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message 94: by Jill (last edited Oct 31, 2016 06:11PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The Duke of Wellington and the Supply System During the Peninsula War

The Duke of Wellington and the Supply System During the Peninsula War by Troy T. Kirby by Major Troy T. Kirby (no photo)


Napoleon‘s invasion of the Iberian Peninsula brought Spain, Portugal, and Britain into a close, if sometimes uneasy alliance. When an expeditionary force led by General Sir Arthur Wellesley, later the 1st Duke of Wellington, disembarked in Portugal in August 1808, the British Army had been at war
with France for five years. If the experience gained during campaigns on five continents had sharpened the efficiency of the Commissary Department, whose staff supplied and transported its rations, Wellington might not have complained after only one week in Portugal: ― Ihave had the greatest
difficulty in organizing my commissariat for the march. The logistic challenges faced by the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsula War were daunting. The role logistics played in deciding the outcome of the war in the Peninsula as well as detailing the needs of the troops is important in understanding how the war was conducted. The procurement, transport, distribution, and payment of supplies for the use of the Anglo-Portuguese Army during the Peninsula War played a direct role in determining its final outcome.

message 93: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Isn't that always the way it it? You visit a historic site, go home and read more about it and then wish you had all that knowledge before you went????

message 92: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 236 comments Thanks for the film. I will never forget my trip to Waterloo. I just wish I had known as much then as I do now about Waterloo, Quatre Bras, and Ligny.

message 91: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Are you planning to visit the Waterloo battlefield? This short interesting clip will give you an idea of what you will see there.

message 90: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 236 comments Interesting idea for a book, especially since the outcome wasn't known in Britain on the 18th for the most part.

message 89: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) An interesting look at what the British were doing at home when the Battle of Waterloo began.........a very original premise for a look at the time of Wellington and Napoleon.

Went the Day Well?: Witnessing Waterloo

Went the Day Well? Witnessing Waterloo by David Crane by David Crane (no photo)


Midnight, Sunday, June 18, 1815. Britain holds its breath. Since Napoleon’s escape from Elba in February, Europe has been jolted from eleven months of peace back into the frenzied panic of a war it believed had ended. “The whole complexion of the world is changed again,” writes George Ticknor, then a young American lawyer in Britain for the first time. “God only can forsee the consequences.” The nation is awash in reports and rumors. The Battle of Waterloo is close at hand.

Went the Day Well? is an astonishing hour-by-hour chronicle that starts the day before the battle that reset the course of world history and continues to its aftermath. Switching perspectives between Britain and Belgium, prison and palace, poet and pauper, lover and betrothed, husband and wife, David Crane paints a picture of Britain as it was that summer when everything changed. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources—from newspapers and journals to letters and poems—Went the Day Well? offers a highly original view of Waterloo, grand in scope but meticulous in detail.

What was Britain doing on that Sunday, from the mad king downward? Who were born to live out their lives in the Britain created at Waterloo? Who died? Who was preaching, who was writing and who was painting? Lyrically rendered in Crane’s signature prose style, Went the Day Well? freeze-frames the men and women of Britain in 1815 as they went about their business, attended lectures, worked in fields and factories—all on the cusp of a new, unforeseeable age.

message 88: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The development of Wellington into a heroic military leader.

To War With Wellington: From the Peninsula To Waterloo

To War With Wellington From The Peninsula To Waterloo by Peter Snow by Peter Snow (no photo)


This is the seven-year campaign that saved Europe from Napoleon told by those who were there. What made Arthur Duke of Wellington the military genius who was never defeated in battle? Peter Snow recalls how Wellington evolved from a backward, sensitive schoolboy into the aloof but brilliant commander.

message 87: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This book covers all the naval battles leading up to and including Waterloo.

