on 16 April 2007
A thoroughly good read, and a must for any Peninsula or Napoleonic enthusiast. Mr. Buttery tells the story of what is a largely forgotten campaign, for although many of the parts - Busacco, Fuentes D'Onoro, lines of Torres Vedras, etc - are well known, the background usually isn't. He takes what I found to be the interesting and unusual angle of seeing the campaign mostly from the French view, with a fascinating insight into the mind of Marshal Massena - an interesting chap to say the least. I can recommend it entirely.
on 23 November 2007
This book, whilst an entertaining read, suffers from too many similarities as Grehan's 2004 work on the Lines of Torres Vedras. This should come as no surprise given the trisection of Wellington, Massena and the Lines during 1810 - 11. Buttery's work is differentiated on two scores; by a concise personal and military life of Massena (who was a shadow to me previously) and an indepth analysis of the battle of Fuentes de Onoro (my favourite set piece of the Peninsular War). Also there is an illuminating section at the end dealing with a visit to the historical sites of interest something I've attempted in the past to varying degrees of success. Overall, this work is a value for money micro analysis of an interesting period of the war. P.S. a tip for Mr Buttery, you should update the Wikipedia entry on Massena as there are a number of errors currently present and I feel you should be the one to correct them.