- Battle of Tamames
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Tamames
October 18, 1809
Tamames, near Salamanca, Spain
combatant1=flagicon|France French Empire
Duque del Parque
casualties1=1,300 dead or wounded
casualties2=672 dead or wounded
The Battle of Tamames was a sharp reversal suffered by part of Marshal
Michel Ney's French army under Major-General Jean Marchand in the Peninsular War. The French, advancing out of Salamanca, were met and defeated in battle by a Spanish army on October 18, 1809.
Course of battle
The battle opened badly for the Spaniards under General del Parque, who resorted to severe measures to restore discipline. The Spanish cavalry was routed early on, but scathing fire from del Parque's own infantry quickly brought their retreat to grief and directed them back into the fight. Spanish
artillerypositions similarly fell to the French but were retaken at bayonet point by del Parque's gallant infantry.
Immediate French losses amounted to about 1,200 killed or wounded on the battlefield. A vigorous pursuit by the Spanish cavalry increased these losses twofold; the Spaniards captured the French colours and a 12-pounder. Participants of the battle were later issued a badge reading "Venció en Tamames", " [We] conquered at Tamames."
The VI Corps under Marchand consisted of his own 1st Division (3 battalions each of 6th Light, 39th, 69th and 76th Line), Maj-Gen Maurice Mathieu's 2nd Division (3 bns. each of 25th Light, 27th and 59th Line, and 1 bn. 50th Line), Brig-Gen Jean Lorcet's corps cavalry brigade (3rd Hussars, 15th Chasseurs, 15th and 25th Dragoons). There were about 9,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 30 cannon.
Del Parque's army included Maj-Gen Martin de la Carrera's Vanguard, Maj-Gen Francisco Xavier Losada's 1st Division, Maj-Gen Conde de Belvedere's 2nd Division, Maj-Gen Francisco Ballasteros's 3rd Division, Maj-Gen Marques de Castrofuerte's 5th Division and the Prince of Anglona's Cavalry Division. Altogether there were about 20,000 infantry, 1,400 cavalry and 30 artillery pieces.
The French lost 1,300 killed, wounded and captured, plus one cannon. There were 23 officers killed and 55 wounded, including Lorcet. Del Parque's army suffered 713 killed and wounded.
Del Parque begged the Duke of Wellington to join him in an attempt to overrun Leon and Old Castile. However, the British general refused. Wellington had found the Spanish completely uncooperative during the campaign which culminated in the
Battle of Talaveraand his subsequent retreat to Portugal. A chastened Marchand would avenge his defeat at the Battle of Alba de Tormesin November.
* Smith, Digby. "The Napoleonic Wars Data Book." Greenhill, 1998.
* [http://www.1808-1814.org/frames/framarti.html Batalla de Tamames]
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