The epic career of Napoleon was brought to a shattering end on the evening of June 18, 1815, when his hastily formed legions faced the Anglo-Allied armies under the command of the Duke of Wellington. It was the only time these men -- the two greatest captains of their age -- fought against each other. Waterloo, once it was over, put an end to twenty-two years of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and led to a century of relative peace and progress in Europe.
When the wars of the future did come, they were fought with infinitely more appalling methods by a constantly changing balance of powers. At Waterloo, the honor of bold, lavish uniforms and, at least initially, the aesthetic beauty of battle were still intact.
With precision and elegance, Andrew Roberts lucidly sets the political, strategic, and historical scene before offering a breathtaking account of each successive stage of the battle.
He also draws on a recently discovered document from 1854 that casts new light on just how the battle was lost. It is a confession from a French officer that helps to explain why the French cavalry charged when it did -- unsupported by infantry or artillery, and headlong at well-defended British squares. It shows that accident rather than design may have led to the debacle that lost Napoleon the battle, the campaign, and the war.
Authoritative and engrossing, Waterloo is a brilliant portrait of a legendary turning point in modern history, after which the balance of world power, the legend of Napoleon, and the art of war were never the same.
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June 18, 1815, was one of the most momentous days in world history, marking the end of twenty-two years of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. On the bloody battlefield of Waterloo, the Emperor Napoleon and his hastily formed legions clashed with the Anglo-Allied armies led by the Duke of Wellington -- the only time the two greatest military strategists of their age faced each other in combat.
With precision and elegance, Andrew Roberts sets the political, strategic, and historical scene, providing a breathtaking account of each successive stage of the battle while also examining new evidence that reveals exactly how Napoleon was defeated. Illuminating, authoritative, and engrossing, Waterloo is a masterful work of history.About the Author:
Andrew Roberts is the author of Masters and Commanders and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. His other books include Napoleon and Wellington, Eminent Churchillians, and Salisbury, which won the Wolfson History Prize. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. He lives in New York City.
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