Staplehurst, 1st ed., 2000. Xiv + 226 pp., 16 photo & other plates + 4 maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. This is the first book to examine in detail the role of one of the most important fortifications in military history. The French invaded Portugal in 1810 but found their way blocked by the most extensive range of field fortifications the world had ever seen – The Lines of Torres Vedras. Unable to penetrate the Lines, the French were driven back into Spain having suffered the heaviest defeat yet experienced by Napoleon’s armies. The retreat marked the turning point in the Peninsular War and, from the security of the Lines, Wellington was able to mount the offensive campaigns which ultimately swept France’s Imperial armies back across the Pyrenees. This book is an authoritative account of the planning, constructions and occupation of the Lines and of the battles, sieges and horrors of the French invasion. It is also an important new study of Wellington’s strategy during the crucial years of the war against Napoleon. SCARCE First Edition.