30 November, 1808
his advance on Madrid, Napoleon
Bonaparte found his progress blocked by General San
Juan with 9000 troops and 16 cannon.
initial move against the Spaniards failed to clear them
and so the emperor, impatient at the delay, ordered the
Polish cavalry against the strong defensive position.
assault was a bloody one with two-thirds of the horsemen
injured or killed, but the defenders were shaken by the
incident and a combined infantry-cavalry attack threw them
Bonaparte was so impressed with the Polish horsemen he immediately
promoted them from the Young Guard to the Old Guard and
ordered the entire Guard to present arms to the Poles as
they rode by.