Albuera was the bloodiest battle in the entire war — of the sixty-five hundred British infantry taking part in it, more than two-thirds were killed or wounded. [French General] Soult could not understand what had happened. “They could not be persuaded they were beaten,” he wrote of the English. “They were completely beaten, the day was mine, and they didn’t know it and wouldn’t run.” As a matter of fact, seeing the number of his casualties, [English General] Beresford did think that he had been beaten and said as much in his report to Wellington. “This won’t do,” Wellington replied. “It will drive the people in England mad. Write me down a victory.” Beresford wrote down a victory, and a victory it has been ever since. Thus, sometimes, are battles won.

J. Christopher Herold, The Age of Napoleon
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