The 200th Anniversary
The victory at Salamanca was the fortunate culmination of a far sighted strategy which had commenced at the beginning of 1812. After days of marching and counter marching, having failed to find an opportunity to destroy the French army and aware that they were about to be reinforced, Wellington had resolved to retreat back to the Portuguese border. However just hours before he was to give that order to withdraw, an overconfident Marshal Marmont attempted to turn his opponent’s flank and in so doing unforgivably overstretched his army’s line of march. Too late after the event did his French opponents recognise the skill with which Wellington masterly managed the subsequent battle’s execution. For those who knew of his exploits in India, it would come as no surprise that Wellington was capable of offensive fighting and opportunism. But to the French, the consequence of such ignorance was their army being routed from the field and the ensuing abandonment of Madrid and most of Southern Spain.
This weekend tour to the magnificent and stunning city of Salamanca coincides with the bicentennial anniversary of the great battle which was fought around the little village of Los Arapiles. The battlefield has changed little in the ensuing 200 years and the topography provides us with numerous and splendid panoramic views. On the anniversary itself, we will spend a considerable amount of time on foot and ascending a number of low hills, requiring a reasonable level of fitness.
Combining this tour with our Retreat to Corunna tour allows you to create a wonderful 8 day holiday, spend an extra half day in the magnificent historic city of Segovia and save up to £280 on the overall price.
"There was no mistake; everything went as it ought; there was never an army defeated in so short a time".
Duke of Wellington
Fly London – Madrid. Transfer to our hotel in Salamanca for three nights.
Today we look at the storming of the Salamanca forts, the marching and counter marching of the two armies and the refused position of San Cristobel.
Battle of Salamanca 200th anniversary. From Calvarisa de Ariba we can determine Marmont’s options and decisions that fateful morning. We move to Miranda de Azan from where we examine the initial contact and destruction of three French divisions in 30 minutes. From the Arapiles hills we see the advance of the remainder of Wellington’s forces, the French opportunity and look towards their final stand. We also will find time to visit the fine interpretation centre.
Check out of our hotel. En-route to Madrid we visit the action at Garcia Hernandez where part of Foy’s division was destroyed by the cavalry of the King’s German Legion the day following Salamanca. Travel via Segovia to Madrid, where we catch our return flight to London.