An Atlas of the Peninsular War (Hardback)
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Short Description for An Atlas of the Peninsular War A comprehensive atlas of the Peninsular War, the series of campaigns in Spain and Portugal between Napoleonic France and British forces commanded by the Duke of Wellington. It examines and explains the sequence of battles and the course of the war.
- Published: 30 November 2010
- Format: Hardback 160 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780300148695 ISBN 10: 0300148690
- Sales rank: 274,250
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Reviews for An Atlas of the Peninsular War
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An Atlas of the Peninsular War
All histories of the Napoleonic Wars are enhanced by the inclusion of good maps that complement the text and allow the reader to follow the progress of armies over the course of a campaign. Clear, reliable maps add to the story. An Atlas of the Peninsular War does just that.
The author admits that it is difficult if not impossible to produce maps that are 100% accurate, as sources for their compilation often contradict each other. Contemporary maps were often inaccurate and unreliable, and even modern historians have either reproduced such maps or devised their own, often unsatisfactorily and in such a reduced size as to render them difficult to interpret, and often with only very basic representations of terrain.
Ian Robertson has provided us with a detailed cartographical examination of the land campaigns in the Peninsular War using expertly drawn maps and illustrations that take into account the physical features of the terrain, together with the movements and deployment of the armies involved. Martin Brown has devised these maps, which are not only informative and add to our understanding of these campaigns, but are a delight to study.
The atlas consists of 53 sections, each examining a stage of the campaign in which French and British forces took part. Each section describes that stage of the campaign with maps to examine not only the strategic manoeuvring of the armies but the terrain over which they marched and fought, together with dispositions of the troops at each engagement. The battle plans show the movements of troops during the action, so we are treated to a lucid examination of not only the opposing strategies but the tactical manoeuvres of British, French and Spanish forces. The complementary text chronicles each campaign, but it is the maps that draw the reader's attention and tell the main story.
Some actions get very detailed treatment, such as the Battle of Talavera where one map looks at the initial deployment of the Allied forces and the French advance, while the second analyses the French attacks and local movements of British and Spanish troops to counter these. Busaco gets three maps, and the section on the Lines of Torres Vedras clarifies the positioning of the forts and scarped areas, along with the alignment of Allied units behind the Lines. Sieges get their own maps, with a detailed look at Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz and San Sebastian. The Allied advance across the Pyrenees and into France is also examined, culminating in the final action at Toulouse.
The atlas also contains a chronology of the war, a glossary and selected bibliography, plus a selection of illustrations chosen to show the terrain over which the armies marched and fought.
This is an indispensable addition to any library on the Peninsular War. These maps provide a clear examination of each stage of the campaign, and are a delight to examine in their own right, aside from the historical information they provide. An Atlas of the Peninsular War is a highly recommended addition to any library. by Paul Chamberlain