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Sharpe's Battle: The Battle of Fuentes de Onoro, May 1811 (Richard Sharpe (chronological order) #12)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  5,487 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
As Napoleon threatens to crush Britain on the battlefield, Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe leads a ragtag army to exact personal revenge against a French general known for his acts of terror.

Sharpe's Battle takes Richard Sharpe and his company back to the spring of 1811 and one of the most bitter battles of the Peninsular War, a battle on which all British hopes of victory in Spai
ebook, 368 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1995)
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Jun 27, 2008 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cornwell fans and historical or military fiction fans
This, number eleven chronologically is one of the better stories in the series.

Sharpe's enemies are not British for a change. The French General Loup is a truly evil person who kills women and children indiscriminately in an attempt to control the local Spanish Guerillas. Loup's lover is a Spanish turncoat, Juanita, who spies on the British for the French. The Spanish General, Valverde, wants to keep Wellington from being named Generalissimo because he wants the job himself and believes by scape
Mar 27, 2009 Kristin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure-read

Sharpe's Battle wasn't as good as the original core of Sharpe novels, but its far better than the more rushed and recent Sharpe novels. For my complete lengthy review, visit
Dec 28, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharpe is a captain who has come up through the ranks and is now attached to the" green jackets," riflemen attached to the Light Division.

Reviewers have lauded Cornwell's realistic portrayal of the period. I am in no position to judge, but it certainly seems real enough. The characters are well-developed, humorous, and likeable. Cornwell's description of Wellington' s defense at Fuentes de Orono, a battle that if lost might have spelled doom for the British, is marvelous. I never really underst
Jeff Yoak
This is a solid continuation of the Sharpe story. It's a particularly bloody part of the war in which Sharpe must train and lead a group of Spanish Royal guardsmen, toy soldiers more fit for parade and ceremony than for actual battle. The leadership of the army set it up to fail in attempt to get rid of the unit, but Sharpe whips them into shape and ends up taking on a particular brutal group of French.

One of the things that stands out about this particular novel is the increasing effectiveness
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No. 12 in the Richard Sharpe series.[return][return]In May 1911, Sharpe and his company are still in Spain. Thanks to international politics, Sharpe is given the responsibility of training a mostly ceremonial battalion of the Spanish King s Household Guards made up of Irishmen or descendants of Irishmen. But first Sharpe and his south Essex company encounter an unusual French brigade, led by Brigadier General Guy Loup, designed to fight the partisan s with the utmost savagery. Encountering two o ...more
Kathy Davie
Dec 21, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First read 27 Jan 2009: Love the battle, tactics, camaraderie, and the history.

Twelfth in the Richard Sharpe historical military fiction series revolving around Captain Richard Sharpe in the Peninsular War in May of 1811.

My Take
One of the subplots has Sharpe facing off with General Loup while the primary theme is sabotage. A weakening of one's enemy through subterfuge.

Harper is such a crackup with his little ways of distracting Sharpe when he's angry or frustrated. This time he keeps telling st
Yet another excellent entry in the Sharpe series, which just seems to get better and better the more I read. This one starts off in the thick of it, in familiar territory: Sharpe and his boys are patrolling the Portuguese frontier where Sharpe finds and makes a new, hulking enemy: Brigadier Loup, one of the most unpleasant larger-than-life villains of the series so far!

What follows is an enthralling read, packed with treachery, betrayal and more surprises and plot twists than you can shake a st
Carol Storm
Sharpe Meets The Wolf Man!

Wonderful book, but I can already see that Bernard Cornwell churns all these stories out with a similar pattern.

Sharpe meets creepy villain.

Sharpe meets sexy lady, usually evil but sometimes just very confused.

Sharpe goes into a battle and gets beaten by creepy villain, usually by a dirty trick.

Sharpe is in disgrace.

