Battle of Albuera - Consequences


Although he failed to lift the siege of Badajoz, Soult's campaign had managed to temporarily relieve it for three days. General Philippon, the garrison's commander, took this opportunity to sally out and destroy the surrounding Allied trenchworks and batteries. However, before abandoning these works and moving off to Albuera on 15 May, the 4th Division had sent their more valuable supplies back to Elvas, so little else was achieved during the Allied absence. On 18 May Beresford sent Hamilton's Portuguese division, along with some cavalry, back to Badajoz. Its investment was resumed the following day. Beresford's corps was joined by Wellington's field army during June 1811, but even with this reinforcement time was fast running out. The French Army of Portugal, now reconstituted under Marshal Auguste Marmont, had joined up with Soult's Army of the South, and Wellington was forced to pull his 44,000 men back across the border to Elvas. On 20 June the combined French force, over 60,000 strong, lifted the siege.

The Battle of Albuera had little effect on the overall course of the war, but it had shown that British and Spanish troops could work together. On the other hand, Anglo-Spanish political relations suffered following the battle. Wellington unfairly placed most of the blame for the losses on Blake, while a dispatch read in the Spanish cortes implied that the British had played only a minor role in the battle. The next action in the theater was the Battle of Usagre on 25 May.

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