Burgos in the Peninsular War, 1808-1814: Occupation, Siege, Aftermath

TitleBurgos in the Peninsular War, 1808-1814: Occupation, Siege, Aftermath
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEsdaile, Charles J., and Philip Freeman
Number of Pages221
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityHoundmills, UK

Burgos, the historic capital of Castile, is situated on one of the main roads to Madrid. The bulk of the French forces advancing to and retreating from Madrid consequently passed through the city, as a result of which its people not only had to endure requisitioning but a good deal of pillaging from ill-disciplined troops. This study of a city caught up in the ebb and flow of the Peninsular War, based on some archival work, as well as diaries and memoirs, provides the reader with details of the French occupation of the city, the eventual British march against it and the siege of 1812. For Burgos is also home to a fortress, one that has existed since 884, and one that was considerably reinforced by the French under General Jean-Louis Dubreton. In the autumn of 1812, Duke Wellington led a combined Anglo-Portuguese force of about 35,000 men against Burgos defended by a 2000-strong French garrison. In this volume, the authors examine why Wellington ultimately failed to take the city.

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