Greenhill Books: Napoleonic Library

A History of the Peninsular War

By Sir Charles Oman


The 1807-1814 war in the Iberian Peninsula was one of the most significant and influential campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars. Arising from Napoleon's strategic necessity to impose his rule over Portugal and Spain, it evolved into a constant drain on his resources. Sir Charles Oman's 7-volume history of the campaign is an unrivalled and essential work. His extensive use and analysis of French, Spanish, Portuguese and British participants' accounts and archival material, together with his own inspection of the battlefields, provides a comprehensive and balanced account of this most important episode in Napoleonic military history.


  • The definitive history of the Peninsular War
  • By one of the greatest 20th-century historians
  • Comprehensive maps, orders of battle and lists of strengths and casualties


"...Greenhill Books have rescued from obscurity this rare classic; arguably the most authoritative, comprehensive and balanced work on the subject in the English language... The production of this series is admirable: clearly printed and well bound." - Lt Col R.E.R. Robinson, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

"...Oman's A History of the Peninsular War remains an essential work, and Greenhill Books have done a good job in publishing this new edition, which includes a series of very clear maps and a perceptive introduction by Col. John Elting." - G. D. Sheffield, The Wish Stream, Journal of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

"...A History of the Peninsular War is one of the all-time classics of military history, and there can be no doubt that it should be on the shelves of every student of Napoleonic Warfare. It is better than Napier, better than Fortescue. Greenhill must be greatly congratulated today for shouldering the heavy burden of making it more widely accessible...The physical quality of the new reprint is excellent and fully authentic to the original." - Paddy Griffith, HMGS Forum Journal (USA)


Sir Charles Oman was one of Britain's greatest and most celebrated historians. His other books published by Greenhill are A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages and A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century.

Oman Volume One cover

Volume One: 1807-1809 From The Treaty Of Fontainebleau To The Battle Of Corunna

The first part of Sir Charles Oman's classic history provides the background to the war and its origins, and covers the early stages of the conflict. Introducing the subject and many of its main players, this volume recounts the French invasion of Portugal and the forcible deposition of the Spanish royal family, the beginning of Spanish popular resistance, the arrival of the British in the Iberian Peninsula, the first victories of Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington), Napoleon's personal participation in the Spanish campaign, the French surrender at Baylen, and Sir John Moore's terrible retreat, ending with his death in the hour of victory at the Battle of Corunna.


"...Extremely well produced...Oman's account is still invaluable for anyone studying the campaign...This handsome edition provides an opportunity to acquire a prestigious addition for any library." - Lt Col Sir Julian Paget, Guards Magazine, The Journal of the Household Division

"...First class stuff and excellent research material, combining to make this series of reprints the one to collect." - Military Modelling

September 1995 | ISBN 1-85367-214-9 | Price: £30.00/$59.95

Format: 222 x 141mm | Pages: 720

Features: 9 maps, 3 Illustrations

Volume Two: January To September 1809 From The Battle Of Corunna To The End Of The Talavera Campaign

Oman Volume Two cover

The fate of the Iberian Peninsula was very much in the balance during the period January-September 1809, when it seemed all too possible that Napoleon would achieve control over Spain and Portugal. This volume covers the continuing Spanish resistance to French occupation, the renewed French invasion of Portugal, and the return to the Peninsula and subsequent victories of Sir Arthur Wellesley, including his outmanoeuvring of the French from Oporto and culminating in the hard-fought victory at Talavera.

October 1995 | ISBN 1-85367-215-7 | Price: £30.00/$59.95

Format: 222 x 141mm | Pages: 720

Features: 9 maps, 5 Illustrations

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