The British army reached the apogee of its success in the war against Napoleon, and in particular in the famous campaigns in the Peninsula, while under Wellington's command. Yet many aspects of how it achieved its victories have been ignored. This book breaks new ground in a series of meticulous studies which reveal the hidden mechanisms that lie behind triumphs such as Salamanca and Vitoria. At the same time it places Wellington's campaigns in their strategic context and explains how he achieved his success. The principles underlying the organization of Wellington's army are uncovered in a penetrating analysis. His key subordinates are given the attention they deserve, and there is an authoritative explanation of the importance of rank and seniority. Fascinating studies of bridging operations and the role of reconnaissance are included, and an invaluable appendix lists the titles of hundreds of first-hand accounts by British soldiers. Endorsements: 'This fine collaborative effort is the work of four historians ...As Bob Burnham explains in his brief introduction, all four had been working on different aspects of the Peninsular army and decided to combine their separate efforts into a joint publication.
Their objective was to explain "what was so special about Wellington and his army" and why it was consistently victorious during the five years the Peninsular campaign lasted. The result is an excellent book that should be in the libraries of all serious students of the Peninsular War.' Napoleon Series 'All the chapters offer similar nuts-and-bolts particulars about the army's structure and activity with a pronounced emphasis on details that will please the professional historian and the military enthusiast alike...In all, this is an entertaining, well-researched, and interesting look into many of the inner workings of "what became the largest British army on active operations in its history to (that) date".' The Journal of Military History
Rory Muir is the author of several books on the Peninsular War including Salamanca, 1812. The first volume of his biography of Wellington was published in 2013. Ron McGuigan has been studying the British army for over three decades, the author of Into Battle: British Orders of Battle for the Crimean War and co-author, with Robert Burnham, of The British Army against Napoleon: Facts, Lists and Trivia 1805-1815. Howie Muir has had numerous articles published on the British army. Robert Burnham is the editor of the largest Napoleonic history site on the internet (www.napoleon-series.org) and author of Charging against Wellington: the French Cavalry in the Peninsular War.