At War with Wellington (2008) Audio


Letters and diaries give us insight into the life of a soldier during the Peninsular War – Benedict as Duke of Wellington.

At War with Wellington is a radio series on BBC Radio 4 that remembers Wellington’s Peninsular War against Napoleon’s forces. The series, which aired from 04 – 08 August 2008, includes two half-hour documentaries and five short docudramas based on letters and diaries of participants in the war.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the part of the Duke of Wellington in the docudramas.

Plot of the five docudrams:

The archives of the Royal Greenjackets Museum show how the men traveled, from boat trips to Portugal to long food marches, suffering from the heat and shivering from the rain.
Food and Entertainment:
We find out what the soldiers ate and drank, and how they shaped their conversation: From the well-stocked tables of winter quarters to the small rations on the road, from formal dances for officers and soldiers to honorable bullfights, which were staged for Wellington.
Spoils of War:
Everyone knows the term spoils of war, but what does it actually mean? The docudrama gives insight into Wellington’s army and describes looting, arson and worse during this famous battle in history.
When the army went to war, it was not only the soldiers who had to make the arduous journey. In this episode with the help of letters and diaries we learn who took part in the journeys, which ended for many in death: from loyal women who accompanied their husbands to children who marched through impassable areas and under terrible conditions..
To be injured in battle 200 years ago was almost worse than dying. Thus, the probability of dying in the care of doctors was almost as high as succumbing by wounds suffered by the thousands of soldiers in this five year long conflict.. The episode shows how the wounded were treated and taken care of after of the end of the war.


The official site of the program: At War with Wellington


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