Badajoz

Badajoz


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Badajoz is die ou hoofstad van Extremadura. Sy posisie op die grens met Portugal het dit blootgestel aan baie beleërings: deur die Portugeuse (1660); deur die Geallieerdes in die Opvolgingsoorlog (1705); die Franse (1808-09 en 1810-11) en die Britte (1812).

Badajoz is gedurende die vroeë dae van die Spaanse burgeroorlog deur die Republikeinse leër beheer. Generaal Juan de Yagüe en 3 000 troepe het Cáceres op 14 Augustus 1936 aangeval. Bitter straatgevegte het plaasgevind toe die nasionalistiese leër die stad binnegekom het. Verliese was aan beide kante swaar en toe die nasionaliste die beheer oor Badajoz neem, word beweer dat hulle ongeveer 1800 mense vermoor het. Generaal Yagüe het sy troepe ook aangemoedig om ondersteuners van die Volksfront -regering te verkrag. As gevolg hiervan het Yagüe bekend gestaan ​​as "The Butcher of Badajoz".

Met die steun van president Antonio Salazar, was die Portugese grens gesluit vir Republikeine wat probeer het om uit die suide of Sentraal -Spanje te ontsnap.

Die Spaanse burgeroorlog gaan voort met steeds groeiende genadeloosheid. Na die verowering van Badajoz deur manne van die Spaanse Legioen en deur Moors, het 'n groot slag van die verdedigers plaasgevind. Die rebelle -generaal het gedink dat 2000 miskien 'n buitensporige skatting was van die aantal vermoorde, maar hy beklemtoon 'n joernalis die gevaar om die stad binne te gaan terwyl die 'Moors opgewonde' is. Teen hierdie lang diens en hoogs opgeleide soldate was 'n baie dapper verdediging van die stad.

Na die inname van Badajoz word berig dat 'n kolom buitelandse legioenen en Moorse troepe deur gedwonge optogte na Merida, ongeveer 30 myl oos van Badajoz, druk. Daar word gesê dat 'n sterk kolom regeringstroepe by Merida aangekom het met die doel om op Badajoz te marsjeer. Na verneem word, het regeringsmagte by Olivenza, ongeveer tien kilometer suid van Badajoz, oorgegee.


Die vesting soos dit nou lyk, is in die 12de eeu deur die Almohads gebou, hoewel dit waarskynlik bestaan ​​het uit die 9de eeu, toe Badajoz gestig is. In die 11de en 12de eeu was dit die woning van die heersers van die Taifa van Badajoz.

Dit is gebou om die deurgang van Portugal na sentrale Iberia te beheer. Uitbreidings en herstelwerk is tussen 913 en 1030 uitgevoer, en in 1169 is dit herbou. Die laaste herstelwerk is in die 13de eeu uitgevoer.

Tydens die Skiereilandoorlog het die Britte drie pogings aangewend om die Badajoz -vesting te oortree om dit van die Franse af te vang.

Die derde poging, bekend as die Slag van Badajoz, het tussen 16 Maart en 6 April 1812 plaasgevind en 'n Anglo-Portguese mag onder leiding van Arthur Wellesley, die (toekomstige) hertog van Wellington, beleër en uiteindelik die dik gordynmure oortree van Badajoz -vesting. Die geallieerde magte het toe op Badajoz toegesak en grootskaalse vernietiging veroorsaak.

Dit was 'n duur oorwinning vir die Britte, met ongeveer 4800 geallieerde soldate wat in 'n paar uur se geveg doodgemaak of gewond is. Dit het 'n oproer van drie dae onder die oorlewende troepe veroorsaak, wat by huise ingebreek het om alkohol te steel en selfs van hul offisiere doodgemaak het.

Die algehele resultaat was dat die Napoleontiese besit van Wes -Spanje aansienlik verswak het, en Wellington se reputasie as sukses in die geveg versterk het.

Die vesting is in 1931 tot 'n historiese artistieke monument verklaar. Die oortredings in die mure van die Badajoz -fort kan vandag nog gesien word.


Badajoz

Ons redakteurs gaan na wat u ingedien het, en bepaal of hulle die artikel moet hersien.

Badajoz, provinsie (provinsie) in die Extremadura comunidad autónoma (outonome gemeenskap), uiterste westelike Spanje. Badajoz grens in die weste aan Portugal. Saam met die provinsie Cáceres vorm Badajoz die outonome en historiese streek Extremadura. Die klimaat word gekenmerk deur lang, warm, droë somers. Die terrein is byna heeltemal plat, maar styg in die suide en suidweste naby die Sierra Morena, en in die noordooste sluit dit aan by die voetheuwels van die berge van die provinsie Toledo. Dit word van oos na wes deur die Guadiana -rivier gekruis, waarvan die belangrikste sytak die Zújar is. Die Barros-vlakte, die grootste graan-, wyn- en olieproduserende gebied van Extremadura, kenmerk die breër sentrale vlakte, die belangrikste sentrum is Almendralejo. Ander streke in die provinsie produseer wol, en veeteelt is belangrik. Die nywerheid, hoofsaaklik landbouverwerking (tamaties), is gekonsentreer in die stad Badajoz, Mérida, Almendralejo en Villanueva de la Serena. Die meeste dienste en administratiewe kantore is gekonsentreer in Badajoz (die provinsiale hoofstad) en Mérida (die streekshoofstad). Die uitgebreide woude van die provinsie word slegs minimaal uitgebuit.

In 1952 bevorder die Spaanse regering 'n projek wat bekend staan ​​as die Plan Badajoz, wat die lewenstandaard, produktiwiteit en landbou verhoog en die ontwikkeling en industrialisasie in die gebied verskerp. Besproeiing is onderneem deur gebruik te maak van die waters van die Guadiana en Zújar, wat deur ses damme beheer word. Die plan het voorsiening gemaak vir nuwe nywerhede op landbougrond, veral die produksie van meel, katoen en olyfolie, en vir die bewaring van groente. Elektrifisering is ook verhoog en kommunikasie is verbeter. Die National Institute of Colonization het nuwe dorpe geskep en duisende mense hervestig aan wie gronde toegeken is. Ondanks hierdie ondernemings het emigrasie na ander dele van Spanje tot in die vroeë 21ste eeu voortgeduur. Oppervlakte 8,404 vierkante myl (21,766 vierkante kilometer). Pop. (2007 est.) 678,459.


Storm [wysig | wysig bron]

Met drie groot gapings in die gordynmuur en met maarskalk Soult wat die stad te hulp kom, beveel Wellington sy regimente om die stad om 22:00 op die 6de te bestorm en die troepe vorder met trappe en verskillende gereedskap. Die eerste manne wat die oortreding aangeval het, was die manne van die Forlorn Hope, wat die hoofaanval deur die 4de divisie en Craufurd's Light Division sou lei terwyl afleidingsaanvalle in die noorde en die ooste deur Portugese en Britse soldate van die 5de Afdeling en Picton se 3de Afdeling. Ε ]

Net toe die Forlorn Hope met hul aanval begin, word 'n Franse wagter gewaarsku en alarm gemaak. Binne sekondes is die skanse gevul met Franse soldate, wat 'n dodelike hael muskietvuur in die troepe aan die voet van die inbreuk gegooi het. Die Britte en Portugese het vorentoe gestyg in hul massas en jaag tot teen die muur en staar 'n moordende muskietvuur in die gesig, aangevul met granate, klippe, kruitvate met ruwe lont en selfs bale brandende hooi.

