Annual Booklist 2016-2017 : Dr Mark S. Thompson

Commended in the Templer First Book Prize for Wellington’s Engineers: Military Engineering in the Peninsular War (Pen & Sword, 2015).

Andrew Bamford, Sickness, Suffering & the Sword: the British Regiment on Campaign 1808-1815 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2013). Well researched and informative work on how the system succeeded (and failed) to keep the British Army in the field during the Napoleonic Wars.

Roger Knight, Britain Against Napoleon: The Organization of Victory, 1793-1815 (Allen Lane, 2013). I didn’t know how little I understood about the workings of the military and the government until I read this. Big, complex and absolutely essential to anyone interested in the British military of this period.

Andrew Lambert, The Challenge: Britain Against America in the Naval War of 1812 (Faber & Faber, 2012). I am not particularly interested in naval history. I heard Andrew speak on this and immediately bought the book. I was not disappointed. Well written, entertaining and informative.

Gary Sheffield, Forgotten Victory: The First World War: Myths and Realities (Headline, 2001). If the First World War is not your thing (it isn’t mine) and you want one book to read during the centenary, this is the one.

Sousa Lobo, A Defesa de Lisboa, 1809-1814: Linhas de Torres Vedras, Lisboa, Oeiras e Sul de Tejo (Tribuna, 2015). The definitive book on the Lines of Torres Vedras in Portugal. Extensively researched and the result of many years’ work. This is unlikely to be bettered, ever. Hugely illustrated and large format. If you are interested in the ‘Lines’ my advice is buy the book and get a dictionary. It is full of pictures that make it worth the money anyway.

A book that is still needed is a biography of Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge. Hardinge cut his teeth in the Peninsular War and worked on Beresford’s staff for part of the time. He was involved in some of the controversies at Albuera. He served in post war governments including Chief Secretary of Ireland and Secretary at War, twice. He became Governor General of India and Master General of Ordnance and was C-in-C during the Crimean War.