Combat of Lequeitio, 30 May 1813

The combat of Lequeitio (30 May 1813) was a rare success for the French in the north of Spain during their attempts to capture or destroy the Spanish guerrilla bands.

On 12 May General Foy finally ended the siege of Castro-Urdiales (22 March-12 May 1813). He then retuned to Bilboa, before on 27 May setting off to try and destroy the three battalions of Biscayan volunteers who had performed well in recent months.

Two of the three battalions escaped from the trap and were able to reform later. However the third was trapped by three brigades (5,000 men) near Lequeitio (Lekeitio), near the coast 20 miles to the east of Bilbao. This force was soon trapped against the sea, and only two companies managed to escape. The Spanish lost 200 dead and 360 prisoners, and the battalion was effectively wiped out. However the entire campaign meant that Foy was isolated on the north coast just when his division would have been most useful in the Vitoria campaign.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 August 2018), Combat of Lequeitio, 30 May 1813 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/combat_leqeuitio_1813.html

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