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The Battle of Quatre Bras 1815 by Mike Robinson

Author: Mike Robinson
Book title: The Battle of Quatre Bras 1815
ISBN10: 0752457608
ISBN13: 978-0752457604
Publisher: History Press Ltd; UK ed. edition (July 1, 2010)
Language: English
Pages: 416
Size PDF: 1204 kb
Size FB2: 1827 kb
Size ePUB: 1380 kb
Rating: 4.9 ✯
Votes: 910
Subcategory: Europe

The Battle of Quatre Bras 1815 by Mike Robinson

Quatre Bras was the battle that turned a campaign - a tale of triumph and disaster. The Battle of Quatre Bras 1815 is not only a significant addition to the written history of the Napoleonic Wars, it is also the first English language account to focus solely on this crucial battle of the Waterloo campaign. Mike Robinson's compelling account is based on extensive original research and includes many unpublished personal accounts from all the participating nations. The author combines this testimony with an unparalleled study of the topography of the battlefield and deep knowledge of Napoleonic warfare to tell the story of a battle where commanders made errors of omission and commission and where cowardice rubbed shoulders with heroism. Above all, it is the story of the intense human experience of those who participated in the events of those two fateful days in June 1815. A work of impressive scholarship - meticulously but not excessively referenced - well-mapped and beautifully illustrated . 'The book deserves a place on the shelves with the great historians of the battle of the first rank which followed it' - "The Spectator."
Reviews (3)
This is an excellent volume which reflects the in-depth research that the author undertook to produce this volume and a usually overlooked battle of the campaign in Belgium in June 1815. As stated by the author in the Foreword of the book, this is not a balanced account, in that the battle is viewed mostly from, in the author's words, 'events seen from the Allied side of the hill.' That may mean that what is here is only one side of the action, and that is unfortunate.

This decision, to which the author is certainly entitled, results in portraying on the maps in the books only axis of advance of French units, usually labeled only 'infantry' or 'cavalry.' This result is not very satisfying for the historian or researcher interested in the 'view seen from the French side of the hill.' The author only used 'French accounts to corroborate where necessary.'

The only problem that I actually had with the volume is that the author believes that the battle of Quatre Bras, as stated on the back panel of the book, that 'Quatre Bras was the battle that turned a campaign' which was not proven in the narrative. However, that is the author's prerogative and the author did demonstrate that the battle was hard-fought and one of the most interesting battles of the period.

This volume is highly recommended and should be on the book shelves of everyone interested in the 1815 campaign in Belgium. It is packed full of more-than-useful information on the allies, and the material on the Dutch-Belgians is an extremely important contribution to the literature of the period and they are undoubtedly the most overlooked army of the period which is doubly unfortunate.
I have studied this battle, and given the paucity of texts on it, and the difficulty squaring the sequence of events, this is a great book of a superbly fought and balanced battle. I would love a brief communication with Mike, if he reads this: he quotes a British regiment I am researching, but his citation does not enlighten me: I would love to know his source. Mike, email me at "[email protected]" please.
An excellent view exclusively from the ranks of Wellington's army. The reader is transformed to the fog of war in vivid detail, from the lowest ranks to the Duke. There is no mention of Reille's corp attacking, or of the order of battle of the French. Such was not known to the officers and men who found themselves marching to a tiny cross road on a hot day. The head high crops of wheat and rye held from all the view and numbers of the enemy until they were upon you.
A different read for any interested in the Napoleonic wars.

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