René Chartrand was born in Montreal and educated in Canada, the United States and the Bahamas. A senior curator with Canada's National Historic Sites for nearly three decades, he is now a freelance writer and historical consultant. He has written numerous articles and books including over 30 Osprey titles. He lives in Gatineau, Quebec, with his wife and two sons.
Oldest Allies: Alcantara 1809by René Chartrand, Mark Stacey, Alan Gilliland, Johnny Shumate
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Although somewhat overshadowed by Wellington’s main campaign in the north, the Alcantara raid was an outstanding success. The primary objective of alarming and distracting the French forces in Spain was achieved. Furthermore, the raiders also succeeded in preventing a French incursion into Portugal and tied down one of Napoleon’s best marshals. There were further raids to come, but the 1809 Alcantara raid delivered a strong, permanent message: that the Anglo–Portuguese were willing and able to strike back against the French, and that they would support their Spanish allies as much as they were able.
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