Ciudad Rodrigo, battle of

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Ciudad Rodrigo, battle of, 1812. The fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo was a strategic stronghold near the Portuguese–Spanish border held by a French garrison of roughly 2,500 men. In early 1812, Wellington with 35,000 men marched through snow and laid siege to it. By 14 January the artillery and engineers had breached the walls in two places. On the morning of 19 January a fierce assault was launched and after heavy fighting the fortress was taken by storm. The British lost some 900 men killed and wounded including Generals Craufurd and Mackinnon. However, Wellington captured 153 heavy guns and gained a vital frontier gateway into Spain.

Richard A. Smith