The Peninsular War saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the Napoleonic Wars. Over a period of five years, it is estimated that half a million soldiers and civilians were killed. The battles, however, are less well-known than those of other Napoleonic battles; despite the exposure give to this theatre in Bernard Cornwell's "Richard Sharpe"series of novels, the soldiers who fought there have received little public recognition. Now, with the beginnings of the bicentennial commemorations of the Peninsular War, this theatre is gaining wider recognition.
The Peninsular War Atlas has been put together over the last decade by Colonel Nick Lipscombe of the British Army. Based in Spain, he is the chairman for the official organization ofPeninsular War commemorations, and his thirty years of military service bring a unique perspective to this first complete atlas of the war. In collaboration with Spanish authorities and academics, he has re-evaluated key battles and offers readers new interpretations of the sources available.
Illustrated throughout with 160 high-standard maps, accompanied by a text narrating the entire war,this title is a must for anyone interested in Napoleonic history.
About the Author (Nick Lipscombe)
Colonel Nick Lipscombe was born in 1958 in Angers, France. He has a degree in business studies and an MSc in defence studies. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1980. During his thirty years in the British Army he has seen considerable operational service with the British andAmerican armies, as well as with NATO and the UN. He was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006.
A keen interest in military history followed his academic studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst concentrating on the Napoleonic era and the Peninsular War in particular. He is Chairman of Peninsular War 200, the UK official organization for the commemoration of the bicentenary of the Peninsular War.He speaks German and Spanish, currently works in Portugal and lives in Spain with his wife Janny and their three daughters. The author lives in Spain.
The Peninsular War was a contest between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugalin 1807 and then in 1808 turned on its ally, Spain. The war lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814.
Spain's liberation struggle marked one of the first national wars and the emergence of large-scale guerrillas, from which the English language borrowed the word. While the French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincialjuntas. In 1810, a reconstituted national government fortified itself in Cádiz and proved unable to recruit, train, or equip effective armies due to being under siege. British and Portuguese forces secured Portugal, using it as a secure position from which to launch campaigns against the French army while Spanish guerrilleros bled the occupiers. Combined, the regular and irregular allied forcesprevented Napoleon's marshals from subduing the rebellious Spanish provinces.
The many years of fighting in Spain gradually wore down Napoleon's famous Grande Armée. While the French armies were often victorious in battle, their communications and supplies were severely tested and their units frequently cut off, harassed, or overwhelmed by partisans. The Spanish army, though beaten and driven tothe peripheries, could not be stamped out and continued to hound the French relentlessly.
The constant threatening presence of a British force under Arthur Wellesley, which became the most experienced and steady force in the British army, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. Allied to the British, the demoralized Portuguese army...