Corunna, Battle of
(1809)
   Otherwise known as La Coruña, an early battle of the Peninsular War. British troops under the command of Sir John Moore were evacuated from Spain through the port of Corruna on the northwest coast. The evacuation began on January 14, but on January 15, a French army of 24,000 and 36 guns appeared at a point in the operation when Moore had fewer than 15,000 men and 12 guns left on land. Moore was killed in the action to beat off a French attempt at envelopment, and his successor command, Sir John Hope, led a gallant defense that inflicted heavy casualties on the French army under Marshal Nicolas Soult. Although the British expeditionary force was returned to England, it had lost immense quantities of material and had been forced to destroy almost all its horses. At this point the campaign on the Iberian Peninsula seemed a disaster. Anglo-Spanish relations were damaged, and Foreign Secretary George Canning, who had led Britain into the Peninsular War, faced a personal and political crisis.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Esdaile, Charles. The Peninsular War. London: Allen Lane, 2002.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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