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The Battle of Barrosa, 1811 (Hardback)

Forgotten Battle of the Peninsular War

WWII

By John Grehan, Martin Mace
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 212
ISBN: 9781848848269
Published: 17th April 2013

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By the winter of 1810-11, the armies of Napoleon had overrun most of Spain and Joseph Bonaparte sat on the throne in Madrid. Yet the Spanish Government had found refuge in the fortress-port of Cadiz and the Spaniards refused to admit that they had been conquered. With a British army under Sir Thomas Graham helping to defend Cadiz, the Spanish cause seemed certain to prevail.

But then the Spaniards wanted to throw Graham's force into a reckless battle against the French. If the battle was won, the siege of Cadiz would be lifted; if the battle was lost Cadiz would be rendered defenceless and the Spanish government left at the mercy of the invaders.

The opposing forces met on the heights of Barrosa in a battle which Sir John Fortescue, the great historian of the British Army, described as 'one of the bloodiest and one of the most creditable to British troops that is to be found in the history of the Army.' At stake was the very survival of the Spanish nation and the future course of the war against Napoleon.

The Battle of Barrosa is the first book to examine this crucial encounter in detail and to reveal its true historical importance.

“The importance of Cadiz as a hold-out against the French is well illustrated and the impact that had on French Operations in the Peninsula is displayed.”
“While very strongly presented from the British Perspective, enough French and Spanish sources are used to keep some balance”

The Napoleonic Historical Society Newsletter

This book can be recommended as the best guide to the area for battlefield visitors, it also gives the best account so far of Graham's part in the defeat of Napoleon's ambitions in Spain.

The Bulletin

This is an excellent examination of an important but neglected part of the Peninsular War, looking at the heart of Spanish resistance and the British contribution to the successful defence of Cadiz, the longest siege in the Peninsula, and one of the few examples of a successful defence of a city against Napoleon's armies.

History of War

A great read. Beautifully researched book. The story of the Peninsular War leading up to the Battle is well presented. Highly recommended especially if the reader has an opportunity to visit the site and surrounding areas. A perfect guide to the battlefield.

Amazon Reviewer - Elaurens

The Battle of Barrosa includes three maps which are both extremely detailed and easy to read – a rarity in many histories! One that I found quite useful was the map pinpointing all the batteries, forts, and strongpoints of both the besieged and besiegers. The book closes with a guide to the battlefield and siege works as they are today, plus appendices giving orders-of-battles for the various forces involved in the siege and the Barrosa Campaign.

The Battle of Barrosa is a well written account of an often overlooked, but important aspect of the Peninsular War. It is the best account of the battle written in English that I know of it. The fact that the authors provide so much detail on the siege of Cadiz is an added bonus!

Napoleon Series - Robert Burnham

As featured in.

Gloire & Empire magazine, No.50

About John Grehan

John Grehan has written more than 150 books and articles on military subjects, covering most periods of history. John is currently employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine.


About Martin Mace

Martin Mace has been involved in writing and publishing military history for more than twenty years. He began his career with local history, writing a book on the Second World War anti-invasion defences and stop lines in West Sussex. In 2006 he began working on the idea for Britain at War Magazine, This publication has grown rapidly to become the best-selling military history periodical.

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The British campaign in the Low Countries in 1813–14 in support of the Dutch revolt against the French is one of the lesser-known campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars, but one of which the great historian of the British Army Sir John Fortescue wrote that it was impossible to understand the Waterloo campaign without a knowledge of. Under the command of the Peninsular War hero General Sir Thomas Graham, an inexperienced and under-strength British army, short on supplies and enduring terrible winter weather, sought to capture the port of Antwerp and neutralise the French fleet based there. The problems…

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