Talk:Battle of Corunna

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anyone know the names of any of the Royal Navy ships which evacuated the British? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 29 March 2008 (UTC)


This article is full of misinformation, the most significant is within the context of the casualties. The casualties for the British are more in the line of 900 rather than 8,000. Total British casualties can be attributed to roughly 6,000 (adding Corunna) taking into account privations suffered within the campaign as a whole, but within this single battle, ths casualties were 900. I would also not classify this battle as a French victory. This battle was fought in a rearguard fashion to allow the British army to successfully evacuate to the sea. In this strategic aim, they succeeded. Also, in doing so, the British defeated the French assaults upon their positions, reflecting a tactical superiority as well. If French victory is to remain within the article, it can be better qualified as "Phyrric" victor or what not.

I think this argument holds up. Changing result to "British victory", plain and simple. Albrecht 21:27, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I quibble on some of the details which I shall have a think about before editing. The last section of this article needs serious work the Dunkirk analogy is especially troublesome. Far from giving a positive bounce the death of John Moore (a whig) permanantly destroyed Whig support for the War making the existence of the Tory government tenuous. The whigs contained many who had never wanted a war but from 1789 had wanted the revolution of france imported to Britain. Moore's death brought most of the remaining whigs into open hostility to the war. Where the comparison is stronger is wrt to the rescued troops making up part of the army that landed in portugal under wellington.Alci12 11:27, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
There's possibly a problem with internal consistency in this article. The campaign as a whole in 1808-9 was indisputably a French victory. However this article states that the French intent for the battle was to destroy the British army and the British intent was to evacuate from Spain. Thus the stated result of "French strategic victory" is contradictory to the main text.Agema 20:36, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Alan Neal, MD. Lugo 1809[edit]

I am sorry, my English is very limited.

I am the author of the book: "The Aio report", a documented study on the roman walls of Lugo, with a special dedication to topology, geometry and military engineering.

Alan Neal was an English doctor who accompanied to General Moore in his campaign against Napoleón in 1809. I would like to have more information about Mr. Neal as well as of the interesting drawings that he made of the campaign in the northwest of Spain. In the book I have used an engraving of Neal to make a topographic study (virtual space 3D) You can see it at:

The book is also a denunciation of the form as it is interpreted today, the fortress, by the "active forces and the official institutions". (To see: "The Chinese Tower ", clear sample of a rooted error).

The book tries to demonstrate that the roman wall was an unconquerable technological strength, that their towers had a essential function and like, its only existence, horrifies to those "overwhelming institutions".

The last remainders of the towers disappeared in 1836, when the wall was adapted for the modern war. The time and lack of memory they caused erroneous current military interpretation.

See the summary:

See: ROMAN WALL of LUGO (Trilogy. Experimental simultaneous translation)

IN PRAESENTIA (The Aio report) PRESENT of the wall and its documented links.

Warm greetings --Ulises Sarry 22:36, 14 October 2006 (UTC) --Ulises Sarry 21:44, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

NPOV summary outcome[edit]

There seems to be a dispute over describing the outcome. Different people regard it as a British victory (the British achieved their objective of withdrawing) and others as a French victory (the French held the battlefieid at the end). Why is "British withdrawal" not the best NPOV description? --Henrygb 10:21, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


It seems to have only one - POV - source. Spanishonion 22:02, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Display problems in Firefox[edit]

Looking at the article in Firefox the first three section "edit" links appear in the middle of section 3. If this is a general issue with Firefox (rather than a just me issue) does any skilled programmer there know how to fix this?

Springnuts 19:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


I have been quietly keeping an eye on this article for some time and if this is an example of the sort of thing that can happen with the Wikipaedia then things do not bode well. It was recently revised from a very unsatisfactory version that was full of misinformation, erroneous statements and was definitely non-neutral in tone and outlook. This used quotations in the body of the article in order to make comments, or statements of opinion, that were unbalanced and partial. Whilst its replacement was far from perfect it was an improvement on the earlier version but quite recently the biased quotations that were excised from this article have been reinserted. The reliability and authority of the source of these quotes, Nuñez and Smith, is open to question.

Amendments to the present article are required but at the moment the result of the pitched battle fought at Corunna has to be cleared up.

WHOSE VICTORY? The Battle of Corunna was a tactical success for the British, and this is sufficient to record it in simple terms as a "British victory". The recent alteration of the Wikipaedia entry from "French victory", to "British withdrawal" is arguably an improvement but it is still inaccurate and misleading. Using the term "British withdrawal" gives the impression that the battle resulted in failure for the British, but the British were in the process of withdrawing from Spain when the French caught up with them at Corunna. It is also wrong to declare that the result of the battle was a "British withdrawal" rather than "French repulsed" or "French withdrawal" which was the immediate result of the day's fighting.

Some people have asserted that the French were left in control of the battlefield but this is a distortion of the facts: it was the British that were left in control of the battlefield having successfully driven off all the French attacks. The British then posted pickets for the night and the embarkation was able to continue unopposed. The French returned to the battlefield only when the British withdrew as part of their evacuation. The last ships sailed on the 18th, surely a measure of the success of the British in battle on 16th.

The facts are that:

  1. the British repelled the French attacks and even gained some ground;
  2. the French retreated from the battlefield;
  3. the British were sufficiently in possession to post pickets on the battlefield overnight, and that their situation was then sufficiently secure to enable them to continue with their embarkation in relative safety;

which indicates that Corunna was a pitched battle occurring in a single day and ending in victory for the British.

THE QUOTATIONS Quoting from Nuñez & Smith is very unsatisfactory. I do not know what authority they are supposed to have that makes them worthy of being referred to but it is evident from reading the original article that the authors are very biased against the British, and quite untrustworthy as guides. Reading their article makes it very difficult to take them seriously, which is a great shame because they write with enthusiasm and include one or two interesting titbits but this is compromised by their approach.

Nuñez & Smith are quite wrong in their quoted assertion which I repeat here:

  • "Although with some problems and casualties, the British succeeded in embarkation. This however was not a victory in battle, they just succeeded in retreat. When the dust settled, it was the French army that held the battlefield and Corunna itself, not the British...In our opinion the battle of Corunna was and still is a decent cloak to cover the shame of an embarkation."

Contrary to the opinion of Messrs. Nuñez & Smith this was indeed a "victory in battle" for the British, because all the French attacks were repulsed and so over the next two days the British were able to embark upon the fleet that would take them home. Neither was it "a decent cloak to cover the shame of an embarkation" - it had no such affect on the British people or their government, they were well aware that the campaign had been a failure.

It is important not to confuse the failure of the campaign with the tactical success of the Battle of Corunna (which also achieved strategic success by enabling embarkation of the army).

It is worth mentioning here that the quotation attributed to Nuñez & Smith is taken from a website that appear to be closely related to "Napoleon, His Army and Enemies" and like the latter site it contains considerable anti-English bias. For all the work and apparent detail on these sites they are tainted with partiality and also with blatant ill-will towards certain targets and this renders them untrustworthy. Fortunately the bias is easy to detect although it might deceive the unwary. I suspect they are the source of some of the strange anti-British and pro-Polish statements and assertions that crop up from time to time in Napoleonic articles.

More misleading content has been reinserted into the present article. For instance someone has apparently insisted upon again including the section from the previous version of the article that stated:

  • "Moore ignored the advice of General La Romana and shunned his Spanish allies. With Napoleon himself leading an army in Spain the British were driven into a precipitate flight toward the far northern port of Corunna near the Bay of Biscay."

