METROPOSTCARD.COM GUIDE TO WARFARE ON POSTCARDS 3
> Warfare   Home   History   Glossary   Guides   Publishers   Artists   Techniques   Topicals   Blog   Contact


Warfare in the Age of Napoleon:
Peninsular War, War of The Fifth Coalition, Invasion of Russia


The Peninsular War


Postcard

Great Britain was a long time ally of Portugal, and when France began to exert influence over neighboring Spain it brought the two Empires into conflict through their Iberian surrogates. Both the British and the French had established a blockade on each other’s ports hoping that this economic pressure might force capitulation in their long standing conflict. Portugal was the only remaining route left open between the British and the Continent, but in 1807 the French invaded capturing Lisbon, which forced the Royal family to flee to Brazil. While this move theoretically cut off trade, smuggling remained strong in both Portugal and Spain.

Postcard

To bolster the blockade another French army under General Murat entered Spain in March 1808 under the pretext of restoring order in the conflict between King Charles IV and his son. Charles IV would be forced to abdicate, but when Napoleon’s brother Joseph was crowned King in his place, insurrections against French control erupted throughout Spain and Portugal. This resulted in a number of French defeats, which then encouraged the British to invade. After the British army under Sir Arthur Wellesley landed near Lisbon in August, he defeated the increasingly isolated French under General Junot at Rolica and Vimiero. When the British navy shipped back what remained of Junot’,s army back to France, a controversy arose over the escape, and Wellesly was recalled to England to answer charges.

Postcard

Perhaps some of the best known images of the Peninsular War come down to us through the paintings and prints of Francisco Goya. As a court painter he had a sworn allegiance to the Spanish King but he wished for the type of liberty promised by the French Revolution. He produced very little work during the war years as a result, though he was greatly affected by the French atrocities he witnessed. In 1814 he completed two paintings depicting the suppression of the Madrid rebels in 1808. By the time they were reproduced on postcards, they had become iconic images and form the counterfoil to the myth of Napoleon’s greatness. Though a great deal of romanticism built up around Wellington and the Spanish insurgents in the years that followed, little of their determined effort to free their country from the invading French is to be seen on postcards outside of reproductions of Goya’s artwork. It is a rare example of a strong myth of resistance being ignored.

Postcard

These works by Goya would later be reinforced by his series of intaglio prints entitled Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War), in which French atrocities are reproduce both literally and in allegorical form. While we now consider them great works of art, such imagery fell outside of the public&rsquos; expectations of glorification in Goya&rsquo,s time so they were not published until the mid 19th century. Though powerful, their uncompromising graphic violence diminished their popularity. The prints were not a commercial success, and they did not receive much interest from postcard publishers.

Postcard

The British, now under the command of General John Moore, invaded Spain in September 1808, and with the help of Spanish irregulars pushed the French occupiers back. Napoleon could see that his position in Spain was deteriorating, so he sent in large amounts of reinforcements. They soon overcame the Spanish in the north and by November Napoleon took personal command. He soon recaptured Madrid, and then Saragossa after a long siege. Moore tried falling on Soult’s isolated corps but the news of Napoleon’s approach put him to flight. Believing the situation was finally under control, Napoleon headed back to France in a hurry to deal with new trouble on the Austrian front. Despite some sharp rearguard actions, the remaining French now under the command of Marshal Soult drove the British back toward the port of Corunna. Moore’s stubborn defense allowed his army to escape by sea but he was killed in battle.

Postcard

Once Napoleon returned to France, the guerrilla war that had plagued Spain broke out again. The country’s low agricultural yield made it difficult for a large occupying force to live off the land, but a large force was needed to control such a vast territory. Even when no pitched battles were fought this irregular warfare led to constant French casualties and became known as the Spanish Ulcer. The French responded by establishing small military posts along lines of communication, and swept the countryside with large bodies of men to weed out guerrillas, but this only provided sporadic control. This policy also tied down many soldiers that could not be used in offensive operations elsewhere. The brutality inflicted on the civilian population in return knew no bounds, which kept them permanently hostile to French occupation. Only late in the war did the French make some efforts to win over the local population and deprive the guerrillas of a base. While an effective strategy that had some success, it could not be put into practice fast enough to make a real difference. While the resistance continually ate away at the French, they did so in an inconsistent manner, which made them unreliable allies for the British. Fear of their unreliability often inspired British commanders to be more cautious than they might have otherwise been.

