The defeat of Napoleon’s French army by the combined forces of Wellington and Blücher at Waterloo on 18 June 1815 was a turning point in world history. This was the climax of the Napoleonic Wars, and the outcome had a major influence on the shape of Europe for the next century and beyond. The battle was a milestone, and it cannot be properly understood without a detailed, on-the-ground study of the landscape in which it was fought – and that is the purpose of David Buttery’s new battlefield guide.
In vivid detail, using eyewitness accounts and an intimate knowledge of the terrain, he reconstructs Waterloo and he takes the reader – and the visitor – across the battleground as it is today. He focuses on the pivotal episodes in the fighting – the day-long struggle for the chateau at Hougoumont, the massive French infantry assaults, repeated cavalry charges, the fall of La Haye Sainte, the violent clashes in the village of Plancenoit, the repulse of the Imperial Guard and rout of the French army.
This thoroughgoing, lucid, easy-to-follow guide will be a fascinating introduction for anyone who seeks to understand what happened on that momentous day, and it will be an essential companion for anyone who explores the battlefield in Belgium.
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David Buttery has established a reputation as a leading historian of nineteenth-century British military history. He has made a particular study of the Napoleonic and Crimean wars. He has worked in newspapers and museums and has published extensively in many of the leading military history periodicals including the Victorian Military Society's journal, The Leicestershire Chronicle and Military Illustrated. His most recent books are Wellington Against Massena: The Third Invasion of Portugal 1810-1811, Messenger of Death: Captain Nolan and the Charge of the Light Brigade, Wellington Against Junot: The First Invasion of Portugal 1807-1808 and the Waterloo Battlefield Guide.Review:
The 'Waterloo Battlefield Guide" by David Buttery is an extremely comprehensive and vivid reconstruction of the battle of Waterloo (one of Europe's most decisive and famous battles). For anyone interested in both the battle itself and especially touring the site, this book is an essential and entertaining read. The book is very well illustrated with detailed and yet clear mapping showing an intimate knowledge of the terrain. As a battlefield tour guide and non expert on the Napoleonic era, I cannot recommend this thoroughly articulate and enjoyable read enough, it provides an invaluable guide to people seeking to explore this famous battleground. Guild of Battlefield Guides David Buttery has produced a most excellent little battlefield guide. It is exceptionally well illustrated and has some quite excellent maps. In my opinion it's a steal at GBP19.99. Chairman of Waterloo 200 This book is a real joy to read being packed with information. The Bulletin
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