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Salamanca, battle of

Salamanca, battle of, 1812. In July 1812 the French, under Marshal Marmont, with 42,000 men manœuvred to cut Wellington off from his base in Salamanca. Wellington, with 46,000 men, gave ground and appeared to retreat. On 22 July, 6 miles south of the city, Marmont sent his leading division to harass the British. However Wellington was already in position, quickly overcame the division, and then attacked Marmont's centre with a deadly rifle volley and bayonet charge. Marmont was wounded and the French were driven from the field with losses of 13,000. Wellington had destroyed the main French army in Spain and Joseph Bonaparte, the French puppet king, was forced to evacuate Madrid.

Richard A. Smith

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