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"Suchet at Tarragona " Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2018 3:52 p.m. PST

"On the sweltering afternoon of Friday, June 28, 1811, French engineers surveyed the 10-meter–wide breach in the wall surrounding Tarragona's upper town. After two months of sapping siegework and brutal assaults, whilst surrounded by implacable enemies, it now seemed that General Louis Gabriel Suchet and his troops could finally deliver the coup de grace and storm this outpost of such persistent resistance.

The taking of Tarragona, a formidable Spanish fortress and port sited on rocky hills and cliffs and a thorn in the flesh of Napoleon's armies, was critical to Napoleon's pacification of Spain. But the stakes were high. Few of Napoleon's generals could boast of any success in a theatre that had broken career after career. Defeat of the French at a city like this could spell the loss of entire provinces, and would only energize the insurrection that was already sucking blood and treasure from the Napoleonic empire.

Napoleon's attempt to overrun Portugal and conquer Spain (and simultaneously set his elder brother Joseph on the Spanish throne) had gone badly. The French, faced by nations in arms supported and supplied by British fleets and armies, grimly held on to as much territory as they could as their strength was frittered away in garrisons, escorting convoys, or chasing guerrillas. While achieving success in the field would require stretching scarce resources even further, failure was not considered an option. Napoleon, who did not want to personally risk a return to the quagmire the peninsula had become, berated his unhappy generals and bemoaned their lack of energy and success…."
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mghFond03 Sep 2018 9:22 p.m. PST

Good article. Shows how desperate a siege could be.

Green Tiger04 Sep 2018 2:14 a.m. PST

I was there last month -still some defences in the north of the city…Of course we made a bit of a hash of retaking it and Suchet blew large parts of it up when he finally left!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2018 10:42 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!. (smile)


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