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Combat at Redinha
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Combat at Redinha
The battle at Redinha on March 12th, 1811, was the second rearguard action fought during Massena’s retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras. Marshall Ney commanded the rear guard. Having failed to delay the British on the 11th, Ney retreated …
The battle at Redinha on March 12th, 1811, was the second rearguard action fought during Massena’s retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras. Marshall Ney commanded the rear guard. Having failed to delay the British on the 11th, Ney retreated to a new position, near Redinha. His second rearguard stand was at an ideal place, with a plateau south of the village and woods on each flank. Ney deployed Mermet’s division on the plateau and Marchand’s division north of the village on the far side of the Ancos River. Wellington knew that he was close to the main French force and proceeded very cautiously, giving Ney the opportunity to move most of Marchand’s brigades to support Mermet. It was almost 2 PM, when all of Wellington’s forces were in position, and the general advance was ordered. The 3rd Division attacked the French left and the Light Division the French right. Erskine’s force threw the French out of the woods on the right and only a timely charge by the French cavalry prevented the position from being overrun. Soon, however, Ney’s flanks were both threatened and Mermet and Marchand were ordered to retreat across the river. Ney was praised for his handling of the rearguard, for he had held Wellington up for an entire day, giving Massena the time he needed to force his way across the Mondego River.
The Battle of Redinha was a rearguard action which took place on March 12, 1811, during Masséna's retreat from Portugal, by a French division under Marshal Ney against a considerably larger Anglo-Portuguese force under Wellington. Challenging the Allies with only one or two divisions, Ney's 7,000 troops were pitched against 25,000 men. In a typical rearguard action, Ney delayed the Allied advance for a day and bought valuable time for the withdrawal of the main body of the French army.
Wikipedia: Battle of Redinha