Wellington in the Peninsula (ePub)
This classic account of Wellington¹s tactics and strategy in the Peninsular War is one of the best single-volume works ever written on the epic campaign.
Jac Weller covers all the battles with the French in which Wellington was involved. Talavera, Busaco, Salamanca and Vitoria are among the famous battles that he brings to life once more, with the aid of meticulous research, extensive visits to and photographs of the battlefields themselves, and an unwavering ability to cut a clear path through tangled military events.
Wellington in the Peninsula brilliantly demonstrates how a great commander finally achieved victory after six years of battle against Napoleon¹s army.
One of the key strengths of this book is the author's first-hand knowledge of the Peninsula battlefields. This produces some surprises, the most important of which is the flatness of the battlefield of Albuera, where what are described in most accounts of the battle as hills or ridges are really no more than gentle slopes. In contrast some of the battles of the Pyrenees took place in genuinely mountainous territory, and the battles there make far more sense when the movement limits imposed on the combatants by those mountains are understood.www.historyofwar.org
The role of his Portuguese troops and the Spanish regular armies and guerrillas is acknowledged. The main Spanish campaigns fall outside the scope of the book but are dealt with briefly in order to put Wellington's campaigns in context
The book has aged well. The main exception to this are the descriptions of the 'modern' battlefields, which are now fifty years out of date. Overall this is a good read and a good single volume history of the Peninsula War.