First Italian Campaign |
The Egyptian Campaign |
Second Italian Campaign |
The Ulm-Austerlitz Campaign |
The Prussian Campaign |
The Peninsular War |
The Austrian War |
The Russian Campaign |
From Lützen to Elba |
The Waterloo Campaign
Peninsular War, 1808-1813
by Portugal's defiance of his Continental Blockade against
trade with Great Britan, Napoleon ordered General Jerot
to march French troops over the Pyrenees.
November 30, French troops entered the Portuguese capital of Lisbon
and closed the country's ports to English ships. Spain,
alarmed at France's aggression, began to question their
alliance with Napoleon.
1808, Napoleon had installed his brother Joseph as the
king of Spain and sent 118,000 soldiers across into
Spain to insure his rule. Determined to bend the Spanish
people to his will, he had decided to make Spain a part
of his empire. He imagined they would be welcomed.
my banner bearing the words 'Liberty and Emancipation
from Superstition,'" he said, "I shall be regarded as
the liberator of Spain."
Spain at that time was far behind all the other
countries in Europe. Napoleon considered the Iberian
Peninsula another world with people from
the Dark Ages - dominated by clergy, according to
Napoleon, who were illiterate, ignorant, and fanatical.
He thought that there would be no resistance whatsoever.
Napoleon didnt take the trouble to study the
country he was going to invade. He didnt think
the Spanish people had the will to hold on to their
could never imagine that some people loved their countries
as much as he loved his own. It was a failing, compounded
by arrogance and pride, that would bring about his downfall.
May 2, the Spanish people rose up against the French
army in Madrid. By nightfall, 150 French soldiers were
dead. The French retaliated, killing thousands of Spaniards.
It was the start of a brutal, no-holds-barred war,
marked by savagery on both sides. The French tortured
and mutilated their prisoners; the Spanish did the same.
Its a war of atrocities. Its guerilla
war the word comes from this time. The French
army has never fought this kind of war
not at all the glorious war that they fought elsewhere.
At this point you begin to see a failure of Napoleon's
judgment. He had somehow lost his sense of proportion.
He gets into Spain and he won't give up.
died, but there was no decisive victory. Napoleon would
keep his armies in Spain for five years, unable to break
the will of the Spanish people.
Napoleon no longer accepts advice. Napoleon only
believes in himself. He only has confidence in his
star. So, he is going to be blinded.