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Una Histórica Batalla

Porcuna Plan and Preliminaries of the Battle.

A week after the uprising of May 2, 1808, General Dupont, on his way to Cadiz commissioned by Napoléon to protect the fleet of Admiral Rosily in his campaign to invade Portugal under the Treaty of Fontainebleau agreement between both nations, he sensed that could meet resistance from the Spanish uprising in Andalusia, once his troops reached the town of Andujar Jaen. This resistance came from the organization of some troops from the General Brown in Sevilla, specifically in the town of Utrera.

On June 26, after the Junta of Seville passed reviewed the troops, departed for Cordova and Ecija, completing the same instruction. On July 11, 1808, arrived in Porcuna, established the famous "Plan Porcuna" with the troops of the Kingdom of Granada, creating a Spanish resistance force of nearly 30,000 men and 28 pieces of artillery.

BAILEN CASTANOSAfter joining the troops on Seville and Granada Porcuna on 11 July to become the Army of Andalusia, led by General Brown, it was necessary to establish the Campaign Plan, which will be known as "Porcuna Plan". The plan of battle was as follows: The G. Brown versus Andújar, expected to come from the G. Reding Bailen and allowed to form a pincer attack the French on two fronts. But this does not happen at the end.

During the days before the war, 15, 16 and 17 July skirmishes occur with any major clash between the two armies, as happens in Mengíbar, it remains favorable to our troops, killing the French General Gobert, leading their cuirassiers which is replaced by Dufour.

Dupont had left Andujar to Bailen at night from 18 to 19 July. Arrive around three in the morning with his vanguard to bridge Rumble. Wait surprise the Spanish forces bivouacked outside Bailen.

Divisions Coupigny Reding and had settled in Bailen from the morning of 18. Anticipating a possible attack by Vedel, which could approach from the east from the Carolina. Reding seven battalions located between the Cerros San Cristóbal and the Hangman, controlling access to the villa. Done, is prepared to go to Andujar.

From this it follows that both sides were ill-informed about the strengths and positions. Neither knew Reding Dupont approached, or it was going to come up with two Spanish divisions. In addition, Dupont had threatened his rear by Hazel, which could come from Andújar, and Reding feared for his rear, as descended from the Carolina Vedel. It was winning the battle against time; hence the desperation to break through to Dupont Despenaperros and commitment to resist the French action.

 

The Date

JULY 19, 1808. BATTLE BAILÉN

 Bailen, July 19, 1808. A small town that had only 1500 inhabitants would write some of the most important chapters in the history of Spain. For the first time, a powerful army of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, was defeated in battle in the open field. Its echo reverberated throughout Europe being immortalized his name forever.

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The Consequences of the Battle of Bailen

 

Consecuencias de la Batalla de BailénPost-Surrender of Bailen days, the surrender of the French army before the troops of General Brown was a historical fact that became official six days later in Madrid, through the presence of Caiptán De Villoutreys who carried a copy of the signed document by Hazel and Dupont. As a result, Joseph I, the brother of Napoleon and who gave the rights after the abdication of Bayonne of kings Charles IV and his son Ferdinand VII.

"This damn war in Spain was the first cause of all my misfortunes of France all the circumstances of my disasters related to this fatal knot. Destroyed my moral authority in Europe, compounded my difficulties, opened a school for English soldiers. damn .. this war has lost me "

Napoleon at St. Helena.

Bailen had numerous consequences.

  • Psychologically originated a new hope, a huge enthusiasm overall than increased further to know the resistance shown by the people of Zaragoza and Girona. Until then, every kingdom, every city or town had reacted to the beat of the circumstances with an eminently defensive tendency, resisting the invader. From Bailen began to think of the need for the existence of a single power, observed by all who govern in the name of Ferdinand VII and instead directed the war would bring together and coordinate efforts so far dispersed. The solution was the creation of the Central and Governing Junta of the Kingdom.
  • Militarily, the failure of Dupont pitched marked the first defeat of a Napoleonic army and materially, the surrender of 20,000 imperial soldiers. Strategically, Bailen opened the way to Madrid, causing Joseph I had to retreat to Vitoria for their safety. On July 29 knew the attacker bitter new king, and 30 left the Madrid Court, followed by 31 with the rear Moncey quarterback to settle in Miranda de Ebro, near which 60,000 French concentrated. On 1 August the enemy completely free breathing Madrid; entered it 13 General D. Pedro González Llamas with troops Valencia and Murcia, and 23 as effected by Hazel Atocha door with Army Reserve division of Andalusia, being received with the corresponding joy. Imperial also raised the siege they had put Zaragoza.

Consecuencias de la Batalla de Bailén

This retreat was spread joy among Spaniards to believe Bailen was repeatable and could win only with courage and patriotism, conventional war against Napoleon patriots. The joy of victory lasted a few months. Immediately, Napoleon decides to avenge the insult, it takes charge of his Grand Armée, with about 250,000 men in seven army corps, formed a formidable mass crash. The initial idealism that came with victory at Bailen to get expel the French invaders of our fields became a reality after a six-year war.

To Bailen, this victory was a series of awards at national and international level. The first came from the hand of the Supreme Central Boards to grant the title of "Very Noble and Loyal" in 1809, and was confirmed in 1813 by Ferdinand VII. A member of the Corporation existing at the time as well as the neighbors, mostly women, children and elderly who participated in that hot day attending the Spanish army in their needs, risking their lives, they were honored with gold medal, with the motto "By Value and Loyalty".

