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Changing Views of the Contribution of Popular Spanish Resistance to Victory in the Peninsular War

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Changing views of the contribution of popular Spanish resistance to victory in the Peninsular War.

The guerrillas have been viewed in a variety of different ways in the historiographical record of the Peninsular War. Until relatively recently, according to Tone, “historians have paid them scant attention” putting the focus on, according to Esdaile “great men, great armies and great battles”. This essay will explore some aspects of the guerrillas that have been the subject of debate in the historiography, focussing first on exploring who the guerrillas were and what their impact was on the war.
Tone, in a study of the English language historiography and that of France and Spain identified that there was a difference in the way each treated the guerrillas. He summarised that while the British ignored the guerrillas’ role, the French overplayed the role of the church and the Spanish tended to portray the popular resistance as comprising the whole of the population. It could be argued that this reduction of three historiographic traditions to just three simple ideas is an oversimplification, but there is some justification for at least one of these ideas. To illustrate, and explain the British view, Tone cites Napier’s 1882 history of the Peninsular War as discussing the guerrillas, or partidas (the name given to guerrilla bands by the Spanish themselves) in less than glowing language. Reading the rest of the Napier, it is true that there are very few mentions of the guerrillas and Gleig, the primary source Tone cites, does not mention guerrillas at all, but does have a low opinion of the Spanish army. However, while Tone claims that the guerrillas are ignored because of British disdain and doubt in their contribution, the evidence for this is less convincing; a reading of Napier, for example, shows that the few mentions of guerrillas are relatively positive. He implies that the guerrillas caused the French forces severe damage, impeded their communications and affected their ability to collect supplies. Meanwhile Glieg’s negative view of the Spanish army does not extend to the peasants who he claims make up the majority of the rank and file soldiers (and who Tone later claims made up the majority of the guerrilla forces) he states that they did not lack “personal courage.” What this implies is that the British held a different perception of the Spanish army officers than their men. Tone does not pursue this in any detail, but Esdaile explores it in an earlier article, where he indicates that the Spanish upper classes were held in low esteem by “virtually all those non-Spaniards who experienced Patriot Spain at first hand”. That these were “sweeping generalizations” is acknowledged by Esdaile who highlights the impact they have had on the succeeding historiography.
That there was popular resistance, seems to be generally agreed, Tone in a more recent article and Esdaile both mention famous examples of popular resistance while Joes highlights more anonymous incidents which involved guerrilla groups that “sprang into existence” soon after the war began but which “often made the mistake of trying to hold specific places and meet Imperial troops head on.” What these incidents had in common was that they were heroic failures and involved popular uprisings of ordinary Spaniards. These uprisings, were built by the Cadiz government into national or patriotic myths, playing a role for the Spanish similar to that played by the Dunkirk evacuation for the British, as described by Archard, as an example of “stubborn, yet modest popular courage in the face of massive adversity.” That these views of the resistance are not 100% accurate is not important in their development as national or patriotic myths, what matters is the unifying nature of the stories and how they help the Spanish people view themselves and the resistance. These myths were utilised by the Cadiz government, in an attempt to inspire further national resistance, and can be seen as important long term, in building the Spanish national identity. For example, the mythologisation of the guerrilla war by the Cadiz government and of the development of Agustina Zaragoza as an icon of popular and, arguably more importantly, national resistance.
This idea of the creation of national myths of heroic Spanish raises a possible explanation for the divergence identified at the beginning of this essay between the way the English speaking and the Spanish historiography view the role of the guerrillas in the struggle. The view of the Spanish people heroically resisting and ultimately driving the French from Spain, clashes with the British national myth of “Wellington’s genius” alone being responsible for victory in the Peninsular War.
