Wellington and Napoleon: Clash of Arms 1807-1815

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Robin Neillands is a well-known military historian and travel writer. His books include The Hundred Years'War, The Conquest of the Reich, and The Bomber War.
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Overview

About the Author

Robin Neillands is a well-known military historian and travel writer. His books include The Hundred Years'War, The Conquest of the Reich, and The Bomber War.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760730775
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/8/2002
  • Pages: 256

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2003

    Mostly a rehash, contradictory conclusions

    Neillands says Napoleon was in decline for the last 8 yrs and the reason for that decline is the campaigns in Spain. NB however really did not campaign there, and devoted secondary attention to it. Neillands says that no one man played a more decisive role in that struggle than Wellington. He proved France could be defeated and his victories in Spain revived spirits of the allies. He slowly chipped away at the myth of invincibility of Napoleon. The final element contributing to Napoleon¿s downfall was himself. He went too far, refused to recognize enough is enough. Neillands argues that British soldiers did well against Napoleon¿s troops if well handled, well-positioned and could not be galled by cavalry and artillery. Well, who wouldn't be if all of these preconditions were met! The author's aim is to reduce the jumble of confusion of 20 years & study the time period through men. Neillands claims that in the end W¿s tactical skills on the battlefield proved decisive. He doesn't say much to support this, and overlooks to a large degree the Prussian contribution to NB's defeat. NB's tactics never varied¿it was to seek out the enemy and destroy his army¿with blitzkrieg. Wellington knew @ command, logistics, & was at ease at court. He had important political connections too. He had gained a clear idea of how, by setting attainable objectives and relying on his own force a campaign could be won. Wellington¿s army was superior in training, discipline, marksmanship & tactical ability, says Neillands but this is open to debate as well. Tellingly, Neillands admits that most of the Peninsula campaign was a side show. What he ought to have said is that because of this, the book's title of Wellington & Napoleon is a bit misleading, as NB was not directly involved in Spain for much of Wellington's tenure there. The title is a stretch. Is Neillands correct when he says that 'Wellington must be considered the greatest general of his age.' Hardly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2003

    Good overview of a complex era

    Brings the often crowded and confusing events of the time into a coherent and readable format. The actual battle descriptions are necessarily brief, but concise and accurate. Maps are fair to good. A few typos (especially among the place names), but this does not detract from the overall merit of this book.

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