Amid the still echoing fanfare of commemoration of six centuries of the Old Alliance it is important to remember that the ancient partnership has been at its most meaningful in military endeavour, that is to say, when Portuguese and English (more latterly British) stood shoulder to shoulder against invaders of Portuguese soil and so often gave their lives in its defence. Crusaders of several nationalities, led by the English, had fought alongside the forces of the first Portuguese monarch in the siege of Lisbon of 1147 and also contributed greatly to the reconquest of Lusitania from the Moors. But the partnershjip of the two nations achieved fullest expression in the maintenance of the integrity of Portuguese frontiers. The author refers especially to the battles of Aljubarrota (1385), Roliça (1808), Vimeiro (1808) Buçaco (1810) and to the defence of the Lines of Torres Vedras (1810-1811).
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