7 July - 8 September, 1813
Battle Tour Guides
port and fortress of San Sebastian was a French strongpoint
on the northern coast of Spain that threatened the
supply lines of any army moving into France.
prepare for the invasion of France, the Duke
of Wellington had to clear the potential menace posed
by General Louis Rey and his garrison of 3000 men.
siege began on 7 July and an impatient Wellington ordered
a storming on the 25th. The British attack was repulsed
with heavy losses and the reports of a French counterattack
through the Pyrenees forced the commander to weaken his
besieging force and move to stop Marshal
the danger had been ended at the battle of Sorauren, Wellington
moved back to San Sebastian and brought his full force against
31 August he sent in a second attack and despite heavy losses
- more than 2000 men - the British captured the town, although
the French still held the important castle.
the failure of a final relief attempt in early September,
Rey had little choice but to negotiate a surrender. He and
his men were allowed to march out with full honours of war,
having defied Wellington's army for more than two months.
men had suffered more than 2000 casualities, while the British
lost almost twice as many.