Battle Honour 'SALAMANCA'

Wed, 07/22/1812


The Battle Honour SALAMANCA is emblazoned on the Regimental Colours of The Royal Irish Regiment.

Both the ‘Young Inniskillings’ (the 3/27th) and the 2/83rd Regiment of Foot took part in the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812. Also in action were the 88th and 94th Regiment of Foot, both destined to be amalgamated as the Connaught Rangers in 1881.

Marshal Marmont, the French Army commander, attempted to outmanoeuvre the Anglo-Portuguese Army of the Duke of Wellington around the town of Salamanca; the Duke duly responded by adjusting his line. In the preliminary manoeuvres, when the French threatened to occupy a hill feature on the British right flank, the Duke gave the task of guarding the hill to the Inniskillings. He reportedly said to Colonel MacLean, the Inniskilling Commanding Officer:

'You must defend this position as long as you have a man'.

Soon afterwards, the Duke adjusted his line so that its new position was at right angles to the old. At the correct moment, he ordered his Division to attack the column of marching Frenchmen, who were overwhelmed by the suddenness and ferocity of the British attack.

SALAMANCA was granted as a Battle Honour to all four Regiments.