In 1810, the French attempt to invade Portugal was thwarted just outside Lisbon by the impregnable fortifications of the Lines of Torres Vedras, built in secrecy by during the previous year by a small team of British Royal Engineer officers supervising a large Portuguese workforce.
The frustrated and starving French finally retreated, followed up by Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese Army. Just over the border back in Spain, Wellington beat the French Marshal Massena at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro on 5th May 1811.
Meanwhile, in the South, an Allied Army, comprising British, Portuguese and Spanish troops commanded by Marshal Beresford was besieging Badajoz. A French Army under Marshal Soult attempted to break this siege by attacking Beresford’s Army at the Battle of Albuera on 16th May 1811. This was a hard fought battle, but eventually the allies were successful.
Rod MacArthur has a 45 minute talk which covers both battles. It could be split into two shorter ones to cover the battles separately, each of 30 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.