Accession Number : ADA491525


Title :   Conqueror and Administrator: Civil and Military Actions of Marshall Louis-Gabriel Suchet in the Spanish Province of Aragon, 1808-1813


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA


Personal Author(s) : Rollet, Jean-Philippe


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a491525.pdf


Report Date : May 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 60


Abstract : During the Peninsular War in Spain from 1808 to 1813, Marshall Suchet not only successfully fought the Spanish guerrillas, but he also skillfully administrated the province of Aragon. He made it a relatively safe and prosperous place for his troops, while the rest of Spain became a nightmarish quagmire for the French occupiers. In early 1808, Napoleon, under the pretext of a dispute between Spanish King Charles IV and his son Ferdinand, invaded Spain. His troops were at first greeted as liberators by the populace, who wanted to be rid of King Charles' Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy. As it became clearer that Napoleon's intentions were to take control of the Spanish kingdom and to crown his own brother, Joseph, as King, the people of Spain revolted. This marked the nascence of the guerrillas which would become, in addition to the British expeditionary corps of Lord Wellington, the French army's worst enemy. Nationalistic and religious fanaticism from the Spanish insurgents responded to the cultural misunderstanding and the violent repression by the French. Appointed the governor of the insurgency-troubled province of Aragon after he had seized its main cities, Marshall Suchet skillfully adopted a balanced policy mixing strong military action and economic reforms to regenerate the local economy. He also adopted political measures aimed at restoring the appearance of a Spanish sovereignty. At the operational level, Suchet restored the discipline of III Corps and developed a network of strong places that ensured a French armed presence throughout the region while relying on highly mobile autonomous units to chase the guerrillas in their strongholds. In the overall French defeat in the war in Spain, Louis-Gabriel Suchet set the example of an open-minded military leader. Although the Peninsular War remains one of the worst episodes of the Napoleonic era, his administration of Aragon was a success amidst overall failure.


Descriptors :   *ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT , *GUERRILLA WARFARE , *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *COMMUNITY RELATIONS , *FRANCE , *MANAGEMENT , *SPAIN , INSURGENCY , CIVIL AFFAIRS , MILITARY COMMANDERS , ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL , THESES , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , LESSONS LEARNED , STABILIZATION , MILITARY HISTORY


Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Humanities and History
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE