Spanish Heavy Cavalry Facings
Spanish Line Infantry 1790s
Spanish Line Infantry 1805
armies had suffered badly in the lead-up to war with France
in 1808 and much of the blame has been laid at the feet of
his influence the military was allowed to stagnate and when
hostilities broke out its officer corps was found badly wanting.
senior commanders were often unimaginative in battle and sometimes
almost criminally negligent, as in the case of Don
Gregorio de la Cuesta at Talavera
and Medina del Rio Seco.
boost its officer quality, Spain had opened military academies
and by 1808 was producing batches of promising leaders.
rank and file Spanish soldier had a bad reputation with both
the French and its own ally, the British.
professional soldiers could overlook slow rates of fire -
two volleys a minute - and a brittleness in battle that could
often mean a heroic defence suddenly falling into panic and
it must be remembered that the first instance of a French
army's surrender came at Spanish hands at Bailen.
officers thought Spanish troops had good potential and were
happy and generally content with their lot, which was usually
far harder than their northern European counterparts.
most respected of the Spanish forces was that which accompanied
General Pedro la Romana. His army was incorporated into France's
Grande Armee and was in Denmark when war between the nations
Romana's troops were evacuated by the Royal Navy and went
on to fit credibly when returned to Spanish shores.
armies were based on regions and included the Army of Galicia,
Aragorn, Extremadura, Catalonia, Granada and the Army of the