Postcard

France re-invaded Portugal in March 1809, and the British under Wellesley would return to Spain in June. Soon after they fought an indecisive battle at Talaverra for which Wellesley received the tittle of 1st Duke of Wellington. While the French retreated to Madrid they managed to deliver a heavy defeat on Wellington’s Spanish allies at the Battle of Ocana. When 1810 began the British were not strong enough to go on the offensive, so they began construct massive defenses north of Lisbon at Torres Vedras. These fortifications proved too strong for the French to take, and the lack of supplies in the area made a siege prohibitive. The French however did lay siege to Cadiz, the temporary free Spanish capital, which had been reinforced by British troops.

Postcard

The end of 1810 though the beginning of 1812 was marked by guerrilla warfare and indecisive battles between Wellington and the French under General Soult. While the British and insurgents seemingly controlled most of the countryside, the French were hold up in a number of key fortresses from where real control lay. To gain momentum, Wellington was forced to attack Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo.

Postcard

With the French garrison held up in Badajoz threatening his supply lines back to Portugal, Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese army laid siege to the city in March 1812. Its walls were finally beached in April after a very costly assault, which led enraged troops to sack the city. This was one of the most highly romanticized episodes of the conflict in Great Britain. This cycle of back and forth fighting was finally broken when Wellington won a major victory over the French at Salamanca in July and advanced to capture Madrid.

Postcard

The British had landed troops to the rear of the French investing Cadiz in March 1811 in hope of breaking the siege but the resulting Battle of Barrosa achieved nothing. The French would finally lift the siege and withdraw after Wellington’s victory at Salamanca. Much of the territory gained by the British was lost when the French regrouped and launched a counteroffensive in the fall, but this effort could not be sustained. The British launched another offensive in 1813 in which the French were decisively defeated at the Battle of Vittorio and this forced them to retreat back over the Pyrenees.

Postcard

A small but very unusual battle occurred in July 1812 when Wellington’s cavalry caught up with the French rear guard retreating from Salamanca. The French as usual formed up into squares whose tight formation prevented flanking while its deep ranks of bristling bayonets discouraged horses from getting in too close. The charge by the King’s German Legion was fired upon too late and the momentum of dead horses and riders fell into the square disrupting the precise formation and this gap was then exploited by heavy cavalry following behind. Once this square disintegrated the remaining French square broke in panic. The large numbers of German troops involved at the Battle of Garcia Hernandez insured it would be a popular subject on both British and German postcards.

Postcard

The French under Soult would try to return to Spain in July but this attempt was halted at the Battle of Sorauren. In 1814 the British took the war into France by launching an amphibious attack against Bayonne, driving the French back at the Battle of Orthez. Afterwards Wellington advanced on Bordeaux, and then Toulouse, which he captured after a battle. The campaign ended soon after when news of Napoleon’s abdication arrived.



The War of the Fifth Coalition  1809


Postcard

Archduke Charles had been reorganizing the Austrian army ever since its humiliating defeat in the War of the Forth Coalition. In 1809 while Napoleon was preoccupied with the Peninsular War, Austria decided it was the right time to recapture territories it had signed away in the Treaty of Pressburg. While Napoleon suspected that trouble was brewing, he did not expect it so soon. When Austria sent armies into Italy and Bavaria that April, the unsuspecting French were thrown into turmoil. After Napoleon arrived to rectify the situation, he quickly stopped the Austrian offensives with superior maneuvering, throwing them back at the battles of Abensberg, Landshut, Eckmuhl. At the Battle of Ratisbon, the Austrians put up a fierce rearguard defense of their bridgehead on the Danube, and there was fighting in the streets. While the Austrians managed to retreat, they put up little further opposition as Napoleon marched on Vienna.

Postcard

Napoleon’s pursuit of the Austrians was cut short by the rising waters of the Danube and the lack of bridging materials. Overconfident, he finally began crossing the river in May at Aspern-Essling only to have his vanguard cut off by flood waters. The now united Austrians were waiting for this opportunity and a seesaw battle raged until the French were forced to withdraw. This blunder became a stain on Napoleon’s reputation of invincibility.

