Greenhill Books: Napoleonic Library

Napoleon And Iberia

The In Sieges Of Ciudad Rodrigo And Almeida, 1810

By Donald D. Horward

Napoleon And Iberia cover


This is the most thorough, complete and scholarly account there is of two crucial sieges in 1810. Masséna's April-July siege of Ciudad Rodrigo was Intended as the prelude to the French invasion of Portugal after the repulse at Talavera of Wellington's drive to Madrid In 1809; the siege of Almeida followed In August and was concluded within twelve days. Meanwhile, the main British and Portuguese effort was directed at the critical Lines of Torres Vedras protecting Lisbon, which were completed during the time that the attention of the French was held elsewhere.

Based on original correspondence in the private archives of the Masséna family and various archival collections in France, Portugal, Spain and England, Napoleon and Iberia is an outstanding account of the sieges and attendant military operations. Donald Horward provides an analysis of siege warfare and a detailed narrative of the two sieges with all the accompanying logistical problems; and considers the sieges as part of Wellington's strategy for the defence of Portugal and their significance for the outcome of the Peninsular campaign. Horward's extensive topographical research, supported by maps and photographs, gives an admirable clarity to descriptions of complex operations and adds to the value of this indispensable study of the vital twin sieges.


  • Major book on a pivotal part of the Iberian campaign
  • Research based on unpublished archives

"Clear, vibrant narrative with excellent maps and photographs, a model of scholarly research and effective presentation ... without doubt the definitive modem study of (this) particular aspect of the Peninsular War" - David Chandler in Canadian Journal of History

"...Horward's book offers invaluable insight into how strategy and tactics, terrain, logistics, fortune and human errors mix in determining military success in Napoleonic siege warfare. In the end, no single factor determined the relative success or failure of the French and Allied efforts. It is the unique interplay of these various factors that is important to the outcome, a phenomena I cannot remember encountering so well described anywhere before. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book for anyone with an interest in the Peninsula or in siege warfare." - Napoleon

"...This is a very good book indeed...lavishly illustrated with excellent photographs...this is a most valuable book, and one that is ignored at any future historian's peril." - S.G.P. Ward, Journal of the Army Historical Research Society

"...This is a 'must have' book." - First Empire


Donald D. Horward is professor of history and Director of the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution at Florida State University, and Is described as 'unquestionably the leading historian of the Napoleonic Invasion of Portugal' by the Bulletin of the Napoleonic Society of America.

October 1994 | ISBN 1-85367-183-5 | Price: £19.95/$40.00

Format: 222 x 141mm | Pages: 440

Features: 42 photographs and drawings. 13 maps


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