Die woedende spervuur ​​het die Britse soldate by die muur verwoes en die inbreuk het gou begin vul met dooies en gewondes, waaroor die stormende troepe moes sukkel. Ondanks die slagting het die rooi jasse dapper voortgegaan om in groot getalle vorentoe te kom, net om deur eindelose sarsies en granaatsels van granate en bomme afgesny te word. In net minder as twee uur is ongeveer 2 000 mans dood of ernstig gewond by die hoofbreuk, terwyl talle meer mans van die 3de afdeling neergeskiet is terwyl hulle hul afleidingsaanval gedoen het. Generaal Picton is self gewond en#913 ] toe hy op 'n leer klim om die top van die muur te probeer bereik. Oral waar hulle aangeval het, word die geallieerde soldate gestop en die bloedbad was so groot dat Wellington op die punt gestaan ​​het om die aanval te stop toe die soldate uiteindelik 'n vastrapplek op die gordynmuur kry. FitzRoy Somerset, Wellington se militêre sekretaris (en die toekomstige Lord Raglan), was die eerste om die skending te ondergaan, en het daarna een van die hekke vir Britse versterkings beveilig voordat die Franse 'n nuwe verdediging kon organiseer.

Die derde afdeling van Picton het uiteindelik die bopunt van die muur bereik en gelyktydig met die manne van die 5de afdeling gekoppel, wat ook die stad binnekom. Ε ] Sodra hulle vastrapplek gehad het, het die Britse en Portugese soldate voordeel getrek. Aangesien generaal Philippon sien dat hy nie meer kon uithou nie, het hy hom van Badajoz afgetrek na die buurwerk van San Cristobal, maar het oorgegee kort nadat die stad geval het. Η ]


La Raya: 'n Geskiedenis van die Spaans-Portugese grenslande

INLEIDING La Raya / A Raia (The Line) is die naam wat gegee word aan die gebiede langs die grens tussen Spanje en Portugal, veral dié in die Spaanse provinsie Extremadura en die naburige Portugese Alentejo. Deur die geskiedenis heen was hierdie streek 'n kruispad, 'n meerjarige grens wat deur mededingende mense, ryke en godsdienste beveg is. Gedurende die eeue van oorlogvoering tussen die Middeleeuse Christelike koninkryke in die noorde van Spanje en die Moslem al-Andalus in die suide, was omstrede lande ‘ anderkant die Duerorivier ’ gesamentlik bekend as Extremadura.

Klik op Kaart en foto's om te vergroot

Dit is 'n yl bevolkte landskap van goue grasveld, besaai met staanplekke van donkergroen eikebome en silwer olyfbome, waar reuse -rotsblokke skielik opstaan ​​soos wagte wat oor die eindelose vlaktes uittroon.

Die hartland van La Raya word gedefinieer deur die Tajo- en Guadiana -riviere en hul kronkelende sytakke wat van ouds af as territoriale merkers gedien het. Maar ondanks die verskuiwing van politieke grense, het die streek sedert die prehistoriese tyd 'n gemeenskaplike kulturele erfenis gedeel.

Meanders van die Ardila -rivier in La Raya

VOORGESKIEDENIS In die begin van die geskiedenis het La Raya die eerste botsing van kulture beleef toe vroeë moderne mense oor Europa versprei het en die vorige Neanderthaler -bevolking verplaas het. Argeologiese bewyse toon aan dat die suidwestelike hoek van die Iberiese Skiereiland die laaste stand van die Neanderthalers geword het, wat daar oorleef het vir millennia nadat hulle oral verdwyn het (deur uitsterwing of assimilasie). Fassinerende spore van voorgeskiedenis is volop in die streek. Die Maltravieso -grot aan die buitewyke van Caceres bevat rotskilderye wat 23 000 jaar gelede dateer, insluitend uitbeeldings van diere en talle uiteengesit handafdrukke. Hierdie hande reik uit na ons en beweer dat ons hier was in 'n ononderbroke ketting van menslike ervaring wat oor die newels van die tyd strek.

/>

Prehistoriese rotskilderye in die Lapa dos Gavioes, Portugal

Die Lapa dos Gavioes is 'n vlak rotsskuiling in 'n dennebeklede heuwel naby die Portugese stad Arronches wat vroeër die prehistoriese jagter-versamelaars van die streek beskut het. Dit bevat skaars opelug-rotskilderye, wat dateer uit die laat paleolitiese tot die neolitiese tydperke. Die goed bewaarde piktogramme bevat rooi okertekeninge van gestileerde mens- en dierfigure en geometriese patrone van lyne en kolletjies wie se verlore boodskap ons nog steeds interesseer.

By die natuurpark Los Barruecos, naby Caceres, lê groot granietblokkies oor die landskap gestapel, soos reuse beeldhouwerke, omring deur damme en moerasse wat deur trekvoëls en nes-ooievaars gevul word. Argeoloë het hier bewyse gevind van die eerste landbouers in die streek, wat dateer uit die sesde millennium vC. Te midde van die rotse is daar rotstekeninge en ou grafte wat in vrystaande rotsblokke gesny is.

Rotsformasies in Los Barruecos, Spanje

Ongeveer sewe duisend jaar gelede was La Raya deel van 'n Atlantiese megalitiese kultuur wat strek van die Britse Eilande tot noordwes van Frankryk en die Iberiese Skiereiland. Die groot cromlech van Almendres naby Evora in Portugal is die oudste astronomies in lyn gebringde steensirkel in Europa, voor Stonehenge. Dit is gebou van ongeveer 6 000 tot 4 000 vC en is 'n konsentriese rangskikking van 95 klippe wat die veranderende seisoene aandui.

Die klipkring van Almendres, Portugal

Enkele staande klippe wat menhirs genoem word, word in die hele streek aangetref. By Almendres wys 'n geïsoleerde menhir noordoos van die groot sirkel na die rigting van die sonsopkoms tydens die wintersonstilstand. La Raya blyk 'n belangrike kultuursentrum vir die megalietbouers te wees, getuig deur baie indrukwekkende plekke, waaronder die Menhir van Meada, die hoogste steen op die Iberiese skiereiland naby die Portugese stad Castelo de Vide.

/> Menhirs van Almendres (links) en Meada (regs)

Oor die Spaanse grens na Valencia de Alcantara is een van die grootste konsentrasies dolfyne, of portaalgrafte, in Europa. Hierdie verstommende strukture wat uit groot klipblaaie gebou is, was oorspronklik bedek met erdeheuwels. Hulle word in Portugal genoem ‘antas ’, en is lankal toegerus met magiese eienskappe in volkslegendes wat hul konstruksie toeskryf aan reuse of magiese towenaars wat mouras genoem word.