Tone’s description of the importance of Agustina as “an icon of national unity, a Catalonian woman who fought for Spain” is telling of the need for such symbols, driven by what Esdaile calls “the complete turmoil into which Spain was thrown by the collapse of the ancien regime (system of rule) in 1808”. Individual provinces across Spain each revolted against the French independently and bereft of the central control of a monarch, elements of the country began to pull away from each other. Woolf, suggests that these uprisings were more regionally inspired than nationally. Medhurst points out that while Spain as a geographic entity had existed since the sixteenth century, the many regional differences in governance were only addressed in the eighteenth century. However, the lack of central control combined with “economic backwardness, poor communications and a plurality of cultures inhibited the emergence of a strongly developed sense of Spanish nationhood”. Tone does not address the problems caused by the revolution, but he does indicate other issues which divided the different regions of the country, for example in regions like the Navarre where the peasants tended to be more wealthy and were more likely to own land, there was more likelihood of resistance as the peasants had more to defend. These issues militated against the whole population arising in the national popular resistance the Cadiz government wanted and had ordered.
Many of the initial examples of resistance were, as described above, local revolts across Spain. Interestingly, Esdaile states that these revolts were “preceded by a long period of radicalization in which the populace was prepared for revolt against the legitimate authorities.” This creates some confusion in how the resisters are to be viewed, are they malcontents and rebels who have merely changed the target of their ire? Or should they be seen as patriots who were prepared to put aside their temporary anger at the rulers of Spain to defend their country against invaders? The joy at the accession of Ferdinand to the throne and the speed with which the revolts followed Napoleon’s usurpation of his throne tend to imply the latter, but raise questions concerning the nature of the revolts. Were these revolts against the French, for Spain or for Ferdinand? In essence, the question becomes, what is the nature of the state in Napoleonic era Spain? Medhurst, indicates that as a consequence of the way that Spain developed, the idea of a Spanish nation is troublesome at this point, “the pull of local loyalties … remained strong and attitudes to the central government ambivalent”. This is supported by Esdaile’s claim that there was a strong element of self interest mixed in with the patriotism that inspired these revolts and the efforts to exclude the central government. Scotti-Douglas makes the point that there were often conflicts between local authorities and the central government and between different provinces. The lack of a central idea to build popular, unanimous resistance around or a central state or a strong government combined with the nature of the regional governments helps to explain why the resistance to the French was not universal.
If the idea of a popular but not unanimous, resistance, in Spain is accepted; the next questions to be explored revolve around the nature of the participants and why some Spaniards were involved and others were not. The nature of the early revolutionaries has been the subject of some discussion. As previously stated, the Spanish historiography, tends to view the uprising as universal, a viewpoint that to a certain extent is supported by Tone. However, Esdaile implies that the resistance consisted of a mix of revolutionaries who wanted to change the system and patriots who wanted to expel the French. In a later piece of work, Esdaile introduces an issue that sheds light on the reasons for resistance and the nature of the guerrillas. He discusses how a revolt in Galicia was in response to French occupation, rather than invasion. The inhabitants did not resist the French when they arrived and only revolted when the behaviour of the occupiers became too much. While Scotti-Douglas identifies some bands of guerrillas as predating dos de mayo, he also notes that numbers increased as the war went on and men were attracted to successful guerrilla leaders. This would tend to move the motivation for resistance of some guerrillas away from patriotism, towards revenge, self defence and self interest. This is one of several reasons why the make-up of the guerrillas who formed the groups that operated over the latter parts of the war is more contentious. Later in the war; the resisters were more likely to be individuals with a stake in the system. This meant, according to both Tone and Esdaile that the amount of resistance in the latter part of the war was dependent upon the social system of individual regions of Spain, only in regions, like Navarre, where the peasants had property, income and rights that suffered at the hands of the French were large numbers incentivised to join the guerrillas.
As stated at the beginning of this essay the French believed strongly that the guerrillas were dominated by the church. According to Tone, there was a widespread belief among the French forces that the guerrillas were inspired, lead or even composed of priests and monks. This is a belief continued in the historiography, Joes for example, states that “an unusually large percentage of the Spanish guerrillas were clerics as a result of French excesses committed against the church.” However, Tone in two separate articles claims that the role of the church in popular resistance was more complex than this. It provided inspiration for resistance in the form of sermons and well publicised miracles and also more direct involvement in that some guerrilla fighters and even leaders were members of the clergy. The Cadiz government attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to raise guerrilla bands called cruzadas (crusades) made up of members of religious orders. Tone and Prada indicate that while some churchmen were guerrillas, the guerrillas in Navarre and Catalonia were both mainly if not “wholly secular,” thereby raising the possibility of geographic differences among the guerrillas. However, Tone claims that most clergy were either neutral or afrancesado (collaborators). Again the lack of central control seems to be the issue that allowed individual clergy to decide where their duty lay, whether it was in defence of their country, to promote peace or to support “whatever secular authority happened to be in power”. His view is that role of the church in the guerrilla war has been overplayed.
