Friday, 13 May 2011

Those strange Allies: Agreements and disagreements between Spaniards and British

My good friend, the Spanish historian Miguel Angel Martin Mas, the soul behind the historical site of Los Arapiles (Salamanca), has written a delicious article about the relationship between Spaniards and British, forced Allied during the Peninsular War.
The title is: Esos extraños aliados: Historias del ejército británico a su paso por la tierra de Ciudad Rodrigo (Those Strange Allies: Histories of the British Army at its pass through the country of Ciudad Rodrigo)
The autor has made freely accesible the paper, that can be downloaded free (in Spanish) at:

The paper is included in the book: La ciudad frente a Napoleón. Bicentenario del Sitio de Ciudad Rodrigo de 1810 (Estudios) (The town vs. Napoleon. The Bicentennial of the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in 1811 (Studies)) published by the Diputación de Salamanca (ISBN: 978-84-7797-336-2)

Amongst the histories included by Miguel Angel is one about the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot.
The shako plate of this unit was a representation of the Britania goddess, that was confused by the Spanish priests with a representation of the Virgin Mary! This took them to think that the 9th was a catholic regiment between a mass of heretics and presbyterians and, therefore, the priests animated to their countrymen to offer to the soldiers of the East Norkfolk the better wines and food.

Needless to say that these cunning Englishmen never worried to clarify that ambiguity, that allowed them to have so large advantage on their comrades of other regiments, which ended by nicknaming them The Holy Boys, by the high esteem that the catholic faithfuls and priests felt by them!

1 comment:

  1. Holy Boys, lol! When you're on a good thing, stick to it!