The Battle of Vimeiro
August 21st 1808.
After Roliça, additional British forces arrived off the coast and, to cover their landing at Porto Novo, Wellesley formed up his army on the ridges west of Porto Novo, around Vimeiro. The French mounted an attack on Vimeiro, which was initially on the left of the British position but also launched an outflanking move northwards, to hook around through Ventosa and southwards. Wellesley saw this and moved forces north along the ridge where there were a series of encounters with the flanking French forces. A final French attack on Vimeiro itself saw four battalions of elite Grenadiers nearly reach the church but were repulsed.
This battle saw the first use of the new British "Shrapnel" shells, which, if set correctly, burst in the air and could cause many casualties.
Vimeiro was a decisive victory but was not followed up. At noon, General Burrard, recently arrived took command from Wellesley who recommended a general advance. Burrard was more cautious and rejected all suggestions of follow up. The following day Burrard was himself superseded by General Dalrymple who had littel fighting experience but extensive knowledge of the Spanish. The result of all this was a treaty with the French, known as the Convention of Cintra. This got rid of the French from the whole of Portugal but allowed them to leave with all their weapons and loot.
Tile map of the battle near the museum.
Initially slightly confusing, north is roughly top right.
You can zoom in and move around this.
Panorama of part of the battlefield.
This was taken from the main north-south ridge, just south of Ventosa, in an arc approximately from north-east to south-east.
Photo taken from sightly further south of the previous panorama extending the view further south. The village of Vimeiro on the right.
Two views of the north-south ridge.
These photos were all taken from more or less the same place.
Panoramic view of the main ridge from Vimeiro church.
The pictures from the ridge were taken close to the chimney-like object sticking up on the skyline in the centre of this picture.
Panorama taken at the rear of the museum in Vimeiro looking on an arc approximately north-east to south-east.
This was the direction of the initial French attack.
The memorial and some tile scenes outside the museum.
Some pictures inside the museum.