Wellington’s Guns: The Untold Story of Wellington and his Artillery in the Peninsula and at Waterloo (General Military)

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9781780961149: Wellington’s Guns: The Untold Story of Wellington and his Artillery in the Peninsula and at Waterloo (General Military)
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The history books have forgotten the artillery of Wellington's army during the Napoleonic Wars, but in this book Nick Lipscombe offers a study of the gunners through first-hand accounts, bringing life and color to their heroic actions.

Wellington was, without doubt, a brilliant field commander, but his leadership style was abrupt and occasionally uncompromising, especially to his artillery. He trained his infantry generals as divisional commanders but not army commanders; for his cavalry commanders he had little time often pouring scorn on their inability to control their units and formation in battle; but it was his artillery commanders that he kept at arm's length in particular, suspicious of their different chain of higher command and of their selection through ability, rather than privilege. In consequence, Wellington's relationship with his gunners was dutiful at best, and occasionally failed completely. Frequently frustrated by his lack of control and influence over the artillery off the battlefield, Wellington would occasionally over-exert his authority on it, personally deploying the guns sometimes against the advice of his experts. Wellington's personal distrust culminated in a letter to The Master General of the Ordnance in December 1815 in which he commented, 'to tell you the truth, I was not very pleased with the Artillery in the battle of Waterloo'. This resulted in the mistaken belief that the gunners performed badly at this crucial battle, supposedly abandoning their guns and fleeing the field, in direct contrast to French eyewitness accounts.
Wellington's Guns is the long overdue story of this often stormy relationship, the frustrations, challenges, the characters, and the achievements of the main protagonists as well as a detailed account of the British artillery of this period. Even with the valiant contribution of some 12,000 gunner officers, NCOs and rank and file, five battery honour titles, and numerous primary accounts, this is a story which has never been told. This despite the fact that the artillery itself was revolutionized during the course of the Napoleonic Wars from developing the vital 'danger-close' missions in the woods of Hougoumont, Belgium to the mountain gun attacks during the Pyrenean campaign of the Peninsular War and creeping barrages and Congreve rockets in all theatres, with the ultimate result that the artillery itself became a crucial component of any future and indeed modern army.

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About the Author:

Colonel Nick Lipscombe was born in 1958 in Angers, France. He has a degree in business studies and an MSc in defence studies. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1980. During his 30 years in the British Army he has seen considerable operational service with the British and American armies, as well as with NATO and the UN. He was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006.

A keen interest in military history followed his academic studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst concentrating on the Napoleonic era and the Peninsular War in particular. He is Chairman of Peninsular War 200, the UK's official organization for the commemoration of the bicentenary of the Peninsular War and a key member of the Waterloo 200 committee. He speaks German and Spanish, currently works in Portugal and lives in Spain with his wife Janny and their three daughters. The author lives in Spain.

Review:

“Though ever present and ever more efficient, the artillery that supported the British armies that fought in the Peninsula and at Waterloo has not figured strongly in this historiography. In this splendid work Nick Lipscombe remedies this want and in the process provides us with much fresh information on the internal workings of the British military machine.” ―Professor Charles J. Esdaile, University of Liverpool

“A very timely landmark book in a much neglected field. This is a scholarly and meticulous examination of one of the great puzzles of military history. Why did one of Britain's greatest commanders think so little of his gunners? Nick Lipscombe presents us with a fascinating analysis of Wellington's treatment of men who deserved better.” ―Peter Snow, journalist, broadcaster and author of To War with Wellington

“A remarkable and masterly account of Wellington's gunners that is unlikely to be surpassed.” ―Ian Fletcher, author of The Peninsular War – Wellington's Battlefields Revisited

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Dismissive, conservative and aloof, Wellington treated his artillery with disdain during the Napoleonic Wars - despite their growing influence on the field of battle. Wellington's Guns exposes, for the very first time, the often stormy relationship between Wellington and his artillery, how the reluctance to modernize the British artillery corps threatened to derail the British push for victory and how Wellington's views on the command and appointment structure within the artillery opened up damaging rifts between him and his men. At a time when artillery was undergoing revolutionary changes - from the use of mountain guns during the Pyrenees campaign in the Peninsular, the innovative execution of 'danger-close' missions to clear the woods of Hougomont at Waterloo, to the introduction of creeping barrages and Congreve's rockets - Wellington seemed to remain distrustful of a force that played a significant role in shaping tactics and changing the course of the war. Using extensive research and first-hand accounts, Colonel Nick Lipscombe reveals that despite Wellington's brilliance as a field commander, his abrupt and uncompromising leadership style, particularly towards his artillery commanders, shaped the Napoleonic Wars, and how despite this, the ever-evolving technology and tactics ensured that the extensive use of artillery became one of the hallmarks of a modern army. Seller Inventory # AA79781780961149

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dismissive, conservative and aloof, Wellington treated his artillery with disdain during the Napoleonic Wars - despite their growing influence on the field of battle. Wellington s Guns exposes, for the very first time, the often stormy relationship between Wellington and his artillery, how the reluctance to modernize the British artillery corps threatened to derail the British push for victory and how Wellington s views on the command and appointment structure within the artillery opened up damaging rifts between him and his men. At a time when artillery was undergoing revolutionary changes - from the use of mountain guns during the Pyrenees campaign in the Peninsular, the innovative execution of danger-close missions to clear the woods of Hougomont at Waterloo, to the introduction of creeping barrages and Congreve s rockets - Wellington seemed to remain distrustful of a force that played a significant role in shaping tactics and changing the course of the war. Using extensive research and first-hand accounts, Colonel Nick Lipscombe reveals that despite Wellington s brilliance as a field commander, his abrupt and uncompromising leadership style, particularly towards his artillery commanders, shaped the Napoleonic Wars, and how despite this, the ever-evolving technology and tactics ensured that the extensive use of artillery became one of the hallmarks of a modern army. Seller Inventory # AA79781780961149

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Dismissive, conservative and aloof, Wellington treated his artillery with disdain during the Napoleonic Wars - despite their growing influence on the field of battle. Wellington's Guns exposes, for the very first time, the often stormy relationship between Wellington and his artillery, how the reluctance to modernize the British artillery corps threatened to derail the British push for victory and how Wellington's views on the command and appointment structure within the artillery opened up damaging rifts between him and his men. At a time when artillery was undergoing revolutionary changes - from the use of mountain guns during the Pyrenees campaign in the Peninsular, the innovative execution of 'danger-close' missions to clear the woods of Hougomont at Waterloo, to the introduction of creeping barrages and Congreve's rockets - Wellington seemed to remain distrustful of a force that played a significant role in shaping tactics and changing the course of the war. Using extensive research and first-hand accounts, Colonel Nick Lipscombe reveals that despite Wellington's brilliance as a field commander, his abrupt and uncompromising leadership style, particularly towards his artillery commanders, shaped the Napoleonic Wars, and how despite this, the ever-evolving technology and tactics ensured that the extensive use of artillery became one of the hallmarks of a modern army. Seller Inventory # BTE9781780961149

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