@Free Book ⚛ The Peninsular War: A New History µ eBook or E-pub free

This seemed to want to be a book either about how the Josephinian Interregnum reshaped Spanish politics or about How Brutish the British, but it never really managed to be either thing, getting bogged down in descriptions of battles Or perhaps the descriptions of battles were meant to be the main thing, in which case they could have been augmented by some attempt to explain what bearing the details of a battle might have on anything The larger problem, I suppose, is that the book is an attempt to reshape a large body of existing work, but is packaged like an introduction to its subject I can guess that to the specialist it would be intriguing, but to the novice it just seems confused. Terrible book so bias against the English you would think the Spanish actually had an army in the field that did something in stead of running away at Talavera not even mentioned can not say this book made me so angry @Free Book º The Peninsular War: A New History Í For Centuries Spain Had Been The Most Feared And Predatory Power In Europe It Had The Largest Empire And One Of The World S Great Navies To Defend It Nothing Could Have Prepared The Spanish For The Devastating Implosion Of Trafalgar Destroyed Its Navy And The Country Degenerated Into A Brutalized Shambles With French And British Armies Marching Across It At Will The Result Was A War Which Killed Over A Million Spaniards And Ended Its EmpireThis Book Is The First In A Generation To Come To Terms With This Spectacular And Terrible Conflict, Immortalised By Goya And The Arena In Which Wellington And His Redcoats Carved Out One Of The Greatest Episodes In British Military History I will say it again I really think this website needs half star intervals I really couldn t give this book 3 stars, but it s also hard to give 4 at some points It has great analysis, is a particularly good military narrative for being political than military, and is written very well It s just.you ever have a book you re reading underwhelm you, but you don t know why That s this book for me Esdaile does make great points about French abilities militarily to win this war at multiple points, even as late as early 1812, but fails to give analysis on the WHY in terms of Napoleon s inactivity in 1811 13 The only time from 05 to 15 that he is not at war You probably could draw your own conclusions in all fairness to the author seeing as how the Spanish factions couldn t stand Napoelon as soon as 08 , but a little insight from the author would be nice Again, super hate that I didn t like this book. The best one volume history of the Peninsular Esdaile often surprises by coming up with something really worthwhile when you d think it had all been done and said This is an erudite scholarly examination of the Peninsular War Charles Esdaile has unravelled the twisted strands of political, social, economic and military history that pervade this chaotic period.Though sometimes heavy going the information is presented in a logical rational manner A most informative read. A review by Bernard Cornwell states that he suspects this will become the standard work on the Peninsular War Though i am not a military historian, I found that this volume was very readable and appreciated all of the quotations Esdaile included from contemporary accounts, memoirs, dispatches and the like These enlivened the narrative and made visualizing the events much easier The 22 maps of Spain and various campaigns made it easy to follow the battle narratives, though had the map of Spain been a relief map of detail, it would have increased, I think, my understanding of the challenges facing all armies and generals I did find at least one quoted source that was not listed in the bibliography, however. A decent history that allows one to skip the 125 year old 8 volume history of the Peninsular war by Oman Perhaps the author felt that no new ground remained to be plowed in the description of the battles themselves but for whatever reason this book felt unusually weighted towards the social and political history slighting the military history to a degree that made this an unsuitable book for someone unacquainted with this conflict As it was, while a better knowledge of the milieu and a fresh take on some of the assumptions was interesting I was still hoping for an up to date analysis of military tactics and strategies. Napoleon Bonaparte s decision in 1808 to occupy Spain typically is ranked second only to his invasion to Russia in terms of the disastrous mistakes made by the French emperor What began as a swift military operation soon degenerated into an ulcer that tied down thousands of troops, slowly bleeding France s strength For this reason, the Peninsular War has never wanted for attention, especially among British historians who have long chronicled the campaigns waged by Arthur Wellesley in his ascent to glory as the Duke of Wellington.Yet for all of the attention the war