Combat of Alcala la Real, 28 January 1810

The combat of Alcala la Real of 28 January 1810 was a minor French victory during General Sebastiani’s invasion of Granada and Malaga. The main French campaign in the spring of 1810 was the invasion of Andalusia, but by 25 January the main Spanish armies defending Andalusia had already been dispersed, with some survivors fleeing south into Granada. General Sebastiani had been sent to deal with one Spanish force at Jaen, defeating it on 23 January. Two days later he was ordered to take his 10,000 men east into Granada, with orders to disperse what was left of the Spanish army and to occupy Granada and Malaga.

Part of the Spanish army defeated at the passes had retreated to Alcala la Real, half way between Jaen and the city of Granada. There they had been joined by 2,000 cavalry under General Freire, including the entire cavalry of the Army of Andalusia, which had not been involved in the attempted defence of the passes.

On 28 January Sebastiani reached Alcala la Real, and sent Milhaud’s dragoons and Perreymond’s chasseurs to attack the Spanish position. The demoralised Spanish troops scattered, suffering 500 casualties in the pursuit that followed and losing all of their guns. The survivors escaped east into Murcia. Sebastiani moved on to occupy Granada, entering the city on 29 January. After some fighting in the passes of the Sierra de Alhama on 5 February he stormed Malaga before occupying the towns on the coast.

A History of the Peninsular War vol.3: September 1809-December 1810 - Ocana, Cadiz, Bussaco, Torres Vedras, Sir Charles Oman. Part three of Oman's classic history begins with the series of disasters that befell the Spanish in the autumn of 1809 and spring of 1810, starting with the crushing defeat at Ocana and ending with the French conquest of Andalusia and capture of Seville, then moves on to look at the third French invasion of Portugal, most famous for Wellington's defence of the Lines of Torres Vedras.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 April 2008), Combat of Alcala la Real, 28 January 1810 ,

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