Hols for Heroes - The Battle of Waterloo - ends 4/10/10


Book Reviewer
Thanks to Auld-Yin and the Arrse Book Club I have for auction a hardback copy of 'The Battle of Waterloo' by Jeremy Black. It is signed by the author, with the dedication ' Army Rumour Service'.

The auction will end at 1800 on 4th October, UK Time. Postage is included in the price. As usual all proceeds to Holidays for Heroes.


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This is a very good wee hardback book about Waterloo. Although it obviously spends some time on the battle, the main purpose is to discuss the politics and reasons why decisions were taken. The author has a bit of a downer on Napoleon though and does not miss any opportunity to blame him.

However, the book gives a great background to the overall situation leading up to and beyond the Battle itself. The author, who is a Professor at the University of Exeter, also said that if people wish to discuss the book with him he is more than happy to do so - by letter. He will noit answer emails!! A bit excentric but he is very open to discussion.

Worth a bung on this auction. Have a look at Sixty's excellent review, if you have not done so already.


Book Reviewer
Thanks, A-Y. When I get a mo I'll put in a linky to the review. I've been meaning to do that all week, but this WORK thing does get in the way. Dad was right, it is the curse of the drinking (and auctioning) classes!
Here you go GRB:
Review - The Battle of Waterloo : A New History
Sixty said:
Review - The Battle of Waterloo : A New History by Professor Jeremy Black, Reviewed by Sixty

A small but perfectly formed book, (of only 217 pages, excluding further reading and notes) the first thing that should be said is that it does not read like the usual history of Wellington’s greatest triumph.

The more common approach is to discuss the Hundred Days, moving on to the precursor battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras, thence to the 18th of June, 1815 for the battle itself. Here Prof. Black tries to explain the far wider consequence of where the battle sits, using the first chapter to detail 18th century warfare as a whole, the second to Napoleon’s generalship and the third to discussing the British Army of the time in great depth. I suspect that some will find the start of the book a little dry whereas others will find it fascinating due to the level of detail. It reveals Napoleon’s influence in the development and use of artillery, the French use of columns versus linear formations, the early battles fought between the Austrians (mainly) and the French and also contains an assessment of Napoleon’s skills and performance with Prof. Black putting him on a par with Horatio Nelson as a leader of similar outlook and temperament. A surprising reading of the man but one that the author backs up with a convincing case.

After chapter four, we move on to what I think most would consider to the meat of the book; the Battle itself. This is written briskly but accurately and covers the main factors in the battle that I’m sure you’re mostly aware of (D’Erlon’s corps, the French cavalry attacks, the Guard and so on) but despite going over some well-worn ground, is brought to life by numerous relevant and useful quotes, making what could been a stale re-telling actually really rather fun. The author also disputes the oft-heard conviction that the battle was only won because the Prussians arrived by remarking upon the state of the French after the Guard were repelled and the fact that the Dukes allied army was able to mount a general counter attack and turn a check into a defeat.

After the section on the battle, we move on to the aftermath and positioning of the battle historically and gives a thought-provoking read on the nature of modernity in warfare and a solid assessment of the battle’s place in both historical terms and in our national consciousness.

To summarise: a slow starter that you shouldn’t be put off from, stick with it and an engrossing read will be had, and it’ll make you re-think what you know of the Duke’s ‘damn close run thing…’

3 Mushroom-heads




Book Reviewer

SOLD to auntsis for £25. Thank you for your bid.

Please transfer the money to one of these accounts:

Paypal: info@holidays4heroes.org

Bank: Holidays4heroes
Sort: 40-12-09
Acct: 41416081

IBAN: GB29MIDL40120941416081
Swift: MIDLGB2120G

When you've paid, PM Auld_Yin with the address where he should send the book.​


Book Reviewer
In addition, if I can do a quick hijack, I also have an unsigned copy in pristine condition (comes with the PR insert though) so if anyone who missed out wants a copy, bung some cash towards HolsforH and I'll cover postage etc.
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