The War For All the Oceans

The War for All the Oceans From Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo by Roy A. Adkins by Roy A. AdkinsRoy A. Adkins


Roy Adkins (with his wife Lesley) returns to the Napoleonic War in The War for All the Oceans, a gripping account of the naval struggle that lasted from 1798 to 1815, a period marked at the beginning by Napoleon's seizing power and at the end by the War of 1812. In this vivid and visceral account, Adkins draws on eyewitness records to portray not only the battles but also the details of a sailor's life, shipwrecks, press-gangs, prostitutes, spies, and prisoners of war.

The War for All the Oceans is epic narrative history sure to appeal to fans of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forester, as well as all readers of military and social history.

message 86: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Waterloo: Napoleon, Wellington, and the Battle That Changed Europe

Waterloo Napoleon, Wellington, and the Battle That Changed Europe by Jack Steinberg by Jack Steinberg (no photo)


Napoleon Bonaparte and Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, were both born in the same year, one in occupied Corsica and the other as a member of the Protestant Ascendency in Ireland. Though they had very different childhoods, the frustrations they encountered at school shaped the ways in which they approached difficulty.

Both would go on to illustrious military careers, with Wellesley making a name for himself in the British colony of India and Napoleon becoming the emperor of France. Britain and France had been experiencing conflict for some time before the start of Napoleon’s rule, but now everything came to a head.

The Napoleonic Wars brought Wellesley and Napoleon into conflict with each other, and eventually, they collided during the Waterloo Campaign. This campaign culminated in the Battle of Waterloo, which would come to be regarded as one of the bloodiest—but also one of the most important—battles in history.

After Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he went into exile on a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic. Wellesley returned home and involved himself in the British government, helping to shape a Europe that had already been made new by the force of Napoleon’s legacy.

message 85: by Jill (last edited Mar 24, 2016 08:37PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The Iron Duke was a bounder and a womanizer who made no secret of it. His wife, Kitty, was well aware of the situation but could do nothing, Go to the link below where author Cheryl Bolen gives us the inside story.

Cheryl BolenCheryl Bolen

message 84: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 236 comments I have heard that, and I think I remember seeing a picture of her wearing them. Why not if they do the job? :-)

message 83: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Even the Queen wears them!

message 82: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 236 comments Very interesting. These type of boots seem to be quite popular in British mysteries too.

message 81: by Jill (last edited Feb 02, 2016 05:06PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) On the lighter side, here is the history of the ubiquitous "Wellies", and yes they were named for the Iron Duke.

"The Duke of Wellington instructed his shoemaker, Hoby of St. James's Street, London, to modify the 18th-century Hessian boot. The resulting new boot was fabricated in soft calfskin leather, had the trim removed and was cut to fit more closely around the leg. The heels were low cut, stacked around an inch (2.5 centimetres), and the boot stopped at mid-calf. It was suitably hard-wearing for riding, yet smart enough for informal evening wear. The boot was dubbed the Wellington and the name has stuck in English ever since. In the 1815 portrait by James Lonsdale, the Duke can be seen wearing the more formal Hessian style boots, which are tasselled.

In his biography, it is reported that Wellington noted that many cavalry soldiers sustained crippling wounds by having been shot in the knee – a very vulnerable and exposed part of the body when one is mounted on a horse. He proposed a change in the design of the typical boot by having it cut so as to extend the front upward to cover the knee. This modification afforded some measure of protection in battle.

Wellington's utilitarian new boots quickly caught on with patriotic British gentlemen eager to emulate their war hero. Considered fashionable and foppish in the best circles and worn by dandies, such as Beau Brummell, they remained the main fashion for men through the 1840s. In the 1850s they were more commonly made in the calf-high version, and in the 1860s they were both superseded by the ankle boot, except for riding. Wellington is one of the two British Prime Ministers to have given his name to an item of clothing, the other being Sir Anthony Eden for his hat."

(Source: Wikipedia

message 80: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 236 comments Sounds like a good book, but I already have so many on this historic battle, I'll have forego it for awhile.

message 79: by Jill (last edited Dec 06, 2015 02:03PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The demise of Napoleon's bid for a second try at reigning France came to be at the battle of Waterloo.

