
The losses were 3,129 British and 2,038 Portuguese dead or wounded. The Spanish troops took no part in the battle as they were positioned to block the French escape routes and as such suffered just six casualties.
The French suffered about 13,000 dead, wounded and captured. As a consequence of Wellington's victory, his army was able to advance to and liberate Madrid for two months, but then retreated back to Portugal. The French were forced to abandon Andalusia permanently, and the loss of Madrid irreparably damaged King Joseph's pro-French government.
The Attack On Fort Detroit - Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or Fort Detroit was a fort established by the French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701. The location of the former fort is now in the city of Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan, an area bounded by Larned Street, Griswold Street, and the Civic Centre.
During the course of the War of 1812, both the Americans and British launched invasions of each other's territory, all of which were unsuccessful or gained only temporary success. At the end of the war, the British held parts of Maine and some outposts in the sparsely populated West while the Americans held Canadian territory near Detroit, but these occupied territories were restored at the end of the war.
The Battle Of Chateauguay - The Battle of the Chateauguay was an engagement of the War of 1812. On 26 October 1813, a British force consisting of 1,630 regulars, volunteers and militia from Lower Canada and Mohawk warriors, commanded by Charles de Salaberry, repelled an American force of about 2,600 attempting to invade Lower Canada and ultimately attack Montreal.
The Battle of the Chateauguay was one of the two battles (the other being the Battle of Crysler's Farm) which caused the Americans to abandon the Saint Lawrence Campaign, their major strategic effort in the autumn of 1813.
The Battle Of Chrysler's Farm - The Battle of Crysler's Farm, also known as the Battle of Crysler's Field, was fought on 11 November 1813, during the Anglo-American War of 1812. The name Chrysler's Farm is sometimes used for the engagement, but Crysler is the proper spelling.
A British and Canadian force won a victory over an American force which greatly outnumbered them. The American defeat prompted them to abandon the St. Lawrence Campaign, their major strategic effort in the autumn of 1813.
The Battle Of Vittoria - At the Battle of Vitoria (21 June 1813) a British, Portuguese and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, eventually leading to victory in the Peninsular War.
The Battle Of The Pyrenees - The Battle of the Pyrenees was a large-scale offensive launched on 25 July 1813 by Marshal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult from the Pyrénées region on Emperor Napoleon’s order, in the hope of relieving French garrisons under siege at Pamplona and San Sebastián. After initial success the offensive ground to a halt in face of increased allied resistance under the command of Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington. Soult abandoned the offensive on 30 July and headed toward France, having failed to relieve either garrison.
The Battle of the Pyrenees involved several distinct actions. On 25 July, Soult and two French corps fought the reinforced British 4th Division and a Spanish division at the Battle of Roncesvalles. The Allied force successfully held off all attacks during the day, but retreated from the Roncesvalles Pass that night in the face of overwhelming French numerical superiority.
Also on the 25th, a third French corps severely tried the British 2nd Division at the Battle of Maya. The British withdrew from the Maya Pass that evening. Wellington rallied his troops a short distance north of Pamplona and repelled the attacks of Soult's two corps at the Battle of Sorauren on 28 July.
Instead of falling back to the northeast toward Roncesvalles Pass, Soult made contact with his third corps on 29 July and began to move north. On 30 July, Wellington attacked Soult's rearguards at Sourauren, driving some French troops to the northeast, while most continued to the north. Rather than use the Maya Pass, Soult elected to head north up the Bidassoa River valley.
He managed to evade Allied attempts to surround his troops at Yanci on 1 August and escaped across a nearby pass after a final rearguard action at Etxalar on 2 August. The French suffered nearly twice as many casualties as the Allied army.
The Siege Of St Sebastien - In the Siege of San Sebastián (7 July - 8 September 1813) Allied forces under the command of Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington captured the city of San Sebastián in northern Spain from its French garrison under Louis Emmanuel Rey. The attack resulted in the ransacking and devastation of the town by fire.
The Battle Of Nivelle - The Battle of Nivelle (10 November 1813) took place in front of the River Nivelle near the end of the Peninsular War (1808–1814).
After the Allied siege of San Sebastian, Wellington's 80,000 British, Portuguese and Spanish troops (20,000 of the Spaniards were untried in battle) were in hot pursuit of Marshal Soult who only had 60,000 men to place in a 20-mile perimeter.
After the Light Division, the main British army was ordered to attack and the 3rd Division split Soult's army into two. By 2 o'clock, Soult was in retreat and the British in a strong offensive position. Soult had lost 4,351 men to Wellington's 2,450.
The Battle Of Nive - The Battles of the Nive (9–13 December 1813) were fought towards the end of the Peninsular War. Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish army defeated Marshal Nicolas Soult's French army in a series of battles near the city of Bayonne.
Unusually, for most of the battle, Wellington remained with the Reserve delegating command to his senior Lieutenant-Generals Rowland Hill and John Hope.
The Battle Of Orthes - The Battle of Orthez (February 27, 1814) saw the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington defeat a French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France near the end of the Peninsular War.
The Battle Of Toulouse - The Battle of Toulouse was one of the final battles of the Napoleonic Wars, four days after Napoleon's surrender of the French Empire to the nations of the Sixth Coalition. Having pushed the demoralised and disintegrating French Imperial armies out of Spain in a difficult campaign the previous autumn, the Allied British-Portuguese and Spanish army under the Marquess of Wellington pursued the war into southern France in the spring of 1814.
Toulouse, the regional capital, proved stoutly defended by Marshal Soult. One British and two Spanish divisions were badly mauled in bloody fighting on 10 April, with Allied losses exceeding French casualties by 1,400. As Wellington pulled back to reorganize his shattered units, Soult held the city for an additional day before orchestrating an escape from the town with his entire army.
Wellington's entry on the morning of 12 April was acclaimed by a great number of French Royalists, validating Soult's earlier fears of potential fifth column elements within the city. That afternoon, the official word of Napoleon's abdication and the end of the war reached Wellington. Soult agreed to an armistice on 17 April.
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