The Battle of Barrosa (5 March 1811) was an unsuccessful French attack on a larger Anglo-Portuguese-Spanish force attempting to lift the siege of Cádiz in Spain during the Peninsular War. Cádiz had been invested by the French in early 1810, but in March of the following year a reduction in the besieging army gave its garrison of Anglo-Spanish troops an opportunity to lift the siege. A large Allied strike-force was shipped south from Cádiz to Tarifa, and moved to engage the siege lines from the rear. The French, under the command of Marshal Victor, were aware of the Allied movement and redeployed to prepare a trap. Victor placed one division on the road to Cádiz, blocking the Allied line of march, while his two remaining divisions fell on the single Anglo-Portuguese rearguard division under the command of Sir Thomas Graham. Following a fierce battle on two fronts, the British succeeded in routing the attacking French forces. A lack of support from the larger Spanish contingent prevented an absolute victory, and the French were able to regroup and reoccupy their siege lines. Graham's tactical victory proved to have little strategic effect on the continuing war, to the extent that Victor was able to claim the battle as a French victory since the siege remained in force until finally being lifted on 24 August 1812. (more...)
Tungsten rods with evaporated crystals, partially oxidized with colorful tarnish, as well as a 1 cm3 tungsten cube for comparison. Tungsten is a hard, rare metal under standard conditions when uncombined, but is found naturally on Earth only in chemical compounds. Its chemical symbol is W, which represents its alternative name, "wolfram".