Postcard

By June Napoleon had been heavily reinforced by the Army of Italy under Prince Eugene while Austrian troops were being diverted to quell a Polish uprising. After confusing the enemy as to where and when he might force a crossing, Napoleon made a night crossing of the Danube in July that met with little opposition. They then quickly deployed against the Austrians at Wagram, and although the French won the ensuing battle, it was not the quick and decisive victory Napoleon had hoped for. An attempt to cut off the Austrian retreat was made at Znaim, but with both armies exhausted an armistice was signed instead. Political troubles within Austria prevented the immediate renewal of hostilities. The British half of the coalition had largely been engaged in Iberia at this time, and now they made some indecisive moves against the Netherlands to keep the war going. This campaign barely left the beachhead, and by October Austria signed the Treaty of Schonbrunn. The agreement forced Austria to cede more territory to France, and they were compelled to break all ties with Britain.

Postcard

Eugene de Beauharnais was the son of the revolutionary general Alexandre de Beauharnais and Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie. His father, Alexandre was guillotined in 1794 for his failures as commander of the Army of the Rhine. After his mother remarried in 1796, he became the stepson of Napoleon Bonaparte. Eugene began serving as aide-de-camp to Napoleon during the Italian and Egyptian campaigns. Once Napoleon declared himself Emperor of France, Eugene received the title of Prince. From there he became Viceroy of Italy, and came to rule in Bavaria after his marriage to Princess Augusta Amelia in 1806. He took to the field in 1809 as commander of the Army of Italy and distinguished himself at the Battle of Wagram. He continued to serve Napoleon loyally until his downfall.

Postcard

While Archduke Charles was facing off against Napoleon, another Austrian Army under Archduke Ferdinand had invaded the Duchy of Warsaw in 1809 to subdue the Polish uprising in Galicia. There they were defeated by the army of Prince Poniatowski at the Battle of Raszyn. When the Poles left Warsaw undefended the Austrians took the city, but the Polish army was on its way to Krakow and seized western Galicia from Austria in the process. In the peace that followed the areas around Lublin and Krakow were ceded to the Duchy of Warsaw, but the Kingdom of Poland was not restored as the Poles hoped.

Postcard

After Austria ceded Tirol to Bavaria in 1805 a number of unpopular changes were made starting with the raising of taxes, and then interfering with long standing cultural and administrative institutions. When a draft was instituted in 1808 the Tyroleans rose up in rebellion against the Bavarian garrison. Austria claimed that the Bavarians had violated the agreed upon territorial transfer by ignoring Tyrolean constitutional rights, and they sent in an army to Innsbruke in support of the revolt. An informal army of peasants was also raised under the leadership of Andreas Hofer. The Austrians were eventually forced to withdraw from Tirol but Hofer’s men fought on and managed to inflict a string of losses against the Bavarians on their own. When the treaty of Schonbrunn ended the War of the Fifth Coalition, Austria gave up all claims to Tirol. An Italian army immediately moved into the region and crushed all remaining resistance. They executed many rebels in the process including Hofer.

Postcard

Although the Tyrolean Rebellion was only a small part of the Napoleonic Wars, it is vastly over represented by postcards. There are many cards that depict historic events from this conflict, but there are many more printed during World War One that references this conflict when depicting contemporary events. Some of these are rather straightforward showing bearded Tyrolean soldiers fighting in the mountains, only they are now wearing modern Austrian uniforms and are battling Italians. Other cards incorporate Hofer himself as a spirit offering encouragement and guidance. Even though Bavaria was now an ally of Austria, the spirit of resistance that forms the foundation of these cards was drawn from a mythic archetype that surpasses immediate cultural associations and can thus be applied against a new enemy. Hofer had become a martyr to Germanic independence, and as such his likeness was also placed on many postcards.

Postcard

In 1807 Napoleon organized the many small German States he had seized from Prussia into the Kingdom of Westphalia, which was later added to the Confederation of the Rhine, to which he installed his brother Jerome Bonaparte as king. In 1809 the Prussian Major, Ferdinand von Schill took his regiment out of Berlin on the pretext of maneuvers but started an uprising that he hoped would spread to eventually topple Napoleon. The revolt quickly gathered local support but it collapsed after an unreceptive Danish-Dutch army defeated him at Stralsund. Schill was killed in battle and his head was taken as a trophy for the new King.

