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Velate, the other via Roncesvaux. He had despatched Maucune to Irun some days before with one division and a heavily laden convoy.

It was of vital importance to him so to arrange his forces as to be able to hold on until succour should arrive from Foy or Clausel or both.

His method of doing so drew from his great brother the criticism that his ideas belonged to the days of antiquity.

From flank to flank he occupied a series of positions covering a tortuous frontage of some six miles, and disposed in a somewhat irregular echelon, the left forward. As we stood on the hill we could read the general disposition like a book.

His first main position lay directly along Englishman's Hill, his left or southern flank resting on the Montes de Vittoria, his right or northern upon the Zadorra. Forward of the left of this position : strong detached force guarded the western entry to the valley, while another force occupied the heights running at right angles to the left, in order to prevent that flank being turned. In rear of his left a strong reserve was posted. Forward of the right another strong detached force occupied Tres Puentes Hill, guns being placed in position.

By these dispositions he covered with his artillery four of the bridges, some of which had been roughly fortified but none of which had been destroyed.

Along the river, in rear of the right of this first line and at an oblique angle thereto, troops were posted to dispute passage of the fords, supported by reserves hidden in some thick woods and by cavalry, these latter evidently intended for counterstroke.

In continuation of this oblique line defending the river came a strong force of all arms, resting on the heights covering the Bilbao and Bayonne roads, occupying formidable field-works, the right thrown forward, by heavy masses of reserves in rear.

A curious snake-like sort of arrangement in which the first line ran from south to north, the troops picketing the river continuing the line in a north-easterly direction, the line on their right again turning north. Weak spots were numerous, the most notable being that the position was too extended; the lines of retreat lay at the extreme flank; the dispositions for holding the heights dominating the left of the first line were feeble to a degree ; there was a want of adequate reserve to sustain the right of that line ; the strength of the troops picketing the river was insufficient for the

task; and the distance separating the troops occupying the fieldworks covering the Bayonne and Bilbao roads from the large reserves assigned to them was too great.

The Spanish officers were able to indicate to me the general plan of defence ; for in the Spanish head-quarter offices at Vittoria is a fine sandstone field-plan, in relief, of the battle; while the work of the Spanish military historian Artechi is a store-house of information, and was at our disposal on the ground. Clearly the underlying idea was to hold on, if possible, till relief came from Foy or Clausel ; and, failing that, to fall back successively upon the two lesser ridges crossing the field of battle, effect union with the force covering the Bayonne road and retire over the Pyrenees.

On June 20 Wellington made a close reconnaissance of the position; he was fully aware of the change in the balance of strength which would arise from the arrival of Foy or Clausel, and recognised at once that speed was essential to him if he would inflict a crushing defeat upon Joseph.

He resolved to avail himself to the utmost of his adversary's errors, and instead of making a frontal attack upon the first position (as Marshal Jourdain is said to have expected) he decided to rely upon the hard condition of his troops, the experienced co-operation of his commanders, and his own exact calculation of time and movement. * Flanks, not front !' was his decision. Here came the strain,

, Midsummer's day, a miniature range between him and his foe, and to go for the flanks meant a heavy climb for the centre corps, and

, a long rough tramp for his left. It is necessary to scramble up those hills to realise what the British soldier did that day. To us, accustomed to loose serge, it seems almost incredible that men

rily shakoed, stocked, belted and knapsacked could scramble, climb, march and fight as the Britisher did on June 21, 1813.

Flanks, not front' asked big things of him and he rose to the occasion.

Hill, the squire of Hawkstone, was detailed to cross the Zadorra, climb the western end of the Montes de Vittoria and turn the French left; three divisions being at his disposal, one British, ore Portuguese, and one Spanish ; traversing four miles to gain the foot of the hills. Wellington on Hill's left, and on the other bank of the Zadorra, crossing the rough ground at the lower spurs of the Sierra de Badaya had under his hand Lowry Cole's Fourth Division,

Alten's Light Division, the bulk of the cavalry and the reserve artillery. Picton with the famous Third Division and Dalhousie with the Seventh Division had the roughest climbing of the day, and more ground to cover than the corps on their right, before they could come into action, Graham with the First and Fifth Divisions had to make a long detour of some ten miles, swing right round the northern spurs of the Sierra de Arrato and attack the field works covering the Bilbao and Bayonne roads.

The success of the plan of attack depended upon close touch being kept, on cohesion of effort, synchronisation of movement and faultless lateral communication, the entire manœuvre pivoting on the right, conditions which in their combination, as all of us who have handled troops know, are most difficult to observe even in peace maneuvres.

Hill's attack on the extreme French left, and Graham's on their extreme right were to make themselves felt at the same moment, the calculation being that each in its turn would weaken the enemy's centre ; Graham's by reason of its holding the defenders to their ground in order to secure their line of retreat and forcing them to call into their assistance the troops detailed to picket the river, Hill's because, in order to prevent the extreme left being turned by an attack enfilading his first line from the dominating heights, Joseph would be forced to weaken his centre to repulse the Shropshire squire. When this double flank pressure made itself felt the four divisions under Alten, Lowry Cole, Picton, and Dalhousie were to drive in full force at the centre and pierce it.

