5 March, 1811

Spanish Battle Tour Guides

During his blockade of the southern port of Cadiz, Marshal Victor heard of a combined British and Spanish force moving to attack him in the rear.

Splitting his force, he moved the bulk - some 7000 men - against the enemy moving from the direction of their landing point at Tarifa, between Cape Trafalgar and Gibraltar.

While they outnumbered Victor's troops by three-to-one, the Anglo-Spanish force only had just over 5000 British troops under the command of Sir Thomas Graham. The Spanish were led by the Count de la Pena and cooperation between the two allies was poor to say the least.

With their artillery stuck in boggy ground, the French launched an infantry assault and began a bloody exchange with Graham's men, the Spanish having abandonned the British.

The action died down at sunset and Graham, fearing French reinforcements arriving, withdrew.

Casualties were high on both sides with the British losing some 1200 men, while Victor suffered more than 2000.


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