1 September, 1813
7 October, 1813
initial battle for the bridge over the Bidassoa at Vera
was fought on 1 September as General
Dominique Vandamme tried to force his way back to the
main French force.
the head of some 10,000 soldiers, Vandamme attempted to
overwhelm the understrength company of 95th Rifles guarding
70 British troops fought one of the most spectacular actions
of the entire war, stopping many French assaults with deadly
captain in charge of the detachment, Daniel Cadoux, was
refused reinforcements and in fact ordered to quit the post.
how important the bridge was, Cadoux decided against withdrawal
and fought on through the night, only giving ground when
ammunition had run out. Up to that point, he had suffered
only two casualties, but during the pullout almost every
rifleman was wounded. Cadoux himself was killed.
men then crossed the river, leaving behind their baggage
second battle around Vera came just over a month later on
7 October when the British attacked key forst and high ground
controlling the local area.
first target was the Star Fort, which only fell after a
brutal see-sawing encounter, and the pursuit of the French
led to the taking of the next important plateau.
the position known as the Hog's Back was captured the French
found the area almost impossible to hold and withdrew, leaving
behind 1300 casualties - almost a third of their inital
British suffered 850 killed and wounded, but a key piece
of France's defences had been unlocked.