Charging against Wellington: The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War 1807-1814, Robert Burnham

Charging against Wellington: The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War 1807-1814, Robert Burnham

This book falls into three parts. The first looks at the organisation of the French cavalry. It is based on a series of tables showing the structure at particular moments, linked by chunks of text that give a brief account of operations and more details of changes in organisation, tracing the movements of units and changes in command.

The second part provides brief biographies of eighty cavalry generals. Each starts with a table giving their awards, dates of birth and death (with the reason if combat related), date of promotion to general, time spent in the Peninsula and a list of appointments while in Spain and Portugal. This is followed by a short biography, normally about half a page in length.

The third section looks at the cavalry regiments that served in the Peninsula. This section is entirely made up of tables, each giving the colonels in charge, the regimental depot, dates spent in Spain and Peninsula, the location of individual squadrons, the larger units that each regiment was part of and a list of battles and casualties and sometimes the date of departure from the peninsula.

This book is designed entirely to be used as a reference work, to be dipped into to find specific facts. Don't buy it expecting to find a readable account of the French cavalry experience in Spain, do buy it if you need to know in detail the activities of a particular cavalry general or regiment, or the structure of the French cavalry units in the Peninsula at a particular moment (it will be of great use to me).

Part I: Organisation of the French Cavalry in the Peninsula
1 - The Build-up (July 1807-1808)
2 - The Invasion and Conquest of Spain (November 1808-March 1810)
3 - Occupation (Spring 1810-1812)
4 - The Long Retreat (August 1812-April 1814)

Part II: The Peninsular Cavalry Generals
5 - Introduction
6 - The Peninsular Cavalry Generals - Arrighi to Curto
7 - The Peninsular Cavalry Generals - Davenay to Konopka
8 - The Peninsular Cavalry Generals - Laferriere to Montbrun
9 - The Peninsular Cavalry Generals - Noirot to Watier

Part III: The Regiments
10 - Introduction
11 - The Dragoon Regiments
12 - The Chasseur Regiments
13 - The Hussar Regiments
14 - The Imperial Guard, Cuirassier and Lancer Regiments
15 - The Provisional Cavalry Regiments
16 - The Foreign Regiments

Appendix: Sources

Author: Robert Burnham
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Publisher: Frontline
Year: 2011

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