From PYENEES TO WATERLOO - Jonathan Leach

(catalogue number: BCD176)

From the Pyrenees to Waterloo

In the spring of 1808, a dynastic struggle between father and son, King Charles IV and Prince Ferdinand of Asturias, began to convulse Spain. Napoleon was to decide who had the greater right to the crown, and he settled the dispute by dethroning them both. He then gave Spain to his brother Joseph. All looked well at first, but then an anti-French uprising broke out in Madrid and the flames of resistance swept the country. A guerrilla war, an implacable guerrilla war, raged through the Pyrenees, and no Frenchman was sure of his life before it.

Then the British joined the war in the peninsula.

Unlike the memoirs of French soldiers and officers from the Napoleonic Wars, there is only one English memoir title in English translation (Waterloo - Diary of a Campaign).

The gap is now partly filled by this translation of the memoirs of a captain of the 95th Regiment of English Sharpshooters from the Iberian War, which also describes the subsequent campaign into southern France and ends with an account of the Battle of Waterloo. The author of the memoirs, Jonathan Leach, might be called, with some exaggeration, "the real Sharpe"? He and his men were the forerunners of the fictional and later television hero Richard Sharpe.

Captain Leach recounts his military experiences in the uniform of the famed sharpshooting regiment in stark outline. We share with him the hardships and hardships of day and night marches, and the dangers of the countless battles in which he participated. Military events, landscapes and people come alive before our eyes in the wider context of the times. The book introduces the Czech reader to the little-known battlefield of the Napoleonic Wars as seen through the eyes of an English officer of an elite regiment with which he marched through Portugal, Spain and France to the plains of the Belgian town of Waterloo.

Leach's diary entries are put into a contemporary context in his foreword by Jiří Kovařík. The characteristics of the 95th Rifles are outlined in the introduction by translator Leonid Křížek.

  • Published by Elka Press, Prague 2020
  • Bound book, 296 pages, black and white illustrations
  • Dimensions 148 x 210 mm
  • ISBN 978-80-87057-41-4

This book is in Czech language only!

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