Faction Focus: Portugal


1801 – War of the Oranges

In 1800, First Consul Bonaparte and his ally, the Spanish prime-minister and Generalissimo Manuel de Godoy, ultimately demanded Portugal, the last British ally on the continent, to break her alliance with Britain. Portugal refused to cede, and, in April 1801, French troops arrived in the country. They were bolstered by Spanish troops under the command of Manuel de Godoy. Godoy had, under his command, the Spanish Army of Extremadura, with five divisions.

The Spanish attack to Portugal started on the early morning of the 20 May, and focused on the Portuguese border region that included the main Garrison Town and Fortifications of Elvas and the smaller fortified towns of Campo Maior, Olivença (Olivenza in Spanish) and Juromenha. The main force of the Spanish Army advanced to Elvas, while two divisions advanced to Campo Maior and another division advanced to Olivença and Juromenha. Without having their fortifications complete and defended only by a few hundred soldiers, most of the militias, Olivença and nearby Juromenha quickly surrendered to the Spanish forces. The Portuguese garrison of Campo Maior – under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dias Azevedo – resisted the assault for 17 days, forcing the Spanish to maintain two entire divisions in its siege. The main Spanish force – under the direct command of Godoy – tried to assault Elvas but was easily repelled by the strong Portuguese garrison commanded by General Francisco de Noronha. The Spanish troops then withdrew to a safe distance from the fortress, with Godoy not daring to attack it again until the end of the war. The war entered in a stalemate, with most of the Spanish forces hold in sieges of fortresses and the rest not being able to face the blockade made by the main core of the Portuguese Army, in order to advance further inside Portugal. Despite this, Godoy picked oranges from the outside of Elvas and sent them to the Queen of Spain with the message that he would proceed to Lisbon. Thus, the conflict became known as the “War of the Oranges”.

On 6 June 1801 Portugal agreed to the tenets of the Treaty of Badajoz. Portugal agreed to close its ports to English ships, to give commercial concessions to France, to cede Olivenza to Spain and to pay an indemnity. On 29 September 1801 Portugal agreed to both maintaining the tenets of the Treaty of Badajoz and the alterations made to it, which were all embodied within the Treaty of Madrid.

In response, from July 1801 until the signing of the Peace of Amiens in 1802, a British force of 3,500 men under Colonel William Henry Clinton occupied the Portuguese island of Madeira in the North Atlantic Ocean. Intended to forestall any French or Spanish attack on the island, the occupation took place with the tacit consent of the Portuguese.

1807 – Invasion of Portugal

The Invasion of Portugal (19–30 November 1807) saw an Imperial French corps under Jean-Andoche Junot and Spanish military troops invade the Kingdom of Portugal, which was headed by its Prince Regent João of Bragança. The military operation resulted in the almost bloodless occupation of Portugal. The French and Spanish presence was challenged by the Portuguese people and by the United Kingdom in 1808. The invasion marked the start of the Peninsular War.

Threatened by a humiliating ultimatum from Napoleon, the Portuguese government acceded to most of the demands of the French emperor. Nevertheless, Napoleon ordered Junot to commence the invasion, with the cooperation of three divisions from the Kingdom of Spain. Paralyzed by fear and indecision, the Portuguese authorities offered no resistance. Junot occupied Lisbon on 30 November 1807 to find that João and many of the leading families had left for Brazil aboard the Portuguese fleet. The French quickly occupied the entire country and appropriated or disbanded the Portuguese army. The following year saw the Portuguese revolt against their occupiers. The next action was the Battle of Évora in July 1808.


The Anglo-Portuguese Army was the combined British and Portuguese army that participated in the Peninsular War, under the command of Arthur Wellesley. The Army is also referred to as the British-Portuguese Army and, in Portuguese, as the Exército Anglo-Luso or the Exército Anglo-Português.

