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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This thread is dedicated to the discussion of The Peninsular War: Spanish Uprising 1808.

The city had been under the occupation of Napoleon's army since March 23 of the same year. King Charles IV had been forced to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand VII, and at the time of the uprising both were in the French city of Bayonne at the insistence of Napoleon. An attempt by the French general Joachim Murat to move the daughter and youngest son of Charles IV to Bayonne led to a popular rebellion that was harshly suppressed by French troops after hours of fierce street fighting. The uprising in Madrid, together with the subsequent proclamation as king of Napoleon's brother Joseph, provoked resistance across Spain to French rule.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 21, 2010 07:08AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This segment of the Peninsular War included the following events and battles:

Madrid – Bruch – Alcolea – Cabezón – 1st Gerona – 2nd Gerona – Saragossa – Medina de Rioseco – Valencia – Cádiz harbour – Bailén – Roliça – Vimeiro

Please feel free to discuss this segment of the war and any of these battles or any of the leaders/generals/countries involved as well as what led to these events.

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 21, 2010 07:15AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
The Peninsular War, 1807-1814 (Penguin Classic Military History) by Michael Glover by Michael Glover

Brief Synopsis:

The Peninsular War is often eclipsed by the spectacular individual battles by sea and land of the Napoleonic Wars, but it was the decisive struggle in which the Emperor's troops faced defeat for the first time. Michael Glover seeks to give the basic skeleton of facts and to flesh it out with first-hand accounts of what it was like to march and fight, to eat and be wounded, to command and be commanded at the start of the 19th century. Stress is laid on the technological limitations of warfare during this period, when all the movement was limited to the pace of a heavily-laden infantryman moving across country

The Napoleonic Wars An Illustrated History, 1792-1815 by Michael Glover by Michael Glover

Brief Synopsis:

On April 20, 1792, revolutionary France declared war on Austria and began a struggle that, with only two short breaks, was to last until after Waterloo, more than twenty years later. Except for tiny Montenegro, every country in Europe was involved at one time or another, many countries fighting now on France's side, then against her. There were naval actions in every ocean of the world, while on land the fighting ranged from Java in the east to Buenos Aires in the west; from Finland in the north to Cape Town in the south.

While Napoleon was the predominant figure, there was also a plethora of distinguished if lesser figures. Among the generals were the Archduke Charles, Kutusov, Massena and Wellington. The admirales included Howe, Villaret-Joyeuse and Nelson--and there was that remarkable trio of statesmen: Castlereagh, Metternich and Talleyrand.

In this book Michael Glover, author of eleven other military historical books, and an authority on the period, weaves together the four strande--military, naval, economic and diplomatic--which went to make p the greatest war that history has known, and which included such classic battles as the Nile, Marengo, Trafalgar, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, Wagram, Salamanca, Borodino, Leipzig and Waterloo

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Bentley,

One of the best books that I have read to date on the Peninsular War was; "The Spanish Ulcer" by David Gates. This was an excellent single volume history of this campaign that I don't think has been surpased yet.

The Spanish Ulcer A History of the Peninsular War by David Gates by David Gates
Publishers blurb:
By July 1807, following his spectacular victories over Austria, Prussia and Russia, Napoleon dominated most of Europe. The only significant gap in his continental system was the Iberian Peninsula. He therefore begun a series of diplomatic and military moves aimed at forcing Spain and Portugal to toe the line, leading to a popular uprising against the French and the outbreak of war in May 1808. Napoleon considered the war in the Peninsula, which he ruefully called 'The Spanish Ulcer', so insignificant that he rarely bothered to bring to it his military genius, relying on his marshals instead, and simultaneously launching his disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. Yet the war was to end with total defeat for the French. In late 1813 Wellington's army crossed the Pyrenees into the mainland of France. This is the first major military history of the war for half a century. Combining scholarship with a vivid narrative, it reveals a war of unexpected savagery, of carnage at times so great as to be comparable to the First World War. But it was also a guerilla war, fought on beautiful but difficult terrain, where problems of supply loomed large. The British Navy, dominant at sea after Trafalgar, was able to provide crucial support to the hard-pressed, ill-equipped and often outnumbered forces fighting the French. Dr Gates' history can claim to be the first to provide a serious assessment of the opposing generals and their troops, as well as analysing in detail the social and political background. The Peninsular war is particularly rich in varied and remarkable campaigns, and his book will fascinate all those who enjoy reading military history.

