91 books like The Armies of Wellington

By Philip J. Haythornthwaite,

Here are 91 books that The Armies of Wellington fans have personally recommended if you like The Armies of Wellington. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Salamanca, 1812

Charles J. Esdaile Author Of The Peninsular War: A New History

From my list on the Peninsular War for hardcore history lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For thirty-one years a member of the History Department of the University of Liverpool prior to his retirement in 2020, Charles J. Esdaile has written a host of books on the Napoleonic era, but is particularly knowledgeable in respect of the Peninsular War of 1808-1814, a subject to whose historiography he has made an extraordinary contribution. Thus, setting aside a host of articles and conference papers, he has published eight books on the subject. 

Charles' book list on the Peninsular War for hardcore history lovers

Charles J. Esdaile Why did Charles love this book?

Fought on 22 July 1812, the Battle of Salamanca has been described as ‘Wellington’s masterpiece’, and was certainly a dramatic affair, witnessing, as it did, the British commander turn what could have been a dispiriting retreat a devastating counter-attack that left the French army of Marshal Marmont reeling and in tatters. In this work, the foremost expert on Wellington and his campaigns analyses both the struggle and the many personal accounts to which it gave rise stage by stage, the result being quite simply a book which has few equals as an account of a single Peninsular-War battle.

By Rory Muir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Salamanca, 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

July 22, 1812. Salamanca, Spain. Frustrated at their first advance, British forces under Wellington's command have spent the last four days maneuvering and retreating from the French army. Patient and cautious, Wellington is determined not to make a fatal mistake. He glimpses a moment of opportunity and grasps it, committing all of his troops to a sudden devastating attack. At the end of the day, the French army is broken, panic-stricken, and reeling; Wellington has achieved the finest victory of his brilliant military career.

This book examines in unprecedented detail the battle of Salamanca, a critical British victory that proved…


Book cover of Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769-1814

Philip Dwyer Author Of Napoleon: The Path to Power 1769 - 1799

From my list on the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian historian specializing in the French Revolution and Napoleon. I have spent a goodly part of my career writing a three-volume biography of Napoleon, alongside chapters, articles, and edited books that aimed at reassessing the man and the period. Working on Napoleon and the French as occupiers led me into the history of massacre and more broadly into the history of violence. I studied under the preeminent French Napoleonic scholar, Jean Tulard, at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV.

Philip's book list on the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe

Philip Dwyer Why did Philip love this book?

Speaking of which, this is the first of a two-volume biography of Wellington and is no doubt the most exhaustive and the most up-to-date biography of the man and his career. I’ve personally always found Wellington to be a fairly unlikeable character and there is nothing in this biography that made me change my mind. However, Muir’s familiarity with the sources and the archives enables him to integrate the personal, the military, and the political into this thorough examination of the man that ultimately defeated Napoleon.

By Rory Muir,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wellington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A landmark contribution to understanding the real man behind the heroic legend inspired by the triumph at Waterloo

The Duke of Wellington was not just Britain's greatest soldier, although his seismic struggles as leader of the Allied forces against Napoleon in the Peninsular War deservedly became the stuff of British national legend. Wellington was much more: a man of vision beyond purely military matters, a politically astute thinker, and a canny diplomat as well as lover, husband, and friend. Rory Muir's masterful new biography, the first of a two-volume set, is the fruit of a lifetime's research and discovery into…


Book cover of Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon

Charles J. Esdaile Author Of The Peninsular War: A New History

From my list on the Peninsular War for hardcore history lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For thirty-one years a member of the History Department of the University of Liverpool prior to his retirement in 2020, Charles J. Esdaile has written a host of books on the Napoleonic era, but is particularly knowledgeable in respect of the Peninsular War of 1808-1814, a subject to whose historiography he has made an extraordinary contribution. Thus, setting aside a host of articles and conference papers, he has published eight books on the subject. 

Charles' book list on the Peninsular War for hardcore history lovers

Charles J. Esdaile Why did Charles love this book?

