In this definitive account of the Peninsular War (1808–14), Napoleon’s six-year war against Spain, Ronald Fraser examines what led to the emperor’s devastating defeat against the popular opposition — the guerrillas — and their British and Portuguese allies. As well as relating the histories of the great political and military figures of the war, Fraser brings to life the nonymous masses — the artisans, peasants and women who fought, suffered and died — and restores their role in this barbaric war to its rightful place while overturning the view that this was a straightforward military campaign. This vivid, meticulously researched book offers a distinct and profound vision of "Napoleon’s Vietnam” and shows the reality of the disasters of war: the suffering, discontents and social upheaval that accompanied the fighting.