The Battle of Vittoria – 1813

Following his victory over the French at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812, Wellington advanced through Spain and besieged the town of Burgos.  However, this failed due to the lack of suitable siege artillery and Wellington withdrew back to the Portuguese/Spanish border.

He spent the winter reinforcing his Army and in 1813 again advanced through Spain, attacking a large French Army at Vittoria on 21st June 1813.  Wellington had by now organised his Army into three Corps, and attacked by pinning the French front, then swinging his main force around the French flank into a series of attacks which they had not foreseen.  The French Army was completely routed, but the Allied pursuit was delayed by Wellington’s troops stopping to loot the French Baggage Train, including five and a half million gold francs, worth perhaps one hundred million pounds in today’s money, most of which disappeared into the saddle bags and knapsacks of the British soldiers.

Wellington was promoted to Field Marshal as a result of his victory.

Rod MacArthur has a talk which covers this campaign.  It lasts about 45 minutes.

All Rod’s talks are given to raise funds for charities, in this case for Combat Stress, which provides support and treatment to military veterans with mental health problems to help them tackle the past and take on the future.