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Vitoria, battle of

Vitoria, battle of, 1813. Decisive battle of the Peninsular War between Wellington with 75,000 men and Joseph Bonaparte with 58,000 men. Wellington launched an attack 8 miles from Vitoria with a main assault from the west and thrusts from the hills to the north and south. Despite a determined stand the French centre crumbled and both flanks were turned. Joseph lost 7,000 men, 143 guns, and much booty. The battle ended Napoleon's rule in Spain and the French retreated across the Pyrenees. Tsar Alexander ordered a Te Deum to be sung to celebrate the victory, the first time this had been done for a foreign army.

Richard A. Smith

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