TBT – February 5: The Siege of Cádiz

1810 – Cádiz, Spain: The Siege of Cádiz

French Mortar, Siege of Cadiz Memorial, Horse Guard’s Parade SW1 London Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1318056

On February 5, 1810, the French army attacked the Spanish naval base in Cádiz as part of the Peninsular War. 70,000 French troops surrounded the city of approximately 24,000 Spanish, British, and Portuguese troops leaving nearly 6,000 dead (mostly French) and nearly 4000 wounded (mostly allied forces).

The French bombarded the coastal city with some of the largest artillery in existence at the time.  Grand Mortars could fire projectiles up to 3 miles, a distance previously thought impossible to achieve.

The attack on Cádiz lasted 2 1/2 years, finally ending with the French retreating on August 24, 1812.

A memorial was established in London at the Horse Guards Parade grounds – see image above – commemorating the lifting of the siege of Cádiz. The monument is made up of a French Grand Mortar from the battle settled atop a bronze dragon.

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