Tipiese Dolmen in Coureleiros, Portugal

DIE NALAT VAN ROME Die Romeinse verowering van die Iberiese Skiereiland (Hispania) het tweehonderd jaar geduur voordat dit uiteindelik gekonsolideer is. Die Lusitaniese Keltiese volke wat die gebied van La Raya bewoon het, was een van diegene wat weerstand gebied het teen hewige opstand, soos dié wat Viriatus in die tweede eeu vC gelei het. Die streek is uiteindelik in 60 vC deur Julius Caesar onderwerp en opgeneem in die ryk onder Augustus, wat die gebied van Hispania herorganiseer het in die drie provinsies Tarraconensis, Baetica en Lusitania. Die Guadiana-rivier was die grens wat die ryk olyfgebiede van Baetica (meestal in die huidige Andalusië) verdeel het van die wilder gebied van Lusitania wat strek van Extremadura tot by die Atlantiese kus van Portugal.

/> Groot landgoedere was middelpunte van landbouproduksie (meer as twintig Romeinse villa's is naby die Spaanse stad Zafra ontdek). Olyfboorde en wingerdstokke is aangeplant en die beroemde Iberiese varke wat gevoed word op die akkerbome wat deur groot akkerbome geproduseer word in die ekologies gebalanseerde dehesa-stelsel wat vandag nog gebruik word.

Standbeeld van Ceres, Romeinse godin van landbou en vrugbaarheid, van Merida.

Onder die Romeinse bewind het politieke stabiliteit, gekombineer met verbeterde kommunikasiemiddele en handel, gelei tot 'n vinnige verstedeliking in die hele streek. 'N Indrukwekkende padstelsel wat deur die legioene gebou is, verbind die nuwe stedelike sentra. Die beroemde Via de la Plata het noord gestrek van Hispalis (Sevilla) na Emerita (Merida), verby Norba Cesarina (Caceres), en verder na die ryk goudmyne van die provinsie Leon waar die VII Legioen permanent gestasioneer was.

Tempel vir die keiserlike kultus, Merida. Geboue van die Forum, Merida.

Emerita Augusta (Merida) was die hoofstad van Lusitania, die eerste keer gevestig in 25 vC deur die veterane van Augustus ’ X en VI legioene. Terwyl die paaie, brûe en akwadukte getuig van die Romeinse ingenieursgenie, was Merida se glimmende marmer tempels en teaters ontwerp as vertoonvensters om die Romeinse beskawing te verheerlik en te bevorder.

Die Argeologiese Ensemble van Merida, 'n UNESCO -wêrelderfenisgebied, het die mees uitgebreide en goed bewaarde Romeinse ruïnes in Iberia en die uitstaande Nasionale Museum vir Romeinse Kuns vertoon honderde beeldhouwerke, mosaïeke, inskripsies en artefakte wat 'n fassinerende prentjie van die daaglikse lewe in Romeins skilder tye.

Baie dorpe en stede van La Raya kan hul oorsprong terugvoer na die Romeinse tydperk. Terwyl sommige hul belangrikheid behou het, het ander heeltemal verdwyn en mettertyd verbygegaan, en daar het min oorblyfsels van hul eertydse glorie agtergelaat. Weinig oorblyfsels van die eens volop Romeinse stad Ammaia, wat tussen die 1ste en 4de eeu nC floreer, langs die oewer van die Sever-rivier onder die voorstad van Marvao.

Talle Romeinse inskripsies van antieke Egitania Uitsig op Idanha-a-Velha, Portugal

Idanha-a-Velha (die Romeinse Egitania) is 'n klein Portugese dorpie omring deur antieke mure, skynbaar in die middel van nêrens en betyds opgeskort. Maar hierdie slaperige boerderygemeenskap was eens 'n belangrike vroeë Christelike bisdom, die geboorteplek van Visigotiese konings en voorheen 'n bloeiende Romeinse stad wat bygedra het tot die bou van die groot Alcantara -brug oor die Tajo -rivier.

Die Romeinse brug van Alcantara, Spanje ..

Dit is toegewy aan keiser Trajanus in 103 nC, en dit is 'n skouspelagtige ingenieurswese wat tot vandag toe voortdurend gebruik is. 'N Klein tempel vir die keiser en die gode van Rome bevat ook die graf van die onverskrokke brugbouer, Gaius Julius Lacer. Dit sit op 'n bluf bo die rivier en kyk uit oor sy blywende skepping.

Tempel van die brugbouer, Alcantara.

AL-ANDALUS In die 4de en 5de eeu nC het die geleidelike ontbinding van die Romeinse mag plaasgevind in die nasleep van opeenvolgende golwe van inval deur Germaanse stamme in hul weswaartse migrasie deur Europa. Onder hulle het die Visigote 'n taai greep oor die Iberiese skiereiland gekry en 'n onheilspellende koninkryk uit hul hoofstad Toledo regeer. Toe die mededingers van die koning hulp soek by bondgenote in Noord -Afrika, het 'n leër Berbers wat pas tot militante Islam bekeer is, die gebied van die Visigote ryp gevind om te verower. In 711 het die Umayyad-generaal Tariq 'n ekspedisionele mag oor die Straat van Gibraltar gelei (Jabal Tariq of Tariq's Mountain) en die verswakte koninkryk omvergewerp het.

Uitsig oor die Groot Moskee van Cordoba, Spanje

Merida, wat sy rykdom en belangrikheid behou het onder die heerskappy van magtige Christelike biskoppe, het geval ná 'n uitgerekte beleg in 713. La Raya het deel geword van al-Andalus (die naam wat aan die Iberiese gebiede onder Moslemheerskappy gegee is) onderhewig aan die magtiges Kalifaat van Cordoba en, na sy fragmentasie, na die onafhanklike Taifa -koninkryk Badajoz.

Bergtop en vesting van Marvao, Portugal (vernoem na Ibn Marwan)

Oor die algemeen bestaan ​​verskillende kulture en godsdienste in vrede in al-Andalus, maar etniese verdeeldheid in die Moslem-samelewing en die swaar belastingdruk op die Christelike bevolking het gelei tot sporadiese opstande. Die rebelleleier Ibn Marwan uit die 9de eeu, wie se Galiciese voorouers hulle tot Islam bekeer het en goewerneurs van Merida geword het, kenmerk die gemengde samelewing en vloeiende alliansies van die tyd. Hy het 'n opstand teen die Kalifaat gelei, gevlug na die onneembare vasheid van Marvao en bondgenootskap met die Christelike Koninkryk Leon. Uiteindelik het die kalief sy eie grond toegestaan, waar hy die stad Badajoz (Batalyaws) gestig het en begin bou het aan die pragtige vesting van Alcazaba.

Uitsig oor die Alcazaba -vesting in Badajoz, Spanje.