Two further issues are often treated in the historiography as if they are linked, the roles of bandits and deserters. Tone, however, notes that in Navarre at least, the role of bandits and deserters decreased towards the latter stages of the war, when the large division of guerrillas was made up mostly of local peasants, although he also makes the point that the guerrillas encountered by the British in the north west of Spain, especially in the early stages of the war, were “often little more than deserters and bandits of marginal military value”. Esdaile believes that bandits played an important role and notes that the difference between bandit and guerrilla is often less black and white than it might seem to twenty first century eyes, an assertion echoed by Fraser, particularly in relation to the early days of the war, and by Dwyer. One possible link is implied by both Esdaile and Scotti-Douglas, who discuss how the Instruccion para el Corso Terrestre contra los Ejercitos Franceses (Instructions for land piracy against the French Armies) issued by the government in Cadiz on 17th April 1809 affected the guerrillas activities. These instructions meant that each guerrilla now became “an entrepreneur who might benefit the state by his actions, but [who] was really acting on his own account.” It could be argued that some degree of banditry was a natural consequence of an order like this.
Desertion also seems to have been a major consequence of the existence of the guerrillas. Almost the only author that downplays it is Tone, despite his point about the nature of the guerrillas that the British army encountered in the north west of Spain. It is not perhaps surprising that desertion from the Spanish army to the guerrillas was of such importance to boosting their numbers, Esdaile, for example, argues that many Spanish soldiers deserted specifically to join the guerrillas, attracted by “freer discipline, a better chance of survival, greater rewards and perhaps above all the chance to remain in the patria chica” (hometown), thereby weakening the regular Spanish armies. Prada supports this by stating that many soldiers or potential recruits joined the guerrillas to avoid military service that would take them away from their home region, many of them joining companies de brivalla (rabble companies) who survived by banditry. What is more surprising is that the guerrillas acted as “a pole star for deserters from the Imperial forces”, particularly those from Napoleon’s allies rather than from France itself. In this way just as the Spanish army was weakened by desertion, so was the French. The difference was that deserters from the Spanish army could add to the strength of the guerrillas (their allies) while the deserters from the French army often added to the numbers of their enemies. Given the problems that all armies had with desertion in this period and the poor performance of the Spanish armies in most of their battles with the French, it seems harsh to blame the guerrillas alone for the desertion from the Spanish regular forces, especially since within the Spanish army “desertion was encouraged”. Also Tone indicates that several of the leaders of the Navarre division of guerrillas were Spanish officers or soldiers who had either escaped French captivity, been “dispersed” or escaped from garrisons that were about to be over-run. While a broad definition of desertion could be applied to these officers or soldiers, it would seem more of a grey area than the term desertion would imply.
This issue of whether the existence of the guerrillas caused a drain on the manpower available to the Spanish army leads on to the final area of contention, and arguably the most important, how much the guerrillas contributed to the defeat of the French in Spain. There are two aspects to this discussion, covering the positive contributions the guerrillas made and also the possible negative consequences of their existence.
From very early in the historiography, some aspects of the positive contribution have been acknowledged. As was stated earlier Napier commented on the effect the guerrillas had on the communications of the French and their resupply ability. This view continues through the current historiography, Esdaile and Joes also comment on the ability of the guerrillas to hamper the French armies’ efforts to collect supplies and to communicate, in fact Joes claims that these were the areas in which they were especially effective. This repeated reference to the communications of the French, indicates the importance of not only preventing the French from receiving their own messages, but also of capturing them for the intelligence they could provide the British.
