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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby johnnieoaktree » June 9th, 2011, 9:06 am

Hi Mark , i can verify what Andy has said ,the town rather than a city is 100% peninsula war ,the walls, cathedral , etc , apart from Salamanca its my favorite place , the restuarants under the walls are wonderful places to eat , , have you used Ian Fletchers tours , i can highly reccomend them , i expect Andy could has well , . John
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby OXFORDMON » June 9th, 2011, 2:39 pm

Hi John

This might ring a bell with you, i know who the handsome chap on the left is, that article on the right though? one of Wellingtons veterans resurrected i reckon :lol:
I can't disagree about IFBT, simply the best.

Andy.
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby Mark » June 9th, 2011, 3:42 pm

Hi John

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll take a peek at Ian Fletcher Tours :)

Looks like you guys have had lots of fun touring the Peninsular War!

Mark
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby Esdaile » July 24th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Ciudad Rodrigo is certainly worth a visit. Aside from the fact that the city itself is a remarkable place that obviously played a key role in the Peninsular War, it is a short drive from some of the very best preserved battlefields (El Bodon, the Coa, Fuentes de Onoro), Almeida and two small towns that played host to Wellington's headquarters (Fuenteguinaldo and Fresnada). Also relatively close by is the city and battlefield of Salamanca: the journey takes about an hour. And you can even stay in the castle that was the headquarters of the French governor. So, all in all, an excellent centre for a PW pilgrimage, and what is more one where the local council has made huge efforts to conserve its historical and military heritage and make it accessible to the general tourist. Thoroughly recommended!
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby OXFORDMON » July 24th, 2011, 6:59 pm

The city would certainly be an ideal base to explore an area rich in Peninsular war history, an ideal time to visit with 2012 fast approaching, i'll be there near the anniversary (or on it hopefully) and also Badajoz, one would think there should be some interesting commemorations taking place.

Andy.
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby Mark » July 24th, 2011, 7:05 pm

I feel a holiday to Spain coming on! 8-)

Thanks for the information, Charles! Knowing things like this is invaluable when potentially planning a visit and has certainly helped me :)

Mark
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby Connaught » August 26th, 2011, 7:56 pm

You might try With the Guns in the Peninsula ; The Journal of Captain William Webber, Royal Artillery for descriptions. I've been meaning to read it.
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby Mark » August 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm

Connaught wrote:You might try With the Guns in the Peninsula ; The Journal of Captain William Webber, Royal Artillery for descriptions. I've been meaning to read it.


Thanks for the heads-up, Connaught! I will take a look :)

Mark
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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » August 27th, 2011, 3:43 pm

Pictures of Ciudad Rodrigo's walls and another of Crauford's plaque are on http://www.peninsularwar200.org/ciudadrodrigo.html

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Re: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812

Postby Connaught » September 2nd, 2011, 1:05 pm

Ciudad Rodrigo was a fortified city that protected the Spanish frontier with Portugal and overlooked the main crossing site of the Agueda River, an old Roman bridge. The Agueda River was the last major natural obstacle before the border. The city walls were approximately 1500 meters long and built of cut stone. (Plan #1) In general, the fortifications consisted of a main wall and an outer wall. The main wall was approximately 10 meters high and 9 meters wide. (Photo #1) At the bottom of the wall was a dry ditch about 7 meters wide. On the other side of the ditch was a faussebraie, a wall about 6 meters high. This wall was designed to protect the main wall from artillery fire. In front of the faussebraie was another ditch that was about 7 meters wide and 3 meters high on the glacis side of the fortification. This ditch was interconnected with the ditch in front of the main wall. (Photo #13 shows this connecting ditch. The main wall is directly ahead and the faussebraie is on both sides of the photo.) The glacis was a long dirt slope that was design to cause cannonballs to ricochet over the fortifications. It was wide open and provided no cover for an assaulting force.

The Ciudad Rodrigo's fortifications had several weaknesses. In theory, the glacis is supposed to protect the faussebraie from artillery fire. To do so, however, they both must be of the same height. In Ciudad the glacis was 3 meters shorter, thus allowing the enemy artillery to fire directly on to the faussebraie. Furthermore, the height of the faussebraie was too short. It should have been as high as the main wall, but in fact was 4 meters shorter, giving the enemy a clean shot on the main wall. (Photo #2 is a view of the fortifications from the glacis and clearly shows this weakness. The bushes at the base of the wall are actually on the faussebraie, while the ditches are not visible.) Compounding these problems were two ridges to the north of the city: the Little Teson and the Grand Teson. The Little Teson was about 200 meters from the walls and was about the same height as the faussebraie, while the Grand Teson was about 700 meters from the walls and 4 meters higher than the main wall. This placed the defender at a major disadvantage for it allowed enemy artillery to fire directly onto the main walls. (Photo #3 was taken from the British 1st Parallel on the Great Teson and shows how it commands the main wall.) To counteract these weaknesses, the French commander built a redoubt on the Grand Teson and fortified the Convents of Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Another weakness was the thickness of the parapet on top of the walls. An infantryman could not see over the walls into the ditch at its base, even when looking through a cannon embrasure. (The fortress at Almeida and Fort Concepcion were designed to allow infantry to fire into the ditch and onto the faussebraie.)


The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo began on the night of 8 January 1812, when 450 men from the Light Division seized the French redoubt on the Grand Teson. This assault caught the French by surprised, for they were expecting the British to besiege it before they attacked. Taking the redoubt allowed the British to begin building siege works on the Grand Teson the next day. By the 13th the first parallel had been finish and the siege guns were moved up to begin battering the walls. A second parallel was started on the Little Teson, however it was so close to the Convent of Santa Cruz, Wellington ordered a King's German Legion brigade to take the French outpost there. The French commander of Ciudad Rodrigo ordered a counterattack on the same day. Five hundred of the garrison swept out of city, recapturing the convent, destroying much of the work that had begun on the 2nd parallel and almost made it into the 1st parallel before the British could rally their forces. The French retired with little loss. That night the British attacked and captured the Convent of San Francisco. By the 18th the British had erected four batteries and could bring to bear twenty-two 24-pound guns and one 18-pound gun against the main breach and seven 24-pound guns against the lesser breach. By the 19th the British had fired over 9550 shells against the city and had created two breaches about 200 meters apart. The main breach was 30 meters wide and the lesser breach about 10 meters.

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/virtual/c_ciudad.html

24 Pounder dismounted/unshipped

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24 pounder on Fortress Carriage:

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18 pounder on Land Carriage:

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18 pounders Fortress Carriage:
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