On 2 August 1808 a British army of 14,000 men began landing north of Lisbon under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. They were coming to assist the Portuguese, Britain's oldest ally, to liberate their country from its French occupiers. Within a month Wellesley was to win two victories over the French at the battles of Roliça and Vimeiro. General Andoche Junot, the French commander, was forced to surrender and evacuate Portugal. René Chartrand examines the first of Wellesley's string of victories in the Peninsular War.