Slightly more contentious is the issue of French supplies. By preventing the French from living off the land as they were expected to, the guerrillas forced the French to bring in supplies from France, which then meant that convoys were vulnerable to ambush and required large protective escorts. According to Esdaile, the guerrillas prevented the French from foraging, but Morgan claims that, in Catalonia, the biggest impact that the guerrillas had on French supplies was a by-product of the local junta (governing council) requisitioning large numbers of supplies from the local population for the guerrillas. As the guerrilla forces grew in size throughout the war they “became a crushing economic burden” on the population. Combined with the way that some of the guerrillas collected these supplies, it can be seen that the effect of the guerrillas on the Spanish was not always positive, to the extent that the French were able to mobilise the local community in some French controlled areas to defend against guerrilla depredations or even to actively conduct ‘anti-guerrilla’ operations. Interestingly the reasons for the locals to become involved in these forces mirrors the reasons, discussed earlier, why many Spaniards joined the guerrillas, self defence and self interest.
Whatever their reasons for joining the guerrillas, there was one positive impact that the guerrillas had, which seems to be universally accepted, that they acted as a distraction to the French, who in trying to combat the guerrillas were forced to keep troops numbering into the tens of thousands behind their own lines, thereby ensuring that the armies “facing Wellington and the Spanish armies, remained starved of men”. Esdaile makes the point that the Spanish army often made deliberate use of this effect by stimulating resistance activities in order to provoke a French military reaction. Interestingly, he also points out that the existence of the Spanish field army also served to distract the French from dealing with the guerrillas. As well as distracting the French forces, the guerrillas also contributed by causing casualties among the French troops. Joes, presents a variety of estimates for casualties attributed to the guerrillas in Spain, ranging from 100,000 men killed to 180,000. Alexander discusses how this affected the recruitment to the French army generally, with Napoleon “calling up the class of 1810 in 1809” to replace losses in the first year of the war and the knock on effects of these problems on Napoleon’s subsequent campaigns across Europe, while Joes speculates on the effect that the 230,000 French troops in Spain in 1812-1813 could have had in Russia. The European wide impact of the guerrillas is ironic given one other aspect of their operations which was suggested earlier. The provincialism of the guerrillas which was discussed earlier meant that they would be less effective when asked to move out of their own areas to fight the French.
Also when considering the impact of the guerrillas on the war it is important to look at the effect on the Spanish people. The argument that the guerrillas themselves could act in a negative fashion towards their own people has already been addressed, but what should also be explored are the actions of the French that directly resulted from guerrilla activities. Joes discusses that the French reactions to the guerrillas could be very harsh, with revenge taken on innocent Spaniards out of “simple exasperation with the existence of the guerrilla war.” That this behaviour was counterproductive and drove many Spaniards to join the guerrillas is also mentioned by Joes, but still the role of the guerrillas in inciting these excesses must also be highlighted.
In conclusion then, an analysis of the impact of the guerrillas of the Peninsular War is as complex as the literature suggests. Studies such as Tone’s or Morgan’s attempt to simplify by looking at only one area, which can the produce clearer results but with limited applicability, while the broader approach taken by Esdaile looking at the war as whole or at the social and political background to the conflict run the very real risk of missing out on detail. It is possible though to draw some conclusions on the guerrilla conflict.
The guerrilla conflict was the result of a complex set of circumstances which meant that there was no single pattern that can be determined. Those who fought did so for a number of reasons, it seemed generally to be a combination of patriotism, self-interest, self-defence, a desire for revenge and anger at the French. What does seem likely is that the motivations changed as the war went on. The most patriotic tended to fight earlier with a strong element of anger at the French driving them also. As the war continued revenge, self-defence and self-interest increased in importance, what is likely is that the reasons for each guerrilla fighting were likely to be as individual as they were themselves, defeating any attempt at unifying them. While many areas of Spain and many elements of Spanish society were represented, if any group can be seen to be overly represented it would appear to be those with some stake in maintaining the status quo. In many cases this seems to have been the difference between ostensibly similar members of the same class becoming involved in the resistance or not, as seems to be the case with the landed peasants of the Navarre.
