The Battle of Busaço
September 27th 1810.
After Almeida fell, Wellington withdrew. He had a surprise waiting for Massena and didn't need to give battle. However, he did make a stand on Busaço ridge. This was a very defensible location and it gave him the opportunity to give the Portuguese troops an experience of battle.
The French attacked in two places along the 10 mile long ridge.
Reynier' Corps attacked along the line of a road towards the centre of the ridge. This road is no longer there and the ridge is part of Busaço National Forest. We didn't visit that part, there are no views.
Ney's Corps attacked at the northern end of the ridge, through the villages of Moura and Sula, which are still there. The Convent and Park of Busaço were just behind the British lines at this point.
Junot's Corps was held in reserve.
Busaço was a defining battle for the revived Portugeuse Army. The memorial at the battlefield, just in front of the Convent wall, is the national memorial to the Portuguese Army in the Peninsular War.
Moura, centre distance, and Sula, on left, from the Busaço monument.
Two views of Moura from near the Busaço monument showing the steepness of the attack route.
The modern road is on virtually the same line as the road that Ney's attack followed.
View of the ridge from the memorial. The convent wall with the Sula Gate is behind the trees on the right.
The ridge would have not been wooded at the time of the battle.
The Sula Gate. There was British Artillery in front of this wall.
Many accounts say that this wall was loop-holed but there is no evidence of this physically or in accounts made at the time.
Craufurd's position in front of the convent.
Massena's view of the British position.
The monument can be seen towards the left.
Two more views of the ridge.
The bare patches are probably more representative of conditions at the time.
Reynier's attack may have been delivered towards the "notch" in the wider view.
The Convent and "Wellington's Olive" where he is supposed to have tied his horse.
Two Portugeuse cannon of the time in the local museum.
Tiles in the hotel within the convent walls.