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The Spanish Ulcer: A History of Peninsular War
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The Spanish Ulcer: A History of Peninsular War

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal was the most bitterly fought contest of nineteenth-century Europe. From 1808 to 1814, Spanish regulars and guerrillas, along with British forces led by Sir John Moore and the duke of Wellington, battled Napoleon's troops across the length and breadth of the Iberian Peninsula. Napoleon considered the war so insignificant that he rare ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published October 30th 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published 1986)
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'Aussie Rick'
If you only want to a have one book on the Peninsular War, this is it. This is a great account of the battles and campaigns fought in Spain & Portugal during the Napoleonic Wars. In over 550 pages of text the author, David Gates, offers the reader a detailed account of the fighting with a non-bias point of view. He offers assessments of the opposing Generals and their forces and covers the political and social background of the times.

The only fault I could find with this book would be the s
...more
Savannah Toner
Feb 09, 2012 Savannah Toner rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The Peninsular War is a unique part of the broader Napoleonic Wars. The author, David Gates, research of this theater is impressive and meticulous. He writes in great detail, about every battle and skirmish of this war even going so far as inserting maps for the larger battles fought. I love the beginning chapters explaining briefly the background events leading to this outbreak of battle; the general makeup of the armies involved; as well as the primary reasons why Napoleon lost and Lord Wellin ...more
Betsy
Mar 02, 2017 Betsy rated it really liked it
Entertaining and informative look at the Peninsular War of 1808-1814. The author discusses all the major battles in detail using hand-drawn maps. Having already read quite a bit about this 'war to the knife' on the part of Spain and France made it easier to understand what they, as well as Portuguese and British forces went through.

Although it was not the main theatre of war for Napoleon, the Peninsula played a major part in Napoleon's downfall since it deprived him of much needed manpower and a
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Ken
Feb 16, 2017 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it a five if it weren't for the maps, though I am glad it had them unlike other histories on campaigns that either do not have them at all or are barely functional. Got me into the Peninsular War in a large way that I prefer to indulge this subject more than any other Napoleonic related subject.
Peter Harrison
I was, unfortunately, a bit disappointed by this book. I was hoping for an analysis of the 1808-1814 Peninsular War (or Guerra Independencia) which provided a more even handed coverage of the war than is common from English-language authors who have tended to concentrate almost wholly on the British involvement. I was looking for a more sympathetic treatment of the Spanish war effort, whose contribution to the French defeat is too often all but ignored.

For a single volume, the scope of this book
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John
Feb 07, 2017 John rated it liked it
Actually, I did not finish this book. It was way too full of names and numbers to adequately follow. Also, I got entirely frustrated with the author's treatment of the timelines. I would finally finish a chapter which ended, let's say in 1811, then the next chapter covered some other part of Spain starting in 1809. It was hard to stay focused on the overall story, and feel that I made any progress. In any event, I made it to page 287, but consider my future time too valuable to waste any more of ...more
John Condliffe
Struggling through this book, not because it is not any good but because I have been distracted by other things. This is for the serious reader of Military history and is not a light read.
Zeb Larson
Feb 15, 2014 Zeb Larson rated it really liked it
A great overview of the. Peninsular War.
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David Gates is Deputy Director and Senior Fellow of the Centre for Defence and International Security Studies at the University of Lancaster.
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