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The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War (1986)

av David Gates

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1503179,671 (3.69)4
The Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal was the most bitterly fought contest of nineteenth-century Europe. From 1808 to 1814, Spanish regulars and guerrillas, along with British forces led by Sir John Moore and the duke of Wellington, battled Napoleon's troops across the length and breadth of the Iberian Peninsula. Napoleon considered the war so insignificant that he rarely bothered to bring to it his military genius, relying instead on his marshals and simultaneously launching his disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. Yet the Peninsular War was to end with total defeat for the French, and in 1813 Wellington's army crossed the Pyrenees into mainland France. What Napoleon had called "the Spanish ulcer" ultimately helped bring down the French empire. Michael Howard of Oxford University hailed this book as "a major achievement...the first brief and balanced account of the war to have appeared within our generation." Illustrated with over a hundred maps and fifty contemporary drawings and paintings, this is a richly detailed history of a crucial period in history that resonates powerfully to this day--and figures prominently in Bernard Cornwell's internationally acclaimed novels of the Napoleonic era.… (mer)
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This is the best one volume treatment of the Peninsular War I've read. The sketches, (I can't call them maps), are numerous and useful. The text is clearly written. The reader gets a relatively open-minded view of Wellington the general, and some of his flaws and indecisions are clearly shown. One thing that Gates attempted is to place in perspective the amount that the Spanish forces contributed to the Allied victory. It was a good deal more than the English speaking world credits them with. There's a chronology that is a good mechanism for further research and cross-referencing . If you only get one book this is it.
But do not get this edition, if you plan to use the book as a reference. The binding was incredibly poor, with the signatures easily torn open along the spine, and the paper is very stiff, battling the book frame you have to use to keep the thing open. I hope the following editions, and there are a number of those are physically easier to handle. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 10, 2015 |
Meticulously detailed and documented, this book is the definitive resource for anyone examining this aspect of military history. ( )
  jamespurcell | Dec 13, 2012 |
The Peninsular War is a unique part of the broader Napoleonic Wars. The author, David Gates, research of this theater is impressive and meticulous. He writes in great detail, about every battle and skirmish of this war even going so far as inserting maps for the larger battles fought. I love the beginning chapters explaining briefly the background events leading to this outbreak of battle; the general makeup of the armies involved; as well as the primary reasons why Napoleon lost and Lord Wellington won. The writing style is aimed at an audience that is very familiar with war terminology. Many of the maps do not have legends and the vocabulary used, such as forced march, could be unfamiliar to casual readers. Gates also assumes that the reader is familiar with the names of the primary players. This book contains wonderful information, but is a bit dry for a general audience. ( )
  corcra | Mar 7, 2012 |
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By July, 1807, With his spectacular series of victories over Austria, Prussia, and Russia, Napoleon had secured a position of apparent dominance in central Europe.
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The Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal was the most bitterly fought contest of nineteenth-century Europe. From 1808 to 1814, Spanish regulars and guerrillas, along with British forces led by Sir John Moore and the duke of Wellington, battled Napoleon's troops across the length and breadth of the Iberian Peninsula. Napoleon considered the war so insignificant that he rarely bothered to bring to it his military genius, relying instead on his marshals and simultaneously launching his disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. Yet the Peninsular War was to end with total defeat for the French, and in 1813 Wellington's army crossed the Pyrenees into mainland France. What Napoleon had called "the Spanish ulcer" ultimately helped bring down the French empire. Michael Howard of Oxford University hailed this book as "a major achievement...the first brief and balanced account of the war to have appeared within our generation." Illustrated with over a hundred maps and fifty contemporary drawings and paintings, this is a richly detailed history of a crucial period in history that resonates powerfully to this day--and figures prominently in Bernard Cornwell's internationally acclaimed novels of the Napoleonic era.

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