Die historiese stad Evora, 'n antieke megalitiese sentrum en 'n bloeiende Romeinse stad, is van die 8ste tot die 12de eeu deur die More beheer. Tydens die Reconquista is dit geneem deur die legendariese Portugese kryger Geraldo Sem Pavor (Gerald die Vreeslose). Hy was bekend vir sy gewaagde verrassingsaanvalle en het 'n suksesvolle guerrillaoorlog teen die More in die Alentejo en Extremadura gelei vanaf 1162-1172, en het talle kastele en dorpe verower. Gerald, wat tydens die beleg van Badajoz gevange geneem is, moes Gerald die meeste van sy verowerings prysgee in ruil vir sy vryheid. Die snaakse avonturier het uiteindelik sy einde bereik in Marokko, waar hy beskuldig word van spioenasie deur die Almohads tereggestel is.

/> /> Uitsig op Evora -katedraal en klooster, Portugal

Die katedraal van Evora, wat kort na die verowering van Geraldo begin is, is gebou in 'n robuuste Romaanse styl. Die klipmure bedek met afkortings verleen 'n imposante militêre lug aan die struktuur. Die vierkantige torings langs die vlakte lê langs die effense fasade, wat in die 14de eeu met 'n fyn beeldhouwerk en 'n roosvenster versier is, toe die pragtige Gotiese klooster ook bygevoeg is.

Plaza Alta in Badajoz, Spanje

Badajoz was 'n onafhanklike Moslem-koninkryk wat tot 1230 oor die gebied van La Raya geheers het, toe dit in die loop van die Recon-quista die koning van Leon te beurt geval het. Die bou van die katedraal van Badajoz het kort daarna begin en sou voortduur tot in die 16de eeu. Die massiewe buitekant ontbreek die lugtige grasie van vlieënde steunpunte en groot loodglasvensters wat tipies is vir die heersende Gotiese styl. Vanweë die skaars hulpbronne en die praktiese verdedigingsfunksies staan ​​dit letterlik as 'n vesting van die geloof.

Katedraal van Badajoz, Spanje

HERSOEK Teen die 9de eeu het slegs 'n strook grond aan die noordelikste rand van Spanje in Christelike hande oorgebly. Hierdie klein enklave sou later uitgroei tot die koninkryke Leon, Kastilië en Aragon en die Reconquista begin, die eeue lange stryd om die skiereiland van die Moslem-heerskappy te verdryf. Al die tyd was La Raya 'n ewige slagveld, onderhewig aan die eb en vloei van veranderende grense, gevolglik het groot gebiede ontvol geword. Tot vandag toe is Extremadura die minste bevolkte streek van Spanje.

Kasteel van Alconchel, Spanje

Om te help met hul voortdurende kruistog, het die Christelike konings staatgemaak op militêre bevele soos die Tempeliers en Hospitallers, wat saam met die Spaanse Ridders van Santiago en Alcantara en die Portugese Ridders van Christus en Avis die heerskappy van herowerde lande gekry het. Vir hierdie doel het die militêre bevele en die feodale adel saamgehou om die talle versterkte kastele te bou wat nog steeds in die land geleë is. Dwarsdeur La Raya kan hulle oorblyfsels op byna elke natuurlike hoogte geleë wees, wat skynbaar uit die rotse groei. Hulle hoë torings en gekrenkte mure bied 'n uitsig oor die landskap wat teen die naderende vyandelike leërs wag.

Templar -vesting van Monsanto, Portugal /> Granietblokkies van die kasteel

Die skouspelagtige voorstad van Monsanto (die ‘mons sanctus ’ aangehaal deur Romeinse historici) was heilig vir Keltiese mense in die streek. Die onneembare hoogtes het die Romeine sowel as die Moorse weerstaan. Sy kragtige mistieke atmosfeer word erken deur die Portugese Tempeliers wat in die 12de eeu 'n vesting gebou het, wat die massiewe granietblokkies in die struktuur opgeneem het, net soos baie van die ou kliphuise in die skilderagtige stad wat aan die steil hellings onderaan vasklou. .

Kliphuise van Monsanto, Portugal Slagge van die Tempeliersvesting van Jerez de los Caballeros, Spanje

Die grootste deel van die suide van Extremadura is beheer deur die Tempeliers uit hul hoofkwartier in Jerez de los Caballeros en imposante kastele in Alconchel, Fregenal de la Sierra en Burguillos del Cerro. In 1312, wat teregstaan ​​op aanklagte van dwaalleer en die ontbinding van hul bevel, het die tempeliersridders 'n bloedige laaste stand gehou by hul vesting in Jerez de los Caballeros wat die dood bo oorgawe gekies het. Hulle grondbesit is verbeur aan die Kroon wat dit aan lojale gesinne onder die adel verkoop of toegestaan ​​het.

Massiewe bewaring van die kasteel hoog bo die stad Feria, Spanje

Dukes of Feria, gevestig in Zafra, het sodoende kragtige feodale here geword wat groot gebiede in die hele gebied besit. Grondbesitpatrone wat vasgestel is in reaksie op die uitdagings van die Reconquista, het aanleiding gegee tot die latifundia wat algemeen in Extremadura voorkom, waar groot stukke grond wat deur afwesige eienaars verwaarloos is en deur verarmde kleinboere gewerk is, die ekonomiese ontwikkeling lank belemmer het.

WORRELDE WEN & VERLORE 1492 was 'n belangrike jaar vir Spanje. Dit was nie net die ontdekking van die Nuwe Wêreld nie, maar ook die gevolgtrekking van die Reconquista met die val van Granada, die laaste bastion van Islam op die skiereiland. Dit was ook die uitsetting (of gedwonge bekering) van Moslems en Jode en die begin van 'n afwaartse spiraal van godsdienstige en sosiale onverdraagsaamheid wat die Inkwisisie toon.

Bo: Kerk op die Plaza of Monsaraz (Pillory Post aan die agterkant) Onder: Plaza Vieja in Zafra, Spanje. Volksargitektuur in Monsaraz, Portugal.

Na vyf eeue as deel van al-Andalus was daar groot Moslembevolkings en Joodse gemeenskappe in die hele streek. Die verlies van soveel boere, vaardige vakmanne en handelaars sou die ekonomie van La Raya ontwrig en verarm.

Bo: Voormalige sinagoge (omskep in 'n kerk) in Caceres, Spanje Onder: Joodse wyk en die ou sinagoge -museum van Castelo de Vide, Portugal

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Die pragtige Portugese heuweldorp Castelo de Vide spog met 'n goed bewaarde middeleeuse Joodse wyk. Deur die steil geplaveide strate te loop, kan besoekers nog steeds ou klipdeure vind wat ingedruk is om 'n mezuzah vas te hou. Die voormalige sinagoge, gerestoureer as 'n museum, vertoon die name van die slagoffers van die Inkwisisie (gestig in 1536 in Portugal) as 'n herinnering aan wat verlore gegaan het.

Uitsig oor die stad en die ou deur, Castelo de Vide

Maar die verkenning en verowering van die Amerikas het nuwe horisonne oopgemaak vir ambisieuse avonturiers en krygers wat deur eeue van die Reconquista verhard is. Die meeste ontdekkingsreisigers en veroweraars van die Amerikas kom uit Extremadura, waaronder Cortez en Pizarro, die veroweraars van die Asteke en die Inka-ryke.

