Fighting Napoleon: Guerrillas, Bandits and Adventurers in Spain, 1808-1814

Fighting Napoleon: Guerrillas, Bandits and Adventurers in Spain, 1808-1814

by Charles J. Esdaile
ISBN-10:
0300101120
ISBN-13:
9780300101126
Pub. Date:
05/10/2004
Publisher:
Yale University Press

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Overview

Fighting Napoleon: Guerrillas, Bandits and Adventurers in Spain, 1808-1814

Alongside the Spanish army in the campaign against Napoleon (1808-1814) was an assortment of freebooters, local peasants, and bandits who were organized into ad hoc regional private armies. These “guerrillas”—a term introduced to the English language during the Peninsular War—ambushed French convoys, attacked French encampments, and pounced upon, dodged, and fought French columns, often with extreme brutality. This book investigates for the first time the irregular Spanish forces and their role in resisting Napoleon.

Delving deeply into previously untapped archival resources, Charles Esdaile arrives at an entirely new view of the Spanish guerrillas. He shows that the Spanish war against Napoleon was something other than the great popular crusade of legend, that many guerrillas were not armed civilians acting spontaneously, and that guerrillas were more often driven by personal motives than high-minded ideology. Tracking down the bandit armies and assessing their contributions, Esdaile offers important insights into the famous “little war” and the motives of those who fought it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300101126
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/10/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsviii
Prefaceix
Map: The Iberian Peninsula, 1808-1814xii
1The Guerrilla in History1
2The Guerrillas at War27
3The Guerrillas in Context61
4The Origins of the Guerrillas90
5The Reality of the Guerrillas130
6The End of the Guerrillas160
Conclusion193
Abbreviations205
Notes206
Glossary241
Bibliography244
Index262

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