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‘The sacking of a town is an abomination’: siege, sack and violence to civilians in British officers’ writings on the Peninsular War – the case of Badajoz

Daly, G ORCID: 0000-0003-4122-7810 2018 , '‘The sacking of a town is an abomination’: siege, sack and violence to civilians in British officers’ writings on the Peninsular War – the case of Badajoz' , Historical Research , pp. 1-23 , doi: 10.1111/1468-2281.12252.

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Abstract

For all its notoriety, the 1812 British sack of Badajoz during the Peninsular War has been surprisingly overlooked as a subject of historical investigation, symptomatic of a broader neglect of European sieges and sacks for this period. This article explores British officers’ reactions to the sack through their letters and memoirs. It suggests rethinking Badajoz as a site not only of excess and atrocity, but also one of constraint, outrage, shame and censure. In so doing, it investigates sieges as an important place for examining changes and continuities in customary laws of war, cultures of war, and moral, humanitarian and sentimental discourses over the long eighteenth century.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Daly, G
Keywords: Peninsular War, Badajoz, British Officers
Journal or Publication Title: Historical Research
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1468-2281
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/1468-2281.12252
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Institute of Historical Research

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