Note that the language used is yet another display of partiality: "ignored", "shunned". Flight there was, but neither the first nor the second sentence attempt to give a satisfactory explanation of Sir John Moore's strategy and the problems facing him.

Here’s another example:

  • “Moore, in his obsession to reach the sea, had ‘placed his army in an impossible situation and then, after days of uncertainty and vacillation, had been chased half way across Spain ignoring every position of strength at which he might have turned and fought back successfully’."

The above sentence doesn't make sense, and rather than inform it just appears to be a stick to beat the British commander with, using quotes so as to make a critical statement and to make it appear authoritative. (In fact this is largely taken from Nuñez & Smith but to be fair to them it is possible that it is relating a statement of a judgement placed upon Sir John Moore by the government or perhaps the newspapers, it is difficult to be sure because the piece is poorly written. However it chimes exactly with the partisan - or at least anti-British - approach of the authors of the piece.)

I don't mean to be crass, but the above two examples are hardly my inventions and constitute extremely unconvincing examples of anti-British POV, considering that until Liddell-Hart and Chandler came along, most British historians (Oman, Fortescue) were scathingly critical of Moore (Chandler, of course, is downright hero-worshipful). Again, you're more than welcome to shed light on "Moore's strategy and the problems facing him," (I personally do think the retreat was militarily wise, if poorly executed—but to the Spanish, it was nothing less than a betrayal), but to complain of partiality here is a bit of a stretch: La Romana was an able general who urged Moore to turn and fight at several strategically-sound locations. Moore, for better or worse, ignored his pleas. Romana's men were then left to fend for themselves and bloodied Napoleon's armies as best they could (a fact apparently lost amid all the frenzy over red-coated heroism at Sahagun, Benavente and Cacabelos). Frankly, this being one of the most controversial campaigns in British history, I'm surprised that you'd appeal to an anti-British bias. In fact, Wikipedia as a whole is systematically anti-French, especially regarding military history. Albrecht 01:19, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

The above quote from the Wiki entry is misleading because this sentence gives the impression that there was no resistance, and no rearguard actions and also ignores Lugo where Moore found a suitable place to make a stand but found Soult's pursuing forces too strung out. Let's not forget that Corunna itself was a place where Moore made a stand.

And there's more distortion and falsehood that follows on from the biased rewrite of the battle itself:

  • "That night the British abandoned the battlefield and fled to their boats. The French pursuit was swift, and by morning French guns had opened fire on the sloops and transports in the bay. Only the spirited resistance of Corunna's small Spanish garrison under General Alcedo kept the French at bay while the British escaped."

Really, this smacks of more propaganda and makes it sound like a rout. (It does however raise an interesting point of concerning the plight of the inhabitants of Corunna, or at least of the Spanish garrison.) I refer to my paragraph "Whose Victory" above that spells out the facts.

History must be told with truthfulness, fairness and impartiality. An NPOV is vital and this is lacking here. This article needs rewriting, and I would do it myself but I suspect that there are people with axes to grind who will insist on adding their slant. For this reason I have placed my comments here to add to the discussion and hopefully it might make a contribution to resolving this.

Chasseur 21:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

And I suppose the alternate version was a paragon of objectivity and meticulous historical research:
  • before the British army could see combat, the spanish armies were smashed by Napoleon's army and the small British force found themselves extended, facing the French alone and without supplies
  • when word arrived that the French were coming, "They all stood as one and formed in their companies and regiments, ready and eager to meet the enemy."
  • threw the French out in bloody hand-to-hand combat
  • The evacuation, however, was a complete success and led to some 27,000 men being saved to fight another day. (a flat-out lie—many of the survivors of Moore's campaign were so sick they never took up arms again)
  • the army that defeated the French invasion under Soult and subsequently drove the French from the Iberian peninsula. (Wait, didn't the Spanish and the Portuguese help just a little?)
  • the battle of Cacabelos where Irish rifleman Thomas Plunkett shot French general Auguste Colbert
  • a series of tenacious and vexing British rear-guard actions made Napoleon grow tired of the pursuit (Not quite.)
  • Far from being a bedraggled and decimated army, the British repulsed the French cavalry
  • The French attacks were uniformly defeated (Really? Uniformly?)
  • Despite the withdrawal of the British army from the Iberian Peninsula, it had against all odds demonstrated itself against a larger and better supplied foe.
  • it was a general morale success, much like Dunkirk would become in the Second World War, and did much to contribute to the reputation of the British soldier which arose during and following the Napoleonic Wars. (nationalistic vain-glory of the worst kind, not to mention shoddy history)
Nunez & Smith was an Internet site used for pure convenience; they should by all means be replaced with better sources as we come across them. But to replace them with what the anonymous editors had a habit of introducing—with nothing; no sources, no citations at all, in fact, large scale deletions of neutrally-voiced narratives—is a huge step backwards. If you examine the History of the article you'll see I made comments like "Again, don't hesitate to incorporate this new material into the article. But I don't see why you insist on removing so much of the existing narrative," ([1]) and "Feel free to contribute to the article, but please don't inexplicably remove whole chunks of it, including cited statements." ([2]) Well? Where are the revisions I so openly welcomed? Where are the neutral sources? I've got Chandler right here on my shelf—why didn't you add anything of the sort? In this light, I find your complaints extremely disingenuous and unconvincing. It should be no problem for you to introduce statements, as you have done above, to restore balance to the British side. No one will oppose you. So far, I'm the only one who has called for the measured introduction of more than one point-of-view. But the facts are these: no historical consensus exists labelling this battle a British victory. Spanish and French historiography has taken the opposite route, and, barring the heirs of Whig history who so methodically dominated the field of military studies in the last century, there seems to be increasing ambiguity in English-language accounts as well. As long as all these views are presented in their due proportions, we will have done our job. Albrecht 20:07, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Nunez & Smith are part of an internet site which is not just biased against the British, it is frankly racist towards them. Secondly, they are not primary sources, many of their quotes and opinions are conveniently unsourced when it suits them, and they have no authority as respectable historians of publishable standard I am aware of. Consequently, there's no particularly good justification for attibuting anything to them at all.Agema 13:37, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I am new to Wikipaedia. Did you alter the formatting of my "NPOV" entry? If so was there something wrong with it?

I will take your suggestion and I hope to find the time to introduce statements in due course. I have information from primary sources that will prove useful (and can provide interesting and entertaining reading for those wishing to follow things up). Hopefully we can do something to sort this out. In the meantime I have to get accustomed to Wikipaedia and then concentrate on enjoying Christmas and the New Year. Have a good one. Chasseur 10:17, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any hard-and-fast formatting rules; I simply found the many line breaks and headings a bit distracting, so I took the liberty of reducing them. Hope to see you back soon. Albrecht 01:19, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Naval aspects[edit]

The article does not cover the naval aspects of the battle. It would be good to have more background to the events described by Miss Susan Gay's Falmouth chronology:

This was not a naval battle, nor were any ships involved in the battle of Corunna. The Battle of Corunna was fought on land between two armies on 16th January 1809. The evacuation by ship concerns the retreat of the army from Spain via the port of Corunna and is a strategic matter which pertains to the campaign. There really ought to be a separate article dealing with the campaign as a whole including the retreat.Maglone (talk) 21:06, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed naval should be covered for context. Naval aspect now covered and Falmouth ex added & ref'd. Tttom1 (talk) 20:33, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

British Victory[edit]

I have changed the stated result of the battle from "French victory" to "British victory". (The "French victory" was marked by a footnote for Chandler p114 and p657. The reference is in error: Chandler does not mention Corunna on p114, and on p657 he states that Corunna was a victory for the British, not a defeat.)

