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Prelude to Waterloo: Quatre Bras: The French Perspective

Prelude to Waterloo: Quatre Bras: The French Perspective

by Andrew W. Field


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The Battle of Quatre Bras was critical to the outcome of the Waterloo campaign to the victory of the allied armies of Wellington and Blcher, the defeat of the French and the fall of Napoleon. But it has been overshadowed by the two larger-scale engagements at Ligny and at Waterloo itself. And too often the clash at Quatre Bras has been seen mainly through the eyes of the British and their allies the viewpoint of the French has been neglected. It is this weakness in the history of the battle that Andrew Field focuses on in this original and highly readable new study. Drawing on French eyewitness recollections and later commentary, he reconstructs the French experience of the battle and the French interpretation of it. He quotes extensively, and subjects to critical analysis, the conflicting accounts written by Napoleon and his subordinates as they sought justify their decisions and actions at this pivotal moment in the campaign.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526761187
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 12/27/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 951,393
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Andrew Field is an expert in the battles of Napoleon.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

List of Plates vii

Introduction 1

1 Setting the Scene 9

2 Napoleon, Ney and Soult 21

3 Initial Moves - 13 and 14 June 31

4 Morning, 15 June 43

5 Afternoon, 15 June 54

6 Morning, 16 June 72

7 Afternoon, 16 June - Preliminaries 91

8 The Initial French Attack 104

9 The Allied Crisis 110

10 The First Allied Reinforcements Arrive 118

11 The Main French Attack 121

12 'Like a Pack of Hungry Wolves' - Kellerman's Charge 134

13 'We felt abandoned'-The Allied Counter-Attack 145

14 Order, Counter-Order, Disorder 149

15 Evening 166

16 Analysis of the Battle 171

17 The Morning of the 17th 182

18 Summary and Conclusions 190

Appendix 1 Orders of Battle 201

Appendix 2 A Quick Visit to the Battlefield 206

Notes 208

Select Bibliography 216

Index 219

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