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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but excellent guide to what was arguably Wellington's greatest battle
A thorough explanation of the Salamanca campaign, from Wellington's siege of the three improvised French forts in Salamanca, through the long marches and counter-marches in the countryside around the City, to the battle of the "Arapiles" itself. In fact, it doesn't stop there, going on via the action at Garcia Hernandez (one of the few in which Napoleonic cavalry appear...
Published on 6 Sep 2008 by Nicholas J. R. Dougan

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Rubbish from Mr Fletcher
I have to confess, I do not know the academic qualifications of Mr Fletcher but this book indicates they are weak to non-existent. This book is a typical Fletcher masterpiece aimed at raising his personal profile in the marketing of tours.

To be honest, I gave up reading it about half way but, before I did so, I identified the following problems: contradictions...
Published on 21 July 2012 by Lamu Hermit


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but excellent guide to what was arguably Wellington's greatest battle, 6 Sep 2008
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Nicholas J. R. Dougan "Nick Dougan" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salamanca, 1812 (Paperback)
A thorough explanation of the Salamanca campaign, from Wellington's siege of the three improvised French forts in Salamanca, through the long marches and counter-marches in the countryside around the City, to the battle of the "Arapiles" itself. In fact, it doesn't stop there, going on via the action at Garcia Hernandez (one of the few in which Napoleonic cavalry appear to have broken formed infantry squares) to the abortive siege of Burgos, which rather took the shine off the whole campaign necessitating a desperate retreat for Portugal at the end of the year.

As is usual in the Osprey campaign books, the campaign is situated in the theatre of operation, with descriptions of the armies, a comprehensive order of battle, pen pictures of the commanders as well as a description of the battlefield today and advice on wargaming it.

How would I make it better? Some of the period illustrations are so inaccurate as to be pointless, others are there as padding: the obligatory pictures of the 95th Rifles - and then the comment that they played little part in the battle. Some of the commissioned illustrations (with all due respect to Mr Younghusband) do seem to have been done down to a budget. Aerial photographs would perhaps be prohibitively expensive, but perhaps satellite ones (from Google Earth?) might be used in the next edition? As a battlefield visitor I would appreciate "proper" maps - and perhaps advice on the sheet numbers at 1:50,000 scale.

Salamanca, btw, is still one of the best battlefields to visit, even though (since this book was published) the west side of the battlefield has been cut off by a new motorway. The City is fantastic - and do look out for the relief of Wellington in the Plaza Major.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive and easy to read study., 28 Mar 2014
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A comprehensive and easy to read study of what many consider the key battle in the Peninsular War. Once Wellington crushed the French at Salamanca, the British and their allies would have the upper hand in the long drawn out struggle to come. Written by Ian Fletcher one of the leading experts in this field it is packed full of dramatic colour plates, modern photos of a battlefield which has changed little in nearly 200 years, 3-D maps and illustrations. This is one of the best Osprey books on this period and well worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could be better paginated, 31 Aug 2013
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Overall it is a good booklet. However there was a need for a couple more maps to illustrate the text nearer to it and the disposition maps could have shown more movement detail.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Salamanca - Good but Traditional, 19 July 2009
This review is from: Salamanca, 1812: Wellington Crushes Marmont (Praeger Illustrated Military History) (Hardcover)
I bought the Osprey edition of this, but I imagine it is the same. Book gives good coverage of the campaign, copiously illustrated (though some of the contemporary pictures are of doubtful relevance, as noted by another reviewer). Unusually good description of the action at Garcia Hernandez - possibly worth the price in itself.

Good so far, but there are a couple of negatives. Firstly, Mr Fletcher is a well established author and expert on this period, but I find that his actual skill with language is sometimes questionable and there are some lumpy bits in this book - in particular it kicks off with two grammatical howlers in the Introduction which make me wonder whether anyone proof-reads this stuff. My other issue with the work is that it very substantially replays the traditional, Napier-vintage view of the battle, complete with implicitly anti-Spanish overtones. Wellington is portrayed as an undoubted super-hero, and, for example, the dreadful injustice he inflicted on Colonel Bevan to save face after the French escape from Almeida is glossed over.

Overall, this was a pretty good buy as a new paperback; it is currently out of print, and secondhand copies are changing hands at prices which really are not justifiable. It is not a patch on Rory Muir's book on Salamanca, for example, which is still available.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Rubbish from Mr Fletcher, 21 July 2012
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I have to confess, I do not know the academic qualifications of Mr Fletcher but this book indicates they are weak to non-existent. This book is a typical Fletcher masterpiece aimed at raising his personal profile in the marketing of tours.

To be honest, I gave up reading it about half way but, before I did so, I identified the following problems: contradictions in the text, wrong directions for the various movements, very poor and weak maps which do not even cover the area under discussion, inconsistent spelling of towns and villages (four spellings of one village!), an unjustifiable level of personal detail etc.

Mr Fletcher has tried to make it his "unique selling proposition" by criticizing the British cavalry of the Peninsular War more than anyone else and he is at it again in this book, though I will acknowledge this time he makes a few praises. The summary of Garcia Hernandez is written with great accuracy and yet no one knows exactly where this skirmish/battle took place (and I say that as one who has been to Garcia Hernandez - which has been renamed).

All in all, whatever your level or interest in such matters, I would give this book a very wide berth.
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