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Duke of Wellington's Command of the Spanish Army in the Peninsular War

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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In the post-World War 2 era of limited warfare, coalition operations have become the norm. The building and employment of these coalitions is complex, but hardly a new issue. Following the occupation of Spain by the French in 1808 and the crushing defeats of the Spanish army thereafter, the British intervened in the Peninsula to maintain Portuguese sovereignty. Because of the limited Anglo-Portuguese manpower, when the military objective changed to driving the French from Spain a coalition with the Spanish government and employment of Spanish troops became necessary to match French strength. This paper examines the political jockeying and contentious issues surrounding Wellington being named the commander of the Spanish army in the fall of 1812 and the challenges in employing and rebuilding the Spanish effectiveness to employ them as part of the allied force.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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