The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes

This is the story of George Scovell and the British operations under the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic campaigns of the Peninsula (Spain) and the 100 Days (Waterloo).

Scovell was a low ranking officer that wanted to rise up in the officer corps. He was bright and capable, and so Wellington asked him to try to decode dispatches captured in Spain. Scovell proved adept at this. He also proved a capable leader of auxilliaries (local troops) in Portugal and Spain. The book also spends some time discussing his private life, especially when he brought is wife to Portugal for a time.

The book is well researched and gives some flavor of what it was like to be a low and mid-level officer in the British army in the early 1800s.


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