The Battle Of Fuengirola, 16th October 1810
This weekend was the 200th commemoration of the fierce battle that took place in Fuengirola, during the Peninsular Wars, back in 1810.
Fuengirola has been an important trade town since the Middle Ages. A stone castle, El Castillo de Sohail, was built on a hill close to the sea to defend against invasion. However, as the French (who at that time controlled the town of Malaga) did not consider the South of Spain to be of much importance, they left only Polish units to defend it.
Major General Lord Blaney, of Gibraltar, learnt of the weak defensive position in Fuengirola and decided this would be the perfect place to land and attack,with view to taking power of Malaga. How wrong he was ….
On Sunday we saw the reenactment of the battle at El Castillo de Sohail, during which 3,501 British and 1,000 Spanish troops were beaten by 400 Polish and 57 French troops.
The over confident British General Blaney was seen storming up to the castle confidently waving his sword in the air … the battle of Fuengirola ensued, the Polish mounted a fierce attack, resulting in the sinking of one of the five British gunboats, the hijack of the British cannons and the eventual capture of General Blaney who spent almost four years in French captivity … the sword he so confidently waved in the air during his initial attack is still on show today at the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków. A memento to one of the few defeats of the British, during the Peninsular War.
It was a great morning, enjoyed by all the family, and a very easy way of educating the children and ourselves about the history of the country we have chosen to live in. If you get the chance to see a reenactment of the Battle of Fuengirola we would highly recommend it.
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