Napoleon and the Hundred Days

Napoleon and the Hundred Days by Stephen Coote by Stephen Coote (no photo)


ienna, 1815: As the political leaders of Europe assemble to determine the fate of the continent after defeating Napoleon, the alarming news arrives that Napoleon has escaped captivity. Bonaparte had returned, and it would be just one hundred days before he met his enemies in a final, epic battle. In Napoleon and the Hundred Days, Stephen Coote vividly re-creates the rise and fall of Bonaparte's empire, and brings to life the characters who shaped it. With the eye of an historian and the dramatic style of a novelist, Coote describes how the path to war became inevitable and how, at the Battle of Waterloo, the fatigued but ever arrogant Napoleon met his match. This is a dazzling portrait of the legendary emperor, whose genius, courage, and tenacity won--and lost--him a vast empire.

message 78: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) A rather disturbing book about the weeks following the Battle of Waterloo.

Waterloo: The Aftermath

Waterloo The Aftermath by Paul O'Keeffeby Paul O'Keeffe(no photo)


In the early morning hours of June 19, 1815, more than 50,000 men and 7,000 horses lay dead and wounded on a battlefield just south of Brussels. In the hours, days, weeks and months that followed, news of the battle would begin to shape the consciousness of an age; the battlegrounds would be looted and cleared, its dead buried or burned, its ground and ruins overrun by voyeuristic tourists; the victorious British and Prussian armies would invade France and occupy Paris. And as his enemies within and without France closed in, Napoleon saw no avenue ahead but surrender, exile and captivity.
In this dramatic account of the aftermath of the battle of Waterloo, Paul O'Keeffe employs a multiplicity of contemporary sources and viewpoints to create a reading experience that brings into focus as never before the sights, sounds, and smells of the battlefield, of conquest and defeat, of celebration and riot.

message 77: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 236 comments I've always found Quatre Bras to be of special interest because it was Ney's battle to fight, and in some ways foreshadowed what would happen two days later when Napoleon allowed Ney to have so much control on the field of battle.

message 76: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This is the battle that ended Napoleon's chance for victory at Waterloo.

The Battle of Quatre Bras

The Battle of Quatre Bras 1815 by Mike Robinson by Mike Robinson (no photo)


Founded on a wealth of primary source material, this is a unique account of a largely forgotten but highly significant conflict that resulted in Napoleon failing in his strategic objective of separating and defeating the Allied armies. Largely based on eye-witness accounts, unpublished documents, and other material from all the participating nations, and based on years of exhaustive research, this study challenges long-held assumptions and brings the battle to life in a dramatic, human style.

message 75: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) On the event of the bicentennial of the famous battle (June, 2015), noted historian Andrew Roberts writes on why it might have been better if Napoleon had won the Battle of Waterloo.

Wellington described the Battle of Waterloo as “the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life.” Initially, the French outnumbered their opponents, especially in artillery. They were a homogeneous national force, and their morale was high, since they believed their commander was the greatest soldier since Julius Caesar. The first stages of the Waterloo campaign also saw Napoleon returning to the best of his strategic abilities. He wanted to fight in modern-day Belgium (then officially known as the Austrian Netherlands, though they no longer belonged to Austria) because the British and Prussian troops were far apart, and because capturing Brussels would be a great boost to French morale and might force the British Army off the Continent altogether. By achieving a brilliant feint toward the west, he managed to steal a day’s march on Wellington. “Napoleon has humbugged me, by God,” the Briton exclaimed.

Napoleon wanted to strike at the hinge between the Prussian and British armies, as he had done on other battlefields for nearly 20 years, and at first it seemed as if he’d succeeded. At the Battle of Ligny on June 16, he pinned the Prussians in place with a frontal attack and ordered a corps of 20,000 men under Gen. Jean-Baptiste d’Erlon to fall on the enemy’s exposed right flank. Had d’Erlon arrived as planned, it would have turned a respectable victory for Napoleon into a devastating rout of the Prussians. Instead, just as he was about to engage, d’Erlon received urgent orders from Marshal Ney to support Ney miles to the west, and so d’Erlon marched.

