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Wellington Against Soult: The Second Invasion of Portugal 1809

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Wellington Against Soult: The Second Invasion of Portugal 1809

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    Available in PDF Format | Wellington Against Soult: The Second Invasion of Portugal 1809.pdf | English
    David Buttery(Author)
At the heart of David Buttery's third book on the Peninsular War lies the comparison between two great commanders of enormous experience and reputation - Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, and Jean de Dieu Soult. In Soult, Wellesley met one of his most formidable opponents and they confronted each other during one of the most remarkable, and neglected, of the Peninsular campaigns. Soult's invasion of Portugal is rarely studied in great depth and, likewise, the offensive Wellesley launched, which defeated and expelled the French, has also received scant coverage. As well as giving a fresh insight into the contrasting characters of the two generals, the narrative offers a gripping and detailed, reconstruction of the organization and experience of a military campaign 200 years ago.

David Buttery has established a reputation as a leading historian of nineteenth-century British military history. He has made a particular study of the Napoleonic and Crimean wars. He has worked in newspapers and museums and has published extensively in many of the leading military history periodicals including the Victorian Military Society's journal, The Leicestershire Chronicle and Military Illustrated. His most recent books are Wellington Against Massena: The Third Invasion of Portugal 1810-1811, Messenger of Death: Captain Nolan and the Charge of the Light Brigade, Wellington Against Junot: The First Invasion of Portugal 1807-1808 and the Waterloo Battlefield Guide.

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Book details

  • PDF | 240 pages
  • David Buttery(Author)
  • Pen & Sword Military (17 May 2016)
  • English
  • 7
  • History

Review Text

  • By JSR on 5 April 2017

    In the last couple of years quite a number of books have appeared covering the less well known aspects of the Peninsular War. This falls into that category since the build-up to and aftermath of Wellesley's celebrated crossing of the Douro in Porto is seldom covered in "popular" histories. This is a relatively short book (180-odd pages) but is very detailed, well-focussed and an excellent read. I have read a number of Buttery's books and I like his style. Very highly recommended.

  • By C. J. N. Viner on 18 July 2016

    David Buttery's latest book, Wellington against Soult, The Second Invasion of Portugal 1809, is a triumph! Many times authors, even the finest ones, allow their own bias, often subconsciously to enter their writing. The result is that historical accuracy is harmed. But this book steers the reader along a path that balances both good and bad, well judged and ill judged, in both Wellington and Soults cases. It offers sound, reasoned and unbiased judgements and includes the vital roles played by a French traitor and discontented French Generals in the final outcome. The political pressure brought to bear on Wellington, even after the significant triumph of the relief of Porto, is highlighted, as is the constant undermining of Soults position by Marshal Ney, a dispute which almost resulted in a duel between them for goodness sake!But perhaps the best part of the book for me, are the fabulously written action descriptions. For example, as the French army is forced to retreat towards Galacia, Major Dulong of the 31st Legere is chosen to lead an assault to force and secure two stubbornly defended mountain bridges, possession of which were vital to the armies survival. The reader is swept along as this brave officer attacks first one then the other with a group of hand picked men. One almost feels the bullets whistling overhead!As I said at the beginning of this review, the book is a triumph of unbiased historical writing and a must read for students of the Peninsular War and Wellingtons Campaigning in general. Add it to your library, you will not be disappointed.

  • By L. Dew on 24 December 2016

    I have just finished reading David Buttery’s third book on the Peninsular War, ‘Wellington against Soult, the second invasion of Portugal, 1809’ and very much enjoyed it. It is a companion to the other two books on the subject, ‘Wellington against Junot’ and ‘Wellington against against Massena’ which deal with the French invasions of Portugal in 1807-8 and 1810-11 respectively.How many of us have visited Portugal, visited places of interest and admired spectacular scenery without knowing very much about that country’s past? Quite a number of us, I suspect; and its history, including the events that took place there during the Napoleonic Wars, is not given much prominence in school classes or on the shelves of bookshops.‘Wellington against Soult’ goes a long way towards remedying this deficiency; but you should not go away imagining is it a dry account of obscure events. This is far from the case. What happened two hundred years ago, where two of the greatest war leaders of the time pitted their wits against each other, and where so much was at stake, makes exciting reading. This is especially so where David Buttery describes the fall of Porto (now called, I believe, Oporto) by the French, the retaking of the town by Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, and Marshall Soult’s subsequent flight through the mountains to the relative safety of Spain.As always, David Buttery’s books are well written with useful - in this book I would say essential - maps and diagrams. There are also illustrations which further enhance understanding and enjoyment.I wholeheartedly recommend this book, and its companions, to anyone interested in History generally and the Peninsular War in particular. Had Napoleon had access to them, he might not have met his Waterloo!

  • By Guest on 11 June 2016

    Once more David Buttery share with us an excellent investigation about the Peninsular War in this new episode of his series “Wellington against”. This time the most obscure of the campaigns – Soult invasion of Portugal in 1809. As a Portuguese Historian I must say that this is one of the best views of this campaign and does not exclude the relevant actions of the “guerrilha” and Portuguese militias.The book is fully detailed, not only the general view of the facts but also the small histories very well documented based in the views and eyewitness of British, Portuguese and French soldiers.The author, chapter after chapter, will reveal that this underestimated campaign, maybe because the lack of a great battle, is really much more. Mandatory reading for all fans of the Peninsular War.Rui Filipe

  • By Guest on 11 September 2016

    David Buttery has written a clear-sighted and well-researched study of an important moment in the Peninsular Wars. The central protagonists - Wellington and Soult - come clearly into view and Buttery has interesting insights into their character and motivations. The book builds upon Buttery's established reputation as an authoritative historian of the period, with an admirably clear and lucid style. Anyone who remembers the famous meeting between Wellington and Soult at the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838 - two elder statesmen who had once been enemies in combat - will welcome this timely and evocative exploration of the roots of their relationship.

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