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Aussie Rick, a great add.

message 6: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Sep 21, 2010 04:15PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Thanks Bentley, as you know I find it hard to restrain myself when it comes to talking about military history books and good titles to share with other readers. Here are another two decent books, one which I have read and one which I haven't.

The Peninsular War by Charles J. Esdaile by Charles J. Esdaile (This book offers a very decent overview including the politics and other issues that affected the campaign.)
Publishers blurb:
For centuries Spain had been the most feared and predatory power in Europe - it had the largest empire and one of the world's great navies to defend it. Nothing could have prepared the Spanish for the devastating implosion of 1805-14. Trafalgar destroyed its navy and the country degenerated into a brutalized shambles with French and British armies marching across it at will. The result was a war which killed over a million Spaniards and ended its empire. This book is the first in a generation to come to terms with this spectacular and terrible conflict, immortalised by Goya and the arena in which Wellington and his redcoats carved out one of the greatest episodes in British military history.

PENINSULAR EYEWITNESSES The Experience of War in Spain and Portugal 1808-1813 by Charles J. Esdaile by Charles J. Esdaile (not read)
Publishers blurb:
Many books have been written about the British struggle against Napoleon in the Peninsula. A few recent studies have given a broader view of the ebb and flow of a long war that had a shattering impact on Spain and Portugal and marked the history of all the nations involved. But none of these books has concentrated on how these momentous events were perceived and understood by the people who experienced them. Charles Esdaile has brought together a vivid selection of contemporary accounts of every aspect of the war to create a panoramic yet minutely detailed picture of those years of turmoil. The story is told through memoirs, letters and eyewitness testimony from all sides. Instead of generals and statesmen, we mostly hear from less-well-known figures - junior officers and ordinary soldiers and civilians who recorded their immediate experience of the conflict.

"Napoleon's vain act of placing his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne in 1808 cost him an ally as the Spanish populace rose against their French-installed monarch. That in turn led to two invasions of the Iberian Peninsula that would ultimately cost the French army a total of 500,000 casualties—and that brought an Anglo-Portuguese army, commanded by Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, right to the French border by the end of 1813.

In Peninsular Eyewitnesses Charles Esdaile, a leading Napoleonic historian with a chair at the University of Liverpool, supplements his descriptions of the military aspects of those campaigns with the personal recollections of soldiers who fought in them. These memoirs come from French, British, Germans, Poles and even an American adventurer, although the author admits his failure to find one from a Portuguese participant. His purpose, it soon becomes clear, is not to write about battles or that which other authors have already described, perhaps better than he, but to show the war's terrible consequences on the fate of common people.

As Francisco de Goya did on canvas, so Esdaile uses his compilation of personal documents to focus on the cruelty of that war. One example is the punishment of a small village by the French governor of Avila, Abel Hugo, father of the writer Victor Hugo. The Spanish population's reaction to the French invaders brought the words guerrilla and junta into the English language. Until the rising of the people of Madrid on May 2, 1808, the conduct of the Napoleonic Wars had retained a degree of medieval chivalry. Those vestiges were swept away thereafter.

The author devotes special attention to the second siege of Saragosa, which became a Spanish Stalingrad. Marshal Jean Lannes began his effort to break through the Spanish defenses in the usual way by advancing his trenches until the first houses were reached. The houses were then mined and blown up, defenders and all. The French soldiers, warned when the mines were to go off, held themselves in readiness and when the explosion took place, they dashed over the ruins, killing everyone they encountered. Once they had established themselves behind what bits of wall remained, the French improvised barricades from furniture and beams, and constructed passages amid the ruins for the sappers, who would then mine the next house. When Saragosa surrendered on February 21, 1809, 54,000 Spaniards had died—fewer than 20,000 of them soldiers.

