Military Dress of the Peninsular War

I am currently working on British, Spanish and Portuguese forces for the Peninsular War.  I have a few reference books around – the odd Osprey and old Blandford book and so forth. On Trademe the other day I spotted this book – which was rather serendipitous. I bid on and won it.

Military Dress of the Peninsular War 1808-1814 by Martin Windrow and Gerry Embleton (1974).


This is a fairly substantial reference work of 200 pages.  There is a fairly standard historical overview of the Peninsular War – probably nothing that you have not already read. There are a number of black and white illustrations – historical and period paintings and maps for the most part.  The best thing about this book is the one hundred colour portraits of various units that fought in the Peninsular Campaign.  Each illustration is accompanied by a fairly substantial blurb referencing historical and known uniform information of the regiments depicted.


The colour illustrations are of a really high quality and have a grittiness about them that I find compelling. If you like ‘campaign dress’ you will love them too.  I thoroughly recommend this book. I do not know if it is still in print or not, but if you can find a copy then get hold of it.


7 thoughts on “Military Dress of the Peninsular War”

  1. Glad you posted a review. Picked up a copy in a used book store a few years ago (inscribed as a gift circa 1975 – in great shape, with mylar cover over the DJ etc.

    Embleton and Richard Scollins are two of my favourite artists of Napoleonic plates – very ‘in the field’- my miniatures painting style owes a lot to some of Scollins more ‘pointillist’ style.


  2. The more I look through this book the more I like it. I think that there is another book in this series on Military Dress in North America. I might keep an eye out for that as well.


    1. Yep, I’ve got the American one too. Very similar in style to the Peninsula book, but a much broader sweep of time, so not as detailed for any particular period.


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