Thursday, 16 May 2013

Talavera

 
 
This is one candidate for the Casa Salinas from which Wellesley narrowly escaped capture by French light infantry on 27th July 1809 when he was carrying out a reconnaissance. However, there are some doubt that this was the building, even though the older part does date to the correct period. 

This is the Cerro de Medellin, at the heart of the British defences.  Sadly, this is now private property and inaccessible to battlefield visitors.  The original monument to the battle is up there amongst the tall trees.
 
This is the modern concrete monument erected lower down, inscribed with the names of the units involved, British and Spanish.
 
This is the position held by the Spanish troops, between the British and the town of Talavera.
 
Here you can see the British units listed.
 
The Spanish authorities have erected a tiled map of the battlefield which is quite informative
 
 
Showing both sides dispositions.
 
The battlefield is cut by a modern by-pass which detracts from the feel of things and not being able to see from the top of Cerro de Medellin is a major draw back.  Still, I can say I have stood on some of the ground.
 

BADAJOZ

By way of contrast, Badajoz was fantastic.  The Vauban fortifications are still very much evident around the town.
 



 

 
Here's our guide, David Warren, explaining the storming of the walls
 
 
And the local town hall has erected signs to assist.

 


 
Where the breach was made, cannon ball s have been embedded, spelling out the date 1812 !

 
Its through streets like these that our troops would have poured, once the breach was made

 
And here's the beautiful Plaza Mayor
 
and the old Moorish castle which Picton's  men captured
 

 
They carried out an escalade over these walls
 
This is the entrance to the castle adjacent to the town square.
 

 
 and here is one of the many churches around town
 

This the main entrance to the city, facing the River Guadiana

 
 And here's the bridge leading to the main gate
 
Views of the Guadiana from the bridge

 
The remains of Fort Picurina covering Trinidad and S.Maria batteries
 
 
The view of the city from Picurina
 
Fort Christoval, where Baron Phillipon retreated to across the river, is undergoing major refurbishment, which is good in the long run but we could not gain access at this time

 
 
This is the view of the city from Christoval, obscurred by trees these days.
 
Badajoz cost Wellington 5,000 casualties and five generals were wounded :- Picton, Kempt, Bowes, Harvey and Colville.  1,000 of these casualties were inflicted in a one hundred yard stretch in front of the breaches.
 
I'm glad to have had the opportunity to see where it all happened and honour their sacrifice and achievement.
 
More tomorrow !


4 comments:

  1. Great pictures, I especially like the canon ball date marker in the walls where the breach took place. I'm not at all envious... honest.

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  2. Very inspiring. I look forward to seeing more pictures.

    Tim D

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  3. Thanks, Lee and Tim, it was great to see these evocative sites. More pics will be loaded tomorrow, as promised !

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  4. Good to see you returned safely home
    Nice photos

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