“Incomprehensible day,” Napoleon later said of that fateful June 18, admitting that he “did not thoroughly understand the battle,” the loss of which he blamed on “a combination of extraordinary Fates.” In fact, it was not incomprehensible at all: Napoleon split his army disastrously the day before the battle, put his senior marshals in the wrong roles, failed to attack early enough in the morning, didn’t discern that the Prussians were going to arrive in the afternoon, launched his major infantry attack in the wrong formation and his major cavalry attack at the wrong time (and unsupported by infantry and horse artillery), and unleashed his Imperial Guard too late. As he told one of his captors the following year: “In war, the game is always with him who commits the fewest faults.” At Waterloo, that was undoubtedly Wellington.

If Napoleon had remained emperor of France for the six years remaining in his natural life, European civilization would have benefited inestimably. The reactionary Holy Alliance of Russia, Prussia and Austria would not have been able to crush liberal constitutionalist movements in Spain, Greece, Eastern Europe and elsewhere; pressure to join France in abolishing slavery in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean would have grown; the benefits of meritocracy over feudalism would have had time to become more widely appreciated; Jews would not have been forced back into their ghettos in the Papal States and made to wear the yellow star again; encouragement of the arts and sciences would have been better understood and copied; and the plans to rebuild Paris would have been implemented, making it the most gorgeous city in the world.

Napoleon deserved to lose Waterloo, and Wellington to win it, but the essential point in this bicentenary year is that the epic battle did not need to be fought—and the world would have been better off if it hadn’t been.

(Source: Smithsonian

Andrew RobertsAndrew Roberts

message 74: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Controversy has always swirled around the execution of one of the heroes of Waterloo. This author offers his interpretation.

Courage, Marshal Ney

Courage, Marshal Ney Last Stand of the Bravest of the Brave by James Mace by James MaceJames Mace


n June of 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte's attempts at reclaiming the French Empire are destroyed on the field of Waterloo. With the Bourbon monarchy restored to the throne of France, King Louis XVIII seeks his revenge against many of Napoleon's former generals. While many are sent into exile, the fanatical royalists demand that one in particular pay with his life. That man is Michel Ney, Marshal of France; called by both friend an enemy as "The Bravest of the Brave." In December, he is tried by the Chamber of Peers, convicted and sentenced to death in direct violation of the Treaty of Paris that formally ended the war the month prior. This outrages both Ney's former soldiers, as well as his old enemy, the British Duke of Wellington. In a strange twist of fate, Ney finds the unlikeliest of allies in Wellington, his former arch nemesis. Just prior to being taken away to be shot by firing squad in the early hours before dawn on 7 December 1815, the Duke cryptically tells him, "Death is just the beginning." Three years later, a quiet and mysterious stranger arrives in South Carolina to take up position as headmaster of the local school. Though he is soon deeply respected by both students and the greater community, he is an extremely private person who divulges almost nothing about himself. A series of intriguing events in the coming years will only add to the mystery surrounding the enigmatic schoolteacher, who is clearly more than he appears.

message 73: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Napoleon missed his chance at Quatre Bras to turn his defeat at Waterloo into a victory and change history.

1815: The Waterloo Campaign: Wellington, His German Allies and the Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras

1815 The Waterloo Campaign Wellington, His German Allies and the Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras by Peter Hofschröer by Peter Hofschröer(no photo)


The Battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny are often overshadowed by the Battle of Waterloo that took place two days later. Yet the events of 16 June 1815 were crucial, as Napoleon missed his chance of achieving a decisive victory. Peter Hofschroer's authoritative guide to these two critical engagements tells the story of the campaign and investigates each battle in detail, and he takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the present-day battlefields. By skillful use of maps, photographs and diagrams, he describes the movements of the armies and analyses the thinking and actions of the commanders.

message 72: by Jerome (last edited Mar 05, 2016 11:28AM) (new)

