The Peninsular War: A New History
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.
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The Peninsular War: A New HistoryUser Review - Book Verdict
Drawing on over two decades of lectures, writing, and research, Esdaile (history, Univ. of Liverpool; The Wars of Napoleon) seeks to write a more balanced history of the Peninsular War (1808-13, fought primarily in Spain and Portugal). Anyone interested in history understands that past events reflect the sociopolitical environment of the day, and Esdaile is no exception. More than a simple account of military battles, his book recounts military actions within the context of political, economic, and social realities. In so doing, he challenges the English infatuation with Wellington, the French focus on Napoleon, and the efforts of the Spanish and the Portuguese to wrap the war in their own national perspectives. Esdaile provides clear, concise accounts of major military actions with the resulting aftermath of murder, plunder, and rape by soldiers on all sides of the conflict. In addition, he intertwines the political maneuvering, economic impact, and social change occurring in Europe during the six years of the war. Well written and featuring rational conclusions based on solid research, it is highly recommended for academic libraries with European history graduate programs and large public libraries with European collections.-Lt. Col. Charles M. Minyard (Ret.), U.S. Army, Mt. Pleasant, MI ...
Review: The Peninsular WarUser Review - Goodreads
This seemed to want to be a book either about how the Josephinian Interregnum reshaped Spanish politics or about How Brutish the British, but it never really managed to be either thing, getting bogged ...