Peninsular War

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The Peninsular War (1807-1814), also known as the War of Spanish Independence, was a major conflict of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) that was waged in the Iberian Peninsula by Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom against the invading First French Empire of Napoleon I (r. 1804-1814; 1815). It remains the bloodiest episode in the modern history of Spain.

More about: Peninsular War


  • 18 Oct 1807
    French General Jean-Andoche Junot leads 25,000 troops toward Portugal, sparking the Peninsular War.
  • 27 Oct 1807
    The secret Treaty of Foutainebleau is signed between France and Spain, in which it is agreed to occupy and partition Portugal.
  • 29 Nov 1807
    The Portuguese royal family evacuates Lisbon as the French army approaches. They will set up a government in exile in Brazil.
  • 30 Nov 1807
    Junot occupies Lisbon.
  • 8 Jan 1808
    30,000 French troops under Marshal Moncey crosses into Spain, occupies key border towns.
  • 17 Mar 1808 - 19 Mar 1808
    The Mutiny of Aranjuez. Manuel de Godoy is harassed by an angry mob and nearly lynched; Prince Ferdinand is proclaimed king of Spain.
  • 2 May 1808
    Dos de Mayo uprisings in Madrid.
  • 6 May 1808
    King Ferdinand VII of Spain is forced to abdicate, is imprisoned.
  • 6 Jun 1808
    Joseph Bonaparte is coronated as King of Spain.
  • 15 Jun 1808 - 14 Aug 1808
    First Siege of Zaragoza.
  • 16 Jul 1808 - 19 Jul 1808
    A Spanish army defeats a French force at the Battle of Bailén, France's first major land defeat since the start of the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 21 Aug 1808
    Sir Arthur Wellesley defeats Junot's Army of Portugal at the Battle of Vimeiro.
  • 4 Dec 1808
    Napoleon enters Madrid.
  • 19 Dec 1808 - 20 Feb 1809
    The Second Siege of Zaragoza results in 64,000 deaths.
  • 16 Jan 1809
    The Battle of Corunna results in a successful British evacuation from Iberia, although Sir John Moore is killed.
  • 28 Jul 1809 - 29 Jul 1809
    Sir Arthur Wellesley wins the Battle of Talavera, is ennobled as Viscount Wellington.
  • 26 Oct 1809
    Wellington orders the construction of the Lines of Torres Vedras, a defensive position.
  • 5 Feb 1810 - 24 Aug 1812
    Siege of Cádiz by French troops; results in a Spanish victory.
  • 27 Sep 1810
    Battle of Bussaco results in an Anglo-Portuguese victory over a French army.
  • 16 May 1811
    The indecisive and bloody Battle of Albuera is fought between French and Anglo-Portuguese troops.
  • 16 Mar 1812 - 6 Apr 1812
    The Siege of Badajoz results in an Anglo-Portuguese victory; Wellington's troops pillage the city for three days before order is restored.
  • 22 Jul 1812
    Wellington beats Marshal Marmont at the Battle of Salamanca.
  • 21 Jun 1813
    A French army under King Joseph and Marshal Jourdan is defeated by Wellington's Allied army at the Battle of Vitoria.
  • 11 Dec 1813
    Abdication of Joseph Bonaparte; Ferdinand VII is restored as King of Spain.
  • 6 Apr 1814
    First abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte leading to his exile in Elba.
  • 10 Apr 1814
    Wellington and Soult clash at the Battle of Toulouse.
  • 14 Apr 1814
    Battle of Bayonne results in an Allied victory.
  • 18 Apr 1814
    French Marshals Soult and Suchet sign a convention with Wellington; end of the Peninsular War.