In 1850, he was awarded a Bailen, the range of City and to the cities of over 10,000 inhabitants are forced to place the name of Bailen one of its three main streets, honor granted by Queen Elizabeth II at a time in which a historical review of the War of Independence by French and Spanish is performed essentially analysts.

 

The capitulations of Bailen

Capitulacion de Ayacucho1The defeat of Dupont were drafted, the June 22, 1808, in known as "capitulations of Bailen" signed between the two generals from both sides: Light and Dupont. This 6-page document, stable francesad surrender of troops and the fate of the prisoners of the Battle of Bailen, courts finally repatriated to France, not to Madrid in order to prevent vovieran fight against Spanish troops this city, even in battle against the French army.

The capitulations were signed to end on June 22, after much discussion, the post house that mediates between Andujar and Bailen, near Villanueva de la Reina, where Brown had been established; for them should be a prisoner of war Barbou entire division, with which he had fought Dupont and Vedel evacuate Andalusia, moving both to Rota and Sanlúcar de Barrameda where they would sail to Rochefor embarked in ships manned by Spanish.

In consequence, the legions of Dupont, numbering 8,242 men, the victors of Austerlitz and Friedland, who had walked his victorious eagles throughout Europe, paraded in front of the Spanish army and went to lay down their arms and flags along the Sale Rumble.

The Vedel and Dufour (9,393 men) wards and divisions formed on deposit surrendered their weapons and war material. Other troops missing the corps of General Dupont to the number of 22,475 men, discarded the 2,000 killed in the battle, went to Santa Cruz de la Mudela, Manzanares and other points of communication with Madrid, to comply with the agreement held by their bosses.

Captain d'Villoutreys, who had initiated the first treatment in Bailen, Madrid took the sad news, escorted by a section of Aranjuez Spanish cavalry.

 

 

Phases of the Battle of Bailen

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fases de la batallaOne of the main factors that influenced the victory of the Spanish troops in the French army, was the great support they received from the town of Bailen. Maria Bellido became the local hero of this battle, to supply water in ceramic pitchers the Spanish army in a day where the summer heat was especially intense. The usual high temperatures in the summer in the area, helped even further, to victory against the Spanish to the French, a phenomenon made ​​evident to the artillery of the French army by overheating in their guns.

The phases of the battles were:

The battle is going to start in the greatest confusion. About three in the morning, the French vanguard, commanded by Teulet, Rumble reaches the bridge. Meanwhile, Brigadier Venegas, had played an hour before target and prepared to march. It was pitch black and you could see just over the horizon. Nobody knew who was ahead. Disoriented the vanguards of both armies, still dark, the strength of the Spanish Teulet overwhelms and compels them to retreat to the foothills of Zumacar Chico. Hearing the shots, the General Reding met with his Generals, to the left of the Camino Real, ordered his units that are situated where they were bivouacked, Venegas, get time to organize and conduct an orderly deployment. From the hill of Cerro San Valentín to haza Walona, arched.

So, Dupont sent without delay to place their units among the olive groves that cover the Cerro Zumacares Cerrajón and placing artillery in the center.

Constant loads Dupont tries to break the defensive line that had deployed the General Reding on some of his points are useless. The Spanish army kept their jobs despite the lack of depth made ​​the deployment and the fear that the French could open a gap in their lines. Infants of Ceuta Reyna and require riders to withdraw Dupré.

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Dupont insists the best of his army without getting anything in return, it was 10 am and after more than five hours of fighting, the fatigue starts to bite among the French. Privé Cavalry wound in Haza Walona online Regiment Jaén losing their flags and falls mortally wounded his colonel Antonio Moya. At this point enter the fray of battle the garrochistas getting put to flight the French troops, led by his zeal but are inserted between lines and have numerous casualties. Thirst, smoke burned scrubland, the nerves rife among the French ranks as much as the fear of the arrival of Hazel desperate enemy.

At noon on July 19, Dupont tries one last desperate attack compromising the best of his army, 400 Marine Guard, which had been in the rear of a possible sighting of the vanguard of Hazel. General Dupont was wounded, and his men again failed in his mission.

The heat had become the real protagonist, the temperature exceeded 40 degrees, to this is added the temperature increase caused the fire that coppice battlefield in July was dry and even mowing. The French troops dispersed seeking water to quench thirst. Popular tradition tells that many of these soldiers were launched at the Wheel of Huerta de San Lázaro, unique place near water, with the phrase "To die and be raised here in Paris."

But the battle was not over, Vedel approaching the end of Bailen, unaware of the surrender of General Dupont and initiated an attack on the hill of Hangman. The Dupont himself, let him know of the suspension of hostilities Vedel except that to get in with his troops, set off at night toward the mountain, arriving at Santa Elena 21 at noon, but reached there by Colonel Nicholas D. Garrido engineers with strict and imperious order to return to Bailen, Hazel and required by general Reding, who threatened to move to Dupont knife to Barbou division, and completely surrounded by the whole army of Andalusia, had to pROCEED spite of themselves for having so agreed on joint chiefs (twenty-three chiefs who attended the meeting, only four felt to continue the withdrawal).

 

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