/> /> Standbeeld van Pizarro en stadsmure van Trujillo, Spanje

Toe Indianos (diegene wat hul fortuin verdien het in die Amerikas) terugkeer na hul tuisdorpe, bou hulle herehuise om hul nuutgevonde rykdom en status aan te kondig. Die skouspelagtige ommuurde historiese kwartier van Caceres ('n UNESCO -wêrelderfenisgebied) weerspieël hierdie konstruksieboom met sy manjifieke paneel van Spaanse Renaissance -geboue. Rivaliteite speel argitektonies af terwyl prominente gesinne meeding om die grootste huise en die hoogste torings te bou.

Uitsigte oor die historiese wyk van Caceres

Die Portugese was groot seevaarders wat die Age of Discovery van die 15de tot die 17de eeu gelei het, 'n groot oorsese ryk verkry en die winsgewende handel tussen Asië en Europa beheer het. Portugese gebiede strek ooswaarts van die Afrika -kus tot Indië, Suidoos -Asië en China, en wes oor die Atlantiese Oseaan tot by Brasilië. Belem -toring, gebou in 1514 om die monding van die Taagrivier te bewaak as deel van die kusvestings van Lissabon, is 'n teken van Portugal se maritieme prestasies.

Belem -toring in Lissabon, Portugal

Die ontdekking van goud en diamante in die Brasiliaanse deelstaat Minas Gerais het Portugal in die 18de eeu die rykste land in Europa gemaak. Hierdie tydperk van voorspoed is argitektonies weerspieël in pragtige geboue met 'n kenmerkende Portugese barokstyl wat azulejos, blou en wit dekoratiewe teëls bevat, geïnspireer deur ingevoerde Chinese porselein en Nederlandse nabootsings uit Delft.

Baroktrap met Azulejo -versiering in Castelo Branco

Die tuine van die Episcopal Palace in Castelo Branco, wat in 1725 geskep is, is een van die mooiste baroktuine in Portugal. Die afgesnyde heinings, fonteine ​​en beeldhouwerke met Portugese vorste, Christelike heiliges en allegorieë van die zodiac, die seisoene en die vastelande verteenwoordig 'n kulturele kompendium van die eeu.

Tuine van die biskoplike paleis in Castelo Branco, Portugal

DIE Rampe van die oorlog In die 16de eeu, onder Charles V en Phillip II, het Spanje die hoogtepunt bereik van sy mag, weerspieël in die literêre en artistieke prestasies van die Goue Eeu. Maar die heersers van Spanje het die groot rykdom van Amerika verwoes in 'n reeks verwoestende godsdienstige en territoriale oorloë. Nie die minste hiervan nie, die Portugese hersteloorlog (1640-1668) wat La Raya verwoes het.

Vesting van Mourao, Portugal

Die koninkryk van Portugal het in die 12de eeu onafhanklik geword van Spanje, maar het onder die Hapsburgs kortliks teruggekeer na die Spaanse bewind. Verbintenisse tussen Portugese en Spaanse adel het gelei tot die verskuiwing van grense en mededingende territoriale aansprake (soewereiniteit oor die stad Olivenza word steeds betwis). Die Spaanse stad Valencia del Mombuey, wat deur Portugese troepe afgedank en twee keer op die grond afgebrand is, is 'n teken van die tydperk.

Op hierdie tydstip is oorlogvoering dramaties verander deur die wydverspreide aanvaarding van kruit en kanonne. Ou mure wat eeue lank aanranding deurstaan ​​het, was nou skielik kwesbaar vir artillerievuur. In reaksie hierop het 'n nuwe vestingstyl ontstaan ​​dat stervormige forte in komplekse vorms ontwerp is met uitstaande driehoekige bastions en massiewe skuins grondwerke.

Walle van die vesting van Santa Luzia, Elvas.

Sterfort het sy oorsprong in die middel van die 16de eeu in Italië en het vinnig na die res van Europa versprei, en bereik hul hoogtepunt met die ontwerpe van Nederlandse en Franse militêre argitekte in die 17de eeu. Die uitgebreide versterkings van die Portugese stad Elvas ('n UNESCO-wêrelderfenisgebied) is een van die bes bewaarde in Europa en word weerspieël oor die grens deur die bastions van Badajoz.

Puerta de las Palmas, Badajoz

In die vroeë 19de eeu sou die territoriale ambisies van Napoleon ernstige gevolge hê vir Spanje en Portugal. Die forte van La Raya was die toneel van groot gevegte tussen die Britse geleide alliansie en Franse magte in die Spaanse onafhanklikheidsoorlog teen Napoleon (1807-1814), aangesien die streek weer onderworpe was aan die gewelddadige vernederings wat so lewendig uitgebeeld is in die kontemporêre skilderye en afdrukke van Goya.

IN DIE MODERNE OUDERDOM Aan die begin van die 20ste eeu het Extremadura 'n periode van voorspoed en kommersiële uitbreiding beleef, aangevuur deur nuwe tegnologie en verbeterde kommunikasiemiddele. Nuutgeboude spoorlyne het die groei van plaaslike stedelike sentra soos Merida en Badajoz aangespoor, waar welgestelde handelaars groot winkels en herenhuise gebou het in modieuse style soos Andalusiese regionalisme en die modernistiese argitektuur van Gaudí.

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Bo: Elegance in die begin van die eeu in Badajoz, Spanje en Amaraleja, Portugal. Onder: Markgebou in Fregenal de la Sierra, Spanje.

Die Spaanse en Portugese ryke het in die loop van die 19de eeu verbrokkel namate hul voormalige kolonies onafhanklikheid verkry het, 'n ekonomiese ommekeer wat verreikende sosiale en politieke gevolge sou hê. Die progressiewe idees van die 󈨦 Generation en die Spaanse Tweede Republiek het nou versprei na dorpe soos Fregenal de la Sierra, waar 'n liberale koerant gepubliseer is, landbouhervorming bevorder is en burgerlike verbeterings aangebring is. Maar aanhoudende sosio-ekonomiese probleme het gelei tot protesoptredes en omwentelinge en uiteindelik tot die bloedige burgeroorlog (1936-1939) wat bitter in Extremadura geveg het. Gesinne in La Raya het eeue lank oor die grens getrou. Gedurende die Burgeroorlog het baie Spanjaarde wat op die vlug gevlug het, in Portugal hul toevlug gevind.

Koerantkiosk in Fregenal de la Sierra, Spanje

In die daaropvolgende dekades het die streek massiewe emigrasie beleef op soek na ekonomiese geleenthede. Terwyl stede soos Badajoz vinnig gegroei het, het hul historiese sentrums omring deur blokke moderne geboue, het baie klein dorpies gesien hoe hul bevolking ouer word en agteruitgaan. Maar tegnologie kan die kleinste stad nou verbind met wêreldwye netwerke.

/> Klein stad Valencia del Mombuey, Spanje (bo). Solar Array aan die buitewyke.

