The Battle of Waterloo by Jeremy BlackBy using a huge number of previously unseen first-hand accounts from British and European archives, Clayton is able to give us a fully rounded picture from the perspective of all the combatants. Thekey engagement of the battle, argues Brendan Simms in this short but perfectly formed book, was not Hougoumont, the charge of the Household and Union Brigades, the repulse of the Imperial Guard or even the arrival of the Prussians. Many books mention this action but few give worthwhile details. Simms has drawn on newly available sources, particularly in the Hanoverian archives, to give us a vivid and compelling account of a fight that for much of the afternoon was not merely a battle within a battle but was the battle itself. It is also a cliffhanger, with the denouement uncertain until the last moment. He sets the scene, fleshes out the main characters and lets the story unfold to its dramatic conclusion.
The Defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte : History Documentary on the Battle of Waterloo
Key Books on the Battle of Waterloo
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His is not just the story of the climactic carnage that ended the Napoleonic Wars, but a finely balanced narrative that flits seamlessly between the battlefield and the British home front over 24 hours on June 18, Crane shows how Waterloo was not only fought against the glamorous backdrop of the Regency, the age of Jane Austen and of the Romantic poets, but also reflected an era marked by violent extremes, one scarred by poverty, repression and injustice. The destitute and the grafters of the civilian world can be glimpsed among the obscure rank and file fighting at Waterloo. Crane holds up the battle as a lens through which we see a warts-and-all portrait of Britain years ago. A strong point just in front of the British and allied positions, it played a pivotal role at Waterloo. Simms tells the story of the combat for La Haye Sainte with the rich, gritty, eyewitness detail that it deserves. George Baring, struck a balance between the mission and the lives of his men.
The Battle of Waterloo on June 18th, has been written about so frequently that one might think that any new book would lack originality. The books under review, published to coincide with the bicentenary of the battle, show that this is far from the case. Tim Clayton's Waterloo , a military history of the battle, benefits from a non-Anglocentric perspective and new interpretations. Some are controversial: his playing down of the inexperience of British troops is a case in point. A much shorter account appears in the second volume of Rory Muir's epic Wellington biography.