The contribution of the guerrillas was not decisive in and of itself, but it seems to be that a combination of an active popular resistance within occupied Spain and the presence of regular forces, both Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish was enough to cause severe attrition to the French forces. It also is likely that this attrition contributed both to the defeat of the French in Spain and to the defeat of the Empire across Europe in 1814.

Picture 1. Contemporary illustration of Agustina Zaragoza in a Spanish wartime paper, c. 1813

Picture 2. The Second of May 1808 by Goya

Picture 3. The Third of May 1808 by Goya

[ 1 ]. Tone, John Lawrence. "Napoleon's Uncongenial Sea: Guerrilla Warfare in Navarre During the Peninsular War, 1808-14." European History Quarterly, Volume 26, Number 3 (1996): pp. 355-82, p. 357
[ 2 ]. Esdaile, Charles. “The Napoleonic Period: Some thoughts on Recent Historiography” European History Quarterly Volume 23 (1993) pp. 415-432, p. 416
[ 3 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, pp. 357-359.
[ 4 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 357 cites Napier, William Patrick Francis, Sir History of the War in the Peninsular and in the South of France 5 Vols, New York (1882), p. 184, as likening the guerrillas to “livid spots and blotches”.
[ 5 ]. Gleig, George Robert. The Subaltern ... [by G. R. Gleig]. Second Edition William Blackwood: Edinburgh; T. Cadell: London, (1826), p. 100.
[ 6 ]. Napier, William Patrick Francis, Sir History of the War in the Peninsular and in the South of France Volume II, Philadelphia, Carey and Hart (1842) p. 184, stated that “the first burst of these bands, occasioned the French considerable loss, impeded their communications and created great alarm”.
[ 7 ]. Gleig, . The Subaltern, p.100, Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 359.
[ 8 ]. Esdaile, Charles, “War and Politics in Spain 1808-1814”, The Historical Journal, Volume 31, Number 2 (1988), pp. 295-317., p. 296
[ 9 ]. Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 295-296.
[ 10 ]. Esdaile, Charles “Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates in Retrospect” in Esdaile, Charles J. Popular Resistance in the French Wars : Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, (2005), pp. 1-24, p. 2, states that across Europe “guerrilla warfare was in almost every case the result of large scale popular insurrections against the French”
[ 11 ]. Tone, John Lawrence, “A Dangerous Amazon: Agustina Zaragoza and the Spanish Revolutionary War, 1808-1814”, European History Quarterly, Volume 37, Number 4, (2007), pp. 548-561, pp. 548-549 discusses the popular uprising in Zaragoza. This episode is also discussed by Broers, Michael. "The Concept of `Total War' in the Revolutionary--Napoleonic Period." War in History Volume 15, Number 3, (2008), pp. 247-68, p. 258 who describes “resistance ferocious even by Spanish standards”Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 302.
[ 12 ]. Joes, Anthony J.. Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, Westport, Praeger, (1996), p. 98.
[ 13 ]. While the uprising in Zaragoza was initially successful at resisting besieging French forces for eight months, once Madrid fell, the French returned and attacked Zaragoza again, this time successfully. See Tone, “A Dangerous Amazon” pp. 548-549 for a more detailed description.
[ 14 ]. Archard, David, “Myths, Lies and Historical Truth: a Defence of Nationalism”, Political Studies, Volume 43, Number 3. (September, 1995), p. 473.
[ 15 ]. Archard “Myths, Lies and Historical Truth”, p. 474
[ 16 ]. Broers “The Concept of ‘Total War’”, War in History, Volume 15, Number 3, (2008), p. 254 and Tone, “A Dangerous Amazon”. See also Picture 1, a contemporary depiction of Agustina Zaragoza.
[ 17 ]. An explanation implied by Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 357.
[ 18 ]. Tone “A Dangerous Amazon”, p. 553.
[ 19 ]. Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 298 and p. 301
[ 20 ]. Woolf, Stuart, “The Construction of a European World-View in the Revolutionary-Napoleonic Years” Past & Present (1992), pp. 72-101, p. 100, Scotti-Douglas, “Regulating the Irregulars”, p. 151-154 also explores this issue.