The matter of "who won the battle" appears to have been a matter of contention in this article, and having researched the matter I have provided evidence and arguments to support my contention that the British succeeded in battle: little has been provided to justify claims to a French victory and in the case of the Chandler reference the "evidence" has been mistaken.

The Battle of Corunna (and the unsuccessful campaign during which it was fought) has been covered comprehensively by historians. Napier, Oman and Fortescue give the British the victory, however there are notable French sources that recognise the success of the British at Corunna. Amongst contemporaries General Sarrazin, - a Frenchman, and a great admirer of Soult - firmly declared the battle as a British victory, and in his memoirs Marshal Jourdan remarked of Marshal Soult that after the battle 'His first dispatch was not that of a general who imagined that he had been successful' (Memoires Militaires, p127). Oman also mentions that in his first dispatch to the Emperor after the battle, Soult wrote that he could do no more against the English till he should have received large reinforcements.

At Corunna the French attacked the British and were repulsed. This was no mere skirmish but was hard fought: the British lost their commander and also their second-in-command was badly wounded, the French lost some of their brigadier generals. The attackers were unable to force the defenders from their position and were obliged to return to the position they occupied before the battle.

Supporters of the claim that the battle was a French victory appear to do so on the ground that the British troops embarked after it: as if the whole object of the retreat from Sahagun to Corunna had not been to embark, as if the hopes of the French had not been to prevent their embarkation and to force them to surrender, and as if, in spite of the efforts of the French, the British did not carry their point, and succeed in embarking.

General Sarrazin writes of the battle: "Whatever Buonaparte may assert, Soult was most certainly repulsed at Corunna; and the English gained a defensive victory, though dearly purchased with the loss of their brave general Moore, who was alike distinguished for his private virtues, and his military talents". (History of the War in Spain and Portugal from 1807 to 1814, General Sarrazin (from an American edition published in Philadelphia in 1815, inc. Biographic memoir of marshal Soult, originally published November 1811, p260)

'France militaire : histoire des armées françaises de terre et de mer de 1792 à 1837' provides a brief description of the battle and also states "Ayant neanmoins reunit les troupes a la Corogne, il repousse glorieusement les Francais, et meurt sur the champ de bataille." which (with my school French) translates as "Having nevertheless reunited the troops at Corunna, he [Moore] gloriously repulsed the French and died on the field of battle." (France militaire : histoire des armées françaises de terre et de mer de 1792 à 1837. Tome 4 / ouvrage réd. par une Société de militaires et de gens de lettres,... ; rev. et publ. par A. Hugo,..p110 - LINK

As for the other references I am afraid I have no access to Gates's work (whichever it is, as it is not specified), and the article by "Nunez and Smith" is very unsatisfactory indeed, as is the site on which it appears. As stated earlier in this discussion it appears to be biased and unreliable so I have deleted the link to it.

Sufficient distinction needs to be made between the battle of Corunna and the campaign that it was part of. The problems of the campaign would best be covered in an article dedicated to it rather than in one that specifically concerns the battle.

Having researched the battle making use of what British and French sources I could find, I intend to revise this article and try to clearly and succinctly describe the battle. I will tidy up the format add to the references. I am learning about the format of Wikipedia so a bit of trial and error will be involved.

Maglone (talk) 23:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The result has again been changed to French victory. I thought , that the consent was French strategic victory, tactical British victory ? Or what is the opinion? Anne-theater (talk) 23:49, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
The "sources" for "French victory" are 1)internet websites, 2)not published, 3)make NO mention of "French strategic victory". All of which fail as reliable sources. User:Schpinbo instead of posting on the talk page has seen fit to edit war over this issue.
English sources used by the internet sites:
The Spanish ulcer: a history of the Peninsular War, by David Gates, 114. Gates states Corunna was a British victory and goes into detail why Moore is vilified in The Times paper.
The Peninsular War: a new history, by Charles J. Esdaile; makes no mention of victory or defeat.
Corunna, by Christopher Hibbert, 189-190. Hibbert indicates that Wellesley sailed for Portugal on April 15th and that Wellesley's opinion of Moore's actions skillful and imaginative. Nothing said of British defeat or French victory.
In the peninsula with a French hussar, by Albert Jean Michel de Rocca. Primary source.
History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France, from the Year 1807 to the Year 1814, by Sir William Francis Patrick Napier. Inaccessable.
Memoirs of a Napoleonic officer Jean-Baptiste Barres, by Maurice Barres. Primary source.
The French Army; a military-political history by Paul-Marie De La Gorce. Inaccessable.
History of the Consulate and the Empire of France Under Napoleon, by Adolphe Thiers. No mention of Moore or Corunna.
Corunna 1809, by Philip J. Haythornthwaite. "......the battle could legitimately be regarded as a British victory."
When checking the sources "used" by the internet websites that User:Schpinbo is using for "French strategic victory", the result is "British victory" with NO mention of a French strategic victory. --Kansas Bear (talk) 23:19, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Add in;
Ground warfare: An International Encyclopedia, Vol.1, by Stanley Sandler, 214; "Costly British victory in the Peninsular War.".
The Campaigns of Napoleon, by David G. Chandler, 657. "Sarrazin (a former French commander) writes "Whatever Buonaparte may assert, Soult was most certainly repulsed at Corunna; and the English gained a defensive victory..".
A history of France from the earliest times to the present day, Volume 3, by William Deans, p183;"Thus Marshal Soult, with all his advantages both in point of superiority of numbers and strength of artillery, was signally defeated in the battle of Corunna..."
Military Commanders: The 100 Greatest Throughout History, by Nigel Cawthorne, p99;"But outside Corunna, he turned and defeated Soult."
The Portuguese Army of the Napoleonic Wars, by Otto von Pivka, Michael Roffe, p5;"The army disintegrates under the gruelling conditions; it partly redeems itself by its defensive victory at Corunna on 16 January 1809, to cover its own embarkation." --Kansas Bear (talk) 23:31, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

I have now added the printed sources that User: Kansas_Bear felt was necessary. It should be pointed out that s/he is wrong about Hibbert making no reference to a British defeat. S/he is also wrong that the internet sources used make no reference to a French victory, whether strategic or any other kind. User:Kansas_Bear also sees fit to accuse me of knowingly "edit warring", which administrator slakr has pointed out I had not previously been warned about. User:Kansas_Bear is exhibiting gate keeper behaviour:

Schpinbo (talk) 07:21, 2 January 2011 (UTC)Schpinbo

1)Wrong? Hibbert mentions "The Times" and then explains the political climate(which you so conveniently ignore) that was used to slander Moore. AND, your "reference" from Hibbert does NOT say "French victory", which is original research on your part.
2)Your unwillingness[3] to provide a published source until recently and your combative attitude(ie. edit-warring) are indicative of battleground behavior.
You DID edit war[4][5][6][7][8] over "web-site sources" that consisted of nothing more than unpublished opinion. --Kansas Bear (talk) 07:42, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I make that six reverts by Schpinbo in 24 hours, seven in just over, not just edit warring but a drastic breach of the 3 revert rule. An encyclopedia article cannot be regarded as a reliable source; Britannica for instance has many errors. Newspapers also get things wrong or distort stories to fit their own agenda. The battle was a successful rearguard action during a withdrawal and cannot be labelled as having any strategic outcome as the strategic situation was already decided.--Charles (talk) 11:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

User: Kansas_Bear is accusing me of a combative attitude. I invite any third party to read his talk, both on this page and on his own talk page, to see who is being combative. Apparently it needs to be repeated: as someone who is newer to Wikipedia than you, I was unaware - as per User:slakr's own judgment - that there was a protocol regarding "edit warring." I would like to point out to User:Charles in this regard that he is incorrect: I did not "revert" six times in 24 hours; I edited six times in 24 hours. My last three edits to the page were not reverts. While I did revert User:Kansas_Bear's reversions, I did not KNOWINGLY engage in an edit war. Congratulate yourselves, gentlemen, on having schooled me successfully in this matter.