Readers interested in the evolution of total war in modern European history will find Peninsular Eyewitness most helpful and interesting." - Thomas Zacharis (ed. H.D.W.)

message 7: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is an interesting book covering the fighting and sieges for Saragossa:

War to the Death by Raymond Rudorff by Raymond Rudorff
Publishers blurb:
The intensity of Spanish resistance to French occupation of their country during the Napoleonic Wars is vividly portrayed in this classic account of the sieges of Saragossa in 1808 and 1809. The French army expected to have little difficulty in taking this key Spanish city, but they encountered ferocious opposition from Spanish soldiers and civilians. They were embroiled in a murderous, long-drawn out operation that lasted for almost a year. Casualties were very heavy on both sides, as was the suffering of the citizens of Saragossa, and the city was ruined by weeks of hand-to-hand, room-to-room fighting. Raymond Rudorff's classic account, reissued in paperback, of one of the defining events in the Peninsular War gives a vivid insight into the siege and the street-fighting, and into the fierce determination of the Spanish to expel the French from their country.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Excellent Aussie Rick.

message 9: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) My current book; "To War with Wellington" by Peter Snow mainly covers Wellington in the Peninsular campaign with only the last few chapters devoted to the invasion of France and Waterloo. So if anyone had an interest in Wellingtons role and career during the fighting in Spain against France this would be a very suitable book to start with.

To War with Wellington From the Peninsula to Waterloo by Peter Snow by Peter Snow
Publishers blurb:
The story of the men who fought their way across Europe to topple Napoleon told by those who were there.
What made Arthur Duke of Wellington the military genius who was never defeated in battle? In the vivid narrative style that is his trademark, Peter Snow recalls how Wellington evolved from a backward, sensitive schoolboy into the aloof but brilliant commander. He tracks the development of Wellington’s leadership and his relationship with the extraordinary band of men he led from Portugal in 1808 to their final destruction of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo seven years. Having described his soldiers as the ‘scum of the earth’ Wellington transformed them into the finest fighting force of their time.
Digging deep into the rich treasure house of diaries and journals that make this war the first in history to be so well recorded, Snow examines how Wellington won the devotion of generals such as the irascible Thomas Picton and the starry but reckless ‘Black Bob’ Crauford and soldiers like Rifleman Benjamin Harris and Irishman Ned Costello. Through many first-hand accounts, Snow brings to life the horrors and all of the humanity of life in and out of battle, as well as shows the way that Wellington mastered the battlefield to outsmart the French and change the future of Europe.
To War with Wellington is the gripping account of a remarkable leader and his men.

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you very much Aussie Rick.

message 11: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) In my current book on Wellington in the peninsular campaign reference has been made to General Craufurd and his devotion to ensure his troops were always supplied:

"Someone in the commissary department once complained to Wellington that Craufurd was threatening to hang him, as he had others in the past, if supplies were not produced by a certain time. Wellington replied, 'Then I advise you to produce them, for he is quite certain to do it'. "

Below is a book covering the said General Craufurd and his Light troops:

GENERAL CRAUFURD AND HIS LIGHT DIVISION by Rev. Alexander H. Craufurd by Rev. Alexander H. Craufurd
Publishers blurb:
A military biography of one of Wellington's most celebrated lieutenants in the Peninsula War recounting the exploits of his Light Division, written by Craufurd's grandson, who states that the book is ‘intended to be essentially light reading' and salts it with interesting and amusing anecdotes. Major-General Robert Craufurd served in Spain under Sir John Moore, and subsequently commanded the Light Division under Wellington, being mortally wounded in the storming of the Fortress of Ciudad Roderigo. The book comes complete with a fine portrait of Craufurd and facsimiles of letters praising him from Moore and Wellington.

message 12: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a new and very nicely produced book on the Peninsular War: "The Peninsular War Atlas" by Nick Lipscombe.

The Peninsular War Atlas by Nick Lipscombe by Nick Lipscombe
Publishers blurb:
The Peninsular War saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the Napoleonic Wars. Over a period of five years, it is estimated that half a million soldiers and civilians were killed. The battles, however, are less well-known than those of other Napoleonic battles; despite the exposure give to this theater in Bernard Cornwell's "Richard Sharpe" series of novels, the soldiers who fought there have received little public recognition. Now, with the beginnings of the bicentennial commemorations of the Peninsular War, this theater is gaining wider recognition.

The Peninsular War Atlas has been put together over the last decade by Colonel Nick Lipscombe of the British Army. Based in Spain, he is the chairman for the official organization of Peninsular War commemorations, and his thirty years of military service bring a unique perspective to this first complete atlas of the war. In collaboration with Spanish authorities and academics, he has re-evaluated key battles and offers readers new interpretations of the sources available.

