Today on November 24, 1762, King Joseph I, with support from his British allies, successfully stopped the Franco-Spanish invasion of Portugal.
The Spanish invasion of Portugal in 1762 was one of the most difficult situations faced by the Portuguese monarch, King Joseph I. The Spanish attempt to conquer Portugal was one of the main military episodes of the Seven Years’ War. The war is considered to be the first true ‘world war’ and was led by Europe’s two greatest rivals, Britain and France. The British decided to aid the Portuguese, while the French opted to support the Spanish.
Earlier in 1762, Spain and France sent King Joseph an ultimatum; either he abandoned his alliance with Britain and closed his ports to British ships — or faced invasion. The Portuguese monarch refused to submit and prepared for war. Britain immediately deployed a relief force of 7,100 troops. More importantly, they also sent an accomplished military commander, the Count of Lippe, to lead the defense. The British commander instituted military reforms and trained the Portuguese army. Lippe played a pivotal role in leading their alliance to victory against the invasion forces.