Die streek kan ook baat vind by die ontwikkeling van hernubare energiebronne, soos die oorvloedige intense sonskyn. In 2007 het die klein Portugese stad Amaraleja die tuiste van die grootste sonkragaanleg in Europa geword, en 'n kleiner aanleg werk oor die grens in die nabygeleë Valencia del Mombuey.

Hulde aan die Dehesa: Buite -beeldhouwerk in Villanueva del Fresno, Spanje.

Daar is 'n hernieude belangstelling in die volhoubare ekologiese praktyke van die ou dehesa -stelsel, en tradisionele landboubedrywe (soos die beroemde Iberiese ham) bly steeds ekonomiese steunpilare. Die Portugese Alentejo -streek is die grootste produsent van natuurlike kurk ter wêreld en geniet 'n ontluikende wynbedryf.

Uitsig oor die Alqueva -reservoir

Die Alqueva -reservoir van die Guadiana -rivier het die grootste kunsmatige meer in Europa geskep en word ontwikkel vir landbou- en ontspanningsgebruik. 'N Toenemende aantal toeriste ontdek uiteindelik die fassinerende historiese monumente en die ongerepte skilderagtige platteland van die streek. Die siel van La Raya woon in sy klein dorpies waar die voorvaderlike gesinne terugkeer, waar gekoesterde tradisies bewaar word.

Natuurpark en kasteel van Noudar naby Barrancos, Portugal


1881- The Sherwood Foresters are formed

Under the Cardwell-Childers reforms to the British Army, the 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment & the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment are merged to form The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire) Regiment

1899 – 1902 The Boer War

The Boer War breaks out and the Sherwood Foresters are sent to South Africa. To compete with the Boers, the Sherwood Foresters provided Infantry on foot and horse.

1914 – 1918 The First World War

  • 33 Battalions raised (20 served overseas)
  • 140,000 served.
  • 11,409 KIA or missing
  • 57 Battle honours

1939 – 1945 Second World War

  • 26,940 officers and men served
  • 1,520 were killed or died of wounds
  • Awarded 25 Battle Honours

1945-1970 A change in role

The Sherwood Foresters served in Germany where they carried out occupational duties for many years, fought in Malaya at the end of the Emergency against Communism in 1958-60 and were deployed to Cyprus in 1963.

1970 Amalgamation with the Worcestershire Regiment

The Sherwood Foresters amalgamated with the Worcestershire Regiment to form The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (WFR).

1970-2007 The WFR

The WFR served across the world completing 7 tours of Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia and Afghanistan. The Regiment also carried out public duties guarding the Royal Palaces in 2005.


Badajoz - History

During the civil war, Las Bardocas military airfield was built near Badajoz. Owing to its geographical position, the area was set between the rivers Guadiana and Gérova, which meant the facilities could not be extended. This meant that a new aerodrome had to be built near Talavera La Real, at 14 kilometres from Badajoz.

At the start of 1951, the runway began to be levelled, and in the same year, the control tower was finished. The runway was concluded at the start of 1953, and in December the Army Jet School was set up.

The air base improved its facilities, and on 12 September 1958 it opened to domestic air traffic. Talavera's aeronautical rights were established in June 1954, and then subsequently modified in 1968.

The first scheduled flight by the airline Iberia took place on 14 July 1976, with the Madrid-Badajoz route, and the air base's facilities were used to serve passengers.

The problems which arose due to the joint use of the airport resulted in the obligatory construction of a separate apron and terminal building on the opposite side of the runway. The work began in 1981 and ended in 1983, although the Terminal was not used until 1990, when two daily flights were organised with Madrid and two weekly ones with Barcelona.

Finally, in July 2010, the extension of the Terminal was completed, doubling its area to 4,400 square metres. The aircraft apron was also extended from 17,000 to 35,000 square metres.

At the start of 1951, the runway began to be levelled, and in the same year, the control tower was finished. The runway was concluded at the start of 1953, and in December the Army Jet School was set up.

The air base improved its facilities, and on 12 September 1958 it opened to domestic air traffic. Talavera's aeronautical rights were established in June 1954, and then subsequently modified in 1968.

The first scheduled flight by the airline Iberia took place on 14 July 1976, with the Madrid-Badajoz route, and the air base's facilities were used to serve passengers.

The problems which arose due to the joint use of the airport resulted in the obligatory construction of a separate apron and terminal building on the opposite side of the runway. The work began in 1981 and ended in 1983, although the Terminal was not used until 1990, when two daily flights were organised with Madrid and two weekly ones with Barcelona.

Finally, in July 2010, the extension of the Terminal was completed, doubling its area to 4,400 square metres. The aircraft apron was also extended from 17,000 to 35,000 square metres.


Third British siege of Badajoz, 16 March-6 April 1812

The third British siege of Badajoz (16 March-6 April 1812) finally saw the city fall to Wellington's troops after two previous attacks had failed. However the final storm of the city was terribly costly, and was followed by a brutal sack that was one of the darkest incidents in the history of the British army.

The two Spanish fortresses of Cuidad Rodrigo and Badajoz were key positions on the main routes invasion routes between Spain and Portugal. Cuidad Rodrigo fell to the French in July 1810, and Badajoz in March 1811. Wellington split his army to deal with this dangerous situation. He remained in the north, facing Cuidad Rodrigo, while Beresford was sent south to besiege Badajoz. The first British siege of Badajoz only lasted for a few days. It began on 6 May 1811, but Beresford then had to lift the siege to deal with a relief army under Marshal Soult. He defeated Soult in the costly battle of Albuera (16 May 1811), and returned to Badajoz. The second British siege of Badajoz (19 May-17 June 1811) ended as a costly failure. The main British effort was made against Fort San Christobal, on the north bank of the Guadiana, but this achieved northing. The siege eventually had to be lifted, leaving the French in command of both places at the end of the year.

Early in 1812 the French had to move 12,000 men away from Cuidad Rodrigo to try and bolster their position further to the east. Wellington took advantage of this to launch a surprise attack on Cuidad Rodrigo. The siege began on 8 January 1812 and caught all of the French commanders out. Wellington was left alone during the short siege, which ended with a successful storm of the city on 19 January 1812. Marmont, whose job it was to defend the place, didn't even learn that it was under siege until 15 January. After the storm part of the British army got out of control, and for several hours Cuidad Rodrigo suffered from a sack, but this ended at dawn.

Wellington's next step was to move south and attack Badajoz. This was a massive endeavour. The larger siege guns had to be sent down river to the coast, shipped along the coast and then moved inland by road. Sixteen heavy howitzers were moved by road and twenty 18-pounders were provided by the fleet. The army then began to move, with most of the infantry on the road by 26 February. Wellington himself stayed in the north until 5 March, in an attempt to convince the French that he wasn't planning anything in the south.

The main city of Badajoz is on the south bank of the River Guadiana. The River Rivellas ran north past the eastern walls of the city to run into the Guadiana. The city walls contained nine bastions. Starting at the north-west corner (on the river) was the San Vincente bastion. Going anti-clockwise around the walls were the bastions of San Jose, Santiago, San Juan, San Roque, Santa Maria, Trinidad, San Pedro and San Antonio. The old but strong castle of Badajoz filled the north-eastern corner of the city.