User:Charles claims that an encyclopedia article "cannot be regarded as a reliable source." He infers, without any qualification, that anything that calls itself an "encyclopedia" must, perforce, be unreliable. I object to this. The printed source I have now provided is published by a reputable scholarly press that referees all its publications. Because there are errors in some encyclopedias does not mean that "an encyclopedia article CANNOT be regarded as a reliable source." User:Charles will doubtless be conversant with the ways in which credentialed, PhD-holding historians, not just newspapers, get things wrong or distort stories to fit their own agenda (

Let me address User:Charles repeated POV that the there could have been no strategic outcome for the Battle of Corunna, since the British intention before the battle was to withdraw from Spain and the French did not prevent that outcome. He claims a British tactical victory instead. Why? Because the French were chased off the field of battle before the British boarded their ships. However, it was the French intention that the British withdraw from Spain. The British did not simply walk out of the country: the French chased them out of Spain. It was the French, not the British, who held the field of battle. The British could have won 20 Corunnas, and each one would have been a French victory from a strategic point of view if the larger stategic goal - the expulsion of the British - would have been acheived.

User:Kansas_Bear now has a printed source, published by a reputable scholarly press, that speaks to a "French victory." I hope this will satisfy him - not that he has any right to act the gate-keeper. I maintain that Hibbert regards Corunna as the culmination of a campaign that was disastrous for the British. He may not have the words "French" and "victory" next to eachother in the passages cited, but it is clear from an analysis of the passages in question that he regards the French as having gained the ground.

Finally, User:Kansas_Bear's criticisms of me and removal of my edits by fiat have been tantamount to behaving like a vested contribtuor ( His correspondence with User:Charles also should be watched for possible "cabal" behavior (

Schpinbo (talk) 17:46, 2 January 2011 (UTC)Schpinbo

Schpinbo seems to have a good understanding of the rules when it suits him/her.--Charles (talk) 20:00, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
That I am a quick learner is something you can take at least partial credit for, Charles.--Schpinbo (talk) 20:22, 2 January 2011 (UTC)Schpinbo

User:Kansas_Bear writes in his last post: "The Peninsular War: a new history, by Charles J. Esdaile; makes no mention of victory or defeat." Such a conclusion can only be arrived upon after an amazingly narrow reading of Esdaile. If the words "French victory" or "French strategic victory" do not appear in that order on Esdaile's pages, can there be any question whatsoever what his final assessment is? Read it for yourself. "At first sight, then, British intervention had ended in humiliation and disaster. At La Coruna, true, a reverse had been inflicted on the French. However, Sir John Moore was dead, over one fifth of his army were missing, and several thousand more sick or wounded, whilst the retreat had had all the appearances of a rout." Charles Esdaile, The Peninsular War: A New History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. 155.

Schpinbo (talk) 20:18, 2 January 2011 (UTC)Schpinbo


Added new short introduction to this article, also added details of preparations for battle, a new description of the battle itself and details of what happened shortly after the battle ceased.

I have some footnotes and references to add and will attend to this shortly.

I also intend to see if I might alter the "Background" and "Aftermath" sections; the latter particularly reads as though this were an account of the campaign rather than the battle. I am reluctant to greatly alter the works of others (I know it can take quite a bit of effort to write anything) but to be fair the campaign and/or retreat from Sahagun should have their own article in Wikipedia. Hopefully no one will feel put out.

I have tried to be brief but mere summaries do not seem to be sufficient for Wikipedia so I have tried to be as comprehensive as possible without bogging things down in lots of unnecessary detail.

Maglone (talk) 15:10, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Added new "Background" section. Maglone (talk) 17:51, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Addition of References. Footnotes to text will follow. Maglone (talk) 22:00, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Addition of "Casualties" paragraph. Replaced "Analysis" with something more pertinent to the subject of the battle and less concerned with the campaign and strategic matters.Maglone (talk) 21:06, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Addition of footnotes.Maglone (talk) 22:05, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Overall campaign is a defeat for the Spanish and their British ally, Moore, while Moore saves a good part of his army at Corunna, he's been run out of Spain. That can be called a tactical victory for him, but the French have the better of the campaign strategically. I don't think you can make a case that the goal of the British army was to come to Spain and then leave it as fast as it could.Tttom1 (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The article is about the Battle of Corunna, not the whole campaign of 1808/1809 in Spain. Roughly speaking tactics only involves movements of troops on the battlefield, strategy involves their movement when not fighting. The decision to retreat and re-embark were a strategic matter not tactical. The British achieved their strategic aim of retreat and embarkation. No one is making a case that the object of the campaign was to leave quickly - the campaign was a failure and that is a matter for a separate article dealing with the campaign.
The British were in the process of leaving Spain when the French attacked. In attacking the British the hopes of the French were to prevent their embarkation and to force them to surrender. The French did not succeed and, in spite of their efforts, the British were able to carry out their plans and succeed in embarking.
The French gained nothing from the battle that they would not have got by not fighting at all so there is no justification for claiming a French strategic victory as a result of the Battle of Corunna Maglone (talk) 11:04, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The French campaign is a strategic success and the pursuit of Moore is part of that and needs to be included in the article. By removing varoius facts and refs the article has become slanted - so they have been put back. There's nothing irrelevant about stating Moore's strength with Baird (with ref) at the start of his retreat - it clarifies how difficult the march to Corunna was.Tttom1 (talk) 02:01, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Napoleon's reasons for leaving the pursuit[edit]

I have deleted the recent addition attributing Napoleon leaving the pursuit to his subordinates because of trouble with Austria as this may not be correct and it adds too much unnecessary detail.

When I first wrote the Background section I deliberately did not mention the reasons for Napoleon's departure. This is because the matter is debatable, but the main reason is that I did not wish to clutter the article with detail that is not quite relevant to the Battle of Corunna. Chandler explains that the Napoleon did not wish to be associated with failure and as Moore had escaped him he chose to be involved no longer. Further more Oman states the following: "An oft-repeated story says that the Emperor received a packet of letters from Paris while riding from Benavente to Astorga on January 1, 1809, and, after reading them by the wayside with every sign of anger, declared that he must return to France. If the tale be true, we may be sure that the papers which so moved his wrath had no reference to armaments on the Danube, but were concerned with the intrigues in Paris. There was absolutely nothing in the state of European affairs to make an instant departure from Spain necessary. On the other hand, rumours of domestic plots always touched the Emperor to the quick, and it must have been as irritating as it was unexpected to discover that his own sister and brother-in-law were dabbling in such intrigues, even though ostensibly they were but discussing what should be done if something should happen in Spain to their august relative.