Illustrated throughout with 160 high-standard maps, accompanied by a text narrating the entire war, this title is a must for anyone interested in Napoleonic history.

message 13: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here are two very good books covering the Peninsular campaign. The first book is a visual feast for the eyes with some lovely colour photographs of the battlefields taken by Andy Cook.

Fields of Fire: Battlefields of the Peninsular War (no cover) by Ian Fletcher
Publishers blurb:
A combination of eye-witness quotes, paintings and Andy Cook's photographs of the battlefields as they appear today, brings to life the battles, armies, generals and terrain of the Iberian Peninsula where Wellington forged and led the Britain army.

In Hell Before Daylight The Siege and Storming of the Fortress of Badajoz, 1812 by Ian Fletcher by Ian Fletcher
Publishers blurb:
This book analyses the siege of Badajoz, which took place during the Peninsular War, making effective and dramatic use of the testimony of the participants. Together with Ciudad Rodrigo it was one of the great fortress cities which commanded the two routes between Spain and Portugal, known as the 'Keys of Spain'. Rodrigo was the first to fall in January 1812, and the following month Wellington's men began to slip away southwards to lay siege to Badajoz. The city had been attacked twice before by the British, but a lack of proper siege materials had caused both attempts to be abandoned. This time, however, they hoped to be 'third time lucky'. Based on eye-witness accounts of the men of the French and British armies, 'In Hell Before Daylight' tells the story of this bloody siege, the conditions in which the British soldiers fought and died, and the horrifying sack of the city as the victorious army ran unchecked.

message 14: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Another good book covering some hard fought sieges during the Peninsular campaign is "Napoleon and Iberia" by Donald Horward.

Napoleon and Iberia The Twin Sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, 1810 (Napoleonic Library) by Donald D. Horward by Donald D. Horward

message 15: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) It appears that I failed to mention a recent book that I read that offers a decent account of Wellington in the Peninsular campaign; "A Commanding Presence: Wellington in the Peninsula 1808-1814" by Ian Robertson.

A Commanding Presence Wellington in the Peninsula 1808-1814 by Ian Robertson by Ian Robertson
The many battles fought by Wellington have always excited interest and controversy. What is not always remembered is that almost all of the fighting on land between British and French troops during the Napoleonic period took place in Portugal and Spain. Thus the extended struggle became known as the Peninsular War . What sets this book apart from the many studies of those campaigns available is the author s individual approach. Few are aware that Wellington s armies were only actually engaged with the enemy less than 10 per cent of the time. Much of it was spent finding food and drink for man and beast, and withstanding the severe physical conditions encountered in the Peninsula, aspects of the conflict that have never been adequately addressed. The unforgiving climate and mountainous terrain materially affected Wellingtons strategy, and it was his commanding presence that enabled the many logistical problems to be overcome. In this new study, Ian Robertson draws on many vivid first-hand accounts of campaigning life and at the same time places the several stubbornly fought actions in their proper context. Required reading for a true understanding of warfare in the Napoleonic period.

"Contains many good quality monochrome and colour illustrations ... Substantial use is made of contemporary writers to describe the events ... The perspective of the book is different and it is well worth the time to read." - The Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research

"A modern single volume history of the Peninsular War distinguished by the impressive range of original sources used, the author's first hand knowledge of Spanish conditions and by its invaluable material on the difficulties Wellington faced because of those conditions." -

message 16: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I came across a copy of this book today and decided to order a hard back copy for my library; "Wellington's Army, 1804-14" by Sir Charles Oman.

Wellington's Army, 1804-14 (Napoleonic library) by Sir Charles Oman by Sir Charles Oman
"Greenhill Books is to be congratulated for reissuing this long out-of-print classic. This edition is based upon the book written starting in 1912 and first published in 1913. "This edition is reproduced now exactly as the original edition, complete and unabridged."

It is divided into an introduction on the old Peninsular Army and chapters on the literature, the Duke of Wellington, Wellington's infantry tactics, Wellington's cavalry and artillery tactics, Wellington's lieutenants, headquarters of the army, organization into brigades and divisions, the regiments, officers, rank and file, the Germans and Portuguese, discipline and courts-martial, army on the march, baggage and the ladies, sieges, uniforms and weapons, commissariat and spiritual life, with three appendices on regimental establishments and stations in 1809, the divisions and brigades of the army, a bibliography and with an index. To supplement the text, there are eight well-chosen black-and-white illustrations of officers and men.

