Peninsular War

Apr 2019
13
On my horse.
#91
At least there was some expectations of gaining Portuguese territories, both in the Iberian Peninsula and overseas. By the way, Spain gained the fortress of Olivença/Olivenza in the War of the Oranges in 1801, and provided forces for the occupation of Portugal during the first French Invasion, in 1807.
Do you know of any books in English that go into Franco-Spanish relations from the beginning of the Revolution to somewhere around the Treaty of Fontainebleau ?
 
Oct 2015
5,183
Matosinhos Portugal
#92
johnincornwall Mau Mau Maria Bad Bad Maria

Olivença is Portuguese territory .

well I'd better drink my glass of Port wine and watch the football match Braga vs Porto for the cup of Portugal
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,286
Spain
#94
Which benefits did Spain get by being a French ally ?
Not benefits at all. In fact, the French - Spanish alliance from 1796 onwards....was not based on benefits. Spain wanted to be neutral... but for being neutral. you needed to have an excellent diplomatic man.. a kind of Bismarck or Talleyrand... or Ferdinand II (V).... but nor Charles IV was Ferdinand II nor Godoy was Talleyrand.
Nor British (attacking neutral ships) nor French respected neutrality (interventions in Netherlands, German States, Genoa, Venetia, Pope´s States, Tuscany etc etc)...

Certainly.. Spanish naval power was enough to avoid France could conquer the Seaborne Dominions... and land power was enough to avoid Great Britain could conquer the same overseas Dominions...but Spain had not power to opposite Britain on the waves and France in land!!!
After peace of Geneve... Britain considered Spain as enemy.. in fact, during the short alliance (1793 - 1795). they had trouble (in Toulon for example) and not British support in land in Northern spain for example.

Here in the Memorias del Príncipe de la Paz, Don Manuel Godoy you can read the reasons because Spain declared war on Britain... (Volume 1, Chapters from XXX to XXXIII). Godoy wrote:

1st: The fail in siege of Toulon was caused by Britain (Well, I am not sure but I am explaining Godoy and the reasons because in 1796 the alliance with France). (page 354)

2nd: The Treaty between Great Britain and United States on november 24th, 1794.. when Britain and Spain were allied. A treaty Britain never informed to Madrid.

3rd: The unfulfilled obligation of devolution of the mutual load recovered to French. (pages 355 and 356)

4th: The illegal appropriation of the Spanish ship Santiago. Santiago depertured from Lima loaded with 96 millions reales (around 600 millions euros in 2018). It was taken by French corsairs and retaken by British navy 24 hours later. According with the treaty between Godoy (Spain) and Lord Saint - Helen (UK).. they had to return the cargo ... they never did.

5th: the confiscation of naval effects legally purchased in the Netherlands and transported by Dutch vessels to Spain

6th: The incessant contraband that the British subjects did in the Spanish dominions.

7th: the total lack of British support in the sustained military operations against the French in the north of Spain. .

All these issues were commited when Spain and Britain were allied. After 1795.. Spain was neutral. On page 357 you can read what Godoy wrote about the talking with Pitt.. He said he didn´t accept a Neutral Spain... "all or nothing", he said. We cannont make difference between neutral and enemies. ç

So the anti-nature alliance between the Catholic Monarchy and the French revolution took place because Britain didn´t accept the Spanish neutrality.. As you can read on page 378... Spain wanted to be neutral... but it was impossible... it was necessary to chose between a war with Britain or a new war against France...Spain prefered the war with England because a war against UK... could cause damage in our naval commerce but it was not a threat to the Spanish Dominions in the Indies nor Peninsula.. whilst a war against France... it was a great danger for the territories in Peninsula.. a great threat to the Monarchy and the empty of Power.

Well.. Godoy´s opinon explained he had to chose between two evil..and he decided to support France because a war against France would have been more terrible than a war against UK.

Personally I would have prefered a alliance with Britain from 1776. But I only tried to explain why Godoy (using his words) decided the alliance with France.

Regards
 
Feb 2016
4,313
Japan
#96
You're not really understanding the common soldier mentality.


How so?
It was accepted at the time that cities that refused to surrender were going to be sacked.

Likewise it was, unfairly and incorrectly, reported and spread amongst the soldiers that citizens of Badajoz were assisting the defenders .... thus the harsh treatment of the people and the breakdown in discipline.
 
Nov 2010
7,547
Cornwall
#98
How so?
It was accepted at the time that cities that refused to surrender were going to be sacked.

Likewise it was, unfairly and incorrectly, reported and spread amongst the soldiers that citizens of Badajoz were assisting the defenders .... thus the harsh treatment of the people and the breakdown in discipline
How so? Because yer average Irish ex-convict doesn't know who the population are and who's side they are on. (I don't know what you are doing but you are pasting outside the quote marks somehow, have to type them in!)

Isn't 1776 too early ? Before the Revolution there are few reasons for Spain to be closely aligned to Britain.
As a rule Spain and Britain had colonial issues, and entering an alliance might also mean war with France on land.
Very very complex. War of the Spanish Succession and all that. Half of Spain was on each side - basically!
 
Feb 2016
4,313
Japan
#99
No. I dont know how I did that either.