Already ere leaving Benavente the Emperor had issued orders which showed that he had abandoned his hope of surrounding and crushing Moore..." (A History of the Peninsular War Vol. I 1807-1809, Oman p661)

It's very easy to clutter an article with too much information and so I have reverted to the earlier version that omits it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maglone (talkcontribs) 15:56, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Oman in A history of England p.616 clearly states that Napoleon leaves Spain to attend to the Austrians, this is a generally accepted view easily supported by refs. Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte By Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Ramsay Weston Phipps p.xlix; A History of England and Greater Britain, Arthur Lyon Cross, Macmillan, 1914, p.854. Revolutionary Europe, 1789-1815, Henry Morse Stephens, London, 1900, p. 271.Tttom1 (talk) 04:12, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

This page was recently moved to Battle of La Coruna, I've reverted it to its previous name per WP:COMMONNAME. While "La Coruna" is a valid name, a search of academic sources through the likes of JSTOR ("Corunna" - 300 / "La Coruna" - 89) and Google Scholar ("Corunna" - 584 / "La Coruna" - 7) shows that "Corunna" is used significantly more than "La Coruna"; as a result, it is the more appropriate name for the article. -- Sabre (talk) 21:54, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

The battle was a British Victory and not a "French Strategic Victory"[edit]

In this battle the British stopped the French attack and then embarked as planned. The battle did not provide a "strategic victory" for the French as the British were already planning to leave. "The British army arrived in Corunna on 11 January and would have immediately evacuated by sea but found that the transport vessels that had been ordered had not yet arrived".
The French were defeated and then the British left.
If the French had not attacked the British would still have left so how can the result (a British victory) be also a "French Strategic Victory"? It cannot. The French "Strategic Victory" had already taken place when Moore found himself deep in hostile territory with the Spanish beaten and a massive French force closing in on him. This battle did not provide a strategic victory, that had already taken place. This battle meant that the British could embark and return to fight again, rather than be captured or destroyed. It was a British victory.Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 04:48, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Its a French strategic victory because Spain's allies, the British, had to go back to England instead of remaining in Spain to fight alongside the Spanish in spite of the fact the British held their embarkation point and successfully and then fled back to England. Further, a large portion of northern Spain was lost and went under French control since the British could only hold the ground long enough to get on their boats and leave. Esdaile in The Peninsular War: A New History pp.157 -158 discusses both views of this.Tttom1 (talk) 05:16, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

edit war in info box[edit]

Please stop edit warring on 'strategic french victory' result & refs in info box. Statements used have supporting explanations on pages cited pointing out the difference of the results on the field as opposed to the results for the campaign.Tttom1 (talk) 04:54, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Please discuss your contentious reverting. Your "Statements used have supporting explanations" are not explaining anything in this case.Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 05:07, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Nothing contentious about replacing the removed referenced statements. Its edit warring to keep removing them.Tttom1 (talk) 05:35, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

How about you discuss the points raised rather than reverting back to your view?[edit]

The references being used to support the mentioned claim do not correspond with a "French Strategic Victory" at all as I will now attempt to explain:

""At first sight, then, British intervention had ended in humiliation and disaster. At La Coruna, true, a reverse had been inflicted on the French. However, Sir John Moore was dead, over one fifth of his army were missing, and several thousand more sick or wounded, whilst the retreat had had all the appearances of a rout."
--------------- This refers to the failure of the British campaign, not the battle itself. The campaign was over before the battle was fought, the French were trying to capture or destroy the British forces before they embarked, this they did not do and their attack was beaten back.

"According to The Times of London, "The fact must not be disguised ... that we have suffered a shameful disaster": Christopher Hibbert, Corunna (London: Batsford, 1961), p. 188. Carl Cavanaugh Hodge, Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800-1914 (Greenwood, 2007), p. lxxiii: "French Victory at the Battle of Corunna. Britain Forced to Evacuate Spain."
---------------- A cherry picked newspaper headline does not a source make. The "shameful disaster" was the failure of the campaign, it does not show that the French gained a "strategic victory" through this battle because it cannot.
The battle did not provide a "strategic victory" for the French as the British were already planning to leave regardless. Quoting the actual wikipedia article on the battle: "The British army arrived in Corunna on 11 January and would have immediately evacuated by sea but found that the transport vessels that had been ordered had not yet arrived."
So the French were defeated and then the British left.
If the French had not attacked the British would still have left so how can the result (a British victory i.e. the French were defeated in their attempt to stop the British) be also a "French Strategic Victory", for if the battle had not taken place the British would still have embarked on the ships.

It is undue weight being given to one sentence in one source. Against these we have three very strong sources for a British Victory and I can get many many more from the web with little effort. If you look at the page reverts, you'll find it is this "French Strategic Victory" minority view that is being repeatedly re-added, not the other way round. Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 05:06, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm afraid it is you that is cherry picking as well as nit-picking Esdaile discusses the pros & cons over several pages pertinent quotes are included in ref - to suggest that is all there is is cherry picking (more: "lost all of its baggage and been forced to destroy almost all the horses that had managed to reach La Coruna ... immense quantities of materiel... 4,000 barrels of well as the occupation of the most populated region in the whole of Spain. ... Even worse.... etc.) - and to ask for a literal quote of a general term is nit-picking.Tttom1 (talk) 05:29, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be making the argument that those saying 'British victory, French strategic victory' are saying the British didn't succeed on the field at Corunna - we are not - however, just saying 'British victory' implies that it is not 'qualified' and 'limited' - which it obviously was and which is easily demonstrated throughout sources such as those shown above: Ground warfare: An International Encyclopedia, Vol.1, by Stanley Sandler, 214; "Costly British victory in the Peninsular War.".

The Campaigns of Napoleon, by David G. Chandler, 657. "Sarrazin (a former French commander) writes "Whatever Buonaparte may assert, Soult was most certainly repulsed at Corunna; and the English gained a defensive victory..". The Portuguese Army of the Napoleonic Wars, by Otto von Pivka, Michael Roffe, p5;"The army disintegrates under the gruelling conditions; it partly redeems itself by its defensive victory at Corunna on 16 January 1809, to cover its own embarkation." In terms of the info box, 'Strategic French victory' covers the qualifications that are later presented more fully in the article.Tttom1 (talk) 07:04, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

The infobox is about this specific battle not about the strategic background to it. Trying to include the background is a case of infobox mission creep. The strategic outcome was already determined; the British were leaving and would have gone already if their transport had not been delayed. It could be said that failing to destroy the British force entirely was a French strategic failure. The battle was not in any way part of an overall French strategic success.--Charles (talk) 08:11, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Context is not mission creep. If you're saying that the British would have left Spain - in any case - and not because the French were in hot pursuit - I'd have to agree. But neither the British public at the time, nor the Spanish, thought that (or for that matter the French - who are at least honest about suffering a tactical defeat). By eliminating the context, the actual event is distorted in the info box and is at odds with the article to which it is secondary.Tttom1 (talk) 16:27, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
It astonishes me how Charlesdrakew and Gaius Octavius Princeps have decided to completely and utterly ignore the issue as it was resolved months ago. Permit me to repeat a point I made at that time (see above for original): "Let me address User:Charles repeated POV that the there could have been no strategic outcome for the Battle of Corunna, since the British intention before the battle was to withdraw from Spain and the French did not prevent that outcome. He claims a British tactical victory instead. Why? Because the French were chased off the field of battle before the British boarded their ships. However, it was the French intention that the British withdraw from Spain. The British did not simply walk out of the country: the French chased them out of Spain. It was the French, not the British, who held the field of battle. The British could have won 20 Corunnas, and each one would have been a French victory from a strategic point of view if the larger stategic goal - the expulsion of the British - would have been acheived." Schpinbo (talk) 23:11, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Regarding arguments about "consensus"; this is a logical fallacy. First, because regarding this particular issue, there is in fact no "consensus," even when we include your allies with whom you've previously worked to create such an appearance. And second, because if you had been trained as an historian, you'd realize that interpretative consensus does not historical accuracy create. Also, claims to "infobox relevence" are incorrect. Several battles in history were tactical victories for one side, and strategic victories for another - as Wikipedia itself acknowledges. The battle was fought between two evenly-sized armies. Had Soult met his Waterloo at Corunna, Moore would naturally have stayed and fought on in Spain. To suggest that the French did not win a strategic victory because the British "meant" to retreat from Spain, no matter what the French did, and therefore this cannot be considered a British defeat, is rather like saying that the British "meant" to "give" India back to the punjabs after World War Two, and therefore the British cannot be said to have "lost" their south Asian empire. Schpinbo (talk) 16:03, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

