Since his return to the Iberian Peninsular in 1809, General Arthur Wellesley (later The Duke of Wellington) had with his small army been a constant thorn in the side of a series of Napoleon s Marshals in Spain, studiously avoiding battles that he could not win and falling back before superior forces to the Lines of Tores Vedras in 1810. By 1812 had forged a successful Anglo Portuguese Army with, however, a string of victories to their credit that included Talevera, Busaco and Funtes de Onoroe. Now Wellesley was ready to take the battle to the French and with the capture of the border fortresses of Cuidad Rodrigo and Badajoz in the winter and early spring he had two routes open for him into the heart of Spain. Supported by Hill s Corps guarding the Tagus crossings and a policy of distraction, which kept the other French Army s in Spain fixed in their areas, the target was Marshall Marmont sArmy of Portugal. This army was concentrated around the city of Salamanca but fell back as the Allies approached In a series of manoeuvres, almost like a throw back to the wars of the Ancien Regime Wellesley waited for Marmont to make a mistake. Finally that moment came when Marmont, convinced that Wellesley a defensive general , was falling back to Portugal and in his eagerness to cut him off, his line of march became over extended. The bulk of the Anglo Portuguese Army concealed fro Marmont behind a ridge attacked an in echelon defeated four French Divisions in a desperately hard fought battle during which the 44th captured a French Eagle. But the French were far from totally beaten and they put up a creditable rearguard action but were driven from the last ridge by attacks led by the 11th of Foot who earned the nickname The Bloody Eleventh . Sadly the victory was not total as a Spanish General who had been tasked to hold a vitl bridge had withdrawn his men. Production Notes: In the now familiar and successful Battlefield History style the team visit the unchanged ground where the highlights of the battle took place and use it as a canvas to explain the battle that in 2012 reaches itsbi-centenary in late July. They are helped in their work by one of the greatest authorities on the battle author and battlefield guide Julia Page. The whole production is lavishly illustrated by high quality maps that compliment the vivid explanation and re-enactment footage. The sights and sounds of a Napoleonic battle make this an un-missable production that brigs together the detail with fast moving illustration.

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