French sea power was largely responsible for the victory of its American allies in the War of Independence, and thirsting for revenge and fearing the influence of the French revolution, Britain lost no time in declaring war against revolutionary France in 1793. The war was fought out in various theaters including an unsuccessful British land expedition to Walcheren in the low countries of the Spanish peninsular. Here, in alliance with Portugal, the British under Wellington turned a losing campaign into a debilitating war in which Spanish nationalism was harnessed in a guerrilla war against the French. The British defended them in a series of set piece battles and sieges: Busaco, Fuente’s d’Onoro, Badajoz, Salamanca and Vitoria. There were parallel campaigns in the Middle East and India.
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