Relations between Irish soldiers and the locals were generally better as the locals assumed Irish = good Catholics. English/Scottish = heretical Protestants.
English soldiers would pretend to be catholic to get cheaper goods.

Regardless, Badajoz, Rodrigo and San Sebastián were all sacked. Badajoz and San Sebastián suffered extensive atrocities ... Cuidad Rodrigo less brutality towards civilians but soldiers still ignored officers and looted at will.
 
Last edited:

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,006
Canary Islands-Spain
Not benefits at all. In fact, the French - Spanish alliance from 1796 onwards....was not based on benefits. Spain wanted to be neutral... but for being neutral. you needed to have an excellent diplomatic man.. a kind of Bismarck or Talleyrand... or Ferdinand II (V).... but nor Charles IV was Ferdinand II nor Godoy was Talleyrand.
Nor British (attacking neutral ships) nor French respected neutrality (interventions in Netherlands, German States, Genoa, Venetia, Pope´s States, Tuscany etc etc)...

Certainly.. Spanish naval power was enough to avoid France could conquer the Seaborne Dominions... and land power was enough to avoid Great Britain could conquer the same overseas Dominions...but Spain had not power to opposite Britain on the waves and France in land!!!
After peace of Geneve... Britain considered Spain as enemy.. in fact, during the short alliance (1793 - 1795). they had trouble (in Toulon for example) and not British support in land in Northern spain for example.

Here in the Memorias del Príncipe de la Paz, Don Manuel Godoy you can read the reasons because Spain declared war on Britain... (Volume 1, Chapters from XXX to XXXIII). Godoy wrote:

1st: The fail in siege of Toulon was caused by Britain (Well, I am not sure but I am explaining Godoy and the reasons because in 1796 the alliance with France). (page 354)

2nd: The Treaty between Great Britain and United States on november 24th, 1794.. when Britain and Spain were allied. A treaty Britain never informed to Madrid.

3rd: The unfulfilled obligation of devolution of the mutual load recovered to French. (pages 355 and 356)

4th: The illegal appropriation of the Spanish ship Santiago. Santiago depertured from Lima loaded with 96 millions reales (around 600 millions euros in 2018). It was taken by French corsairs and retaken by British navy 24 hours later. According with the treaty between Godoy (Spain) and Lord Saint - Helen (UK).. they had to return the cargo ... they never did.

5th: the confiscation of naval effects legally purchased in the Netherlands and transported by Dutch vessels to Spain

6th: The incessant contraband that the British subjects did in the Spanish dominions.

7th: the total lack of British support in the sustained military operations against the French in the north of Spain. .

All these issues were commited when Spain and Britain were allied. After 1795.. Spain was neutral. On page 357 you can read what Godoy wrote about the talking with Pitt.. He said he didn´t accept a Neutral Spain... "all or nothing", he said. We cannont make difference between neutral and enemies. ç

So the anti-nature alliance between the Catholic Monarchy and the French revolution took place because Britain didn´t accept the Spanish neutrality.. As you can read on page 378... Spain wanted to be neutral... but it was impossible... it was necessary to chose between a war with Britain or a new war against France...Spain prefered the war with England because a war against UK... could cause damage in our naval commerce but it was not a threat to the Spanish Dominions in the Indies nor Peninsula.. whilst a war against France... it was a great danger for the territories in Peninsula.. a great threat to the Monarchy and the empty of Power.

Well.. Godoy´s opinon explained he had to chose between two evil..and he decided to support France because a war against France would have been more terrible than a war against UK.

Personally I would have prefered a alliance with Britain from 1776. But I only tried to explain why Godoy (using his words) decided the alliance with France.

Regards

What you're describing was the main strategic line of Spain through the 18th century

During the Golden Century, Spain achieved both, naval and land military superiority over its enemies in Europe, a feat any other European power could do. However, Spain lost both to its enemies: land superiority to France, sea rule to England.

Bourbon Spain had one thing clear: choose fighting on the seas, or over land fields, but not both. And so the Spanish navy of the 18th century grew to a third and then second position, second always in performance. Sea routes were kept open, Spanish privatering devastated its enemies in the successive wars and troops were transported in large quantities through long distances. The expedition to Sacramento of 1776-1777 involved the displacement of 9,000 soldiers in 99 ships, 10,000 kms away. Not even the UK could achieve this.

This could be done because of one reason: peace and alliance with France. The Spanish army was kept at a moderate size, and fully focused to its Atlantic and Mediterran fronts. Guard of the Pyrenees existed of course, but that was a safe area for almost a century.

The French Revolution changed everything: huge amounts of money were diverted from the Navy to the Army, which was increased to confront the new menace to the north, while neglecting and reducing the navy capabilities. This dramatic change put Spain on a very difficult position.

The solution was clear for Godoy: turn back to the geoestrategical situation of 1770, even if an alliance with Revolutionary France was needed. So he tried to replicate what worked well before.

Financial and military aid given to Napoleon, in order to support his land campaigns in Europe, made this option imperfect. The fault is again on Napoleon: had him guaranteed Spain its continental safety, the Spanish could focuse on the sea warfare, which was what the Spanish needed in order to mantain their empire, whatever the colour of the French government