Fuenterrabia stands on the slope of a hill on the left bank of the river Bidassoa, and near the point where its estuary begins.
Napoleon induced the king of Spain to allow French troops to occupy the country and to send the flower of the Spanish forces (15,000) under the marquis of Romana 1 to assist the French on the Baltic. Then Dupont de l'Etang (25,000) was ordered to cross the Bidassoa on the 22nd of November 1807; and by the 8th of January 1808 he had reached Burgos and Valladolid.
He now, with about 80,000 men, took up a position with his left (the Spaniards) on the Bidassoa near San Sebastian.
Wellington next determined to throw his left across the river Bidassoa to strengthen his own position, and secure the port of Fuenterrabia.
At daylight on the 7th of October 1813 he crossed the Bidassoa in seven columns, and attacked the entire French position, which stretched in two heavily entrenched lines from north 1 Duque da Victoria, often incorrectly duke of Vitoria.
The decisive movement was a passage in strength near Fuenterrabia, to the astonishment of Passage of the the enemy, who in view of the width of the river Bidassoa, and the shifting sands, had thought the crossing October 7, impossible at that point.
The passage of the Bidassoa "was a general's not a soldiers' battle" (Napier).
IRUN, a frontier town of northern Spain, in the province of Guipuzcoa, on the left bank of the river Bidassoa, opposite the French village of Hendaye.
By such measures Spain was induced to sue for peace, which was finally signed in the Isle of Pheasants on the Bidassoa, and is known as the Treaty of the Pyrenees.
He returned to Paris in declining health, and did not long survive the unhealthy sojourn on the Bidassoa; after some political instruction to his young master he passed away at Vincennes on the 9th of March 1661, leaving a fortune estimated at from 18 to 40 million livres behind him, and his nieces married into the greatest families of France and Italy.