Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Peninsular War 1808-1814

The Peninsular War 1808-1814 - A well presented history of the war with extra information on many of the battles, including photographs of the battlefields and guidance for modern-day visitors. This war in Spain would prove to be a bad decision by Napoleon. It all started because he wanted to put his brother Jospeh on the Spanish Throne. But the Spanish had other ideas...

From the site:

By the year 1808 France had achieved domination over the great majority of continental Europe. Through victories at Ulm (1805), Austerlitz (1805), Jena-Auerst├Ądt (1806) and Friedland (1807) her armies had successively eliminated Austria, Prussia and Russia as military opponents. Britain alone had withstood the power of France, achieving security against invasion through Nelson's victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar (1805).

The tide began to turn in 1808 when Napoleon created a new enemy by usurping the Spanish throne in favour of his brother Joseph. The Spanish uprising that followed encouraged Britain to send an expeditionary force to the Iberian Peninsula. The ensuing war was to play a major part in Napoleon's downfall.

The road to war began in the autumn of 1807 when Napoleon moved French troops through Spain to invade Portugal. After feeding more than 100,000 troops into Spain under the pretext of supporting the invasion, Napoleon deposed the existing Spanish monarch in April 1808 in order to place his own brother Joseph on the throne. Although the ensuing Spanish uprising can hardly have come as a surprise to Napoleon, he failed to see that the revolt could never be completely suppressed.

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