Battle of Braga (1809)
|Battle of Braga (1809)|
|Part of the Peninsular War|
Map of the Battle of Braga
|Commanders and leaders|
|Nicolas Soult||Baron von Eben|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Braga or Battle of Póvoa de Lanhoso or Battle of Carvalho d'Este (20 March 1809) saw an Imperial French corps led by Marshal Nicolas Soult attack a Portuguese army commanded by Baron Christian Adolph Friedrich von Eben. Soult's professional soldiers slaughtered large numbers of their opponents, who were mostly badly disciplined and poorly armed militia. The action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Braga is situated about 45 kilometres (28 mi) north-northeast of Porto (Oporto).
The British won a tactical victory over Soult's II Corps in the Battle of Corunna on 16 January 1809. However, the Royal Navy soon evacuated the army from northwest Spain. Freed from British interference, Soult planned to invade northern Portugal. From Ourense in Spain, the French marched south to seize Chaves, Portugal before moving west toward Braga. A short distance east of Braga the French came upon the Portuguese army, but Soult waited a few days for all his troops to arrive. During this time the mutinous Portuguese murdered their commander Bernardim Freire de Andrade, leaving Eben in charge. Once he was ready, Soult crushed his adversaries without much trouble. The next action was the First Battle of Porto.
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