Cody K. Carlson writes for the Deseret News.com–On July 22, 1812, a combined British-Portuguese-Spanish army under the command of Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, defeated the French forces of Auguste de Marmont at Salamanca, Spain. The battle cleared western Spain of French forces and allowed the British to occupy the Spanish capital, Madrid, a few days later. In 1807, France and Spain invaded Portugal, which had long held a military alliance with their common enemy, Great Britain. By early 1808, however, Napoleon Bonaparte had grown impatient with Spain’s sluggish attempts to conquer the smaller kingdom. Turning on Spain, which was ripe with revolt against its own regime and political chaos, Napoleon ordered the French army to invade.
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