A study of the mechanics of combat in the Napoleonic era, this work is billed As covering the whole gamut of the Napoleonic Wars, but the bulk of the material on which it is based is drawn from the Peninsular War, and so it may be viewed as primarily belonging to the historiography of that conflict. As such, it is excellent, however: if anyone is looking for something that will give them an insight into what the officers and men of the British and French armies went through on the battlefields of Spain and Portugal, this is very much the place to go.

By Rory Muir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What was it like to be a soldier on a Napoleonic battlefield? What happened when cavalry regiments charged directly at one another? What did the generals do during battle? Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and letters of the time, this dramatic book explores what actually happened in battle and how the participants' feelings and reactions influenced the outcome. Rory Muir focuses on the dynamics of combat in the age of Napoleon, enhancing his analysis with vivid accounts of those who were there-the frightened foot soldier, the general in command, the young cavalry officer whose boils made it impossible to ride, and…


Book cover of Albuera 1811: The Bloodiest Battle of the Peninsular War

Charles J. Esdaile Author Of The Peninsular War: A New History

From my list on the Peninsular War for hardcore history lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For thirty-one years a member of the History Department of the University of Liverpool prior to his retirement in 2020, Charles J. Esdaile has written a host of books on the Napoleonic era, but is particularly knowledgeable in respect of the Peninsular War of 1808-1814, a subject to whose historiography he has made an extraordinary contribution. Thus, setting aside a host of articles and conference papers, he has published eight books on the subject. 

Charles' book list on the Peninsular War for hardcore history lovers

Charles J. Esdaile Why did Charles love this book?

One of the very few battles of the Peninsular War in which the British army was involved from which Wellington was absent, Albuera was a desperate affair which saw the Allied commander, Sir William Beresford, completely out-witted by his French counterpart, Marshal Soult, only for the polyglot assembly of British, Portuguese and Spanish troops which he commanded to save the day by means of a display of the most extraordinary gallantry. As the title implies, the casualties on both sides were terrible, but Albuera, 1811 shows beyond all doubt that the carnage should not be allowed to conceal the fact that the various stages of the battle are of enormous interest from the point of view of the military analyst: for example, few other battles offer so detailed a picture of the workings of French infantry tactics, whilst the defeat of a French cavalry charge by Portuguese infantry formed in…

By Guy Dempsey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Albuera 1811 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On 16 May 1811, the small town of Albuera was the setting for one of the Peninsular War's most bloody and desperate battles. A combined Spanish, British and Portuguese force of more than 30,000 men, under the command of Lord Beresford, stubbornly blocked the march of the French field marshal Soult, who was trying to reach the fortress of Badajoz, 12 miles north. Beresford, who defended himself with his bare hands against a Polish lancer, was victorious, but at the cost of 6,000 Allied deaths and 7,000 French in just four hours. The battle is best known for the Fusilier…


Book cover of Wellington: The Years of the Sword

Jane Harvey-Berrick Author Of Troll: My Life in Bomb Disposal

From my list on first-hand accounts of warzones.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have no expertise in the military – I wish I did. But I have incredible respect for their work. I remember reading about the death of Oz Schmid, a bomb disposal officer who was killed in Afghanistan. It was the bravery of his widow, Christina, discussing the appalling lack of equipment and her quiet dignity that touched me profoundly. I asked myself, what can I do to help? Being a writer, I decided to write about it. I quickly realised that I needed an insider’s insight, and found Troll through Felix Fund, the bomb disposal charity. Troll and I wrote the play Later, After, seeing it performed was the proudest moment of my career. 

Jane's book list on first-hand accounts of warzones

Jane Harvey-Berrick Why did Jane love this book?

I read this when I was reading Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books, and I thought Longford’s account of a flawed but brilliant man was astounding. Very readable with in-depth insight and research. It sparked a lifelong fascination with the Peninsular War.

