'If there was ever a moment that Wellington was thrown into despair in the course of the Peninsular War, it was when the French captured the eastern city of Valencia on 8 January 1812. In this much needed addition to the literature, Nick Lipscombe has given chapter and verse as to why a front that has generally been overlooked was actually crucial to the outcome of the struggle. Highly recommended.'
Professor Charles Esdaile
This new work provides a full biography of this officer who was killed after leading the charge of the Union Brigade at Waterloo 1815, describing the circumstances of the charge and Sir William’s death. He was a career soldier who had led his regiment in a decisive charge at the battle of Salamanca and indeed, had served with distinction throughout the Peninsular War. Some opinions have expressed criticism of his actions at Waterloo, when his Union Brigade (1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons) of cavalry got out of hand after cutting up a French advance which threatened Wellington with defeat. In this book the author has used family sources, including Sir William’s letters, plus French and German accounts, to restore the General’s reputation, as well as establishing just what really happened to him at Waterloo. Following a Preface then Prologue, the author then recounts the life and passing of the Major General in some detail... Read more
Stuart Asquith, author
The Peninsular War was arguably one of the most successful campaigns ever undertaken by the British army. Between 1808 when British troops landed in Portugal and 1814 when Wellington’s army marched into the south of France, British soldiers were involved in numerous actions against Napoleon’s troops. Following an introduction and a brief summary of the Peninsular War, Ian Fletcher draws on rare letters, diaries and memoirs to present a fascinating insight into the daily lives of some of the British soldiers involved in the campaign, which involved important battles such as Vimiero, Talavera, Badajoz, Salamanca and Vittoria.
First published in 2001 and now again in 2016 in hardback edition, the book includes nearly 30 monochrome illustrations, six maps and is rounded off by a bibliography.
Well worth adding to the Napoleonic bookshelf!
Stuart Asquith, Author
In Marshal Soult, Lieutenant General Wellesley faced arguably one of his most formidable opponents in the Iberian Peninsula. The author of this new book argues that the Marshal’s invasion of Portugal is rarely studied in any depth and, similarly, the offensive Wellesley launched, which defeated and expelled the French, has also received only scant coverage. The author follows the course of the campaign, drawing contrasts between the characters and styles of the opposing commanders. Some key episodes include Wellesley’s marked change of strategy as he took command of the allied troops in Portugal, from defence to attack, the liberation of Porto, Portugal’s second city from French occupation, and the dogged recovery of Soult’s army as it fought its way back to Spain. Further, Soult’s attempt to become king of Portugal and the ungracious reaction of Parliament where Wellesley was criticised for recklessness are among numerous other aspects of this previously under recorded episode.. Read more
Stuart Asquith, Author
I read this expecting to learn about a titled, silly old fart (that is Oz for “duffer”) who didn’t know anything about military matters, who was in charge of British infantry, “and marched them up to the top of the hill, and marched them down again”. However, what I read, was quite inspirational. The Duke of York, was Frederick, the younger brother of King George 4th, AKA The Prince Regent, who was a less admirable personality. This book, quite frankly, and surprisingly, has lead me to be a fan of TGODOY, as indeed he was admired in his own day. TGODOY was the Field Marshall, in charge of the British military during the Napoleonic wars. He was Arthur Wellesley’s (AKA The Duke of Wellington) boss. He is credited by historians, the British parliament, and The Duke of Wellington himself, with army reforms which enabled the land victory over Napoleon, especially at Waterloo. As a result of his reforms, he was known as “the soldier’s friend”. This book is beautifully written,.. Read more
John Viggers, Freelance