Napoleon was master ofEurope. Only one countrystood in his way- Britain.
Napoleon installed hisbrother, JosephBonaparte, on thethrone of Spain. TheSpanish rebelled.Britain saw theirchance and took it.
They sent Sir ArthurWellesley, the futureDuke of Wellington, toSpain to defeat theFrench armies there.Wellesley’s first majorvictory was againstMarshal Junot atVimiero.He then liberatedPortugal bydefeating MarshalSoult at Oporto. Hethen moved intoSpain.
The tide turned atTalavera, where 20,600British troops and 35,000Spanish soldiers, led byWellesley and Cuesta,defeated 46,000Frenchmen, led by KingJoseph.Unfortunately, the Spanishbroke and ran, leaving theBritish infantry to do most ofthe work.
After liberating western Spain bytaking the fortresses of CiudadRodrigo and Badajoz, Wellesleymoved north-east. His aim- toinvade France.
Just north-east ofCiudad Rodrigo,Wellesley won acrushing victory nearSalamanca againstMarshal Marmont.
With this final victoryagainst King Joseph, theFrench were driven outof Spain. Wellesleymoved into France.Wellesley defeated 3French armies atVitoria, in 1813.
After winningseveral victorieson the Franco-Spanishfrontier, Wellesleywon the finalvictory of thePeninsular war in1814, at the cityof Toulouse.