“Comer caldo aguado con cuchillo…” Organización y logística del Ejército del Midi en la prefectura de Jerez (1810-1812)

Jean-Marc Lafon


Título: “Comer caldo aguado con cuchillo…” Organización y logística del Ejército del Midi en la prefectura de Jerez (1810-1812)

Title: “Eating [thin] soup with a knife”: French Organization and logistics in the Prefecture of Jerez (1810-1812)


[ES] Resumen: Este trabajo propone una aproximación a las misiones de ocupación y a la vida cotidiana de las tropas napoleónicas durante la Guerra de la Independencia, apoyándose para ello en fuentes francesas parcialmente inéditas procedentes del Archivo Nacional y del Castillo de Vincennes. Al analizar el despliegue operacional del Primer Cuerpo (Ejército del Midi) en la prefectura jerezana propone nuevas aportaciones para el estudio del bloqueo de Cádiz y de la lucha contra la resistencia de los serranos. No obstante, es el análisis de su sistema logístico el que revela el fracaso de la pacificación de la provincia, situación casi excepcional en el ámbito de Andalucía entre los años 1810 y 1812.

Palabras clave: Guerra de la Independencia, logística napoleónica, contrainsurgencia, bloqueo de Cádiz, corso francés.

[EN] Abstract: This study strives to Napoleonic occupation tasks, supplying and daily life during the Peninsular War, using French sources partly original (National Archives and Military Archives of Vincennes) and also few Spanish sources (Archivo Histórico Nacional, Archivo de Marina D. Álvaro de Bazán) in this purpose.

Studying the operational display of the First Corps (Army of Midi), initially directed by Marshal Victor, in the prefecture of Jerez between February 1810 and August 1812 give us new visions of the blockade of Cadiz and the fierce fight against the Resistance of the Serranos. For example, we bring unknown facts about French deceived attempts to take the port city, in this times the mayor symbol of the Insurgent Cause. Napoleon was hardly disappointed by the longtime ineffective bombardment by means of gigantic mortars smelted in Sevilla (one of them always present in London, in front of the Horse Guard building) from the Matagorda Castle. So he wanted to threaten its crowded inhabitants with incendiary rockets, which were imitated of the William Congreve's invention, successful experimented against the fleet and the capital of Denmark, in 1807. This way, too, would be a failure in the spring of 1812, and it was the last demonstration of Imperator's interest for the Spanish theater. Otherwise, to contain the insurrection in the Serrania de Ronda and to face his militarization, since the spring of 1812the French military authorities surrounded her by a fortified line, an innovatory counterinsurgency solution reproduced during the Wars of Decolonization.

Moreover, the analysis of it logistical system shows the failure in pacifying this province, whereas this situation appears almost exceptional in the Andalusia occupied. The First Corps endured larges backlog arrears suffered from food shortage by the end of 1811. Since the next spring, the French soldiers only received a half-ration, soon reduced to a quarter. Their fallen moral appeared to many signs: discouraged letters to closely related, protest songs (one of them reproduced and analyzed here) and a crescent desertion, facilitated by the authorities of Cadiz and recognized by Marshal Soult himself.

Keywords: Peninsular War; Napoleonic logistics; counterinsurgency; blockade of Cadiz; French privateering.

Palabras clave

Guerra de la Independencia; logística napoleónica; contrainsurgencia; bloqueo de Cádiz; corso francés

Texto completo:




AGMAB: Archivo General de Marina Álvaro de Bazán (El Viso del Marqués)

AHN: Archivo Histórico Nacional (Madrid)

AN: Archives Nationales (Paris)

SHD-DAT: Service historique de la Défense, Département Armée de terre (Vincennes)

SHD-DM : Service historique de la Défense, Département Marine (Vincennes)

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Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.

Licencia Creative Commons
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivar 4.0 Internacional