[ 21 ]. Medhurst, K. “The Prospect of Federalism: The Regional Problem after Franco”, Government and Opposition, Volume 11, Number 2, pp 180-197, p. 181.
[ 22 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea” p. 367 for example, discusses topographic conditions as playing a role, while p. 370 highlights the importance of social conditions.
[ 23 ]. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p.98, describes how the Cadiz government’s attempts to control the guerrillas began in December 1808, while on April 17, 1809, they called for a general mobilization of the male Spanish population, into the guerrilla forces.
[ 24 ]. Woolf, “The Construction of a European World View”, p. 100 states that “the risings were Catalan, Valencian, Galician or Andalusian in the first instance.” Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 301 states that while “the insurrection against the French extended to most of the country, it was organised on a purely local basis”
[ 25 ]. Esdaile “Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates in Retrospect” in Charles J. Esdaile, (ed.) Popular Resistance in the French Wars: Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan (2005), pp. 1-24, p. 8
[ 26 ]. See Esdaile, “War and Politics” for a discussion of the events that lead to the Spanish revolution.
[ 27 ]. Medhurst, “The Prospects of Federalism”, p. 181.
[ 28 ]. Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 303. Esdaile, Charles J. “Popular Resistance in Napoleonic Europe: Issues and Perspectives” in Charles J. Esdaile, (ed.) Popular Resistance in the French Wars: Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan (2005), pp. 201-224, p. 218, continues that the revolts were a result of the previous build up of social disquiet.
[ 29 ]. Scotti-Douglas, “Regulating the Irregulars”, pp. 141-155.
[ 30 ]. Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 305 states that the local juntas were extremely parochial in their outlook and tended to distrust each other. Scotti-Douglas, “Regulating the Irregulars”, p. 153-154 implies that the regional juntas tended to be very provincial and jealous of losing control of their own guerrilla forces.
[ 31 ]. See above and Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 358 for a discussion of the contemporary government’s motives for perpetuating this belief.
[ 32 ]. Tone “A Dangerous Amazon”, discusses the nature of the uprising in Zaragoza in particular, but with some discussion of others across Spain and does not draw any distinctions and in fact, p. 550 implies that the whole population of Zaragoza “including old men, women and children” were involved.
[ 33 ]. Esdaile, “War and Politics”, p. 302-303.
[ 34 ]. Esdaile, “Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates”
[ 35 ]. Scotti-Douglas, “Regulating the Irregulars”, p. 140-141
[ 36 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 368-372. Esdaile, “Popular Resistance in Napoleonic Europe,” p. 219
[ 37 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 358
[ 38 ]. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p. 106-7.
[ 39 ]. Tone, John Lawrence, “A Dangerous Amazon: Agustina Zaragoza and the Spanish Revolutionary War, 1808-1814”, European History Quarterly, Volume 37, Number 4, (2007), pp. 548-561, pp. 548-549 describes an appearance by the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Zaragoza which inspired an, ultimately unsuccessful, uprising against the French. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, pp. 360-362 deals with the different roles played by the clergy (and the catholic faith generally) in the guerrillas.
[ 40 ]. Prada, Antonio Moliner “Popular Resistance in Catalonia: Somatens and Miquelets, 1808-14” in Charles J. Esdaile, (ed.) Popular Resistance in the French Wars: Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan (2005), pp. 91-114, p. 99 and Scotti-Douglas, “Regulating the Irregulars: Spanish Legislation on la guerrilla during the Peninsular War” in Charles J. Esdaile, (ed.) Popular Resistance in the French Wars: Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan (2005), pp. 137-160., p.145
[ 41 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, pp. 361-2 and Prada, “Popular Resistance”, p. 99
[ 42 ]. Tone, John Lawrence, “A Dangerous Amazon: Agustina Zaragoza and the Spanish Revolutionary War, 1808-1814”, European History Quarterly, Volume 37, Number 4, (2007), pp. 548-561, pp. 548-549 describes an appearance by the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Zaragoza which inspired an, ultimately unsuccessful, uprising against the French. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, pp. 360-362 deals with the different roles played by the clergy (and the catholic faith generally) in the guerrilla groups.
[ 43 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 369 & p. 357.