By Elizabeth Longford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wellington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Biography


Book cover of Sharpe's Rifles

C.W. Lovatt Author Of The Adventures of Charlie Smithers

From my list on historical fiction of the UK.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was very young, in our tiny hamlet on the Canadian prairies, I recall riding with other children in the Dominion Day parade. Each child was given a little flag to wave, but even then I noticed that while half were given the old dominion flag, the other half were waving the Union Jack. I couldn’t put it into words then, naturally, but later I recognized it as a feeling of being part of something grand – something far larger than myself or even my own country. Those were the dying days of the Empire and the world has moved on, but a fascination for our history lingers to this day.

C.W.'s book list on historical fiction of the UK

C.W. Lovatt Why did C.W. love this book?

Cornwell is a solid prose writer, and his research is every bit as meticulous as MacDonald Fraser’s. That this book takes place in the Peninsula Campaign is what caused me to pick it from the shelf and give it a read in the first place. Everything from the strategy and tactics of generals to the gruelling life of the ordinary foot soldier - right down to the loading procedure for the Baker rifle - is intricately interwoven with the plot. A must-read for any amateur student of the Napoleonic Wars.

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sharpe's Rifles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bernard Cornwell's action-packed series that captures the gritty texture of Napoleonic warfare--now beautifully repackaged

It's 1809, and Napoleon's army is sweeping across Spain. Lieutenant Richard Sharpe is newly in command of the demoralized, distrustful men of the 95th Rifles. He must lead them to safety--and the only way of escape is a treacherous trek through the enemy-infested mountains of Spain.


Book cover of The Peninsular War: A New History

Philip Dwyer Author Of Napoleon: The Path to Power 1769 - 1799

From my list on the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian historian specializing in the French Revolution and Napoleon. I have spent a goodly part of my career writing a three-volume biography of Napoleon, alongside chapters, articles, and edited books that aimed at reassessing the man and the period. Working on Napoleon and the French as occupiers led me into the history of massacre and more broadly into the history of violence. I studied under the preeminent French Napoleonic scholar, Jean Tulard, at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV.

Philip's book list on the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe

Philip Dwyer Why did Philip love this book?

Charles Esdaile, a specialist of Spanish history, is one of the more prolific writers on the Napoleonic Wars, so it was not easy choosing only one of the numerous books he has penned, including a general history of the wars. Spain, however, has always remained a bit of an outlier in the history of the period. Here we get an insider’s view of the situation in Spain leading to the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy and an accessible, lively account of the often complicated events that followed. Esdaile doesn’t shy away from treating either the Spanish, the guerrillas, or Wellington head on.

By Charles J. Esdaile,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Peninsular War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For centuries Spain had been the most feared and predatory power in Europe - it had the largest empire and one of the world's great navies to defend it. Nothing could have prepared the Spanish for the devastating implosion of 1805-14. Trafalgar destroyed its navy and the country degenerated into a brutalized shambles with French and British armies marching across it at will. The result was a war which killed over a million Spaniards and ended its empire.
This book is the first in a generation to come to terms with this spectacular and terrible conflict, immortalised by Goya and…


Book cover of The Spanish Bride

Mary Lancaster Author Of A Prince to be Feared: The Love Story of Vlad Dracula

From my list on controversial historical heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Scottish writer of historical fiction and historical romance. I’m also a history graduate with imagination, by which I mean I’m as interested in what might have happened as what definitely did! So much of history is open to interpretation, taking account of who wrote what for whom, and why, and that is a large part of what fascinates me. And of course, I love a good historical novel that combines compelling writing with excellent research—especially when a controversial hero is shown in a new or captivating light.

Mary's book list on controversial historical heroes

Mary Lancaster Why did Mary love this book?

I discovered this in my early teens, which perhaps explains why I didn’t bat an eyelid that the heroine is only fifteen years old when she marries our hero. It’s based on the true story of Harry and Juana Smith during the Peninsular war and is a very appealing novel, brilliantly researched and written in Georgette Heyer’s inimitable, light-hearted style. Harry shines as the brave and lovable young officer. Both main characters, their friends, and Wellington himself, leap off the pages fully formed. I’d probably blackball a book written now about a 25 year old man marrying a fifteen year old, yet I can still easily buy into this one, accepting the different customs of their time and simply enjoying their story. 

