An Illustrated Guide to the Battle of Waterloo
By Mark Simner
(Amberley, 96 pages £ 9.99) On 18 June 1815, 200,000 men fought over a tinyt Belgian battle efield guarding the roadr to Brussels.
The Frenchh Emperor Napoleon, recently escaped from exile, was tryingng to restore his prestige by destroying the army of the Duke of Wellington. He’d beaten the Prussians earlier but they promised to come to Wellington’s aid; now Wellington had to hold on until the two armies joined forces.
It was an epic battle of cavalry charges, close-quarter infantry volleys and massive artillery fire. Gradually, Wellington’s army was worn down but clung on until the Prussians arrived late in the day. By dusk, the French were utterly defeated.
Many older histories, written mainly from the British perspective, ignored the huge contribution made to the victory by Wellington’s Dutch and German troops and, of course, the Prussians. They are properly recognised here.
Concise but not simplistic, this short book covers the whole campaign and the phases of the battle itself. With many contemporary illustrations, features on the commanders, maps and suggestions for further reading, it’s a great introduction to this most important of battles.
Phil Tomaselli is a military
family history expert