|Portrait of Duke of Wellington,oil painting,|
by Francisco Goya (1810-1812),
200 years ago, in the Iberian Peninsula, there was about to start one more chapter that in many historical traditions is called Guerra Peninsular, Peninsular War, Guerra de la Independencia or Guerre d'Espagne. This chapter would be the last of a drama that for 5 years had the scenario the domains of Spain andPortugal.
A great Anglo-Lusitanian army condenses for the campaign of 1813, but it already exists for 5 years, melting together in the fight against the French armies, whether in the uprisings of the North, in the Algarve and Alentejo, in the ordenanças and militia, whether in the Battles of Roliça and Vimeiro.
It exists in the battles of Porto, of the Amarante bridge and the Talavera campaigns in 1809; it exists during that year in the integration of the Portuguese and British forces, in the translation of it's regulations and joint training.
It is an army that has conclusively proven itself at the height of Buçaco, at Sepember the 27th of 1810, at the exact moment where Portugal struggled against the most formidable French threat seen so far, experiencing tragedies like Almeida and the devastation o f villages and the fields of the Beiras and of Ribatejo; it exists in the Lines of Torres Vedras, side by side, defending Lisbon, evicting out of Portugal, by at 3rd time, the proud French Army. It exists during the 1811 campaign, in Fuentes d'Oñoro, Badajoz and La Albuera. It exists, more and more battered and experienced in 1812, in the takeovers of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, in Salamanca, Madrid and Burgos.