You have been warned for edit warring on this article before: READ THE ABOVE DISCUSSION.
I will however once more summarise as you seem to not comprehend.
The British were fighting the French here in order to buy time to board the ships, they defeated the French and then boarded. "French Strategic Victory" had been won BEFORE THE BATTLE WAS FOUGHT. This battle did not give the French a victory, if it had not been fought, the outcome would have been the same i.e. the British leaving. It's very simple. Furthermore, the references given do not back up your addition. The websites are not suitable sources, the other ref you added says: "French Victory at the Battle of Corunna. Britain Forced to Evacuate Spain" and also does not back up your "strategic victory" addition. It refers to the fact that the British had evacuated after the battle, something which they had planned to do regardless. "French victory" was not a result of this battle, it was a result of the British being forced to evacuate, which would have happened without the battle.
You say "it was the French intention that the British withdraw from Spain. The British did not simply walk out of the country: the French chased them out of Spain." - We are talking about the battle, not the campaign. The campaign had already been won by the French as the British were intent on leaving. The battle changed nothing and if it had not been fought it still would have changed nothing. The British won the battle and then boarded, as planned, the French attack here changed nothing therefore it did not, and could not, provide a "french strategic victory".
See above discussion for an in depth explanation.Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 16:00, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

I have been "warned about edit warring" before? GOP, your attempts to silence others using the garb of "Wikipedia bobby" are charming. Your condescension less so, I'm afraid. What it boils down to is this: to suggest that the outcome of the battle was preordained is a historical fallacy. I had to explain this to your confrere Charles - apparently I'll need to explain it to you as well. (I'll spare you a dose of your own discourteous medicine and not sugget that you "READ THE ABOVE DISCUSSION.") Soult's and Moore's armies were evenly matched, as you are well aware. While it is obviously the case that Moore called up the help of the RN given the fact that he was anticipating strategic defeat (or, he lost the campaign, as you cconcede), he had not yet known what the outcome of his action at Corunna would be. By denying the possibility that he could have delivered a proverbial Waterloo to Soult at Corunna, you are also denying that Moore would have remained in Spain had such an outcome occurred. Had Soult been crushed, we cannot eliminate the possibility that Moore would have, in fact, remained in Spain and regrouped. That is what actual, as opposed to amateur historians refer to as the role of contingency in history. That Moore nominally won the battle, in terms of battlefield tactics, is of course a given. But not so well that the OVERALL strategic situation swung in his favour: hence, the French won a strategic victory. Schpinbo (talk) 13:39, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with this analysis and comment further that the reverts in the info box on this issue have been going on for years now in spite of citations and discussions.Tttom1 (talk) 16:47, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I suppose it's good sport for some to simply remove relevant citations as well, when it suits their cause. I have every confidence their antics will continue, Tttom. Have you noticed, by the way, how they'll lay in wait for a couple of weeks, then resort to their revisionism when they think no one is looking? Schpinbo (talk) 17:47, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Claiming that the British might have tried to reoccupy lost territory following a decisive victory (which they had) is both improbable and unsourced speculation. It is misleading to claim that this battle was in any way strategic.--Charles (talk) 17:59, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Chuck, do you even hear yourself? "[...] tried to reoccupy lost territory following a decisive victory"? Dear boy, there is no "decisive victory" where the victor cannot "reoccupy lost territory." And, one might add, where the "defeated" power holds the field at the end of the battle. It is apparent that you and GOP cannot see your tendentiousness. A weary smile overcomes the faces of those who are beginning to understand what motivates you and your esteemed psuedo-Roman colleague. Schpinbo (talk) 18:23, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Schpinbo, you are very patronising and my name is not Chuck.--Charles (talk) 18:35, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Judging from your userpage, Charles, you give as good as you get when it comes to being patronising - perhaps better. May your war of the bus lines result more than just a tactical victory. Schpinbo (talk) 18:49, 10 June 2012 (UTC)


I deleted the word "faithfully" referring to General Alcedo's defence of the city of A Coruña towards the ending of the Battle of Corunna,after the British troops had already left the battlefield,because I think there is no reason to make that remark:General Alcedo was only acting as it was his duty as an officer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Amazing, isn't it? It takes a very particular point of view to be able to say that a Spanish general, presumably telling himself that he was working to expel the French invader from his country, and that his friend is fighting on his soil towards this end, was in fact merely doing the bidding of the "friend." Schpinbo (talk) 19:37, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Word 'faithfully' restored and ref'd - direct from Napier. Tttom1 (talk) 20:36, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Improve article[edit]

Please - no more edit warring on this matter. Make good faith edits. Try to spend time and effort improving the article with information and references in the body of article.Tttom1 (talk) 16:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I believe if there is no consensus on the result in the info box, milhist policy is to leave that blank and cover the various points of view in the article (this is already advanced in the article), see the very similar Battle of Dunkirk info box. If info box edit warring continues I will, as the major contributor to this article, ask it be protected.Tttom1 (talk) 00:03, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your work on the article Tttom. I support leaving that blank. We should let our readers judge for themselves whether being drawn away from objectives in southern Spain to pursue a retreating force through difficult terrain into a remote corner of northwestern Spain, then being defeated in battle, was a strategic success for Napoleon's army.--Charles (talk) 08:03, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
What I find interesting about the Battle of Dunkirk page is the info box in other languages: only in the English language version is the result left blank. In all the other languages - including French and Dutch - the Germans are deemed the victors. And very interestingly, in some other languages, the Germans are deemed the "tactical" victors and the British the "strategic" victors. The English-language page for that battle suffers, I believe, from a surfeit of very traditional, Churchillian aspidistra-flying. A flotilla of ships and boats collecting the remnants of a roundly defeated British army can in no meaningful sense be the subject of a debate as to who won. If the British were supposed to have won because they came back to fight again - a popular narrative among "little Britons" - then I suppose we should modify the Siege of Boston page as well. Charles, what I think Tttom's excellent revisions have demonstrated is that, for Napoleon, expelling the British was its own reward. He would have liked destroying them too, admittedly. Hence the split verdict on this page - his forces archieved the former, but not the latter. Schpinbo (talk) 12:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Charles for all your improvements to this article -my own opinion is that the battle is a draw based on the results: losses equal, both sides remain on the field a day but I understand the need for a 'tactical' victory, still, they flee Spain the next day giving up all the north of Spain when they could have stayed - only a supposedly beaten Soult's corps opposes them and they have a fleet of Ships of the Line backing them up, so - what's the rush? The rush is strategic defeat. Therefore I suggest that results should be entirely blank as in the Dunkirk info box - which is a very apt analogy to this situation.Tttom1 (talk) 04:07, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Permit me to suggest, Tttom, that by your own logic, the infobox should not be blanked. You have invested a tremendous amount of time and talent to make this a very lean article, devoid of national-oriented POV. It would seem that the dispute over the infobox perhaps even spurred your efforts. I understand the virtues of magnanimity, but you've built up a very strong case, it seems to me, for the opposite conclusion: keeping the infobox in its current form. If users decide to sandbag their cause by posting anonymously behind an IP address (and you'll find in their talk pages that these IP addresses have been used for no other purpose but to change that infobox), I fear that blanking the infobox would essentially reward their efforts. The Dunkirk page, in its non-English iterations, is actually quite instructive: French- and Dutch-language wikipedians could hardly be accused of having a pro-German bias when it comes to WW2-related content, and yet they see the results of that particular battle for what they were. Schpinbo (talk) 16:08, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Article has been improved and expanded and is now rated 'B'. Tttom1 (talk) 19:00, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

