Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Louis XIV and Signal Redoubts

Wet and miserable weather returns, not at all what we had expected from the South of France in June! Despite the weather we set off to explore the hills behind Sare, and in particular The Louis XIV and Signal Redoubts, which had played such an important part in the battle of the Nivelle on 10 November 1813.

This walk on a dull and cold June day would bring home to Jan and I just how difficult it must have been to campaign with Wellington. It was difficult enough to climb the muddy paths leading to the hills, and the redoubts, behind Sare. But to imagine how much more difficult it would have been to do so when hungry, wet, cold and carrying all your personal belongings on your back. And to then have to fight to capture these strong redoubts from the determined French who were defending their own country.

The area held by Marshal Soult covered 20 miles from St Jean du Luz on the coast inland to Urdrax, and consisted of a whole series of defended villages, barricades and strong redoubts on the crest of the hills.

Our visit is covered in this weeks Walking Napoleonic Battlefields.

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