Postcard

After the failed revolt against French occupation, many of Schill’s followers escaped, others were imprisoned, but eleven of his officers were taken to the Fortress of Wesel where they were executed. While this was but a small episode within the Napoleonic wars, the eleven officers that were executed became martyrs to the Prussian cause. By the 1830’s Schill’s name was not only widely known, he had been elevated to a national hero in Prussia and many monuments were erected to honor him. The incident repeated through story and art was still very well remembered a hundred years later and was the subject of numerous postcards. His portrait also became a popular subject for German postcards.



The Invasion of Russia   1812


Postcard

France’s support of the Duchy of Warsaw was a constant irritant to Russia for its very existence provided inspiration for others within the Empire to revolt. The unwillingness of France to support the Russian war against the Ottomans strained relations further and Czar Alexander broke his agreement with France reviving its ties with Britain and Sweden. Unable to launch a cross channel invasion of England, Napoleon turned his attention on her ally Russia. He was wary of overextending himself so he raised the largest of all his armies that incorporated many non-French contingents hoping that this overwhelming force could win an early victory. An extensive depot system was also set up to keep it supplied. The Polish army under Marshal Poniatowski was a significant part of this force, as they hoped that their participation would not only lead to true independence for the Duchy of Warsaw but that of Lithuania, its former commonwealth partner and that they would rejoin into a new kingdom. To bolster morale, Napoleon sometimes referred to this invasion as the Second Polish War, even though Poland was nothing more than a bargaining chip between him and the Czar.

Postcard

In June of 1812 Napoleon’s army began crossing the Niemen River into Russia. When the campaign began the two main Russian armies under Generals Barclay de Tolly and Bagration were widely divided and too week to face Napoleon alone. They began retreating eastward in an attempt to consolidate their forces. Marshal Davout managed to block Bagration’s first attempt to unite with Barclay at the Battle of Mogilev, but the two Russian armies eventually met up at Smolensk in August. There they put up a strong defense but the French broke through. Napoleon had hoped to surround the Russians but he only managed to push them further back. Another attempt was made at Valotino but that too failed. Since the war began Napoleon had hoped to trap the Russian armies and destroy them in decisive battles but the Russians always slipped out of his grasp. Napoleon’s army was large but the various contingents were not all the same quality and became difficult to manage.

Postcard

As a separate French and Bavarian force securing Napoleon’s left headed northwards, the Czar became concerned that St. Petersburg might fall and he put the city’s defenses in the hands of General Kutuzov. While on their way to Riga the French were counterattacked by General Wittgenstein’s army at Polotsk. The defeat not only halted the French advance, it now allowed the Russians to threaten Napoleon’s supply line through Belarus. Napoleon had hoped to go into winter quarters at Smolensk, but with problems brewing in his rear he decided he needed to end the war soon and continued his advance on the Russian army.

Postcard

Czar Alexander, impatient with the inability of his army to defend Russian territory finally put Marshal Kutuzov in command. The Russian retreat still continued until Kutuzov had time to prepare the ground at Borodino for a stand. While part of his position was protected by the Kolocha and Moskwa Rivers, he constructed two large redoubts and other defenses along the rest of his line in September. While a strong position, the terrain was not ideal. Much faith was placed in his army’s desire to protect the sacred city of Moscow, and before the battle Kutuzov paraded the Black Madonna of Kazan through his army so they could prey.

Postcard

Unable to find a desirable way around the Russian flank, Napoleon met them head on and an enormous battle ensued. Attack and counterattack continued through the day. Although the French would eventually take control of the Russian redoubts, the Russian army was still intact, digging in on the ridge to the east. Casualties had been very high on both sides and neither wanted to risk another bloody encounter at this point. When Kutuzov decided to continue his eastward withdrawal, Napoleon followed but did not molest him.

Postcard

For a major war that involved an extraordinary amount of men, there were very few battles fought. Borodino was not only the largest of these; it was the largest one-day battle of all the Napoleonic Wars. Though fought to a draw, this battle has an important reputation in both military history and in myth. As such it has been reproduced more often on postcards than most other battles from this era. Many of these cards were published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this campaign in 1912. A great panorama entitled The Battle of Borodino was completed by Franz Roubaut that same year. Sections of it appear on a large set of postcards later produced in Soviet Russia.

