Battles of El Bruch

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Battles of El Bruch
Part of Peninsular War
Bataille de Bruc.jpg
The ''sometent'' at Bruc (1880), by Ramon Martí Alsina
Date6 June and 14 June 1808
Location41°34′48″N 1°46′49″E / 41.58000°N 1.78028°E / 41.58000; 1.78028
Result 1st: Spanish victory
2nd: Spanish victory
First French Empire French Empire Spain Kingdom of Spain
Commanders and leaders
First French Empire François de Schwarz
First French Empire Joseph Chabran
Spain Antoni Franch i Estalella
Spain Joan Baiget
3,800–5,000 regulars 2,000 regulars and militia
Casualties and losses
6 June:
360 dead
800 wounded
60 captured
1 gun captured
Total: 1,220
14 June:
83 dead
274 wounded
Total: 357
Grand total: 1,577
6 June:
20 dead
80 wounded
Total: 100
14 June:
15 dead
50 wounded
Total: 65
Grand total: 165
Peninsular war: Spanish uprising 1808
This is a stopgap mapping solution, while attempts are made to resolve technical difficulties with {{OSM Location map}}
  current battle

The two battles of the Bruch (Spanish: Batallas del Bruch; Catalan: Batalles del Bruc) were engagements fought successively, at El Bruc, near Barcelona, Catalonia, on 6 and 14 June 1808, during the Peninsular War, by French troops commanded by Brigadier General François de Schwarz and General of Division Joseph Chabran against Spanish volunteers and mercenaries led by General Antoni Franch i Estalella and Joan Baget.

The result of these battles and actions was a Spanish victory.[1]


The previous month's uprising in Madrid had put Iberia in revolt against French rule.

June 6[edit]

The French detachment of 3,800 soldiers under General of Brigade François Xavier de Schwarz left Barcelona on June 4, advancing in the direction of LleidaSaragossa. A rainstorm that day slowed their march considerably, giving time for local Spanish forces, composed of militia from the neighboring villages, volunteers (sometent), and Swiss and Walloon soldiers from the Barcelona garrison (2,000 men), to mobilize for action. The Spaniards were led by General Antoni Franch i Estalella and deployed along the Bruc Pass.

The resulting stand was a success,[1] and the French under General Schwarz were turned back to Barcelona with the loss of 360 dead, 800 wounded, 60 prisoners, and one gun captured. The Spanish also captured a French Imperial Eagle.[2]

French army[edit]

Statue of Antoni Franch i Estalella at Castells d'Igualada square
Montserrat mountains viewed from the Bruc
  • Schwartz Column - Brigadier-General Francis Xavier Schwartz, Commander-in-Chief
    • 1st Regiment Neapolitan of the line (2 battalions - 1940 men)
    • 2nd Line Regiment Switzerland (3rd battalion - 580 men)
    • 2nd Regiment of the line (3rd battalion - 610 men)
    • 1st Regiment of Chasseurs Neapolitan (2 squadrons - 160 men)
    • 3rd Regiment Provisional cuirassiers (1 squadron - 100 men)
    • 11th Italian artillery company (section 1 - 2 guns)

Spanish forces[edit]

  • General Antoni Franch i Estalella, Commander-in-Chief
    • 260 regulars and militia (Captain José Viñas)
    • 200 regulars and militia (Francesc Riera Balaguer)

June 14[edit]

A second French sortie on June 14, led by General of Division Joseph Chabran, succeeded only in putting to the torch several buildings in El Bruc after having been defeated and repelled by the Spanish forces led by Joan Baget. The following day, the Spanish attacked the French in their withdrawal to Barcelona, inflicting more than 500 dead and wounded on Chabran's troops.[3]

French army[edit]

  • First Division - General of Division Joseph Chabran, Commander-in-Chief
    • Brigade: Brigadier-General Goulas
      • 7th Regiment of the line (2 battalions - 1785 men)
      • 16th Regiment of the line (3rd battalion - 789 men)
    • Brigade: Brigadier-General Nicolas
      • 2nd Regiment of the line (3rd battalion - 610 men)
      • 37th Regiment of the line [3rd battalion - 789 men)
      • 56th Regiment of the line (4th Battalion - 833 men)
      • 93rd Regiment of the line (3rd battalion - 792 men)

Spanish forces[edit]

  • Commander Joan Baget, Commander-in-Chief
    • Four companies of volunteers (soldiers of Extremadura regiment and militia)
    • Wallon Guards
    • Swiss regiment Wimpffen (300 men)
    • 300 militia (Antoni Franch)
    • 100 militia (Captain José Viñas)
    • Sallen residents (60 men led by the vicar Ramón Mas)
    • Patriots (100 men)
    • 5 guns


The Spanish conventional warfare proceeded with the Battle of Girona.

See also[edit]



  • Gates, David (2001). The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81083-2.
  • Pigeard, Alain (2004). Dictionnaire des batailles de Napoléon (in French). Paris: Tallandier.
  • Rodríguez-Solís, Enrique (1895). Los guerrilleros de 1808: Historia popular de la Guerra de la Independencia (in Spanish). Vol. I. Calle de Balmes.

Further reading[edit]

  • Finestres, Charles (2008). Timbals de guerra al Bruc (in Catalan). Jordi & Moliner, Antoni.
  • Oman, Sir Charles William Chadwick (1902). A History of the Peninsular War: 1807–1809. Vol. I. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved 1 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dos de Mayo Uprising
Napoleonic Wars
Battles of El Bruch
Succeeded by
Capture of the Rosily Squadron