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Fuentes de Onoro 1811: Wellington's Liberation of Portugal (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)
     

Fuentes de Onoro 1811: Wellington's Liberation of Portugal (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)

by Rene Chartrand
 

In October 1810 the Allied position in Portugal appeared precarious. Despite defeating Marshal Massena's French army at Bussaco, Wellington had been forced to retreat to within a few miles of Lisbon. Here the French encountered a massive line of fortifications stretching from the River Tagus to the sea. Built amid great secrecy and on Wellington's specific

Overview

In October 1810 the Allied position in Portugal appeared precarious. Despite defeating Marshal Massena's French army at Bussaco, Wellington had been forced to retreat to within a few miles of Lisbon. Here the French encountered a massive line of fortifications stretching from the River Tagus to the sea. Built amid great secrecy and on Wellington's specific orders, these Lines of Torres Vedras were the French high-water mark. In February, with his army on the point of starvation, Massena was forced to retreat and the scene was set for the climactic action of Fuentes de Onoro. This book examines this crucial campaign culminating in the hard-fought battle that finally drove the French from Portugal.

In the winter of 1809-10 Viscount Wellington, confronted by the prospect of facing formidable French forces in Spain without the aid of his Spanish allies, the construction of the massive defensive lines of Torres Vedras north of Lisbon. They consisted of a formidable three-line system of field earthworks and fortifications which stretched for some 30 miles from the coast to the river Tagus. Marshal Massena had been completely unaware of the existence of this massive line of defenses until he found himself confronted by them. Unable to find the key to unlock Wellington's fortifications, running out of food and with winter approaching Massena was faced with the prospect of watching his army starve where it stood. He had no choice but to withdraw into Spain. After a bitter winter of frontier skirmishing the French again took the offensive. Soult moved to Badjoz and Massena advanced to relieve Almeida which Wellington had invested. At Fuentes de Onoro Massena and Wellington's armies clashed in a hard fought contest. Wellington lost 1,800 men, Massna 2,700 but the French failed to break Wellington's siege and were forced to withdraw. Massena was relieved of his command in disgrace to be relieved by Marshal Marmont.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275986230
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
02/28/2005
Series:
Praeger Illustrated Military History Series
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
7.42(w) x 10.06(h) x 0.53(d)

Meet the Author

RENE CHARTRAND was a senior curator with Canada's National Historic Sites for thirty years, and is now a freelance writer and historical consultant. He has written numerous articles and books.

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