A masterful, epic account of the Spanish Ulcer that drained Napoleon's resources and played a pivotal role in the end of his domination of Europe.The author served with distinction in the actions of the Light Division, such as the epic march to Talavera, the battles of Fuentes d’Oñoro, Salamanca, Nivelle, Orthes and Toulouse. He left the service a General and Knight Commander of the Order of Bath. Napier’s History would rank as the most important history to be written by an actual participant, and was as controversial with his countrymen as amoung his contemporaries on the Continent.In this fourth volume (end-1811 to December 1812), covers the major Anglo-Portuguese offensive of 1812, whilst Napoleon embarks on his disastrous campaign to Russia, Wellington struck into mainland Spain. Although hampered by numerous supply issues, not least caused by the Spanish government or lack thereof, Wellington drove through the southern corridor between Portugal and Spain, taking the key fortresses of Cuidad Rodrigo and Badajoz. The last siege was a particularly bloody affair and cost Wellington a great many soldiers ending in an infamous orgy of lotting. Wellington manoeuvred to keep his prizes whilst Marmont with a similarly sized French army sought to cut him off from Portugal. These movement culminated in the battle of Salamanca, which was described at the time by a French officer, as the 'beating of forty thousand men in forty minutes.'. It was a masterpiece of timing and skill, and is widely regarded as Wellington’s masterpiece.Despite all of the favourable items in the Allies favour, the concentration of the French armies led to the abandonment of Madrid after a brief period of occupation by Wellington’s troops, and the futile attempt to lay siege to Burgos. The Spanish and Anglo-Sicilian attempts in the eastern provinces ended in failure and in some cases ignominy. Much further fighting lay ahead before the French would be ejected from the Peninsular.