There were a number of outlying fortifications. On the north bank of the Guadiana there was a fortified bridgehead, and then a little to the right was Fort San Christobal. To the east of the Rivellas were the forts of San Roque (outside the San Pedro bastion) and Picurina (to the south-east of the walls, overlooking the Trinidad and Santa Maria bastions. To the south was the fort of Pardaleras, overlooking the San Juan and San Roque bastions. These outlying forts each occupied an area of high ground that would have made a suitable location for hostile gun batteries.

Die verdedigers

The defence of Badajoz was commanded by General Armand Phillipon, the governor since March 1811. He had 5,000 men under his command, made up of just over 2,500 men from six French regiments (3/39th Léger, 1/28th Léger, 1/58th Ligne, 3/88th Ligne, 3/ 103rd Ligne and 64th Light) and 900 men from two battalions of Hesse D'Armstadt.

Phillipon would be left to fight by himself. The two main French armies in western Spain were those of Marmont and Soult. Marmont was tied down by orders from Napoleon, based on outdated information, and was unable to act until it was too late. Napoleon had ordered him to stay around Salamanca and threaten to attack Cuidad Rodrigo, in the hope that would force Wellington lift his siege. However Wellington knew that Marmont had lost all of his siege guns at Cuidad Rodrigo, and thus posed no real threat.

Soult was distracted by Spanish operations around Cadiz and Gibraltar and was unable to concentrate enough of his men to intervene effectively.

Die aanvallers

The actual siege involved the 3rd Division (Kempt's Brigade and Campbell's Brigade), the 4th Division (Kemmis's Brigade and Bowes's Brigade), the 5th Division (Hay's Brigade and Walker's Brigade), the Light Division and nine Portuguese regiments.

On 15 March the leading elements of Wellington's army, the 3rd, 4th and Light Divisions, all under William Beresford, crossed the Guadiana and advanced on Badajoz.

On 16 March the 1st, 6th and 7th Divisions, under Sir Thomas Graham, crossed the Guadiana and moved south to block any attempt by Soult to try and raise the siege. On the same day Badajoz was cut off.

The first two sieges had focused on the castle and the San Christobel fort. This time Wellington's chief engineer, Richard Fletcher, decided to focus on bastions 6 (Santa Maria) and 7 (Trinidad) at the south-eastern corner of the city. This meant that Fort Picurina would need to be captured before the main gun batteries could be built.

Work on the first parallel began on the night of 17 March. On 19 March this work was interrupted by a sortie of 1,500 French infantry and 40 cavalry, who drove off the working parties and filled in part of the ditches, as well as capturing 200 entrenching tools. Fletcher was wounded during the fighting, and was unable to take an active part in the rest of the siege, although he was well enough to be consulted. Work was further delayed by heavy rain which threatened to wash away the trenches and did break the British pontoon bridge over the Guadiana.

The British guns finally opened fire at 11am on 25 March. Fort Picurina was their main target, and by the evening the British believed it was vulnerable to attack. A force of 500 men from the 3rd and Light Divisions attacked in three columns at 9pm, and managed to capture the fort, although only after losing 54 dead and 265 wounded, over half of the entire force.

Phillipon's guns managed to keep the British out of the ruins of the fort until the evening of 26 March, but they then began to build a series of fresh gun batteries closer to the main walls. No.7 was to attack the Trinidad bastion, no.9 the Santa Maria bastion. No.10 was to keep the ditch in front of the planned breaches under fire. By 5 April the bombardment had produced breaches in both bastions. The French built fresh defences inside the breaches, put guns in place, and prepared defensive measures. Wellington inspected the breach, and decided to delay the assault until a third one had been created, in the wall between the two bastions. This only took one day, and Wellington decided to attack late on 6 April.

A series of attacks were to be launched around Badajoz.

On the right Picton's 3rd Division was to attack the castle.

On their left Colville's 4th Division was to attack the Trinidad breach.

Next in line was Barnard's Light Division, which was to attack the Santa Maria breach.

Each attack was to be preceeded by a 'forlorn hope', whose task was to fill the ditches with large sacks of grass that the main storming parties could land on as they jumped into the ditch. Each division was to be lead by a force of 500 men carrying 12 ladders.

On the southern side of the city Leith's 5th Division was to make a feint towards Fort Paradaleras, but then attempt to capture the San Vincente bastion, at the north-western corner of the city, if the moment was right.

On the north bank of the river the Portuguese were to a feint against Fort San Christobel.

All of these attacks were originally meant to start at 7.30pm, but that was postponed to 10pm. The French used this time to further improve the defences of the breaches.

The first fighting came at the little San Roque lunette, which fell soon after 9.30pm. The attacks of the 4th and Light Divisions began badly. Many men drowned after jumping into part of the ditch that had secretly been flooded by the French, and many more got stuck in the ditch. The soldiers from the Forlorn Hope reached the top of the Trinidad breach, but were then swept away by French gunfire. The French were able to drop grenades into the mass of men in the ditch, and also exploded one of the mines that they had buried in front of the breaches. A total of around 40 separate attacks have been counted, all of which failed at the cost of 2,000 casualties.

Luckily for the British the attack on the castle and the attack on the San Vincente bastion went much better. In each case the attackers had to climb intact walls to reach their targets, coming under heavy fire as they went. The attack on the castle appeared to be failing just as badly as the main assault until Colonel Henry Ridge of the 5th Foot managed to establish a foothold on top of the ramparts to the left of the main attack. Ridge was killed, but the defences of the castle had been breeched. The men from the 3rd Division dropped down into the castle, and soon took control of the area. This was a blow to Philippon, who had been hoping to use the castle for his last stand. He was able to get the gates shut, and it took some time for the 3rd Division to break out into the city, but once they did the French defence was doomed.

On the other side of the city the 5th Division had also achieved success. They had managed to get up the walls and then fought off a French counterattack. Leith then split his men, using half to clear the city buildings and half to move along the walls towards the breaches.

The news of the two British successes reached Philippon while he was waiting with the reserves in the Plaza San Juan. He ordered one counterattack, but after this failed he crossed the bridge to the north back of the river and took refuge in Fort San Christobal, before surrendering at 7am on 7 April.

The Aftermath

The fall of Badajoz was followed by a brutal sack of what was meant to be an allied city. The British soldiers had developed a dislike for the people of Badajoz, and had suspected them of helping the French in 1811, but the main reason for the collapse of discipline was probably the very heavy cost of the fighting and the sudden lifting of the tension as French resistance unexpectedly collapsed. All attempts to restore order failed, and the sack went on for 72 hours. Any fresh troops who were sent in to try and restore order simply joined the rampage. Eventually order appears to have been restored after the men ran out of energy. The Spanish inhabitants of the city were the main victims of the outrage, and the French prisoners appear to have been left alone.