How can it be a French strategic victory?[edit]

France gained nothing ‘strategically’ from the battle, nor do any of the sources given imply it was a strategic victory for France, they just give the classic dubious suggestion that the French clearly losing a battle was some British conspiracy. Britain won both tactically and strategically because Soult’s army was driven off and Moore’s army remained intact, that is historic fact, not a conspiracy . The French blundered and failed to destroy the British army despite the fact they had an overwhelming force. History is about facts not saving pride. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I have removed that parameter in the past for the reasons you outline but have been overruled. I do not believe the battle had any strategic significance as that had already been decided.--Charles (talk) 19:39, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
This doesn't made any sense. It was Moore's army which was driven from the peninsula. Period. The fact that they were able to extract themselves in security is considerable the tactical victory. The British eventually won the Peninsular War, but this has nothing to do with getting away at Coruña. As Churchill said: "Wars are not won by evacuations" Izraías (talk) 20:23, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Although this page is not "a forum for general discussion of the article's subject", I think it would be correct to say that Soult's army was not "driven off", but was simply held off long enough for what remained of Moore's troops to board their ships, with the Spanish garrison of the Corunna – now overwhelmingly inferior in number to Soult's troops – surrendering within hours.
Soult, availing himself of huge amounts of matériel, despite Moore having destroyed even greater amounts that he had intended to leave for the Spanish defenders, then went on – virtually unopposed – to capture the even more strategic naval base at Ferrol, where he acquired even greater supplies. Although Corunna was not, strictly speaking, a siege, when a besieging force enters a besieged city, having killed the commanding officer, Moore, and effectively eliminated his second-in-command, Baird, and captures its garrison and avails itself of all it needs, it can hardly be called a defeat...
As for the "overwhelming force" this can only refer – debatedly – to the French troops deployed in the whole country, not to those at Corunna, where Moore's were superior, at least in terms of infantry. As for Hope, his only aim was to embark asap: he had no intention whatsoever of holding ground or attacking Soult. Net sum (generously excluding Moore having failed in his objective to reach Madrid and being forced to retreat, and excluding the behaviour of British troops in terms of discipline, and the hundreds of stragglers captured by the French, and the fact that the transport ships had not yet arrived when Moore reached the port...): total disaster... for the British army. The only positive reading of the whole affair is that Soult, to his credit, erected a monument to Moore. --Technopat (talk) 22:14, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Did you expect Moore to take on 300,000 troops? Of course hes going to evacuate! like the French evacuated from Russia. The fact is the French failure to prevent the escape of Moore's army was a masssive blunder, all the actions of the retreat were British victories, one of them right under the nose of Napoleon himself, and Moore somehow got his army out, with better leadership Moore's army should have been cut off and forced to surrender. This is a both a strategic and tactical failure on part of the French — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Both sides of this argument are adequately covered and referenced in the article. The info box is a brief summation of the article it is not a rewrite.Tttom1 (talk) 02:13, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Neale, pp.100–104[edit]

A footnote in the article states:

Neale, pp.100–104, shows that letters from both Moore and Berthier on 10 December 1808 indicate that both sides were aware that the allies were defeated and that the British were prepared to retreat. Moore stated, "I had no time to lose to secure my retreat", while Berthier was quoted as writing, "...everything inclines us to think that they (the British) are in full retreat..." .

Currently the only Neal book in the References section is Memorials of the late war .. and AFAICT neither volume I pp. 100–104 or volume 2, pp.100–104 of Neale's (1828) Memorials of the late war ..contain these quotes.

The Moore quote can be found in a dispatch to Lord Castlereagh dated 28 December 1808 and published by the British Government. It is quoted in various places including History of the Wars Occasioned by the French Revolution: From the ..., vol 1, pp. 630–631 by C. H. Gifford (London, 1817). I can not find the Berthier quote on line.

However further investigation by looking at the history of the article the text was originally added by Tttom on 17 January 2009. The original quotes was:

Letters from Portugal and Spain, Adam Neale, Duke of Arthur Wellesley Wellington, London, 1809, pp.110-114, Letters from Dec.10, 1809 from both Moore and Berthier indicate that both sides are aware the allies are defeated and the British are in full retreat. Moore, "I had no time to lose to secure my retreat.", Berthier, "...everything inclines us to think that they (the British) are in full retreat..."

The page numbers were corrected a few minutes later to 100-104. That volume is online at the Internet archive Letters from Portugal and Spain by Neale (London, 1809) but pages 100-104 of the volume are not correct, because the pages are in the Appendix which is numbered from one. So the first of the two letters is a translation (from French) and is in Appendix—XXXV p. 100

"To the Duke of Dalmatia, Chamarlin, 10th December 1808 ...everything inclines us to think that they [the British] are in full retreat, ... (signed) The Prince of Neufchatel, Major-General"

The dispatch to Lord Castlereagh mentioned above is numbered in this volume XXXVI and described as "copy of a letter from Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore to Lord viscount Castlereagh" Benevente 28th December, 1808. and starts on page 101, the quote is on page 102 (the dispatch finishes on page 104). I will mend the text to match this information. -- PBS (talk) 01:29, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't the Spaniards be included in the infobox? Uspzor (talk) 14:14, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

French account used in the article[edit]

Hugo from near the end of page 110-111:

French original Google English translation
Le Maré Soult dirigea sur la flotte anglaise le feu d'une batterie avantageusement placée; alors cette flotte leva l'ancre et prit le large. Une arrière-grad, qui occupait encore les faubourgs du côté du port, et qui avait coupé le pont qui le sépare de la ville, s'embarqua dans l'apres-midi sur quelques bâtiments restés pour elle. Les Français trouvèrent dans le camp anglais, le 17, plus de 3,000 fusils abandonnés, des habillements et des munitions. Les Anglais avaient perdu, d'après ls raport des blessés qu'ils avaient abandonnés dans les faubourgs, 2,500 hommes dans le combat de la veille.

