News, 2nd Battalion, Heritage | 31 May 2024

Regimental Battlefield Study 2024 Poachers in The Peninsular

The 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment Battelfield Study Talavera 2024

The Officers and Warrant Officers of the 2nd Battalion have just returned from conducting the Royal Anglian Regimental Battlefield Study 2024. The study was focused on Spain and ran from 20-24 May. Our Studies focused on the Peninsular War Battlefield at Talavera and Spanish Civil War in and around Madrid. We were fortunate to have fellow Royal Anglian, Maj (Retd) Tom Dormer join us as our Historian and Battlefield Guide. Tom was on hand to explain in fine detail each of the battlefields and the nature of the fighting at the time.

The Battlefield Study was broken down into two distinctive parts. The first part looked at the actions of the Regimental forebearers in the Peninsula War, specifically at the Battle of Talavera. 215 years ago, the soldiers of the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot drove back numerous largescale French assaults; defending their positions, acting with great bravery. Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington later remarked, “the Battle was certainly saved by the advance, position, and steady conduct of the 48th Regiment.” Tom Dormer provided a broad overview of the Battle and described in detail the actions of the 48th. For many it was the first time they had been to the Battlefield, and a welcome return for those who had been there before.

Poachers Battelfield tour Talavera 2024
Poachers Battelfield tour Talavera 2024

That evening, and a real highlight of the tour, was a formal dinner on the Medellin, overlooking the battlefield of Talavera, with attendance from the Deputy Colonel of the Regiment, Comd 7 LMBCT and representatives from the British Embassy in Spain. It was an opportunity for the battalion to reflect on the busy few months that we had been part of and the recent deployment on Ex STEADFAST DEFENDER, as part of the VJTF(L) to Poland.

For the second part of the tour, we learnt about the Spanish Civil War and developed a conceptual understanding of this conflict and how we might use modern British doctrine today. During this part of the tour, each of the sub-unit representatives were given areas of responsibilities to present and to lead discussions. We examined a wide range of topics, including obstacle crossings, FIBUA, and the use of combined arms warfare. On one of the days, we moved to two sites, Monumento BBII and Briheuga, here we discussed in detail what we learnt on the trip and the doctrine that we use today. It was an opportunity for all ranks to talk, present and discuss their thoughts and the key features of what they had learnt.

In the evenings, we enjoyed the cultural side of Madrid and the Spanish countryside. The trip was a great opportunity for the Officers and Warrant Officers from the Battalion to bond, forge closer cohesion and strengthen team and individual relationships. It was a very successful exercise and a week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Lt J Peel, B ‘Leicestershire’ Company, OC 5 Pl.

Poachers Battelfield tour Talavera 2024
Poachers Battelfield tour Talavera 2024

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