In the spring of 1812, the British army under Sir Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Wellington, has driven the French from Portugal. With Napoleon obsessed by the invasion of Russia, Wellington turns toward Spain. The way is barred by two fortresses, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. When Ciudad Rodrigo collapses after a short siege, Wellington prepares to break the fortress of Badajoz, the most formidable stronghold in Europe and commanded by the seasoned warrior, Baron Armand Philippon. Despite a shortage of engineers and equipment, Wellington must seize Badajoz if he is to have any chance of driving into Spain. When he learns that an army under Marshal Soult is en route to relieve Badajoz, Wellington risks being caught between Soult and Philippon and must execute the attack on Badajoz immediately. If he fails, the British will be trapped between two armies and lose everything for which they and their allies have fought for the past three years. Lieutenant James Webster is in mourning following the loss of his wife, and he volunteers to command the small group that will lead the assault. Second in command is Sergeant Thomas Davis; recently diagnosed with a fatal illness, he prefers a valiant death in battle. Breaches have been blown into the walls of the southern bastions, Trinidad and Santa Maria, and here Wellington will unleash the Fourth and Light Divisions, while launching diversionary assaults on the northern San Vincente bastion, as well as the Badajoz castle. Together with 100 volunteers, the Forlorn Hope, Webster and Davis will storm into the breach.
©2012 James M. Mace (P)2017 James M. Mace