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Fortresses of the Peninsular War 1808-14 Paperback – Illustrated, 21 Nov 2003

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About the Author

Ian Fletcher is one of the leading authorities on the Peninsular War and Wellington?s army. Born in London in 1957, his first book, In Hell Before Daylight, was published in 1984, since when he has written or edited over 20 more. He also runs Ian Fletcher Battlefield Tours. Ian has worked on the BBC?s Decisive Weapons series, The History Channel?s Line of Fire series and Channel 4's series on evolutionary Armies. He has also broadcast on radio and continues to lecture whenever he can. A Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society and a Member of the British Commission for Military History, Ian lives in Rochester, Kent, with his wife Debbie, and their two children, Jack and Harriet. Chris Taylor was born in Newcastle. After attending art college in his home town, he graduated in 1995 from Bournemouth University with a degree in computer graphics. Since then he has worked in the graphics industry and is currently a freelance illustrator for various publishing companies.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Napoleon Bonaparte once said that while fortresses would not stop an army, they would nevertheless retard its movements: nowhere was this proven more clearly than in the Iberian Peninsula during the Peninsular War from 1808 to 1814. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x955dfbf4) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
HASH(0x955293a8) out of 5 stars A tour of the vital fortresses... 19 Mar. 2013
By HMS Warspite - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ian Fletcher is an experienced and accomplished historian of the Peninsular War, and his "Fortresses of the Peninsular War 1808-1814" is a very good entry in the Osprey Fortress Series. An excellent text is acompanied by period illustrations, maps, diagrams, and modern photographs.

Fletcher elects to concentrate on the four fortresses that played the biggest parts in a long war: Badajoz, Ciudad Rodrigo, Burgos, and San Sabastian. Badajoz, Ciudad Rodrigo, and San Sebastian were each difficult sieges for the British Army led by the future Duke of Wellington; Burgos was perhaps his one genuine defeat in the Peninsular War. The author offers an overview of the conflict and of the use of fortresses before describing the four forts treated in the text. The narrative extends to the actual sieges and their results. The author makes the point that the British Army was chronically underequiped for siege warfare and achieved many of its results through the sheer bravery of its soldiers. A postscript describes what remains of the four fortresses today. A diagram in the glossary actually explains all the technical terms of early 19th Century fortifications.

"Fortresses of the Peninsular War 1808-1814" is a concise introduction to the topic, and recommended to the general reader and the student.
HASH(0x97a97d8c) out of 5 stars Very Good Survey 29 Mar. 2009
By Yoda - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book provides a very good survey of the major fortresses around which major battles/sieges occured during the Peninsular War. Each of the major fortresses is discussed in some detail (suprisingly well for a book this short). Strengths/weaknesses of each of the forts is provided, histories of the fortifications, and very good histories of the sieges/battles fought over each fortification (incuding context as to why each battle was fought, why the result that occured did and what the consequences were). Good oveview of the troops and leaders is also provided. In addtion, excellent illustrations on each of the fortifications provided. There is also a good section, of 2-3 pages, that serves as a tourist guide if one wants to visit. The only weak point is a lack of illustrations regarding what the typical garrison troops looked like and no illustrations regarding their weapons (hence 4 instead of 5 stars).
HASH(0x95950960) out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 Dec. 2014
By John William Lewis - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent addition to the series.
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