Jerome | 3830 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: November 30, 2016

Wellington's Hidden Heroes: The Dutch and the Belgians at Waterloo

Wellington's Hidden Heroes The Dutch and the Belgians at Waterloo by Veronica Baker-Smith by Veronica Baker-Smith (no photo)


The Duke of Wellington described the Battle of Waterloo as “the most desperate business I ever was in . . . I was never so near being beat.” The courage of British troops that day has been rightly praised ever since, but the fact that one-third of the forces which gave him his narrow victory were subjects, not of George III but of the King of the Netherlands has been almost completely ignored. This book seeks to correct a grave injustice through the study of Dutch sources, the majority of which have never been used by English-speaking historians.

The Dutch-Belgians have been variously described as inexperienced, incompetent and cowardly, a rogue element in the otherwise disciplined Allied Army. It is only now being tentatively acknowledged that they alone saved Wellington from disaster at Quatre Bras. He had committed a strategic error in that, as Napoleon advanced, his own troops were scattered over a hundred kilometers of southern Belgium. Outnumbered three to one, the Netherlanders gave him time to concentrate his forces and save Brussels from French occupation. At Waterloo itself, on at least three occasions when the fate of the battle “hung upon the cusp,” their engagement with the enemy aided British recovery. Their commander—the Prince of Orange—has been viciously described as an arrogant fool, “a disaster waiting to happen” and even a dangerous lunatic. According to the assessment of Wellington himself, he was a reliable and courageous subordinate.

This book reveals a new dimension of the famous campaign, and includes many unseen illustrations. For the first time, a full assessment is made of the challenge which Willem I faced as king of a country hastily cobbled together by the Congress of Vienna, and of his achievement in assembling, equipping and training 30,000 men from scratch in 18 months. During this 200th anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo, the veneration which the Duke of Wellington justifiably enjoyed after the campaign should not be allowed to overshadow his lifelong lack of recognition of the debt he owed the Netherlanders. As he once said himself, “there should be glory enough for all,” and in these pages some of his most vital allies are finally allowed to claim their share.

message 71: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Another well done biography of Wellington.

The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke by Lawrence James by Lawrence James(no photo)


Lord Wellington don’t know how to lose a battle.” This view of a soldier at Waterloo became the judgment of the world on the man who was hailed as the first general of his age. At Waterloo, Wellington defeated Napoleon, the master of war, finally checking the disruptive forces of the French Revolution that had troubled Europe for over two decades. He taught himself the art of war in India, where his hard-fought victories helped lay the foundations of the British Raj. His armies liberated Portugal and Spain, shattered the myth of French invincibility, and inspired the people of Europe to oppose Napoleon. Largely drawn from original sources, this first-rate biography follows the life of Wellington the soldier, explaining how he waged war, how he inspired the men he commanded, and how he brought peace to Europe.

message 70: by Jill (last edited Mar 09, 2015 09:33PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) One more look at the famous battle by a historian who has written many books on Napoleon and Waterloo.

Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Gamble

Waterloo Napoleon's Last Gamble by Andrew Roberts by Andrew RobertsAndrew Roberts


June 18, 1815, was one of the most momentous days in world history, marking the end of twenty-two years of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. On the bloody battlefield of Waterloo, the Emperor Napoleon and his hastily formed legions clashed with the Anglo-Allied armies led by the Duke of Wellington -- the only time the two greatest military strategists of their age faced each other in combat.

With precision and elegance, Andrew Roberts sets the political, strategic, and historical scene, providing a breathtaking account of each successive stage of the battle while also examining new evidence that reveals exactly how Napoleon was defeated. Illuminating, authoritative, and engrossing, Waterloo is a masterful work of history.

message 69: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35355 comments Mod
Thank you Jerome and Jill for all of the adds on all of the British History threads.

message 68: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Thanks, Jerome.

message 67: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3830 comments Waterloo: Four Days that Changed Europe's Destiny

Waterloo Four Days that Changed Europe's Destiny by Tim Clayton by Tim ClaytonTim Clayton


An epic page-turner about Waterloo, one of the greatest land battles in British history, rich in dramatic human detail and grounded in first class research.