Le maréchal avait jeté quelques bataillons d'infantrie légère dans les faubourgs de la Corogne, et, le 18 au martin, il fit sommer la place d'ouvrir ses portés. Quoique le départ de les flotte anglaise ne permit plus la moindre résistance, les deux régiments espagnols enfermés dans la ville firent mine de vouloir la défendre, et le maréchal, pour amener leur commandant à capitular dans la journée du 20, fut obligé de faire une démonstration d'attaque de vive force. On trouva dans la place 200 pièces de canon, 20,000 fusils, 600,000 cartouches, 200 milliers de de poundres, des magazins considérables en vivres et objets militaires, 1,200 cadavres de chevaux, et 500 chevaux vivants dont les jarrets étaient coupés.

The Maré Soult led the English fleet fire advantageously placed a battery; then the fleet weighed anchor and took off . A rear -grad who still occupied the suburbs on the harbor side , which had cut the bridge that separates the city , embarked in the afternoon after a few buildings remained for her. The French found in the English camp , 17 , over 3,000 abandoned guns, clothing and ammunition. The English had lost , according ls Hours of Operation injured they had abandoned in the suburbs, 2,500 men in the battle yesterday.

The marshal had thrown a few battalions of light infantry in the outskirts of Corunna, and on 18 at Martin , he summoned instead to open its worn. Although the departure of the British fleet no longer allowed the slightest resistance , the two Spanish regiments locked in the city went to want to defend mine , and Marshal , to bring their commander to capitulate in the day of 20 , was forced to make a demonstration of attack by force . Was found in the place 200 guns, 20,000 guns, 600,000 cartridges, 200 thousands of poundres considerable military shops in food and objects, 1,200 dead horses and 500 live horses whose throats were cut .

-- PBS (talk) 22:54, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

On p. 110, as originally cited: "La cavalarie était presque entièrement démontée; 6,000 chevaux, tant de troupe que le train d'artillerie, était morts de fatigue, ou avaient été tués par leurs cavaleirs..." The cavalry was almost entirely dismounted, 6,000 horses, all of the troop of the train of artilllery, were dead from fatigue, or shot by their riders ..." So I'm restoring ref'd statement.Tttom1 (talk) 04:56, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Glad you could clear that up and correct my mistake. I had not noticed that the article before the article on the "depature of the Empror for Paris" (called Entrée de Français à Lug) included a mention the retreat into Corunna (although I had read with interest, and added the article before it (Combat de Caçbellos. — Mort du général Colbert) to the "Further reading" section of his biography article. -- PBS (talk) 19:30, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 15 January 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. EdJohnston (talk) 00:06, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Battle of CorunnaBattle of Coruña – No matter what the sources say, per WP:COMMONNAMES, inaccurate names are often rejected. English sources may have often used Corunna; to me, the accurate name has always been Coruña, especially in Spanish and English. Shall I need to add sources to prove my point? George Ho (talk) 11:43, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Common name in English is and has always been the Battle of Corunna. Corunna is no more an incorrect or inaccurate name for the city than Venice is for Venezia, Munich is for München or Moscow is for Moskva. It's merely the common English name. -- Necrothesp (talk) 11:54, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
User:Necrothesp, that isn't the case, please look at Lonely Planet, or look at our own article on the town. This is not WP:COMMONNAME for the town, the town has no modern English exonym. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I didn't actually mean it was the common modern name for the town. I meant it was still the common name for the battle, which is what we're discussing. Although I can see that might have been unclear. But it's not an inaccurate or incorrect name for the town either (although I wouldn't use it personally); not the same thing as not being the common name. To use an analogy, in British English we don't usually use Marseilles any more either, but that doesn't mean that Marseilles is incorrect and Americans generally still use it. I'm generally all in favour of using the local names for towns (except for obvious exceptions like Venice, Florence, Munich, etc, where to use the native name would be seen as unnecessarily pretentious in English), but not for historical events which have gone down in English under another name. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:48, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay, understood. However we have seen (below) Charles Esdaile using Coruña, and the original Napoleonic era English was The Groyne, so Corunna represents some odd half-way point between the authentic The Groyne and modern La Coruña. It's one of the weakest cases for an English name that I've seen. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:11, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I have seen more recent authors as Esdaile using Coruña, so I support it. Uspzor (talk) 13:50, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This ngram shows that "Battle of Corunna" is used much more often in reliable sources. (The ngram uses "n", but "ñ" is included in the results.) Having a historical event named differently than the modern place name is not too unusual. See Siege of Leningrad, Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Madras, etc. Dohn joe (talk) 15:03, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
They still don't prove a thing. The discussion is regarding naming accuracy, regardless of commonality. --George Ho (talk) 19:47, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The name of the battle and the name of the modern city are two different things. The examples above show that often, a placename that is no longer in current usage can still be used as part of a name for an event that occurred when that place had a different common name in English. That does not make it an "inaccurate" name. If that's the name that most reliable sources use, that what makes it accurate. Dohn joe (talk) 20:10, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Prevalence of one name does not make the name accurate. Also, not consistent with A Coruña, a current title of the city. --George Ho (talk) 20:37, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
It's also a WP guideline. See WP:MODERNPLACENAME: "For example, we have articles called Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Volgograd and Saint Petersburg, these being the modern names of these cities, although former names (Constantinople, Ragusa, Stalingrad or Leningrad) are also used when referring to appropriate historical periods (if any), including such article names as Battle of Stalingrad and Sieges of Constantinople; not to mention separate articles on Constantinople and Byzantium on the historic cities on the site of modern Istanbul – or part of it." Dohn joe (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I fully agree with Necrothesp and Dohn joe.Charles (talk) 21:01, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is the English name of the battle. WP:UE. And per Battle of Leningrad, the modern city has absolutely nothing to do with the name of the battle. -- (talk) 05:13, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per "use English", Necrothesp and Dohn joe. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 09:35, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose particularly since this battle is still known to a lot of people from the poem "The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna". PatGallacher (talk) 19:17, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - or Battle of La Coruña, the usage "Corunna" is archaic and modern books are now using the Spanish spelling for all Napoleonic battles including this one. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:27, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Reply If we want to go with the current name of the town we have to decide between Battle of Coruña (awkward hybrid), Battle of La Coruña (Spanish), or Battle of A Coruña (Galician). Do modern histories use the Spanish names for Peninsular War actions which took place in Galicia, Catalonia, or the Basque Country? See Battle of Tsaritsyn for an article which uses an even more obscure historic name. Nobody supports moving Battle of Jericho to Battle of Ariha, its modern Arabic name. PatGallacher (talk) 16:16, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
      • There doesn't appear to be a consensus here for changing the the name. WP:UE says: "The choice between anglicized and local spellings should follow English-language usage, e.g., the non-anglicized titles Besançon, Søren Kierkegaard, and Göttingen are used since they predominate in English language reliable sources, while for the same reason the anglicized title forms Nuremberg, delicatessen, and Florence are used (as opposed to Nürnberg, Delikatessen, and Firenze, respectively)"Tttom1 (talk) 18:46, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
User:PatGallacher Battle of La Coruña is used by Britannica and other sources, it's the English name, "battle" is an English word. User:George Ho did you mean to leave "La" out of the nomination? In ictu oculi (talk) 04:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
"La" wasn't what I had in mind. The issue here is the nn vs ñ. Well, I don't mind "La" included, although I don't know the last time an average reader types exactly the whole title. --George Ho (talk) 05:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The Peninsula War Atlas, all have Battle of La Coruña, the La is important, this is why the Battle of The Groyne in olde Englyshe. Do you want to amend the nom? User:Peacemaker67 are you opposed to the Britannica spelling? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:54, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The current title is still by far the most-used English name. See below. Dohn joe (talk) 16:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.