The Anglo-Portuguese Army was established with the British Army deployed to the Iberian Peninsula under the command of General Arthur Wellesley, and the Portuguese Army rebuilt under the leadership of British General William Beresford and the Portuguese War Secretary Miguel Pereira Forjaz. The new Portuguese battalions were supplied with British equipment, trained to British standards and thoroughly re-organised. Incompetent or corrupt officers were cashiered and appropriate replacements were appointed or promoted from amongst promising Non-commissioned officers.

On 22 April 1809, Wellesley became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in the Peninsula, replacing General Cradock, whose assessment of the military situation the British government found too pessimistic. At the same time he was appointed by the Portuguese Government as Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese Army. He then came to have the two armies under his command, transforming them into a single integrated army.

The Army was organised into divisions, most of them including mixed British-Portuguese units. Usually, each one had two British and one Portuguese brigades. In the elite Light Division, the brigades themselves were mixed, each including two British light infantry and one Portuguese Caçadores battalions.

The list belows shows all the Portuguese units that were involved in the Napoleonic Wars.


  • 1st Infantry Regiment (Lippe)
  • 2nd Infantry Regiment (Lagos)
  • 3rd Infantry Regiment (1st Olivença)
  • 4th Infantry Regiment (Freire)
  • 5th Infantry Regiment (1st Elvas)
  • 6th Infantry Regiment (1st Porto)
  • 7th Infantry Regiment (1st Setúbal)
  • 8th Infantry Regiment (Castelo de Vide)
  • 9th Infantry Regiment (Viana)
  • 10th Infantry Regiment (Lisbon)
  • 11th Infantry Regiment (Penamacor)
  • 12th Infantry Regiment (Chaves)
  • 13th Infantry Regiment (1st Peniche)
  • 14th Infantry Regiment (Tavira)
  • 15th Infantry Regiment (2nd Olivença)
  • 16th Infantry Regiment (1st Vieira Teles)
  • 17th Infantry Regiment (2nd Setúbal)
  • 18th Infantry Regiment (2nd Porto)
  • 19th Infantry Regiment (Cascais)
  • 20th Infantry Regiment (Campo Maior)
  • 21st Infantry Regiment (Valença)
  • 22nd Infantry Regiment (Serpa)
  • 23rd Infantry Regiment (1st Almeida)
  • 24th Infantry Regiment (Bragança)


  • 1st Cavalry Regiment (Alcântara)
  • 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Moura)
  • 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Olivença)
  • 4th Cavalry Regiment (Meclemburgo)
  • 5th Cavalry Regiment (Évora)
  • 6th Cavalry Regiment (Bragança)
  • 7th Cavalry Regiment (Cais)
  • 8th Cavalry Regiment (Elvas)
  • 9th Cavalry Regiment (Chaves)
  • 10th Cavalry Regiment (Santarém)
  • 11th Cavalry Regiment (Almeida)
  • 12th Cavalry Regiment (Miranda)


  • 1st Artillery Regiment (Regiment of the Court)
  • 2nd Artillery Regiment (Algarve)
  • 3rd Artillery Regiment (Alentejo)
  • 4th Artillery Regiment (Porto)
  • Artillery Regiment of the Army

Caçador Battalions

  • 1st Caçador Battalion (Regiment of Volunteers of Portalegre)
  • 2nd Caçador Battalion (Transtagana Legion)
  • 3rd Caçador Battalion (Caçador Company of Vila Real)
  • 4th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Beira)
  • 5th Caçador Battalion (Transtagana Legion)
  • 6th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Porto)
  • 7th Caçador Battalion (1st Battalion of Loyal Lusitanian Legion)
  • 8th Caçador Battalion (2nd Battalion of Loyal Lusitanian Legion)
  • 9th Caçador Battalion (Remnants of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion)
  • 10th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Aveiro)
  • 11th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Feira)
  • 12th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Ponte de Lima)


My initial thoughts are to split the Portuguese lists into pre and post 1809. Post 1809 included the Caçador Battalions and the Portugues Army was essentially combined with the British.

This would in turn mean that British forces will need to be split between periods where the Portuguese were not included (e.g. The Hundred Days) and periods they were.

I’d like to know others thoughts on this as well and in particular any rules you think should be included for particular Portuguese units.



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