Siege of Molina, 26 September-27 October 1811
The siege of Molina of 26 September-27 October 1811 was an unsuccessful attempt by the Spanish guerrillas to help the defence of Valencia. In the autumn of 1811 Marshal Suchet’s main army was engaged in the invasion of Valencia, and General Blake, the Spanish commander in the area, had called for help from the guerrillas. The bands of Juan Martín (El Empecinado) and José Durán combined to answer his call. While their main force attacked and defeated the French garrison of Calatayud, part of El Empecinado’s band besieged the isolated French stronghold of Molina, in the mountains of western Aragon. The Guerrillas had no real siege artillery, and the isolated French garrison was able to hold out for a month. Late in October the Italian general Mazzuchelli led one of Severoli’s infantry brigades towards Molina, and on 27 October he successfully lifted the siege, forcing El Empecinado to retreat. The French column did not escape unscathed. It was attacked in the Pass of Cubillejo while returning to Severoli’s main force, and suffered heavy losses. Durán and El Empecinado continued to harass the French in Aragon into November before retreating into the mountains around Molina for the winter.
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How to cite this article:
Rickard, J (15 May 2008), Siege of Molina, 26 September-27 October 1811