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  • The Battle of Uclés saw an Imperial French corps led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor attack a Spanish force under Francisco Javier Venegas. The French easily crushed their outnumbered foes, capturing over half of the Spanish infantry. Uclés is located in the province of Cuenca 15 kilometres east of Tarancón and 100 kilometres southeast of Madrid. The action occurred during what is called the Peninsular War in English-speaking countries and the Spanish War of Independence in Spain. The war was part of a larger struggle known as the Napoleonic Wars. Emperor Napoleon invaded Spain with a huge army in late 1808, scattered the Spanish forces, and seized Madrid. However, the appearance of a British army commanded by John Moore caused the French emperor to order his army to pursue the British into northwest Spain. With their enemies spread thin, the Spanish armies began to revive. In late December 1808, the Army of the Center led by Pedro de Alcántara Álvarez de Toledo, 13th Duke of the Infantado advanced slowly toward Madrid, causing alarm among the scanty French forces guarding the capital. The cautious Infantado sent his lieutenant Venegas with a strong vanguard to annoy the French. After Venegas won a minor action at Tarancón, Victor concentrated his corps and marched against him in mid-January 1809. Without instructions or support from Infantado, Venegas unwisely tried to hold a strong position at Uclés. Victor overwhelmed the Spanish defenders with one division and herded many of them into the arms of his second division which had marched around their flank. Gathering up Venegas' survivors, Infantado led his crippled army into the mountains but not before losing much of his artillery. Blamed for the fiasco, Infantado was relieved of command. The next action in the area was the Battle of Ciudad-Real in March. Wikipedia

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