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The Campaign of Waterloo: A Military History


From the original text – THE need of another narrative of the campaign of Waterloo may not be at first sight apparent. There has been a great deal written on this subject, and much of it has been written by eminent hands. The last and the most unfortunate campaign of the great soldier of mod­ern times has naturally attracted the repeated atten­tion of military historians. Jomini, Clausewitz, Charras, Siborne, Kennedy, Chesney, Vaudoncourt, La Tour d’Auvergne, Thiers, Hooper, and many others have sought to explain the almost inexplicable result-the complete defeat in a very brief campaign of the acknowl­edged master of modern warfare. One would suppose that the theme had been exhausted, and that nothing more remained to be said. . . . With a few exceptions, too, the histories of this cam­paign have been gravely affected by the partisanship of their authors. It is well-nigh impossible for Thiers and La Tour d’Auvergne to admit any fault, for Charras and Quinet to admit any merit, in Napoleon’s manage­ment of affairs. It. is equally difficult for the majority of English writers to avoid taking sides against the emperor in any of the numerous disputes to which the campaign of Waterloo has given rise. These influences have operated in many cases to deflect the narrative of the military operations into a criticism of those who have written from the opposite standpoint. . . . In the treatment of the subject, Napoleon will natur­ally be the central figure. The campaign was his cam­paign, planned and executed by him, frustrated by his opponents. It will be our endeavor to get at, as nearly as we can, his intentions, his expectations, his views from day to day of the facts of the case, so that we may, if possible, carry a personal interest into the varying for­tunes of those eventful days. This will be found entirely consistent, it is believed, with an equally careful attempt to view events from the standpoints which the English and Prussian commanders must have occupied from time to time during the campaign. . . .

464 pages

Categories: All Books, Military Manuals, Miscellaneous


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