Sharpe meets lovable losers who are in disgrace like him -- different but in the same boat -- sometimes upper class, sometimes foreign, but always dumb
Aug 29, 2011 Marcus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it weren't for the fact that I've read all of previous ten books about Richard Sharpe, I would have given this book at least four stars. The problem is however that this is my eleventh book about Sharpe and I must say that I'm slowly but surely growing tired of repetitious plot elements that turn up in every single book. Saving grace of Cornwell's writing style is the fact that once you start listening to an istallment of Richard Sharpe's adventures, the story quickly gains momentum and carr ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captain Richard Sharpe of the 95th Rifles (or Essex Light Company),once a ranker in India, a killer among gentlemen, takes on two of his more formidable foes: Ducose, the French spymaster in Spain and Brigadier General Loup, who specializes in bringing terror to the Spanish guerrilla movement. As ever, Sharpe is backed by his steady Sergeant (Patrick Harper) and by a half company of rifleman and a half company of Redcoats. This time he is chief drillmaster and scourge to a royal Spanish guard co ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2011 Lois rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe that Sharpe slept with that double-agent whore. Well, I can, but I'm still disappointed.
Jason Koivu
Battle is right in the title and battle is all up in the joint! In this episode Rifleman Richard Sharpe finds himself with Wellington's army trying to maintain a foothold in Spain and in danger of being pushed back into Portugal or even right out of Europe by Napoleon's forces.

In a series started in 1981 and completed in 2007, Sharpe's Battle falls somewhere in between, yet feels very much like an old school Cornwell book. It's heavier on fighting and the plot isn't nearly as twisty as some lat
Oct 25, 2015 Ross rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another of the very good one's in the series. Good battle descriptions with Sharpe actively involved. Nicely drawn villain with satisfying ending. Story line again placed within an actual battle of the Peninsula War, so the reader is learning some genuine history along with the excitement.
Going through the book again October 2015, this time with an audio version read by Frederick Davidson, highly recommended. Better than reading it yourself. Davidson can do about 30 different voices, ma
My sixth Sharpe book was predictable but loved all the same.

