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 1805-14. 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 empire. This 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.
Charles Esdaile is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Liverpool and the author of THE WARS OF NAPOLEON.
Lisbon - the origins of the Peninsula War; Madrid - the Iberian insurrections, May-June 1808; Bailen - the summer campaign of 1808; Vimeiro - the liberation of Portugal, August 1808; Somosierra - Napoleon's revenge, November-December 1808; La Coruna - the campaign of Sir John Moore, December 1808-January 1809; Oporto - conquest frustrated, January-June 1809; Talavera - the fall of the Junta Central, July 1809-January 1810; Seville - the Bonaparte Kingdom of Spain 1808-1813; Pancorbo - the emergence of guerrilla war, 1808-1810; Cadiz - the making of the Spanish Revolution, 1810-1812; Torres Vedras - the defence of Prtugal, July 1810-March 1811; Albuera - stalemate on the Portuguese frontier, March-December 1811; Badajoz - the Anglo-Portuguese offensive of 1812; Burgos - the autumn campaign of 1812; Vitoria - the defeat of King Joseph, January-June 1813; Pyrenees - the invasion of France, July-November 1813; Bascara - peace and thereafter.