Once Wellington regained control of his army, he was able to plan his next move. Marmont was threatening Ciudad Rodrigo, so Wellington had to move north to deal with that threat. Once Marmont had withdrawn, he was then able to prepare to advance further into Spain. This campaign would lead to Salamanca, where Wellington won one of his most significant victories of the Peninsular War. This allowed him to briefly liberate Madrid and press on towards the French border, but his attempt to besiege Burgos ended in failure, and forced him to retreat back to Portugal once again. However the French were never able to undo the damage done at Salamanca, and in the following year Wellington was able to defeat their combined armies once again, at Vittoria.

A History of the Peninsular War vol.5: October 1811-August 31, 1812 - Valencia, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Madrid, Sir Charles Oman Part Five of Oman's classic history of the Peninsular War starting with a look at the French invasion of Valencia in the winter of 1811-12, before concentrating on Wellington's victorious summer campaign of 1812, culminating with the battle of Salamanca and Wellington's first liberation of Madrid.

This week in history: British brutality followed the fall of Badajoz

On April 6, 1812, the French-garrisoned Spanish fortress town of Badajoz fell to the British after a three-week siege. The fall of the city was accompanied by British soldiers raping, plundering and killing the Spanish residents of the town.

As Napoleon's armies raged across Europe, one of the principal theaters of the conflict was the Iberian peninsula. The French had invaded Spain in late 1807/early 1808, and many Spaniards welcomed the invasion. They advocated enlightenment ideals like liberalism, equality and an end to aristocratic privilege. The majority of Spaniards, however, resented French rule and Napoleon's placement of his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne.

The British landed troops in Spain in late 1808 and before long engaged the French alongside Spanish partisans. After the disastrous January 1809 Battle of Corunna, the British were forced to retreat into Portugal, which had enjoyed a military alliance with Britain. The British commander, Sir John Moore, had been mortally wounded in the battle, and his replacement was Arthur Wellesley, a battlefield commander who had proven his ability in India and who would later be known as the Duke of Wellington.

The next few years saw French attacks into Portugal, and a vicious game of cat and mouse with the British forces. When French Marshal André Masséna invaded Portugal in 1810, Wellington's fortifications at Terras Vedras kept the French armies from taking Lisbon. Soon, Wellington was ready to go on the offensive.

A series of border fortresses separated Portugal and Spain, and by necessity they were Wellington's first targets. In May 1811, the fortress of Almeida fell to the British, and in January 1812, Cuidad Rodrigo fell after a 10-day siege. Wellington then took his force of roughly 27,000 British, Portuguese and Spanish troops up against the Badajoz's approximately 5,000 French defenders. Despite the vast allied numerical advantage, the formidable fortress would be very difficult to take. Additionally, the city's population was known to hold French sympathies.

The siege of Badajoz began on March 16, with British engineers building trenches and siege works around the fortress. Heavy cannons were used to try to bring down the walls. This was a long process that required the gunners to continue to hit the wall at the same spots repeatedly, in the hopes of creating breaches. The problem then, of course, was that the enemy would have a choke point at the only place where the British troops could enter the town.

As it was virtually guaranteed that the first men through the breach would be killed, those soldiers who volunteered were known as the “Forlorn Hope.” Any who survived were usually guaranteed an immediate advancement in rank, as well as covering themselves in glory. As time wore on and the wall sections started to crumble, Wellington decided continuing the siege was too dangerous, as a French relief army could arrive at any moment.

In Christopher Hibbert's book, “Wellington: A Personal History,” the biographer wrote: “The assault was launched on the dark night of 6 April and, as some thought at Cuidad Rodrigo, Wellington launched it too soon. The first storming column struggled to clamber up the slopes and across the imperfect breaches, treading on to the sharp spikes of caltrops and planks studded with the points of nails, being blown apart by mines, mutilated by shells and grenades, burned by fire-balls and knocked over by powder barrels, coming up against the chevaux-de-frise made from Spanish sword blades, carrying scaling ladders, many of which proved too short, taunted by the shouts of French troops on the walls and with the piercing sound of their own bugles ringing in their ears.”

Hibbert notes that an army surgeon, James McGrigor, recalled Wellington's loss of color at the assault and appeared to be repulsed. Nearly 5,000 British and Allied soldiers fell taking the town. The French would lose roughly the same number in killed, wounded and captured.

But the real horror had just begun. British soldiers butchered residents of the town who had refused Wellington's earlier calls to surrender. Hibbert offers the writings of a young British officer:

“Every house presented a scene of plunder, debauchery and bloodshed, committed with wanton cruelty on the persons of the defenseless inhabitants by our soldiery. … Men, women and children were shot in the streets for no other apparent reason than pastime every species of outrage was publicly committed in the houses, churches and streets, and in a manner so brutal that a faithful recital would be too indecent and too shocking to humanity.”

One of the reasons why the British soldiers took such an evil revenge upon the Spanish residents of Badajoz had to do with the British sense of cultural superiority. As historian Charles Esdaile noted in his book, “Napoleon's Wars: An International History,” the British looked down on the Spanish, whom they though of as “incompetent, cowardly and unreliable.” Additionally, years of hard feelings between Protestants and Catholics in England fueled another level of antagonism, mostly directed toward the French, but also toward the Catholic Spaniards. Badajoz was not the first time British feelings of superiority led to savagery against the Spanish, but it was perhaps the worst example.

The day after the successful assault, the bodies of British soldiers lay in great piles before the walls, and when Wellington learned of the extent of the casualties he briefly suffered a breakdown, weeping uncontrollably. Indeed, a few years later, after achieving victory in his most famous battle, Waterloo, Wellington would famously say, “Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.”

Wellington blamed the British government for his lack of supplies and siege equipment, with which he believed he could have taken the fortress much sooner and without such high casualties. Horrific as the riots his soldiers unleashed upon the city had become, Wellington also understood their military value. Other Spanish cities would think twice about refusing to surrender after Badajoz, lest they suffer the same fate.

Though Wellington called for an end to the riots on April 7, they continued on for another two days. Finally, he ordered the creation of a gallows in the town, though it never saw use. Several of the worst offenders in the army were flogged, however, a common punishment in the British army of the day.

The writer Bernard Cornwell wrote a historical note in his novel “Sharpe's Company” that offered at least one positive outcome of the horrific events at Badajoz:

“The sack of Badajoz was not without one famous love story. A Lieutenant of the 95th Rifles, Harry Smith, met and married a fourteen-year-old Spanish girl, Juana Maria de los Dolores de Leon, who was fleeing from the horror. She was not completely unscathed, her ear-rings had been torn bloodily from her lobes, but Lieutenant Smith found and protected her. Years later, after her husband had been knighted, a town was named after her in South Africa that was itself to see a famous siege Ladysmith.”

The fall of Badajoz meant that Wellington was now free to invade Spain. In July, Wellington won another great victory over the French at Salamanca, and soon took Madrid.


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Kommentaar:

  1. Gardalmaran

    Ek glo dat u 'n fout maak. Kom ons bespreek dit. E -pos my by PM, ons sal praat.

  2. Fek

    Vertel asseblief meer in detail..

  3. Avedis

    Dit is 'n uitstekende variant

  4. Wematin

    Dit is duidelik, jy is nie verkeerd nie



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