21 August, 1808

Portugal Battle Tour Guides

Four days after the initial clash at Rolica, the Duke of Wellington's army of 17,000 Anglo-Portuguese troops was attacked by General Junot and his Army of Portugal as it attempted to defeat the redcoats before reinforcements arrived by sea.

Vimiero began as French battle of manouevre but keen British eyes watched as Junot tried to move against their left and Wellington was able to redeploy his army to face the assault.

While outflanking troops tried to move around the British left, Junot sent in two central columns but these were forced back by sustained volleys from troops in line.

Soon afterwards, the flanking attack was beaten off and so Junot retreated towards Torres Vedras having lost 2000 men and 13 cannon.

Wellington suffered 700 casualties to his army and considerable damage to his prestige when, following the battle, the new British commanders Generals "Dowager" Dalrymple and "Betty" Burrard worked out a deal whereby Junot would leave for France on British ships and take all his guns and equipment.

This Convention of Cintra caused a massive outcry in Britain and, following an official enquiry, both Dalrymple and Burrard were blamed. Wellington - who had opposed the deal - was exonerated.




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