has received Charles Esdaile is able to offer something different from most English language accounts of the war, which is a Spanish centric focus This allows him to highlight a number of important points lacking from previous accounts, not the least of which is the importance of the war to the history of Spain itself This self evident point is detailed superbly in his book, which shows how the French occupation played into Spanish politics Dominated by the royal favorite Manuel Godoy, Spain agreed in 1807 to support France invasion of Portugal Godoy s unpopularity with both the Spanish public and the heir, the future Ferdinand VII, did little to warm the Spanish political nation to their involvement The political crisis created by the Mutiny of Aranjuez gave Napoleon the opportunity to intervene by exploiting the request to arbitrate the succession crisis between Ferdinand and his father Charles IV by installing his own brother Joseph as king.Esdaile is sympathetic to el rey intruso, presenting Joseph as a man with good intentions thrust by his younger brother onto a throne he did not desire These intentions were often thwarted by Spain s limited resources which Napoleon expected to finance the occupation and by the war Esdaile does not minimize the brutality of the conflict, detailing the outrages and atrocities committed on all sides He is particularly judgmental about the sometimes romanticized guerrilleros, viewing them as having a negligible military impact and describing how they were often viewed as the greater evil by many Spaniards Esdaile is no less critical of the activities of the Spanish junta and their armies, though he gives them due credit for their performance n several battles.Nonetheless Esdaile argues that for all of the efforts of the junta and the Anglo Portuguese army to resist the French occupation, the French were enjoying considerable success in establishing control over Spain prior to 1812 In this respect, the key event in Spain s liberation was not any one battle or domestic political development but Napoleon s decision to invade Russia, which resulted in the withdrawal of French units necessary for maintaining control Facing a weakened opponent, the Spanish Anglo Portuguese forces were able to unravel French control, driving French forces out fo most of Spain by 1814 and setting Spain down a path of political turmoil that would last for over a century.Esdaile s arguments may challenge the assumptions of some of his readers about the war, but his arguments are difficult to deny Based on an impressive range of Spanish, English, and French sources, they offer a valuable multi dimensional account of a complicated and often vicious conflict While his prose is often blunt, his combined analysis of military operations and Spanish politics make his book necessary reading for anyone interested in the Peninsular War or the history of modern Spain Though it will hardly be the final word on the subject it will long be one that people will need to consult to understand this event and its lasting repercussions for all involved. A first rate history The seven volume history by Sir Charles Oman graces my bookshelves and I have read it through twice, with deep enjoyment I therefore wasn t sure if this much concise volume would teach me anything new To my delight, it did Oman is of course rather dated now, and Esdaile points out that the weakness of Oman is his lack of attention to the Spanish political background This is by no means a dry subject the complex interplay of ideas in nineteenth century Spain from reactionary ultra conservatism to extreme liberalism, and all shades in between had consequences that could easily get you killed The squabbles between the junta and the generals, and between the Spanish generals themselves, make far sense when one sees them as a battleground between competing ideologies and not just competing egos The Spanish adherents of Joseph Bonaparte, el rey intruso , were not all corrupt chancers and traitors some genuinely saw themselves as pledging allegiance to a new kind of liberal Spain I find this kind of thing absorbing, and Esdaile is brilliant at showing not just the complex nuances of Spanish politics but how these had a direct influence on battlefield events This gives the whole conflict a clarity which is lacking in Oman, where sometimes the mass of battlefield accounts are difficult to follow because they lack a political context.Of course the battles are not forgotten here, and there are some good maps to complement the text The disgraceful behaviour of many British soldiers off the battlefield made me wince But all sides in this conflict get their due, and Esdaile shows that those on all sides could perform heroically at some times and with cowardice or criminality at others Esdaile also gives every general a pungent pen portrait even if it is only to refer to him as a nonentity which adds a further level of flavour to one s understanding Really good stuff.