Sunday, 30 June 2013

Trafalgar and Vitoria

I am a fan of Curro, a great maker of military dioramas, author of many of Napoleonic subjects, and whose work can be seen at his 'blog of curro'.
However, this post is about his other blog: 'Diorama de Trafalgar'. A sample piece of this amazing diorama is now in the main Exposition about the Bicentennial of the Battle of Vitoria in the Sala Fundación Caja Vital Kutxa  (c/ Postas, 13 and 15 - 01005 Vitoria-Gasteiz), until October 31. Yan can see below two pictures of this singular piece

In addition to the above curro's blog, you can also read a full report (in Spanish) with many, many pictures about the diorama at the 'Todo a babor' page.

And you could say: Trafalgar and Vitoria? Well, the nexus is the figure of Miguel Ricardo de Álava y Esquivel (7 July 1770 – 14 July 1843), a.k.a. the General Alava, which holds the distinction to have been the only man who was present at both Trafalgar and Waterloo, fighting against the British on the former and with them on the latter.
He was present as a Marine at the Battle of Trafalgar on board the flagship of his uncle Admiral Ignacio Álava and served as delegate of the Spanish forces in the British units during the Peninsular War, wehere he saw action in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo and the storming of Badajoz as well as in the battles of Bussaco, Salamanca and Vitoria.

After the battle of Vitoria, the General Álava, in command of a British cavalry unit, took his native city, thus preventing it from being plundered by the British: 'These (the British) are worst ever than the French'. The town acknowledged his exploit by giving him a sword. The below picture (from the Vitoria comics book) depicts this incident.

He was appointed Spanish ambassador to The Hague in 1815, and he incorporated to the Wellington's staff during the Waterloo campaign. Álava stuck close to the Duke during the battle yet, despite being in the thick of the action, both Wellington and Alava survived the 10 hours' slaughter without so much as a scratch, with the Duke declaring to Alava: 'The hand of Almighty God has been upon me this day.'

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1 comment:

  1. What fabulous models of ships to the line; superb!