May 1911, Sharpe is in Spain and making enemies again. This time with Brigidier General Loup, the bane of the Spanish partisans. During Sharpe's quest to bring Loup to justice and thanks to politics he has been given the task of training the Spanish King's ceremonial guard. With someone trying to get the Irish to revolt within Wellington's army and the seemingly impossible task of winning the next battle, Sharpe must use all his soldier
Jun 23, 2012 Shane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alright, this is book #12 chronologically in the series so let's dispense with the standard boilerplate review openings and get to the good stuff. Sharpe's Battle is one of the books that was added to the series later but inserted in between the existing titles chronologically. As previously stated, I personally find these to be much better written and more keenly polished. Sharpe's Battle is no exception. In fact it's one of the better reads since Sharpe left India. The problem with keeping to ...more
May 21, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Hall
Nov 24, 2012 Peter Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book because not only does it breakdown how the war with the French was being fought and the influence of the Spanish Partisans on the fighting. It evaluates the morals versus what is consider correct by the rules of war or by the law. In this book Sharpe catches two French soldiers in the act of raping a young Spanish women and instead of just capturing them and having them go through military penalties he decides that they need to be executed. There was another officer wh ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I really like this series although it's a far cry from the "Goldie Bear" series I also enjoy. This book just wasn't one of my favorites although it is well written and certainly exciting. It's pretty violent (no surprise there), maybe a bit more violent than most in this series and I guess that's why it isn't one of my favorites.
In the next book in the series, Sharpe gets into trouble when he executes two French soldiers that he caught raping a girl in a small village. The men's commanding officer, Colonol Loup, witnesses his actions and puts a price on the rifleman's head. Meanwhile, Sharpe is dragged into the politics of the day when he is tasked with training an Irish regiment that fights for the Spainish. Wellington knows the company commaders are spies and wants them to fail, hoping that Sharpe's attitude will dri ...more
Aug 08, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feels a bit like exactly what it is, which is a tv-friendly later insert into the series at the request of Carlton. The plot feels a bit cobbled together, and you never really get much of a sense of Loup or any of the other characters present just in this novel. Four stars because the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro is definitely one of the most interesting battles of the Peninsular War, and the story itself is quite desperate and grim. Sharpe definitely doesn't come out of this one covered in glory, ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Margareth8537 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cornwell uses a very similar theme throughout his books, but with enough differences to keep you interested - although I do find it very difficult to remember exactly what happened in each. On the other hand, the Napoleonic Wars lasted quite a long time so that could be understandable. If you're not a military historian you probably don't really remember Talavera from Badajoz.
Having said which, I always enjoy them. Unlike trilogies where the hero seems to come out really badly in vols. 1 and 2,
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Sharpe’s Battle—a mid-series installment in Bernard Cornwell’s long-running series—is a long series of vignettes culminating in a thunderous battle scene that, with its preliminaries, occupies nearly a third of the book. It is easy to believe that dramatizing the battle was Cornwell’s reason for writing the book in the first place, and that everything else is there to make what would otherwise be a novella into a novel. If so, I forgive him: the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro is among the most vivid ...more
Mar 20, 2014 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war
Another chapter in my reading in order to understand what books mean when thy talk about various battles in the Napoleonic wars. You know what I mean, the hero comes back having been involved at Badajoz etc.
Once again Sharpe is involved in the push from Portugal into Spain, the French are still hanging in there. However Sharpe is up against Loup, the leader of an elite French group of soldiers who spend their time fighting the partisans, and an unpleasant character at that.
There's the usual idi
Jan 23, 2015 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Richard Sharpe Adventure. The book starts and reads really fast. With the last 40 or so pages slowing down. Two battles are take place when Arthur Wellesley's army is split in two. Sharpe can only be in one place at a time, so there are several pages of recounting what is happening at the other battle. These sections are just not the same writing excitement that we have come to know from Cornwell. It gets exciting again within the last 10 pages when Sharpe has two options, face disg ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I have lost count of the number of Sharpe books I've read so far. They do tend to repeat themselves, apply the same formula of Richard Sharpe being involved in one of the landmark battles of the Napoleonic Wars, demostrating his professional soldiering talents, and lately his leadership ability. But the books remain entertaining and informative, even if they do not raise to the level of the Warlord or Saxon series, so I guess I will continue to read them until the last installment. They're
An entertaining installment of the Sharpe series which takes place during the lead up to and during the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro in 1811. Lots of battle sequences in this book with just a bit of espionage and a personal battle between Sharpe and an evil French Brigadier thrown in. Listened to the audio version read by Frederick Davidson who is always OK but not really one of my favorites.
Feb 14, 2016 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really good one within the Sharpe series!

Sharpe (of course) is gallant. He hates the savagery the French impose upon the Spanish and Portuguese civilians. Upon finding a massacre, he confronts the enemy general (called "wolf") who uses rape is a weapon! (Even the ‘good guy’ – a partisan on the Brits side – though, is not so nice i.e. he goes by the name “The Castrator”.)

Starting with past books, Sharpe has become an occasional functionary of a British intelligence officer (and the French
David Weinfeld
May 31, 2016 David Weinfeld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
another solid sharpe story. starts out with sharpe in trouble for executing 2 french rapists. he gets in trouble for but redeems himself in battle.
Jul 30, 2016 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bernard-cornwell
The 12th Sharpe book finds him still in Spain. He runs afoul of a French General when he executes 2 of his men for raping and plundering. When he is then tasked with training the King of Spain’s guard many who are disgruntled Irishmen he finds himself attacked by the same General. Barely escaping with his life he finds himself under a possible inquiry for conduct unbecoming an officer and is taken off the lines as a great battle against the French approaches. Obviously as in many of the other bo ...more
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his birth mother's maiden n ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Richard Sharpe (chronological order) (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Sharpe's Tiger (Sharpe, #1)
  • Sharpe's Triumph (Sharpe, #2)
  • Sharpe's Fortress (Sharpe, #3)
  • Sharpe's Trafalgar (Sharpe, #4)
  • Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe, #5)
  • Sharpe's Rifles (Sharpe, #6)
  • Sharpe's Havoc (Sharpe, #7)
  • Sharpe's Eagle (Sharpe, #8)
  • Sharpe's Gold (Sharpe, #9)
  • Sharpe's Escape (Sharpe, #10)

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