The Plains of Talavera

In January 1809 Moore’s evacuated army arrived back in England, but by April another, this time under Sir Arthur Wellesley, is returned to Lisbon to renew the war with the forces of Napoleon. This army was 23,000 strong but at the time of Wellesley returning, the French had a quarter of a million men in the Peninsula and so he had very much to rely on the Spanish Armies to occupy the bulk of the French occupiers and also on the growing strength of the Spanish and Portuguese guerrillas, ably led by ‘El Capucino’ and ‘El Charro’. In March of 1809, the French had captured the Portuguese port of Oporto and so Wellesley began there, to recapture the Portuguese second city and thus begins another chapter in the story of the ‘The Rag and Bone Boys’. the 105th Foot, The Prince of Wales Own Wessex Regiment. To the Battle Honour of Maida, first on their Colours from the previous campaign of 1808, have now been added those of Rolica, Vimeiro and Coruna. They march with Wellesley to play a major role in crossing the River Douro to take Oporto and then on to Talavera to support the Spanish, from which they have to withdraw after this costly victory and then suffer a dreadful retreat where their starvation was worse than that of Moore’s retreat in the previous year. After a year of inactivity, during which Officers could return home, the Summer of 1810 sees Wellesley again on the offensive, with new Allies, the Portuguese. This campaign includes the Battle of Busaco which was followed by the retreat back to the Lines of Torres Vedras, from which they finally advance when the French withdraw, having suffered starvation themselves. Throughout all the victories and retreats, the members of the 105th, both Rank and Commissioned, live, marry, fight and survive, including disputes with each other and the ongoing bitter feuds with the old enemies of Henry Carr, now a full Major.
ISBN: 9781786109101
Type: Paperback
Pages: 496
Published: 22 April 2016
Price: $14.45

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