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spanish Bride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shot-proof, fever-proof and a veteran campaigner at the age of 25, Brigade-Major Harry Smith is reputed to be the luckiest man in Lord Wellington's army. Yet at the siege of Badajoz, his friends foretell the ruin of his career.


Book cover of Sharpe's Eagle

Sean Gabhann Author Of Harper's Donelson

From my list on heroic epics escaping into conflicts of the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Epic war novels follow traditions that trace to the earliest civilizations. An amateur historian since high school, I would nook away for hours reading the great campaigns of the past. As a combat veteran, I still love diving into a lengthy tome about Caesar versus the Gauls or the heroic Russian stand at Borodino. Retirement provided the time to indulge this passion by concentrating on the Western Theater of the American Civil War (ACW), an interest I have researched since the ACW Centennial. I enjoy writing rigorously researched stories to give more accurate descriptions of the events, attitudes, prejudices, and consequences of this critical period in American history.

Sean's book list on heroic epics escaping into conflicts of the past

Sean Gabhann Why did Sean love this book?

This is the army counterpart to the Hornblower Series. The story begins in 1794 with 17 y/o Richard Sharpe deployed to Flanders as a private and continues through India, Spain, and France, ending as a lieutenant colonel at the Battle of Waterloo. A final volume carries the series to St. Helena and Chile, ending in 1820.

Sharpe and his men are always presented with challenges that require heroic acts of daring-do where Sharpe’s gutter-snipe cunning and that of his men ensure that he somehow accomplishes the mission. As one might expect, the size of his company of chosen riflemen dwindles continuously through the series, and becoming Sharpe’s love interest often seems a fatal prospect.

I enjoyed reading many of the stories at a time when I commuted regularly between the west and east coasts. The books are convenient in that one can begin a story during the outbound flight and…

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sharpe's Eagle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bernard Cornwell's action-packed series that captures the gritty texture of Napoleonic warfare--now beautifully repackaged

Captain Richard Sharpe prepares to lead his men against the army of Napoleon at Talavera in what will be the bloodiest battle of the war. After their cowardly loss of the regiment's colors, the men's resentment toward the upstart Sharpe turns to treachery, and Sharpe must fight to redeem the honor of his regiment.


Book cover of Sharpe's Tiger

Colin Falconer Author Of When We Were Gods

From my list on historical adventures that are colourful and pacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up devouring old Classics Illustrated comics. By the time I was 12, I’d read all the great adventure stories from H. Rider Haggard to Jules Verne. My childhood obsession became my career. My research has taken me down the Silk Road, into the jungles of Mexico and the mountains of the high Atlas, and following opium caravans through the Golden Triangle. I’ve now written more than twenty novels of historical adventure that have been translated into 25 languages.

Colin's book list on historical adventures that are colourful and pacy

Colin Falconer Why did Colin love this book?

This prequel to the Sharpe series covers the eponymous hero’s adventures in India at the siege of Seringapatam before the Peninsular War. For me, Cornwell’s books are a perfect mix of history and breathless action. This one even features a cameo from Wellington. If only they’d let me read this in history at school, I might have stayed awake more often. Cornwell pays great attention to historical detail, and if he messes with it, he does it deliberately. There are sumptuous palaces, epic battle scenes, rockets exploding, and people getting eaten by tigers. There’s also the deliciously nasty Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. What’s not to love? 

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sharpe's Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*The brand new novel, SHARPE'S ASSASSIN, is available to pre-order now*

Sharpe's Tiger is the brilliant beginning of Sharpe's adventures

India, 1799

The citadel of Seringapatam is under siege. Navigating this dangerous kingdom of bejewelled palaces and poverty, Private Richard Sharpe embarks on a rescue mission to save a senior officer from the clutches of the Tippoo of Mysore - and oust the Sultan from his throne.

The fortress of Mysore is considered impregnable, but one of the greatest threats comes from betrayal within the British ranks. And the man to outwit enemies from both sides is Sharpe . .…


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