The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle

The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle

by Mark Adkin


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While many books have been published on Waterloo, none have rivalled this in either scale or authority.

The text, based on Adkin’s fastidious research, including many days spent on the battlefield itself, does far more than simply narrate the events of 18 June 1815. The author provides as much analysis as he does description: plans are examined, commanders assessed and manoeuvres painstakingly related to the ground. Armies, weapons and tactics are comprehensively explored and evaluated.

As with Adkin’s companions to the battles of Trafalgar and Gettysburg, the text focuses on myths and controversies surrounding the events, as well as elements often neglected in other narrative accounts –such as the performance of the French ‘Grand Battery’ or the Prussian attacks on Plancenoit.

Divided into ten sections, The Waterloo Companion can be dipped into as a reference guide or read cover to cover. Featuring little-known information and first-hand accounts of those who fought at Waterloo, it also covers soldier and command structures, tactics and topographical details. Each section is put in context of the battle and enhanced by maps, plans, drawings and diagrams.

The Waterloo Companion is an absolute must-have for any historian hoping to further their understanding of one of the world’s most famous land battles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781854107640
Publisher: Aurum Press
Publication date: 08/23/2001
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 8.86(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Mark Adkin, a former army officer, is the author of The Waterloo Companion, The Trafalgar Companion and The Gettysburg Companion, all published by Aurum. He has also authored several other books on military history, including Goose Green, The Bear Trap and The Charge. He has also written the bestselling Sharpe Companion to accompany the TV series.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Symbols10
Prologue: The Eagle's Return11
Section 1The Campaign
General Situation in Europe--March 181521
Situation Facing Napoleon--March/April 181521
Situation Facing Wellington--April 181525
Situation Facing Blucher--April/May 181527
Overall Campaign Strategies27
Section 2Orders of Battle
Overall Strengths at Waterloo36
Anglo-Allied Strengths37
French Strengths51
Prussian Strengths65
Casualties at Waterloo73
Section 3Command and Control
The French Commander-in-Chief--Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte76
French Senior Commanders at Waterloo82
The Anglo-Allied Commander-in-Chief--Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington92
Anglo-Allied Senior Commanders at Waterloo98
The Prussian Commander-in-Chief--Field-Marshal Prince Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher109
Prussian Senior Commanders at Waterloo112
Section 4The Battlefield (Including Memorials)
Key Terrain Features126
Farms and Other Buildings134
Other Features148
The Condition of the Battlefield on 18 June 1815154
The Battlefield Deployment of the Armies156
Section 5The Infantry
Anglo-Allied Infantry163
French Infantry186
Prussian Infantry207
Section 6The Cavalry
Anglo-Allied Cavalry215
French Cavalry234
Prussian Cavalry253
Section 7The Artillery
Types of Ordnance at Waterloo257
Artillery Ammunition263
Factors Affecting Artillery Usage and Effectiveness269
Anglo-Allied Artillery273
French Artillery285
Prussian Artillery301
Section 8Other Arms and Services
Engineers and Pioneers305
The Wounded and Medical Services312
Supply Services325
Section 9The Highlights
The Struggle for Hougoumont329
D'Erlon's I Corps Attack343
The French Massed Cavalry Attacks on the Anglo-Allied Squares356
The Struggle for La Haie Sainte366
The Struggle for Plancenoit379
The Imperial Guard's Final Attack391
Section 10Myths and Controversies
The deployment and performance of Bijlandt's Brigade405
That the buildings and walled garden at Hougoumont were defended solely by the British Guards407
That d'Erlon's corps was destroyed by Picton's division and the Union Brigade408

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