Fitchett in chap. xxvii. of his fascinating volume 'The War in the Peninsula,' collating the various accounts to which he has had access, has given a graphic account of the development of this centre attack, of the capture of Tres Puentes Hill, and the piercing of the centre, and no narrative that I have seen (I read it on the field) gives a better summary of the fierce rush that swept up against Englishman's Hill and drove its defenders headlong from the crest.

It began to develop as a direct result of the determined effort by means of which Hill captured the heights which he was directed to assault, and once started it swept onwards like a wild hurricane, carrying all before it.

Hill and Graham both came into action at ten A.di. ; by three o'clock Graham had captured the works covering the Bayonne road which he was assaulting and was in position to cut the line of


retreat, and at the same time Joseph was falling back in haste from the positions astride the main valley. Wellington despatched a message to Graham to hold his hand in order to give the centre time to push on, and the pressure thus applied drove Joseph's whole force in one confused mass into Vittoria by about five p.m. Graham, ordered to resume, sent Longa to cut retreat via the Bayonne road, drove his adversaries in confusion on to the flank of their panicstricken brethren, and in combination with Wellington forced the fleeing host on to the marsh-bordered Salvatierra road. Histories innumerable tell of the losses, of the 152 guns which fell into our hands, of the treasure chests, Joseph's toilette impedimenta, and Marshal Jourdain's bâton, the latter I believed captured by the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Few writers, however, trouble themselves to record how Wellington, rescuing all property that he found it possible to save from looting, collected a large quantity of stolen paintings found amongst the French baggage, and, informing the Spanish authorities of his pleasure at having been able to recover them, requested directions as to whom he was to hand them over to, receiving in reply a courteous request that he would retain them as a slight mark of Spanish appreciation of his splendid services. They are to be seen to-day in Apsley House and bear a special mark of identification.

One feature of Wellington's dispositions at Vittoria deserves special notice, because it gives the lie direct to the old tradition that he placed no reliance on Spanish courage.

Prejudiced by his experience of the Spaniards in the earlier days of the Peninsular War, Napier lost few opportunities of belittling their courage, and from his criticisms the popular superstition has arisen that' valeroso ejercito' (heroic army) is a phrase which is not merited, fond as Spaniards are of using it in reference to those days.

If all that Napier says be taken ' au pied de la lettre'it is hard to understand why Wellington, whose success at Vittoria depended entirely upon his flank attacks achieving their purpose, should have detailed Morillo to Hill in his attack on the southern heights and Longa to Graham in his upon the line of retreat.

Certainly his dispositions justified his choice. There is no gainsaying the desperate courage shown by Morillo personally or by his men in their fierce attack up the rocky slope above Subijana ; granted they were hurled back by a French bayonet charge, still

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they are not the only troops who have yielded to the bayonet, when at a disadvantage as regards ground.

And again on the other flank Longa served Graham well in the fierce fighting which fell to his lot, particularly at the critical moment when the line of retreat was cut.

My study of the field did not confine itself to a mere technical examination of ground, for my Spanish military friends had made out a little itinerary designed to enable me to visit places particularly connected with interesting events.

The spot where Cadogan fell leading on the 71st in support of Morillo was pointed out to me; we stood where Joseph stood at the critical moment when his centre was giving way, and tried to realise his feelings; we traced the ground where Barnard's riflemen and the 15th Hussars came creeping round Tres Puentes Hill; we identified Picton's line of advance and almost heard that swarthy Welshman giving way to his favourite invective, or, standing above Abechuco, we picked up Graham's tracks and realised the desperate courage with which his troops hurled themselves again and again upon those strong positions.

And in the few days spent on the various parts of the field we discussed old problems, and new ones. Why did Wellington say in his despatch that he did not use his cavalry at Vittoria because the ground was unsuited to cavalry?' asked a Captain of the 24th Chasseurs, who was one of the party one day. Why, we,' he added, “ use it for our spring cavalry drills.' I told him that in comparison with the French, Wellington's supply of cavalry was so limited that he dared not hazard it in shock tactics, and used it mainly as a strategic arm, but avoided saying so.

On another occasion a group of us took up position at Abechuco, on the site of the old field-works covering Graham's advance down the Bilbao road. We came to the conclusion that the French commander had had his reserves posted too far to the rear, and discussed the problem as to the possible redemption of such an error nowadays by the employment of “rapid fire.' Along the crest 200 rifles might have been placed in position. A gentle glacis afforded a magnificent field of fire and a depression in rear and secluded dip provided an excellent means of bringing up ammunition.

' How many rounds a minute can your British soldiers fire ?' asked an Engineer officer. 'Twelve to fifteen,' was my reply, ' and taking such a position as this I think I may safely say that



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