7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A great insight into a military engineering marvel,
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This review is from: Lines of Torres Vedras: The Cornerstone of Wellington's Strategy in the Peninsular War 1809-1812 (Paperback)
Having been to Torres Vedras and gazed over the wonderful Portugeuse countryside from the dominating moorish castle, the story of the Lines forever intrigued me. I've been searching for a book dedicated to the subject and was excited by Grehan's work. It is accessible, readable and insightful with one gaining a layman's understanding of how the Lines came into existence. Clever fellows those Brits on the spot!!
The overall strategy of barring the French occupation of Lisbon is a brave, honourable yet devastating tale, in which Portugal suffered terribly. The sacrifice, though harsh to the ordinary civilian, saved the country for a fate unimaginably worse. The story is told from many angles, from Wellington down the lowliest peasent in a fast paced and compassionate style. Whilst the book's focus is on the construction of the lines, the backstory and current events are interwoven in an entertaining style. Grehan does ample justice to this period in Portugal's history and it stands as a proud monument to the ordinary Portugeuse who toiled for an object only vaguely discernable. The narrative on visiting the area is also very useful. A recommended read!