In a market well served with recent histories, this volume stands out as a battlefield guide rather than a straight history.
The battlefield tours make up about one third of the text, and are generally presented as motor tours. The tours are well supported by modern photographs, many annoted to show key locations or routes.
This leaves two thirds of the text for battle accounts, which precede the tours, making this a usable single volume guide for the traveller in the Peninsula. Most of these accounts are accompanied by useful sketch maps.
Although the cover claims that the book covers all of the main battles fought by the French, British, Portuguese and Spanish armies, as is often the case it only covers those battles that involved British armies. While complete coverage of the many Franco-Spanish battles of the war would have made the volume too large, a few key locations such at Bailen or Saragossa could have been included.
Despite this Rawson has produced a very useful guide book for anyone wanting to visit the British battlefields of the Peninsular War, from Portugal to the French border.
1 Wellington's First Expedition to Portugal
2 Sir John Moore's Expedition into Spain
3 Wellesley Returns to the Peninsula
4 The Withdrawal into Portugal
5 Sallying Forth from Portugal
6 Opening the Roads into Spain
7 Advancing Deep into Spain
8 Driving the French from Spain
9 The French Attacks in the Pyrenees
10 Securing the Pyrenees
11 The Advance to Bayonne
12 The Final Campaign in France
Author: Andrew Rawson
Publisher: Pen & Sword