"discussing the siege of Saragossa"

  Saragossa was besieged twice during the Peninsula War, in 1808 and 1809. During the first 61-day siege the Spanish forces successfully withstood attack by the French under General Jean-Antoine Verdier, although the town's defences were largely destroyed. The Spanish Captain-General Palafox became a national hero. However, the following year, the French Marshal Moncey approached the city once more. Palafox quickly started to repair the city's defences, and another long siege ensued. After Saragossa's defences were breached, fighting continued from house to house; the French were even forced to storm the town's convents and monasteries. Eventually the Spanish were defeated with the loss of around 54,000 lives. This siege is now known as one of the most deadly and vicious battles in the Napoleonic Wars.