Battles of the Bruch


Battles of the Bruch

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battles of El Bruc
partof=the Peninsular War


caption=
date=June 6 and June 14, 1808
place=the Bruc, near Barcelona, Spain
result=Spanish victory
combatant1=flagicon|France French Empire
combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1785 Spain
commander1=François Xavier de Schwarz
commander2=Antonio Franch de Villafranca
strength1=3,800 regulars
strength2=2,000 regulars and militia
casualties1=360 dead,
600 wounded
60 captured
casualties2=20 dead
80 wounded

The two Battles of the Bruch were engagements fought successively between a French column and a body of Spanish volunteers and mercenaries on June 4, 1808 in the Peninsular War.

The French detachment under General Schwartz emerged from Barcelona on June 4, advancing in the direction of Zaragoza–Lleida. A rainstorm that day slowed their march considerably; the delay gave time for local Spanish forces, composed of militia from the neighboring villages, Catalan volunteers ("somatén"), and Swiss and Walloon soldiers from the Barcelona garrison, to mobilize for action. The Spaniards were led by General Franch and deployed along Bruch Pass.

The resulting stand was a success, [Gates, p. 59] and the French under General Schwartz were turned back to Barcelona with the loss of 300 dead and one gun captured. The partisans made off with an Imperial eagle, adding to the French humiliation. [Solís, p. 167]

A second French sortie on June 14 succeeded only in putting to the torch several buildings in El Bruc.

Notes

References

*Gates, David. "The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War." Da Capo Press 2001. ISBN 0-306-81083-2
*Rodríguez-Solís, Enrique. "Los guerrilleros de 1808: Historia popular de la Guerra de la Independencia." Vol. I. Calle de Balmes 1895.


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