In the process, however, the sieges that were conducted during the period, and their strategic and wider significance, have generally been overlooked in the historiography. It is now more than a decade since Frederick Myatt wrote a narrative study of the sieges of the Peninsular War, and over three decades since Christopher Duffy’s book on the military experience in the period. Yet scholarly interest is increasingly beginning to recognize the value of closely examining sieges as a means of understanding wider social, political and military issues during the Napoleonic era.
This edited collection draws together established and emerging experts of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from around the world to shed new light on the topic. Bridging the gap between high standards of scholarship and public engagement, the volume brings together the latest thinking on a neglected aspect of one of the most written about conflicts in history.
From India, to Antwerp, and from the Peninsular War to the Ottoman Empire, sieges remained important aspects of warfare in the Napoleonic era. By examining events such as the siege of Ismail, Wellington’s sieges in India and the Iberian Peninsula, and the efforts to establish security on the French border post-war, An Unavoidable Evil, highlights the local and international implications of this form of warfare. It explores how the manner in which sieges were conducted shifted over the period, and how commanders sought to address the challenges they presented for the men under their command, their wider strategic aims, and for the civilians caught in the crossfire.