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Salamanca, 1812: Wellington Crushes Marmont (Praeger Illustrated Military History) Hardcover – 17 Feb 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood Press (17 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275986152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275986155
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 18.4 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,919,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ian Fletcher has established a reputation as a Napoleonic historian of the first rank, particularly on the British army in the Peninsular. He has been widely published and among his several titles for Osprey are Elite 52 Wellington's Foot Guards and Campaign 59 Vittoria 1813. Bill Younghusband was born in 1936. He was educated in Devon and studied at Newton Abbot College of Art. He has been interested in all things military since childhood, and this interest was compounded through the reading of authors such as G.A. Henty. In 1954 he joined the Life Guards and saw service in Egypt and Cyprus. Bill is a respected military illustrator of more than 15 years experience, and has illustrated many Osprey books including Men-at-Arms 299 Austrian Auxiliary Troops 1792-1816 and Campaigns 48 Salamanca 1812 and 59 Vittoria 1813. He is married with one daughter and currently lives in Ireland.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
Excellence reference material. I always keep a copy of an Osprey title whenever I write. I do find sometimes that with a new edition released the information is the same, the photo's are the same and the illustrations & maps remain unchanged. That's a pity because they do need to be updated. Also the annoying use of black and white photos, illustrations from other battlefields and more vague information about the battle needs be stopped please. Other than that, Osprey still remains a trusty point of reference.

By David Cook, author of Fire and Steel: The Soldier Chronicles Books 1-5.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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