Book Review:
The Peninsula Years

Britain's Red Coats in Spain and Portugal

By D S Richards

For a one-volume coverage of the Peninsular War in Spain and Portgual between 1807 and 1814 The Peninsula Years can be highly recommended.

It covers the varying campaigns of Wellesley and Moore, the difficulties they faced and the bloody clashes of arms against the French.

Richards not only lets the reader in on the overall strategic viewpoint but zooms in on how the soldiers felt about the conduct of the war.

He begins with the French invasion of Portugal and then follows the Peninsular War through Vimiero, the retreat to Corunna, Talavera, Bussaco, Albuera, Badajoz, Salamanca, the failed attack on Burgos, Vitoria and the invasion of France.

The Peninsula Years has the perfect balance of detail with well written and very readable explanations of the battles enlivened by nicely chosen bit of description and first-hand accounts of the events.

During his narrative Richards has used incidents from more than 50 British soldiers in the Peninsula including the likes of John Mills, Charles Napier, Robert Knowles, Thomas Plunkett, August Schaumann, Moyle Sherer, Robert Fernyhough to name but a few.

The Peninsula Years will sit very comfortably in any Napoleonic fan's home library and it is the type of book that, if lent, will entice more people to the adventures of the Napoleonic Era.

- Richard Moore




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