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==Preliminary operations==
 
==Preliminary operations==
   
As part of his strategy in Spain, [[Napoleon]] ordered Marshal [[Auguste Marmont]] to send 10,000 troops to help Marshal [[Louis Gabriel Suchet|Louis Suchet]]'s forces capture Valencia and 4,000 more to reinforce the central reserve. When Wellington received news that Marmont's Army of Portugal sent forces eastward, he moved on [[Ciudad Rodrigo]] and invested the place on 8 January.
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As part of his strategy in Spain, [[Napoleon]] ordered Marshal [[Auguste Marmont]] to send 10,000 troops to help Marshal [[Louis Gabriel Suchet|Louis Suchet]]'s forces capture Valencia and 4,000 more to reinforce the central reserve. When Wellington received news that Marmont's Army of Portugal sent forces eastward, he moved on [[Ciudad Rodrigo]] and invested the place on 8 January.
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Ciudad Rodrigo was a second class fortress with a 32-foot high main wall built of "bad masonry, without flanks, and with weak parapets and narrow ramparts." The city being dominated by the 600-foot high Grand Teson hill to the north, the French built a redoubt there. Barrié's 2,000-man garrison was far too weak to properly man the defences. The French garrison included single battalions of the 34th Light and 113th Line Infantry Regiments, a platoon of sappers and only 167 artillerists to man 153 cannons.
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Ciudad Rodrigo was a second class fortress with a 32-foot high main wall built of "bad masonry, without flanks, and with weak parapets and narrow ramparts." The city being dominated by the 600-foot high Grand Teson hill to the north, the French built a redoubt there. Barrié's 2,000-man garrison was far too weak to properly man the defences. The French garrison included single battalions of the 34th Light and 113th Line Infantry Regiments, a platoon of sappers and only 167 artillerists to man 153 cannons.
On 8 January, the [[Light Division]] stormed and took the Grand Teson redoubt and began digging positions for the breaching batteries. Digging in the rocky soil at night caused a peculiar hazard. When a pickax struck a stone, the resulting spark drew accurate French fire. The Santa Cruz Convent was stormed on 13 January by the [[King's German Legion|KGL]]<ref>Beamish p 31</ref> and one company of the 60th; the San Francisco Convent fell on 14 January. The batteries, which opened fire on 14 January, included twenty-three 24-lb and four 18-lb siege cannon. In five days, they fired over 9,500 rounds and opened two effective breaches. Wellington ordered an assault for the night of 19 January.
 
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On 8 January, the [[Light Division]] stormed and took the Grand Teson redoubt and began digging positions for the breaching batteries. Digging in the rocky soil at night caused a peculiar hazard. When a pickax struck a stone, the resulting spark drew accurate French fire. The Santa Cruz Convent was stormed on 13 January by the [[King's German Legion|KGL]]<ref>Beamish p 31</ref> and one company of the 60th; the San Francisco Convent fell on 14 January. The batteries, which opened fire on 14 January, included twenty-three 24-lb and four 18-lb siege cannon. In five days, they fired over 9,500 rounds and opened two effective breaches. Wellington ordered an assault for the night of 19 January.
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==The storm==
 
==The storm==
   
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==Strategic consequences==
 
==Strategic consequences==
   
The French garrison lost 529 killed and wounded, while the rest were captured. The French Army of Portugal lost its entire siege train among the 153 captured cannon. The rapid loss of Ciudad Rodrigo badly upset the calculations of Marmont who believed he had enough time to concentrate a relief force at Salamanca on 1 February. Ironically, Suchet successfully wound up the [[Siege of Valencia (1812)|Siege of Valencia]] before Marmont's reinforcements arrived.
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The French garrison lost 529 killed and wounded, while the rest were captured. The French Army of Portugal lost its entire siege train among the 153 captured cannon. The rapid loss of Ciudad Rodrigo badly upset the calculations of Marmont who believed he had enough time to concentrate a relief force at Salamanca on 1 February. Ironically, Suchet successfully wound up the [[Siege of Valencia (1812)|Siege of Valencia]] before Marmont's reinforcements arrived.
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The capture of Ciudad Rodrigo opened up the northern invasion corridor from Portugal into Spain. It also allowed Wellington to proceed to [[Battle of Badajoz (1812)|Badajoz]] on the southern corridor, whose taking would be a much more bloody affair.
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The capture of Ciudad Rodrigo opened up the northern invasion corridor from Portugal into Spain. It also allowed Wellington to proceed to [[Battle of Badajoz (1812)|Badajoz]] on the southern corridor, whose taking would be a much more bloody affair.
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==References==
 
==References==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>

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