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A competent brief of the battle, January 29, 2006

Waterloo: June 18, 1815: The Battle for Modern Europe (Making History)
This book is an Anglophile summary of the named battle. It might be useful as an introduction, as it was intended, and I think Roberts' strength is in making the simultaneous actions of the campaign comprehensible.There's much here that's good. The motives behind the main players are plausibly sketched. The book is a reasonable summary of the action of battle itself, especially describing the struggle of the British holding Hougoumont farm, and an interesting discussion of the cavalry charge by Ney. It is also a reasonable description of Napoleonic era tactics and scissor-paper-stone relationship between field artillery, cavalry, and infantry squares.But I wonder why British military historians feel the need to generate such dire speculations on what would have happen had Napoleon's Guard's charge succeeded - they seem to think the inevitable next step would be Napoleon hanging the tricolor from Windsor Castle, and the French army parading down Pall Mall. This...

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WATERLOO is one of the finer single-subject books I've ever read. A terse 122 page account of the battle which simultaneously triggered the golden age of the British Empire, the fall of Napoleon, and the end of the 19th century, it is the sort of book which can be read in a day or two, but which leaves a lasting impression on the reader's mind. It was worth every penny of the pittance I paid for it at Borders, where I discovered it in the discount bin - an undeserved fate for a work of this class, or a subject this important.Now, I admit I know sod-all about the Napoleonic era, and oddly enough, I can't say this book much improved my knowledge, because author Andrew Roberts isn't interested in discussing much about the events which preceded the battle. It may be that he assumes the reader knows the history of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars; it may be he was simply trying to save space. It makes little difference. Roberts seems to feel the battle's inherent...
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What other reviewers cite as a deficiency is what makes this book worth buying -- it is a short, easy-to-read summary of Waterloo. If you don't have the desire to read longer works or you just need a quick understanding of what happened that day, this is the book for you. It's up-to-date with current arguments and does an excellent job of summarizing the days' major events and phases. If you're a diehard Napoleonic Wars fan, or if you've read other books on Waterloo, you probably won't find much new here.
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This book is an Anglophile summary of the named battle. It might be useful as an introduction, as it was intended, and I think Roberts' strength is in making the simultaneous actions of the campaign comprehensible.There's much here that's good. The motives behind the main players are plausibly sketched. The book is a reasonable summary of the action of battle itself, especially describing the struggle of the British holding Hougoumont farm, and an interesting discussion of the cavalry charge by Ney. It is also a reasonable description of Napoleonic era tactics and scissor-paper-stone relationship between field artillery, cavalry, and infantry squares.But I wonder why British military historians feel the need to generate such dire speculations on what would have happen had Napoleon's Guard's charge succeeded - they seem to think the inevitable next step would be Napoleon hanging the tricolor from Windsor Castle, and the French army parading down Pall Mall. This...
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