By the winter of 1811, the armies of Napoleon had overrun most of Spain, and Joseph Bonaparte sat on the throne in Madrid. But the Spanish government had found refuge in the fortress-port of Cadiz, and the Spaniards refused to admit that they had been conquered. With a British army under Sir Thomas Graham helping to defend Cadiz, the Spanish cause seemed certain to prevail. But then the Spaniards wanted to throw Graham’s force into a reckless battle against the French. If the battle was won, the siege of Cadiz would be lifted; if the battle was lost, Cadiz would be rendered defenseless.