Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Amotz Bridge and Ainhoa Redoubt

Today the bridge is in a sad state of repair and overgrown with weeds. It is now only used by local farmers. There is a new road from Sare to Ainhoa, and a new brigde over the river Nivelle. The reglected bridge is well back from the new road, and can easily be missed when travelling between Sare and Ainhoa by car.

In 1813 it was a different matter entirely. This bridge was the only communication link between the left and right wings of Soult's army during the battle of the Nivelle. Its capture by the Third Division forced the French to withdraw to their next line of defence on the Nive.

Walking the five miles from the bridge to the line of redoubts overlooking Ainhoa is a delight. The path is a rutten farm track and throughout the day we spent there we only passed three young men on mountain bikes.

The area must look exactly the same as it did in 1813, and enjoying the peace and quite we had plenty of time to relfect on the battle and how difficult it must have been for Marshal Soult to exercise control over his army over such a wide area.

Diary entry and more photographs at:

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