The Forgotten War Against Napoleon - Conflict in the Mediterranean 1793-1815, Gareth Glover

The Forgotten War Against Napoleon - Conflict in the Mediterranean 1793-1815, Gareth Glover

The scale and duration of the conflict in the Mediterranean is surprising. British forces were in action in some part of the area in just about every year from the outbreak of war in 1793 to the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, and in just about every part of the Mediterranean. British forces were engaged in eastern Spain, the south of France, Sicily and parts of Italy, Malta, Egypt, the Adriatic, the Dardanelles and Palestine. British ships visited the North African shore, and the Americans fought some of their first over-seas wars in that area. Some parts of this conflict are well known - the siege of Toulon, Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and the British response or the naval blockade of Toulon. In other cases I was aware that there had been some involvement, but not of the length and scale of the commitment - Naples and Sicily being the best example. Other campaigns are indeed forgotten - the expedition through the Dardanelles, the second campaign in Egypt or the island hoping campaign in the Adriatic for example.

One minor criticism is that in some periods we swap repeatedly between different parts of the Mediterranean, often making the story in each area a little unclear. This is mainly the case after the outbreak of the Peninsular War, where the British made a series of attempts to support the Spanish. I do wonder if it might have made more sense to gather some of these short chapters together into larger ones that cover several years at once - one for Spain, one for Sicily and Italy etc, instead of having one chapter per theatre per year. The strictly chronological approach works well in the earlier parts of the war, where there were rarely two major campaigns at the same time.

This is a well researched and well written account of the most complex long term military commitment for Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, involving multiple theatres spread out over a large area, cooperation between the Navy and the Army, an ever changing cast of senior officers, opponents and allies, often made more complex by the time taken to get messages from London to the officers in the field.

Chapters
1 - Storm Clouds Gather
2 - Opening Shots (1793)
3 - The Siege of Toulon (1793)
4 - Supporting the Allies (1793)
5 - Corsica (1794)
6 - Admiral Hotham (1794-95)
7 - Sir John Jervis (1796)
8 - Abandoning the Mediterranean (1796-97)
9 - The Great Expedition (1798)
10 - Egypt Succumbs (1798)
11 - The Blockade of Malta (1799)
12 - The Contest for Egypt (1799)
13 - All Change (1799)
14 - The British Confusion (1800)
15 - The Convention of El Arish (1800)
16 - The British Land in Egypt (1801)
17 - Algeciras (1801)
18 - The Peace of Amiens (1802)
19 - Mutiny and War during Peace (1802)
20 - War Resumes (1803-04)
21 - Trafalgar (1805)
22 - Naples (1805)
23 - Maida and Beyond (1806)
24 - The Fox (1806)
25 - The Dardanelles (1807)
26 - Egypt Again (1807)
27 - Change Again (1807)
28 - The French Set Sail (1808)
29 - Spain (1808)
30 - Capri (1808)
31 - Rescuing the Pope (1808)
32 - The Eastern Coast of Spain (1808)
33 - Ischia and Procida (1809)
34 - Gerona (1809)
35 - The Adriatic (1808-1809)
36 - Sicily (1810)
37 - Santa Maura (1810)
38 - Collingwood Passes (1810)
39 - Murat Attacks (1810)
40 - Tortosa (1810)
41 - An Adriatic Base (1810)
42 - Tarragona (1811)
43 - Lord William Bentinck (1811)
44 - Fleet Actions (1811)
45 - The Russo-Turkish War (1811)
46 - Alicante (1812)
47 - The Rivoli and Lagosta (1812)
48 - Sicily and Ponza (1813)
49 - Castalla (1813)
50 - Cattaro and Ragusa (1813)
51 - The French Abandon Spain (1813)
52 - Italy and the End Game (1814)
53 - Elba (1814-15)
54 - The War Resumes (1815)
55 - North Africa (1815-16)
56 - Aftermath

Author: Gareth Glover
Edition: Hardcover
Pages:
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2017


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