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"Second Siege of Gerona" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2018 9:03 p.m. PST

"The second siege of Gerona was a second unsuccessful French attempt to capture the city of Gerona, which threatened their lines of communication between Barcelona and Perpignan. The French had seized Barcelona on 29 February 1808, but had not then occupied Gerona. After the outbreak of the Spanish revolt the French army at Barcelona had become dangerously isolated from the main French armies around Madrid, and so General Duhesme had decided to occupy Gerona. His first attempt, on 20-21 June 1808, had ended in failure, and he had retreated to Barcelona, but the general situation had not changed.

Gerona was not protected by strong modern fortifications. It lies on both sides of the river O˝a. The larger part of the town was on the east bank, and was protected by a line of four forts that ran along a ridge just to the east of the town, with the main citadel of Monjuich at the northern edge of the. The town itself was defended by a twenty foot high medieval wall, with no ditch. The western part of the town, known as the Mercadal, was unprotected by any natural features, and so a more modern Vauban style wall had been built, defended by five bastions.

After his early repulse at Gerona, Duhesme had called for assistance. Napoleon was not particularly interested in the fighting in Catalonia, but he did scrap together a force of around 7,000-8,000 men, which assembled at Perpignan under General Reille. This force slowly took shape, and by the middle of July Reille had around 3,000 men at his disposal, with which he made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Rosas, on the coastal road between Perpignan and Barcelona. This attempt was cut short, for on 10 July Duhesme left Barcelona at the head of a column 7,000 strong, heading for Gerona, and at the same time ordered Reille to meet him there…."
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Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2018 4:23 a.m. PST

This is a great find.

Only a few weeks back 'er indoors was not best suited that I had arranged no foreign jaunt for her birthday. But, instead of continuing in a sulk she went out and booked a local flight out to Gerona, for four nights (with even me coming too!)

My first reaction was to say how much I was looking forward to Italy again, after only a month back in the UK.

Ah, this is not Verona, nor is it Genoa. It is mini Barcelona, end of the month, and now I have a huge incentive to walk those walls.

Well done Tango (Grin)

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

A votre service mon cher ami!. (smile)


Dogged Inactive Member10 Jul 2018 5:31 a.m. PST

FYI, there is a reenactment of the siege(s) of Girona in September. A small one, I think just about 150 reenactors for the whole thing.

Girona in fact is not like Barcelona, by far; Gironins (people from Girona) would not like such a comparison :). Girona's cathedral is older (actually it started as a romanesque church; Barcelona's is newer, while Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, being the finer example of Cathalan gothic, is also newer). The morphology of its old town is exactly the same as in medieval times. You can see the "forša vella" which acted as a mini-citadel of sorts, where the future Ferdinand the Catholic and his mother were besieged by the forces of the Generalitat back in 1461 (the access to some streets could/can be closed).

You can walk the walls, but bring water and some protection from the sun/heat if you are going to do it in summer. The baths are worth a look as is the Cathedral, and a walk by the old town is both relaxing and inspiring; many museums also.

BTW, the Catalan (original) name of the city is Girona, with an "i" instead of the Spanish wording of "Gerona". Its English pronunciation would be "Geerona" (like in "geese").

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2018 6:00 a.m. PST


Printed and saved with Tango's document to take with me.

Really appreciated!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2018 9:54 a.m. PST

Many thanks!


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2018 11:03 p.m. PST

and now I have read all about the third siege. I had never even heard of the town until two weeks ago….other than a vague idea that it was surely in Italy……..

Really grateful to all. This will make for a really interesting trip!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2018 9:46 a.m. PST

Happy for you my good friend!.(smile)


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