Postcard

The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg had been the home of the Russian royal family since 1732. Catherine II added a new wing to serve as an informal retreat within the palace, which came to be known as the Hermitage. Its artwork would be greatly expanded upon by Czar Nicholas I, who eventually opened it to the public. It came to house many large historical paintings depicting Napoleon’s campaign in Russia. The Parisian publisher I. Lapina reproduced many of these paintings on tricolor postcards. Their backs are in both French and Russian.

Postcard

While most commemorative postcards marking the Napoleonic wars were published around their 100th anniversary, subsequent anniversaries were honored as well. Some of these more recent cards draw on the same material as their older cousins for inspiration. These are the numerous historical paintings that were produced throughout Europe during the 19th century. It is no accident that many of these early cards were produced by the French publishers Lucien Levy and E. Lay Delay, who were both well known for their art reproductions and had good connections to salons and museums. New times however often brought new graphic sensibilities with them. Even though the Soviet Union is well known for its social realist art, it also has a long connection with modernism, which occasionally influences postcard design.

Postcard

When Napoleon reached Moscow, he was upset that there was no one there to surrender the city to him. Kutuzov decided not to make a stand and positioned his army further to the east. There were still some rear guard troops in the city burning official buildings when the first of the French arrived. They did not engage in combat in fear of letting the fires grow out of control, but about three-quarters of the city went up in flames due to additional acts of sabotage and from the looting and general chaos that ensued over the following days. This great tragedy is so full of drama and passion that it became a perfect subject for novels and postcards. It is one of the more popular and common themes on Napoleonic cards.

Postcard

Fires and other disasters were a constant staple for postcard production outside of war pictures, so the availability of postcards depicting the burning of Moscow should come as no surprise. There was however another element to this event that was also captured on cards, which was the execution by the French of those suspected of spreading the blaze. Depending on your perspective this act could be justice applied to common criminals or an atrocity committed against those loyally protecting their homeland from invaders. While it is clear which side is taken by Russian painters, it does not make clear the motives of publishers that carry these images. They can be found on cards to promote Russian nationalism or merely be one of many art reproductions produced for a museum.

Postcard

Napoleon had managed to march 600 miles into Russia with one of the largest armies ever assembled, but he controlled nothing but the burnt out city he was occupying and a few supply depots stretching back to Poland. Despite the size of the battle of Borodino, there were no decisive battles in this entire campaign to force a conclusion as there had been in other wars. Czar Alexander was unwilling to agree to peace while the French remained on Russian soil, and since Napoleon’s efforts amounted to nothing more than a gigantic raid, the Czar saw no need to offer concessions. The peace talks that followed the capture of Moscow lasted for five weeks but did not go anywhere. The morale of French troops had declined after Borodino, and his allies were growing restless. Finding himself short of supplies in a city that had been ravaged by fire while Cossacks were gathering in his rear, Napoleon decided it was time to retreat. In October he set a route to the southwest toward Kaluga where he felt he could find warmer weather and ample forage for his troops.

Postcard

As the French began to retreat they found that their preferred route through Kaluga was contested; Kutuzov had anticipated this move. The French tried to clear the way across the Lugha River at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets but this delaying action allowed Kutuzov to bring up the entire Russian army and block their way. The fierce back and forth battle left the Russians holding the high ground. Not wanting another major engagement so far from home, Napoleon was then forced to retreat across the same ravaged land he had come in on. The weather was not yet bad but the land could not provide his army with adequate supplies.

Postcard

Napoleon quickly began loosing control of his demoralized troops. The remainder of the campaign consisted of the Grande Armée being constantly harassed by irregular forces and a few sharp rearguard actions, most notably against Marshal Ney at Krasnoi. Katuzov held back waiting for the winter to do much of the killing. By the time the French neared Smolensk in early November it finally turned sharply cold. The Russians made a final attempt to trap the French before they passed over Berezina River into Belarus. A fierce defense was put up at the bridgehead allowing many solders to escape, but most of the stranded stragglers were killed.

Postcard

Two themes are most often captured on postcards relating to Napoleon’s retreat. One shows French troops succumbing to the cold, snow, and hunger, while in the other stragglers are harassed by small bands waiting in ambush or by Cossacks in close pursuit. In both cases they represent tragedy more than victory.

