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Talavera, battle of

Talavera, battle of, 1809. On 28 July Wellesley's British army of 20,000 men, co-operating with Cuesta's Spanish army of 34,000 men (who saw little action), were attacked by 46,000 French commanded by King Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jourdan. A night attack achieved surprise but was thrown back. Then the French mounted a series of assaults against the British centre, followed by a turning movement in the north. All were unsuccessful. Although Talavera was a clear British victory, Wellesley, who had been abandoned by Cuesta, retreated to Portugal. As a reward for his victory, Wellesley was created Viscount Wellington.

Gary Sheffield

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