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Wellington's History of the Peninsular War (ePub)

Battling Napoleon in Iberia 1808–1814

Napoleonic Frontline eBooks Pre WWI Frontline: Napoleonic Era

By Stuart Reid
Frontline Books
File Size: 18.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 301
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781526737649
eBook Released: 6th August 2019

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Though pressed many times to write about his battles and campaigns, the Duke of Wellington always replied that people should refer to his published despatches, and he refused to add further to his official correspondence, famously remarking that: ‘The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost, but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance.’

Yet Wellington did, in effect, write a history of the Peninsular War in the form of four lengthy memoranda, summarising the conduct of the war in 1809, 1810 and 1811 respectively. These lengthy accounts demonstrate Wellington’s unmatched appreciation of the nature of the war in Spain and Portugal, and relate to the operations of the French and Spanish forces as well as the Anglo-Portuguese army under his command.

Unlike personal diaries or journals written by individual soldiers, with their inevitably limited knowledge, Wellington was in an unparalleled position to provide a comprehensive overview of the war. Equally, the memoranda were written as the war unfolded, not tainted with the knowledge of hindsight, providing a unique contemporaneous commentary. Brought together by renowned historian Stuart Reid with reports and key despatches from the other years of the campaign, the result is the story of the Peninsular War told through the writings of the man who knew and understood the conflict in Iberia better than any other.

These memoranda and despatches have never been published before in a single connected narrative. Therefore, Wellington’s History of the Peninsular War 1808-1814 offers a uniquely accessible perspective on the conflict in the own words of Britain’s greatest general.

As featured by

The Armourer, December 2019

The work of Stuart Reid is extremely valuable for the enthusiast of the Napoleonic wars and the figure of Wellington.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

It is to be commended as an excellent source of reference and a chance to see through Wellington’s eyes.

Read the full review here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Based on four lengthy memoranda by Wellington, summarizing the conduct of the War, 1808, 1809,1810, and 1811. This is the closest Wellington came to writing his memoires of the Peninsular War – Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

This is a very good read for the general reader and a valuable resource for the specialist. We highly recommend it.

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Clash of Steel

We are used to seeing caricatures of Wellington as portrayed by Stephen Fry in Blackadder III and by Peter Bowles in Victoria, the latter suggesting that he was a well educated man rather than the blustering buffoon played so brilliantly by Fry, and Stuart Reid's sterling work on editing and putting together Wellington's own accounts of the Peninsular War from 1809-1811 is masterly and amazing at the same time. An historical gem.

Books Monthly

About Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid was born in Aberdeen in 1954 into a family with a tradition of service in the Army, stretching back through the Battle of Mons to Culloden and beyond. He is the author of numerous military history books, including Hungry Like Wolves which is widely regarded as the definitive study of the Battle of Culloden, and Sheriffmuir 1715, also by Frontline.

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