The appendix on the brigades and divisions contains the work of Professor C. T. Atkinson, who wrote an expanded version of his English Historical Review article on the organization of Wellington's army, listing many of the changes which occurred in the army's formations from 1809 to 1814. A very valuable tool when researching the orders of battle for its campaigns and battles.

Oman tried to cover many details within this book and if you look, for example, at the subheadings for his Chapter XII on "Internal Organization of the Regiment: The Rank and File," you see such items as 'Volunteers from the Militia', 'The Normal Recruit', 'Undesirable Recruits', 'The Gentleman-Ranker', 'Concerning Sergeants' and 'The Sergeant's Self-Respect'. It was also one of the first books to discuss in some detail the Portuguese Army and its contribution to the war effort.

This book is the foundation of all similar books which followed it. It was written while Oman was also working on his massive A History of the Peninsular War [reprinted by Greenhill Books 1995-1997] and Sir John Fortescue was writing his in-depth A History of the British Army. The book expands on many of the themes for which these authors were unable to do so in their larger works. Together they all provide the essential history of the British and Allied effort in Portugal, Spain and the South of France.

You will find this book in the bibliography of later books published on Wellington's army as in Michael Glover's Wellington's Army in the Peninsula 1808-1814 (Hippocrene Books 1977), Philip J. Haythornthwaite's The Armies of Wellington (Arms & Armour 1994) or Stuart Reid's Wellington's Army in the Peninsula 1809-1814 (Osprey Publishing 2004).

Of course as with any work first published some 90 years ago, as more recent information has become available, some of the opinions and details included in the book have been rendered out-of-date. This however does not detract from its overall quality; but, provides an interesting look at how things were still viewed more than 100 years after the Peninsular War began.

It is a book which has stood the test of time and done so remarkably well." - Ron McGuigan (Napoleon Series: June 2006)

message 17: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is another later publication by Jac Weller covering Wellington during the Peninsular campaign; "Wellington In The Peninsula 1808-1814|".

Wellington In The Peninsula 1808-1814 (Greenhill Military Paperbacks) by Jac Weller by Jac Weller

For those interested this author has published three very good books on Wellington, the one above and these two:

Wellington In India-Softbound (Greenhill Military Paperbacks) by Jac Weller & WELLINGTON AT WATERLOO by Jac Weller by Jac Weller

message 18: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) New book being released this month covering the French cavalry in the Peninsular; "Charging Against Wellington: The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War, 1807-1814" by Robert Burnham.

Charging Against Wellington The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War, 1807-1814 by Robert Burnham by Robert Burnham
Like the author s previous book, The British Army Against Napoleon, Charging Against Wellington draws heavily on primary sources, manuals, memoirs, and regimental histories to bring to life the officers and men of the regiments that fought. The book is divided into three sections. The first contains biographies of 80 generals who led the French cavalry, focusing on the time they served in the Peninsula and its impact on their careers. Two went on to become Marshals of France and many were promoted and given greater responsibilities. For others, their careers were damaged while serving in Spain or Portugal nine were relieved from their commands. Nearly half of the generals were killed, wounded, captured, or died from their wounds in Spain: a high price for glory. The second section looks at the ever-changing organisation of the cavalry, month and year, where the various regiments and brigades were located and who commanded them. This is not as easy as a task as it may appear, because a considerable amount of the cavalry was provisional regiments, consisting of squadrons drawn from other regiments. By April 1814, the Peninsula cavalry was down to 4,000 men a shadow of the force that invaded six years before. Charging Against Wellington chronicles all the changes, showing which units left, when they left, and how their departure impacted the army. The third section looks at the service record of the 70+ French cavalry regiments that fought in Spain and Portugal. There is a table for each regiment that tracks the regiment s colonels, composition, organisation, strength, and casualties while in the Peninsula, and when its various squadrons arrived and departed.

message 19: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments can someone send me an account of the capture of the governor of Ciudad Rodrigo before the actual siege took place. We were at a wine tasting the other day and the vineyard is the one the governor bought after the war. The current owner (a British attorney) knows he was a prisoner of the British before the fortress fell but doesn't know any more of the story. I seem to recall it has something to do with the Light Bobs and cattle.

message 20: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Patricrk, I'll try and have a look over the next few days and see what I can find.

message 21: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Hi Patricrk, I'll try and have a look over the next few days and see what I can find."