Postcard

Alexander Petrovich Apsid was a Latvian illustrator that provided work for magazines and book publishers in St. Petersburg. Many of his illustrations for War and Peace were reproduced on postcards, which are noted for their bright palette and highly graphic style. He began producing propaganda posters during World War One, and continued this work for Soviet State Publishing into the 1930’s.

Postcard

Even with this last victory at the Beresina, the results of the campaign were devastating to the Grand Armée. The battles combined with a very harsh winter it was enough to consume the vast majority of his army. Of the 450,000 men who invaded, only 9,000 effectives escaped into Belarus, though many of these had become casualties before Napoleon ever reached Moscow. (Historical estimates of the initial size of Napoleon’s invading army and its casualties vary widely though the ratio is always extreme.) Leaving Marshal Murat in command of what was left of the Grande Armée, Napoleon rushed back to Paris to raise a new army that could stop the advancing Russians. Murat was ordered to hold onto Lithuania, but as the winter grew even colder he retreated back to the Prussian fortress at Konigsburg. Kutuzov would advance no further than the Niemen River that winter.

Postcard

While most are only vaguely familiar with the historical details of Napoleon’s Russian campaign, his tragic retreat is probably the best known part of all the Napoleonic Wars because of its great mythical associations. Here the greatest army assembled by man under the command of the world’s greatest general is ultimately destroyed by the lack of hubris and the formidable power of nature. It is a cautionary tale, one that not only warns against getting too smug but that the underdog can sometimes come out on top. The disastrous effect of the weather on Napoleon’s retreat can also be seen a divine judgment against evil, and as God’s blessing over the Russians. All of these notions were in play when postcard production began, often further romanticized and distorted in literature such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Since most postcard collectors do not acquire cards for an education but to reinforce values already held, those depicting the invasion of Russia probably account for the majority of cards that deal with the Napoleonic wars. They uphold already well established myths. Though many of Napoleon’s troops had succumbed to the brutal summer heat at the beginning of the campaign, only the harsh wither conditions at the very end are depicted on cards because that image is what exists in the public consciousness.

Postcard

Vasilii Vasilievich Vereshchagin was a well known war artist who made first hand sketches of the Turkistan War 1867-70, and then in the Russo-Turkish War 1877-78 from which he turned into series of paintings. Not all paintings were of contemporary events such as his Napoleonic wars series that was begun in 1887 and sporadically worked on until his death. While much of this work contains drama, Vereshchagin had a knack for capturing the small moments within a soldiers life. He painted with the precision of an academic of his day, but his work often contains moody atmospheric effects. Many of his paintings were reproduced on postcards, especially of the Napoleonic Wars, which due to their unusual compositions have a much more modern look to them. In 1904 he traveled into danger again as a war artist to get a first hand account of the Russo-Japanese War. He died the following year when working from the Russian battleship Petropavlovsk that hit a mine and sank.

Postcard

Wojciech Kossak was the son of the noted historical painter Juliusz Kossak. Under his fathers influence Wojciech went on to become recognized as an important painter of historical subjects that promoted Poles fighting for their independence. His most famous piece dating from 1894 is the giant panorama commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Raclawice. In the years prior to World War One He produced a number of paintings on the Napoleonic Wars, concentrating on the events of 1812.

Postcard

Mykola Samokysh was a well known Ukrainian painter of historical scenes who worked in both Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. Much of his work followed the military tradition of painting depicting active complex battle scenes. A number of his paintings capture events of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and were placed on postcards by the art publisher Richards in St. Petersburg.

Postcard

Denis August Marie Raffet was born in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, and only became a well known illustrator after these events were over. By 1830 he began a series of patriotic lithographs depicting the campaigns of Napoleon that brought him much recognition. These works included illustrations for the History of the Revolution by Thiers, and the History of Napoleon by de Norvins. All this work would later be reproduced on postcards, and it has become a major component of Napoleonic postcard history.



War of 1812


While Napoleon was invading Russia, Great Britain was fighting the French in the Peninsular War. Britain’s attempt at stopping American trade with France only added to the growing animosity between them, which finally led the United States to declare war on Britain in June 1812. This conflict would continue to sap British resources for the remainder of the Napoleonic wars.

(Further details of the War of 1812 are covered in the Wars in America chapter of this guide.)




Back  UP  Next

Return to Menu



graphic