At the Point of the Bayonet: The Peninsular War Battles of Arroyomolinos and Almaraz 1811-1812 (From Reason to Revolution) Robert Griffith (Author)
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Helion and Company (February 19, 2021)
Rowland Hill was one of the Duke of Wellington’s most trusted subordinates, known for caring deeply for the welfare of his men, but the battles of Arroyomolinos (1811) and Almaraz (1812) show that he was far more than just ‘Daddy Hill’ and a safe pair of hands. He was also a general of considerable skill and daring. At Arroyomolinos he led his troops for days through appalling weather to outmaneuver and then decimate an entire French division in a perfectly conceived surprise attack. At Almaraz he advanced far from allied lines to capture and then destroy a vital French bridge, overcoming considerable logistical challenges and substantial defenses, and paving the way for Wellington’s victory at Salamanca.
For both actions, Hill used the same two British infantry brigades as well as Portuguese and Spanish units. The relatively small numbers of units involved has enabled the author to give greater focus on the individual regiments and the men who served in them than is often the case with larger battles. He uses memoirs, previously unpublished letters, and official returns and reports to paint a very detailed picture of two small but important battles of the Peninsular War and the men that fought them.
Ever since he picked up the first of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books as a teenager, Robert Griffith has been passionately interested in the Napoleonic period. As the author of several historical fiction novels set during the long wars against the French, and an ardent Napoleonic re-enactor, he has long strived to bring alive the stories of the men who fought for Britain against the armies of Napoleon. Having now turned to writing history he exhaustively researches his subjects to draw out previously overlooked details of both the campaigns and the everyday life of Napoleonic soldiers.