Thanks I really appreciate that.

message 22: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Patricrk,

Is this the story your looking for:

Perez de Herrasti, Governor of Ciudad Rodrigo

message 23: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Hi Patricrk,

Is this the story your looking for:

Perez de Herrasti, Governor of Ciudad Rodrigo"

No, I'm looking for some details of the capture of the French governor who was captured in the 1812 siege by Wellington.

message 24: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) OK, will try again, sorry :)

message 25: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) How about this one (has some good photographs as well):

1812 Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo

message 26: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "How about this one (has some good photographs as well):

1812 Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo "

Your awsome. Thanks a lot.

message 27: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Glad to help, it must have been pretty interesting having a wine tasting and chat in the vineyard that the governor bought after the war, pretty amazing!

message 28: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is another new title for fans of the Peninsular War; "Wellington Against Junot: The First Invasion of Portugal 1807-1808" by David Buttery.

Wellington Against Junot The First Invasion of Portugal 1807-1808 by David Buttery by David Buttery
The first French invasion of Portugal in 1807 - which was commanded by General Jean-Andoche Junot, one of Napoleon's most experienced generals - was a key event in the long, brutal Peninsular War, and it was the first campaign fought in the Peninsula by Sir Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, yet it tends to be overshadowed by more famous episodes in the six-year conflict that followed. David Buttery, in this original and perceptive new study, sets the record straight.

His tightly focused narrative covers the entire campaign in vivid detail - the rise of popular resistance to the French occupying forces, the outbreak of ruthless guerrilla warfare, the differences in the tactics of the opposing Allied and French armies, the contrasting personalities of Wellesley and Junot, the Allied victories at Roliça and Vimeiro, and the notorious Convention of Cintra which terminated the campaign, ruined the careers of two British generals and nearly wrecked that of Wellesley himself.

But the account also examines the wider implications of the invasion and liberation of Portugal - its impact on Napoleonic strategy and on the protracted struggle against the French across the Iberian Peninsula, and its contribution to the eventual defeat of Napoleon.

And don't forget this author's previous title:

Wellington Against Massena by David Buttery by David Buttery

message 29: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I've finally managed to find myself a copy of; "Wellington's Peninsular War: Battles and Battlefields" by Julian Paget. I discovered a copy in a second-hand bookshop today and grabbed it. I hope to tour Spain one day and use this book as a guide.

Wellington's Peninsular War Battles and Battlefields by Julian Paget by Julian Paget
Wellington's Peninsular War provides a concise and comprehensive account for use by both professional and amateur historians and which includes details of the battlefields as they are today and how to find and explore them. The Peninsular War (1808-1841) was part of the twenty year struggle against Napoleon Bonaparte that involved campaigns in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, the West Indies, South America and South Africa and until 1914 was known as 'The Great War'.

The author has presented a balanced picture of the campaign and gives due credit to the Spanish and Portuguese efforts. Arranged in sections, the author starts with a review of the whole war and the background to it and follows with a complete chronological account of the war year by year. Finally a chapter on each of the major battles includes maps and photographs of the battlefields, orders of battle and instructions on how to find the battlefield today and what to see there. The maps show the ground as it was at the time but also include modern features to identify where the fighting took place enabling the reader to stand where Wellington would have stood when surveying the battlefield.

message 30: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes

Anyone interested in the Peninsular war ought to read this, IMHO. Urban's biography of George Scovell sometimes reads more like a novel than NF much of the time. And apart from the story of the 'Grand Chiffre' it gives an insight into what life was like for a middle-class officer of the period.
Much better than the author's 'Rifles'(story of the 60th and 95th regiments in the Peninsula) - but that's only my view.

message 31: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jonathan, I totally agree with you about Mark Urban's book "The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes" although I also enjoyed his book "Wellington's Rifles" just as much.

