Battle of Albuera - Battle

Battle

See also: Battle of Albuera order of battle

Beresford deployed his troops on the reverse slopes of such hills as could be found on the battlefield; unable to see the Allied army, Soult was still unaware that Blake's Spanish divisions had come up during the night. Thus, on the morning of 16 May 1811, the Marshal proceeded with his attempt to turn the Allied right flank. To approach Albuera village directly, the French would have to cross the Albuera River via a small bridge, and Soult's first move was to launch a strong feint attack in this direction. He sent Godinot's infantry brigade, flanked by Briche's light cavalry and supported by artillery, across the bridge towards the village. Four platoons of Vistula Uhlans also crossed the river, but they were driven back by the 3rd Dragoon Guards. A Portuguese gun battery had been positioned to cover the approaches to the bridge, and as Godinot's skirmishers advanced they became engaged with Alten's KGL battalions, who were defending Albuera.

At the same time two brigades of dragoons and Werlé's infantry brigade showed themselves on Godinot's left, advancing out of an olive wood in front of Blake's position to Alten's right. With a large concentration of French troops now menacing the village, the Allied commanders took the bait exactly as Soult had planned, and sent reinforcements to Alten's aid.

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