Fighting Napoleon: Guerrillas, Bandits and Adventurers in Spain, 1808-1814

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2004 - History - 272 pages
1 Review
Alongside the Spanish army in the campaign against Napoleon (1808-1814) was an assortment of freebooters, local peasants, and bandits who were organized into ad hoc regional private armies. These guerrillas - a term introduced to the English language during the Peninsular War - ambushed French convoys, attacked French encampments, and pounced upon, dodged, and fought French columns, often with extreme brutality. This book investigates for the first time the irregular Spanish forces and their role in resisting Napoleon. Delving deeply into previously untapped archival resources, Charles Esdaile arrives at an entirely new view of the Spanish guerrillas. He shows that the Spanish war against Napoleon was something other than the great popular crusade of legend, that many guerrillas were not armed civilians acting spontaneously, and that guerrillas were more often driven by personal motives than high-minded ideology. Tracking down the bandit armies and assessing their contributions, Esdaile offers important insights into the famous little war and the motives of those who fought it.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

I agree with the author that this is a revisionist book. His stance that the Spanish Guerrillas' romantic image is due for a downgrading is pretty sound and his evidence is smoothly marshalled. He has ... Read full review

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Charles J. Esdaile is reader in history, School of History, University of Liverpool. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the Napoleonic wars.

Bibliographic information