The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes The Story of George Scovell by Mark Urban by Mark Urban Mark Urban

Wellington's Rifles by Mark Urban by Mark Urban Mark Urban

If you haven't already done so please drop by our welcome page and introduce yourself, there are a few guidelines and rules there for you as well that will help you navigate the group.

message 32: by Jonathan (last edited Jul 18, 2011 02:39PM) (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments I don't know why I found 'Rifles' a tougher read. Maybe because up until 2005 if you'd offered me historical NF I'd have run a mile! My favourite textbook though, because it reinforced my belief that British cavalry weren't the useless bunglers that every other historian and his dog seemed to think, is
Galloping at Everything: The British Cavalry in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo 1808-1815. a Reappraisal

message 33: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Jul 18, 2011 06:22PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jonathan, one of my favourite books covering the Peninsular War was; "The Spanish Ulcer" by David Gates. Have you read that book at all?

The Spanish Ulcer A History of the Peninsular War by David Gates by David Gates

message 34: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I have a copy of; "Galloping at Everything" by Ian Fletcher that I have to try and read soon as well :)

Galloping at Everything The British Cavalry in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo 1808-1815. a Reappraisal by Ian F. Fletcher by Ian F. Fletcher

message 35: by Jonathan (last edited Jul 19, 2011 02:59AM) (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "I have a copy of; "Galloping at Everything" by Ian Fletcher that I have to try and read soon as well :)

The Peninsular War by Charles J. Esdaile Charles J. Esdaile

Napoleon's Cavalry and Its Leaders by David JohnsonDavid Johnson

message 36: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for those recommendations, I've read 'The Peninsular War' by Charles Esdaile which I enjoyed and have a copy of 'Napoleon's Cavalry and it's Leaders' which I am yet to read, I better move it up the list a bit!

The Peninsular War A New History (Allen Lane History) by Charles J. Esdaile by Charles J. Esdaile

Napoleon's Cavalry and Its Leaders by David Johnson by David Johnson

I recently purchased a copy of this book that may interest you as well:

PENINSULAR EYEWITNESSES The Experience of War in Spain and Portugal 1808-1813 by Charles J. Esdaile by Charles J. Esdaile

message 37: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments Thanks Rick - I've had my eye on that for a while but budget constraints (ie. wife etc) mean I'm on the lookout for a cheap copy.
Have you seen this one? All unpublished letters from Siborne's correspendence during the time he was making his Waterloo model. Although specific to the battle,and mainly concerned with battalion positioning at certain times of day it's a good read if you're really into Waterloo.
Letters from the Battle of Waterloo Unpublished Correspondence by Allied Officers from the Siborne Papers by Gareth Glover
Gareth Glover

message 38: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jonathan, I fully understand the issue of budget restraints, I have the same issue :)

I have a copy of 'Letters from the Battle of Waterloo' by Gareth Glover and also recently picked up a 1983 edition of 'The Waterloo Letters' by Siborne (not listed at Goodreads). They should both make interesting reading when I get a chance!

Letters from the Battle of Waterloo Unpublished Correspondence by Allied Officers from the Siborne Papers by Gareth Glover by Gareth Glover

Have you seen Glover's latest two books:

Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo The Letters and Journals of Lieutenant Colonel James Stanhope 1803 to 1825 Recording His ... Sir Thomas Graham and the Duke of Wellington by Gareth Glover and An Eloquent Soldier by Gareth Glover by Gareth Glover

message 39: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I also enjoy reading first-hand accounts and memoirs from the French side and I finally purchased the second volume of Marshal Suchet memoirs:

Memoirs of the war in Spain, from 1808 to 1814 by Louis-Gabriel Suchet & Memoirs Of The War In Spain From 1808 To 1814 V2 by Louis-Gabriel Suchet by Louis-Gabriel Suchet

message 40: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 02, 2011 10:27AM) (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "I also enjoy reading first-hand accounts and memoirs from the French side and I finally purchased the second volume of Marshal Suchet memoirs:

Peninsular Portrait 1811 - 1814 by S. A. C. Cassels

S. A. C. Cassels

message 41: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jonathan,

I have most of those first-hand accounts yet to read as well, can't wait! Don't forget when mentioning a book to cite the bookcover and author so others can check the details out, you might get a few converts to Napoleonic history!

