Buçaco, Battle of

   An important battle in what is known as the Peninsular Wars in European history and the Wars of Independence in Portuguese history. In the third invasion by French forces under Emperor Napoleon, Marshal Masséna entered Portugal from Spain in August 1810. The allied forces under the Duke of Wellington were comprised of British and Portuguese troops. Masséna marched from Guarda, and moved to attack across the hills of Buçaco to Coimbra. Wellington's forces blocked the way to Coimbra and Lisbon and held an advantageous position. Against the advice of his council, Masséna decided to take the offensive. The battle of Buçaco commenced in the morning of 27 September 1810, and the French were defeated with considerable losses. The site of the battle in the woods and hills of Buçaco is marked by a commemorative obelisk, not far from the elegant Hotel-Palace of Buçaco, built originally for the last Braganza monarchs.
   See also Great Britain.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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