won the battle
of Albuera on 16 May 1811, and although the battle is generally considered a strategic mistake
it provided the esprit de corps
that aided Wellington in future battles against Napolean's
The vicotory was due in large part to the heroic action of the famous British 57th Foot commanded by Colonel William Inglis. His regiment
, part of a thin line of 1800 redcoats, occupied an important strategic position in the small Spanish village
and had been pinned down by deadly French fire.
"Die hard, fifty-seventh, die hard!" Inglis cried out from where he lay wounded.
His men responded. Of 579 troops
, 438 were killed or wounded and the regiment passed into legend
as the Die Hards
. Later the nickname was used to describe ultraconservative political
groups or individuals refusing to change with the times, many of them far less honourable than the 57th. From this it has adopted the additional meaning as given by semprini