BATTLE OF SOMOSIERRA


Uploaded by mikolajoskierko on 17.01.2009

Transcript:
Beginning of the 18th century.
Since few years Poland, divided by the three occupants,
is no longer existing.
Appears however a "God of war", descendent from Crosica.
Napoleon Bonaparte
One of the commanders of the revolutionary France,
which is not only getting out of the revolutionary mess,
but is also starting to influence the Europe.
Bonaparte takes whole power.
In 1804 becomes the Emperor.
Nearly from the beginning of his career,
he`s accompanied by the Poles,
who are hopeing that he`ll rescue "Republic"
In the summer of 1807 France was in its peak of power.
So rivaleising Englad took over Copenhagen.
Napoleon started preparations for the invasion.
Abadoned this plan however and decided to take over
Portugal and finalise his "continental blocade".
Aimed to break the British trade with Europe.
French were comeing along unsltable Spain,
thier allie.
But Napoleon decided to make an "order" also there.
On march 28 year 1808 Joachim Murat entered Madrid.
On may 2nd begun there national uprising,
Which soon took over whole country.
Regular army was joined by the volunteers,
guerillas
partisans, fighting guerilla warfare.
After several looses, French retreated to the border.
Napoleon made decission about personal intervention.
And camed with 200.000 soldier`s army.
In the early november moved from the north in direction of Madrid.
On 29th stopped by the valley of Somosierra.
Between the mountains Sierra Cebollera and Cerro Baransal.
Along the valley was important path
from Burgos to Madrid.
This stategic point was guarded by the Spanish army
of general Benito San Juan.
In the valley was placed 10 cannones battery
and three 2 cannones batteries before it.
one after another.
3000 Infantry, mainly volunteers, was put on the hills
on the valley`s both sides.
Main forces San Juan put in rear.
Napoleon couldn`t miss Somosierra
neither to left forces of a foe on his rear.
General San Juan, fanatic Castillian, considered as a one
of the most talented Spanish commanders encounted
about 12.000 of the soldiers and militia.
Despite the triple numerical advantage,
French couldn`t use it becouse of difficult terrain.
In the battle of Somosierra participated
3 French infantry regiments
, not whole cavalry regiment and 2 cannones.
On the Spanish side about 3.000 volunteers
supported by 16 cannones.
Battle was begun by the infantry,
its job was hard, 16 six funts cannones,
in four batteries, spreaded in a line of 2,5 km.
Up the hill.
French infantry was routed by the Spanish artillery.
Approaching French faced a very intensive fire.
Every minute were fired 4 cannon balls
and 400 bullets.
French infantry was stopped.
In addition, French commanders were afraid of
sneak attack from the wings,
which was possible becouse of a dense fog.
Emperor ordered reconaissance.
Lieutenant Niegolewski was sended
with detachment of the Chevau-légers.
Spanish captured one of the Poles.
Napoleon, agered becouse of too slowly
move of the infantry and a loose of léger,
ordered to the official legers squadron
attack on the first battery.
Despite the contention of his staff,
not beliveing in sucess of a charge,
in such difficult terrain,
remained unbending.
Poles were ordered to attack,
even without the Niegolewski platoon.
Charge took place about 11 o` clock.
Becouse of the form of terrain,
more exactly a tight path,
squadron couldn`t spread and formed column.
First moved 3rd company of captain Dziewanowski.
Than 7th company of captain Peter Krsiñski.
3rd squadron started to move in trot,
in direction of the first battery,
on distance of one km.
After the first salve, stopped for a momenth,
whereby raised by Kozietulski,
under the fire of Spanish infantry,
approached the cannones.
Than get a second salve,
which caused heavy casualties.
Still légers get the cannones
and choped the gunners,
therefore realeised Emperor`s order.
Emperor`s order was fullyfilled,
but in a danger of the second baterry`s fire,
squadron, which was joined by the Niegolewski`s platoon,
moved on again.
Suprised Spanish fired the first salve,
becouse of which Kozietulski was wounded
amongst the others.
Under the leadership of Dziewanowski, légers
slashed the gunners of the second battery,
and moved on the third one.
This fired once, but accurately,
Dziewanowski felt down, deadly wounded.
Few dozens of the riders, under Krasiñski,
captured the third battery.
And continued the charge on the last one
position, with 10 cannones
Battery spit the fire of ten cannones
Krasiñski died.
Dozen of the légers, with the last officer,
liutenant Andrew Niegolewski,
captured the valley.
Camed French Chasseurs
and légers platoof of Tomas £ubiñski.
Spanish started to flee,
didn`t noticed how small force captured the valley
Fleeding general San Juan was killed
by his own soldiers.
Few hundrets Spanish were captured.
Casualties of the 3rd squadron estimated
4 officers and 14 légers killed
and few dozens injured.
This is a great honor for us
to remind battle, which happend 200 years ago.
Even if we`re recreating not verry nice for us,
Spanish, memories.
Fortunatelly it passed away a long time ago.
In todays event we`re all very engaged.
Napoleon was showing charge as his great victory,
triumph of his genius,
and Poles only as the simple executers,
led by the French officers,
about whom we know, that didn`t participated.
Blood of the légers didn`t mattered much
for the Emperor.
After all at that time, for the neutrality
of the Russian Tzar,
he was redy to give him Warsaw Duchy.
This visual historic picture
will not replace literature.
Can invite however, especially youngs,
to learn history,
to reach apropriate literature.