Chasseur Barres - The experiences of a French Infantryman of the Imperial Guard at Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau, Friedland, in the Peninsular, Lutzen, Bautzen, ... and Hanau during the Napoleonic Wars. by Jean, Baptiste Barres by Jean, Baptiste Barres

Napoleon's Victories; From the Personal Memoirs of Capt. C. Parquin, of the Imperial Guard, 1803-1814 by Denis Charles Parquin by Denis Charles Parquin

Hussar Rocca A French Cavalry Officer's Experiences of the Napoleonic Wars and His Views on the Peninsular Campaigns Against the Spanish, British and Guerilla by Albert Jean Michel De Rocca by Albert Jean Michel De Rocca

message 42: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 08, 2011 08:35AM) (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments I thought the Parquin memoir the most entertaining of the French - after Marbot.
The other decent French memoir I've read is 'The Note-books of Captain Coignet', though there's an awful lot of marching and starving!
The Exploits of Baron De Marbot by Baron De Marbot Baron De Marbot
Napoleon's Army Charles Parquin
Note-Books of Captain Coignet: Soldier of the Empire, 1799-1816 Jean-Roch Coignet

message 43: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Some excellent titles there Jonathan, all of which I have but am yet to read!

message 44: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 08, 2011 02:45PM) (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Some excellent titles there Jonathan, all of which I have but am yet to read!"

Problem is, when your bookshelves have to be stacked two deep you can't always remember what you've got! That's my excuse, anyway.
Another worthwhile read is Schaumann's memoir of a commissary officer 'On the Road with Wellington'. Although I get the impression he exaggerated his sexual exploits just a bit.
On The Road With Wellington by A. L. F. Schaumann
August Schaumann

message 45: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Don't we all :)

message 46: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is another book that I am yet to read that may interest you:

Recollections of Colonel De Gonneville by Aymar Oliver LeHarivel De Gonneville (no cover)Recollections of Colonel De Gonneville by Aymar Oliver LeHarivel De Gonneville
From the Back Cover:
"The most distinguished of these was the 13th Cuirassiers, a regiment of new formation, which served throughout the war in Aragon and Catalonia, and was by far the best of Suchet's mounted corps. For it's achievements the reader may be referred to the interesting recollections of Colonel De Gonneville" - Oman - 'The History of the Peninsular War'.

message 47: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments Thanks Rick - I'll keep a look out for that one.
I'm just finishing 'Young Nelsons' which I found an eye-opener as far as the ages of Midshipmen and ships' boys is concerned. I haven't read much Napoleonic naval NF (I realise there's another thread for that)but needed to do some research for a story which also involves Lord Cochrane, so here's two you might enjoy.
Young Nelsons Boy sailors during the Napoleonic Wars (General Military) by Douglas Ronald Douglas Ronald
Cochrane the Dauntless The Life and Adventures of Thomas Cochrane by David Cordingly
David Cordingly

message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Hi Jonathan,

Great effort with the citations. Thank you.

However, in the second citation, the author's photo was also available. When that is the case, please add it in addition to our bookcover and author's link. The guidelines call for all three when available.

The citation would therefore look like the following:

Cochrane the Dauntless The Life and Adventures of Thomas Cochrane, 1775-1860 by David Cordingly by David Cordingly David Cordingly

message 49: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jonathan,

I have a copy of "Young Nelsons" that I am yet to read so thanks for reminding me :)

I have read "Cochrane the Dauntless" and quite enjoyed it. Can I offer another good book on the subject; "Cochrane: The Story of Britannia's Sea Wolf".

Cochrane The Story of Britannia's Sea Wolf (Cassell Military Paperbacks) by Donald Thomas by Donald Thomas

Young Nelsons Boy sailors during the Napoleonic Wars (General Military) by Douglas Ronald by Douglas Ronald

Cochrane The Real Master and Commander by David Cordingly by David Cordingly David Cordingly

message 50: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Hopkins | 26 comments Anyone waiting for Mr Burham's 'Charging Against Wellington' - publication of which seems to have been delayed for some reason - might like to try 'The French Cavalry 1792-1815' by David Johnson. More general than the author's later 'Napoleon's Cavalry and its Leaders' I particularly liked the number of small anecdotes, hard to find in most histories of the Wars. It makes individuals more human.
The French cavalry 1792-1815 by David Johnson David Johnson
Napoleon's Cavalry and Its Leaders by David Johnson David Johnson
Charging Against Wellington The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War, 1807-1814 by Robert Burnham Robert Burnham

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