|About the Book|
The British army reached the apogee of its success in the war against Napoleon, and in particular in the famous campaigns in the Peninsula, when under Wellingtons command. Yet many aspects of how it achieved its victories have been ignored or takenMoreThe British army reached the apogee of its success in the war against Napoleon, and in particular in the famous campaigns in the Peninsula, when under Wellingtons command. Yet many aspects of how it achieved its victories have been ignored or taken for granted. This book breaks new ground in a series of meticulous studies, which reveal the hidden mechanisms that lie behind triumphs such as Salamanca and Vitoria. At the same time it places Wellingtons campaigns in their strategic context and explains how he achieved his success. The organization of Wellingtons army and the principles underlying the way in which the troops were placed in the line of battle are uncovered in a penetrating new analysis. The subordinates who commanded his brigades and divisions are given the attention they deserve, and there is an authoritative explanation of the importance of army rank and seniority.Fascinating studies of bridging operations, including the construction of Europes first suspension bridge, and the role of reconnaissance (or exploring) officers reveal the practical difficulties of campaigning in a country where roads were few, maps inaccurate, and what bridges existed were often of ancient Roman origin. An invaluable appendix lists and organizes by regiment the titles of the many hundreds of first-hand accounts of the war by British soldiers.This book emphasizes that there was more to Wellingtons generalship than just command on the battlefield. It is an important and original contribution to the history of the Peninsular War, and it builds upon the pioneering work of Sir Charles Oman.