Peninsular War ends

Peninsular War ends

A massive allied force under British General Arthur Wellesley routs the French at Vitoria, Spain, effectively ending the Peninsula War. French Emperor Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808, and forced the Spanish king to abdicate in favor of his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. The Spanish revolted but were brutally suppressed by Joachim Murat. Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, recaptured Portugal in 1809, but Spain proved more elusive. In a long series of seesaw campaigns between the French and British, the British were aided by small bands of Spanish irregulars, known as guerrillas. In 1813, the Iberian Peninsula was finally liberated, and Wellesley launched an invasion of France.