Feb18

Siege artillery in the Peninsular War

The Napoleonie Wars are of enormous interest to military historians

and there seems to be no end to the number of books dealing with the varíous campaigns.

This is especially true of the War in Spain and Portugal. However, I have found that artillery — despite its importance on the field of battle— is not as well covered as one might expect, and that seems to be particularly so for the heavy guns.

The support of infantry and cavalry on the battlefield gives the field batteries their more glamorous image. But while most people are familiar with pictures showing the storming of a fortress — stirring images, whether the defenders or the attackers are the heroes! —  the technicalities of siege operations are less well-known.

Yet siege operations were arguably the most common and well-defined elements of warfare up to the end of the 19th Century.  No commander could afford to leave a strong enemy garrison in his rear when he was maneuvering, and —like a castle on a chess-board— a well-provisioned fortress was a valuable asset to the defender and a powerful deterrent to an attacker.

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Main Image Source: 3D Model of Napoleonic Siege Gun - fallingpixel.com
Author:
Brigadier K. A. Timbers - revistas.ucm.es
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