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Albuera, battle of

Albuera, battle of, 1811. On 16 May 1811 an Anglo-Spanish-Portuguese force of 35,000 men under Marshal Beresford blocked Marshal Soult's French army of 24,000 moving to lift the siege of Badajoz in Spain. Both sides lost heavily—two British brigades took 60 and 80 per cent casualties respectively. However the allied army succeeded in repulsing the French in a confused battle which featured the epic action of the ‘astonishing infantry’ of the Fusilier Brigade. Albuera, along with Fuentes de Onoro fought two weeks earlier, stabilized the situation along the Spanish–Portuguese frontier, but as Wellington said, ‘another such battle would ruin us’.

Gary Sheffield

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