Peninsular War

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by abacus, Jul 30, 2005.

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  1. Good News - Abacus got a place on a Battlefield Tour to Portugal :grin:

    Bad News - he actually needs to do some work :sad:

    Can anyone help me with detail or references for the following:

    The Role of the Royal Navy in the campaign.

    and specific info on the battle at:

    Lines of Torres Vedras

    background info on the Portugese Army of the time would also help.

    PM please and I will provide email address. All assistance gratefully received.
  2. There are a couple of books that give the real griff on things about the time of Sharpe. They could be a good start. I'm away from home just now so can't do ISBN, sorry.
  3. As a starter - (part of This gives the references for a number of books relating to both the battle and the campaign.

    Also, in the Osprey 'Fortress' series, Ian Fletcher, The Lines of Torres Vedras 1809–11 (Fortress 7)*, ISBN: 1841765767 - I gather from a colleague who's an expert on this historical period that this is pretty good.

    On the RN, while I'm not a naval historian, I do know that there's William M James, The Naval History of Great Britain During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars Vol 5 , ISBN 0 85177 909 3 (NB, this is a reprint of an 1837-ish book!)
  4. Just in the process of reading "Rifles" by Mark Urban - primary focus is on the role of the 95th Rifles in the Peninsular. The author is the Diplomatic Editor of the BBC's Newsnight and he's relied upon a fairly extensive bibilography for this particular text including Wellington's dispatches. I can't do much about it now but will PM you a note later today with a listing of suitable texts that might prove helpful.

  5. Thanks Guys - Archimedes especially - Amazon now £17.50 richer (and self chuffed to bits because it was on special offer!)
  6. Might there also be a bibliography in the Sharpe book(s) ? - if not, author Bernard Cornwell might put you onto something.
  7. I believe there is a publication by Osprey in their fortification series called the lines of Torres Vedras they also cover the bulk of the key battles in the campaign series.
  8. Just ordered the full set of DVDs - Mrs Abacus almost believes me that they are for research purposes :)
  9. There is also the Sharpe Companion that gives details and also has a section on the Royal Navy
  10. Every Sharpe book has an historical "Auther's Note" at the back witha little potted history of what really happened.
    Sharpes Escape which concerns the period from Bussaco to Torres Vedras (featuring the sack of Coimbra) has a short interlude aboard a RN boat patroling the Tagus so Cornwell's sources for the novel probably cover RN involvement. He recomends John Grehan's The Lines of Torres Vedras, (Spellmount 2000) and Julian Paget's Wellington's Peninsular War, (Leo Cooper, London 1990) in the notes.
    It might also be worth having a look at Kincaid's memoirs.
  11. Quite a good book on the role of the Donkey Wallopers in the Napoleonics is Galloping At Everything by Ian Fletcher

    Also, try the Napoleonic Guide website at for some more ideas.
  12. Michael Glover's 'The Peninsular War 1807 - 1814: A Concise Military History' is very useful. I also enjoyed 'Rifles' by Mark Urban who has drawn on personal accounts and regimental records to produce a smashing book.
  13. Many thanks to all. Much appreciated.
  14. Georgette Heyer writes on the wars as well good historical but tends to fit a fictional character in
    for a love affair

  15. Are their present-day descendants the RGJ? Bought the aforementioned book in a bookshop clearence sale today $4 CDN :D