[ 44 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 265, highlights the case of a guerrilla leader who would attack the local civilian population when there were no French forces around, “in order to keep his hand in”. This point is further supported by Rink, Martin, “The Partisan’s Metamorphosis: From Freelance Military Entrepreneur to German Freedom Fighter, 1740 to 1815”, War in History, Volume 17, Number 6, (2010), p. 28
[ 45 ]. Fraser, Ronald “Unknown Social Identities: Spanish guerrillas in the Peninsular War, 1808-14,” International Journal of Iberian Studies, Volume 16, Number 2, pp. 81-99, p. 82. Dwyer, Philip, G. “Review Articles: War and Resistance in Napoleonic Europe: Some Recent Works”, European History Quarterly, Volume 27, Number 4, (1997), pp. 549-561, p. 550.
[ 46 ]. Esdaile, Charles “Heroes or Villains? Spanish Guerrillas in the Peninsular War” History Today, Volume 38, Number 4, pp. 29-25, p. 34 and Scotti-Douglas, “Regulating the Irregulars”, p. 144, Alexander, Don W., “French Replacement Methods during the Peninsular War, 1808-1814”, Military Affairs, Volume 44, Number 4. (December 1980) pp. 192-197, p. 194.
[ 47 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 369 & p. 357.
[ 48 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 264-5 and Esdaile, “Heroes and Villains?”, p. 34
[ 49 ]. Prada, “Popular Resistance”, p. 102-103
[ 50 ]. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p. 99
[ 51 ]. Esdaile, “Popular Resistance in Napoleonic Europe” p. 202. Alexander, Don W. “French Military Problems in Counterinsurgent Warfare in Northeastern Spain, 1808-1813,” Military Affairs, Volume 40, Number 3 (October 1976), pp. 117-122, p. 118.
[ 52 ]. Holmes, Richard, Redcoat, London, Harper Collins (2001) p. 316
[ 53 ]. According to Scotti-Douglas “Regulating the Irregulars”, p. 140 the Spanish army’s early “list of battles against the French is a sequel of defeats”, Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 126 states that throughout the war “any Spanish army that took the field was likely to be defeated”.
[ 54 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 124.
[ 55 ]. Tone, John Lawrence, The Fatal Knot: The Guerrilla War in Navarre and the Defeat of Napoleon in Spain, Chapel Hill and London, The University of North Carolina Press, (1994), pp. 71-72
[ 56 ]. Napier, History of the War in the Peninsular p. 184
[ 57 ]. Esdaile, “Heroes or Villains?” p. 32
[ 58 ]. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p. 100.
[ 59 ]. Urban, Mark, The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes, London, Faber and Faber, (2001) discusses the work done to break the codes used to encipher the despatches of Napoleon’s army in Spain.
[ 60 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 274.
[ 61 ]. Morgan, John, “War Feeding War?”, p. 84.
[ 62 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 275.
[ 63 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 274.
[ 64 ]. Morgan, John, “War Feeding War?”, p. 113.
[ 65 ]. According to Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 356, the Navarre division of guerrillas grew to 11,000 men by the end of the war while Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p.103, puts number of guerrillas in the same division at 13,000.
[ 66 ]. Esdaile, “Heroes or Villains?”, pp. 33-34
[ 67 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War, p. 275. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p. 105 while Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p. 356, discusses how in 1812 the French created a force of 36,000 troops to combat a guerrilla division in Navarre that never totalled more than 11,000 men.
[ 68 ]. Esdaile, “Heroes or Villains?”, p. 31
[ 69 ]. Joes, Anthony James, “Continuity and Change in Guerrilla War: The Spanish and Afghan Cases” Journal of Conflict Studies (1996),, p. 6
[ 70 ]. Alexander, “French Replacement Methods”, p. 192.
[ 71 ]. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p. 112
[ 72 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”, p.370.
[ 73 ]. Joes, Guerrilla Conflict Before the Cold War, p. 107
[ 74 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”. Morgan, John, “War Feeding War?”
[ 75 ]. Esdaile, The Peninsular War. Esdaile, “War and Politics”
[ 76 ]. Tone, “Napoleon’s Uncongenial Sea”

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