Although numerous biographies have been written about Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, none has offered a careful examination of his three-year command of the allied occupation army in France between 1815 and 1818. In this work, Thomas Dwight Veve fully details Wellington's last active military posting, exploring the major role he played not only as an officer but also as a statesman. In doing so, he demonstrates that Wellington's command was not simply the final chapter in a successful military career, but rather an important transition to his future political endeavors.
Veve describes the complete history of the allied occupation, from the peace negotiations and establishment of an occupying force, to the Conference of Aix-la-Chapelle and the departure of the allies. The full range of Wellington's duties and accomplishments are examined, including his inspection of the crucial Dutch barrier fortress renovation program and his decisions regarding troop reductions and the final termination of occupation. Also cited is Wellington's extraordinary management of what was the first multinational peacekeeping operation, his ability to maintain neutrality for the army, and the many years of stability and peace that followed his assignment. This book will be an essential reference work for students and scholars of military history, British history, and political science, as well as for college, university, and public libraries.