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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Salamanca

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Salamanca

Postby OXFORDMON » June 7th, 2011, 9:46 pm

A very atmospheric picture of the Battlefield taken from the Greater Arapile looking towards the lesser, you can just see the City in the middle distance through the haze, a hot day watching dust devils swirling across the dusty fields, what better!

Andy.
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Re: Salamanca

Postby Mark » June 7th, 2011, 10:37 pm

Hi Andy

I love these photos you keep posting! I do hope there are more for us to see? :D

Mark
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Re: Salamanca

Postby OXFORDMON » June 8th, 2011, 9:55 am

Mark wrote:I do hope there are more for us to see?


Mark, i have the majority of my Battlefield pics on the Laptop but some were taken with the 'old fashioned' camera which i have yet to scan. I have visited all the major sites and quite a few places where skirmishes took place (except San Milan where the Light Division clashed with the rear of the French Army before Vittoria, ill get it one day!).

Here's a couple more of Salamanca, Wellingtons HQ in the City itself and his plaque in the main square, there are some very good shops in the City if you have any 'camp followers' who are fed up with empty fields for a day, you know where i'm coming from!.

Andy.
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Re: Salamanca

Postby Mark » June 10th, 2011, 9:19 pm

Cracking stuff, Andy! Thanks for sharing, I am really enjoying your photos but it is adding to my desire to visit myself :P

Mark
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Re: Salamanca

Postby Student of 1812 » June 13th, 2011, 10:52 am

Best photo I've seen of the battlespace - or at least where my understanding is that the action was taking place in mid PM on 22 July. There looks to be building at the left (west) edge of the photo - is this part of Los Arapiles or where the buildings would have been? Or would the buildings have been further west? Sadly, I've been to Salamanca but not the battlefield.
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Re: Salamanca

Postby OXFORDMON » June 13th, 2011, 11:01 am

Hi Studentof1812

The building is just an old farm building, this picture makes things a bit clearer, the village of Los Arapiles is in the centre, there is a very good museum in the village dedicated to the Battle with a diorama etc, worth a visit if its open, i think it doubles as a doctors surgery.

Andy.
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Re: Salamanca

Postby Student of 1812 » June 13th, 2011, 12:04 pm

Many thanks
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Re: Salamanca

Postby OXFORDMON » June 13th, 2011, 2:39 pm

Here's a link to the Los Arapiles museum website:-

http://www.sitiohistoricolosarapiles.co ... torico.php

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Re: Salamanca

Postby Student of 1812 » June 14th, 2011, 8:13 am

Thanks Andy -
I thought the comment on the site that "There both Wellington and Marmont tried their tactical and leadership skills out" was rather apt. Whilst it may or may not have been Wellington's greatest victory, it certainly showed his (unexpected) skill at manoeuvre warfare. This is what I think he really "tried out".

As to his tactical skills, Wellington was not, on the surface, tactically innovative as Andrew Roberts has identified. As we know from earlier encounters, Wellington’s tactical genius lay in his almost unerring ability to “guess what was on the other side of the hill.” His eye for ground, unusual for an infantry officer (!), has been justified on his hunting experiences (a justification for an officer to hunt in the Army’s time, to improve his tactical skill, that was still much in use during my military career.) However gained, the understanding and use of topographical features encouraged Wellington’s success in using Concealment and Surprise as effective tactical skills. His timing in launching Le Marchant’s heavy brigade into an oblique attack earned him the admiration of his enemies and their comparison of him to Frederick the Great .

Success in battle is a function of the opposition’s mistakes as well as the victor’s successes. A long-established principal of war is that of concentration of force. In his rush to cut the Allies LofC and bring Wellington to battle, Marmont over-extended his army and, when Wellington seized his moment, Marmont was less able to concentrate his divisions and counter- attack in depth. As many authors have noted, he broke one of the most basic rules of “horse and musket” warfare by marching his left flank across Wellington’s front.
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Re: Salamanca

Postby OXFORDMON » June 14th, 2011, 9:28 pm

Wellington had an underserved reputation for being defensive minded (Napoleon thought so) but when you study his victorys in detail, even his early Indian battles, he could deliver a spectacular attacking movement (Salamanca, Vittoria etc) he could be cautious, but when you command the only Army your country has, you don't risk losing it unless your fighting on your terms.
The French never seemed to learn from their encounters with him, even at Waterloo as Wellington said ' they came on in the same old way ' :)

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