The bloodbath at Waterloo ended a war that had engulfed the world for over twenty years. It also finished the career of the charismatic Napoleon Bonaparte. It ensured the final liberation of Germany and the restoration of the old European monarchies, and it represented one of very few defeats for the glorious French army, most of whose soldiers remained devoted to their Emperor until the very end.

Extraordinary though it may seem much about the Battle of Waterloo has remained uncertain, with many major features of the campaign hotly debated. Most histories have depended heavily on the evidence of British officers that were gathered about twenty years after the battle. But the recent publication of an abundance of fresh first-hand accounts from soldiers of all the participating armies has illuminated important episodes and enabled radical reappraisal of the course of the campaign. What emerges is a darker, muddier story, no longer biased by notions of regimental honour, but a tapestry of irony, accident, courage, horror and human frailty.

An epic page turner, rich in dramatic human detail and grounded in first-class scholarly research, Waterloo is the real inside story of the greatest land battle in British history, the defining showdown of the age of muskets, bayonets, cavalry and cannon.

message 66: by Jill (last edited Jan 31, 2015 11:48AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The Iron Duke is known for his heroic military career but he was also a Prime Minister for which he doesn't get as much attention. Below is a short synopsis of his tenure as PM.

Wellington as Prime Minister

After the Battle of Waterloo, he became Commander in Chief of the army in occupied France until November 1818. He then returned to England and Parliament, and joined Lord Liverpool’s government in 1819 as Master General of the Ordnance. He undertook a number of diplomatic visits overseas, including a trip to Russia.

In 1828, after twice being overlooked in favour of Canning and Goderich, the Duke of Wellington was finally invited by King George IV to form his own government and set about forming his Cabinet.

As Prime Minister, he was very conservative; known for his measures to repress reform, his popularity sank a little during his time in office. Yet one of his first achievements was overseeing Catholic emancipation in 1829, the granting of almost full civil rights to Catholics in the United Kingdom.

Feelings ran very high on the issue. The duke persuaded the King only by his threat of resignation. Lord Winchilsea, an opponent of the bill, claimed that by granting freedoms to Catholics Wellington “treacherously plotted the destruction of the Protestant constitution”.

As a result, he and Winchilsea fought a duel in Battersea Park in March 1829. They deliberately missed each other in firing, and honour was satisfied.

The duke had a much less enlightened position on parliamentary reform. He defended rule by the elite and refused to expand the political franchise.

His fear of mob rule was enhanced by the riots and sabotage that followed rising rural unemployment. His opposition to reform caused his popularity to plummet to such an extent that crowds gathered to throw missiles at his London home.

The government was defeated in the Commons, and the duke resigned, to be replaced by Earl Grey.

He continued to fight reform in opposition, though he finally consented to the Great Reform Bill in 1832.

Two years later he refused a second invitation to form a government, and instead joined Sir Peel’s ministry as Foreign Secretary. He later became Leader of the House of Lords, and upon Sir Peel’s resignation in 1846, retired from politics. (Source:

message 65: by Jill (last edited Jan 08, 2015 03:16PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The Iron Duke

Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852), was a British soldier and statesman, a native of Ireland from the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. His importance in national history is such that he is often referred to as "the Duke of Wellington" instead of "the 1st Duke of Wellington" (overshadowing the heirs to his dukedom).

Wellesley was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787. Serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland he was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. A colonel by 1796, Wellesley saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and as a newly appointed major-general won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.

Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Wellesley's battle record is exemplary, ultimately participating in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.

Wellesley is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against a numerically superior force while minimising his own losses. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world. Regarded as one of Britain's most significant military figures, in 2002, he was placed at number 15 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

He was twice British prime minister under the Tory party: from 1828–30 and for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.

message 64: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35355 comments Mod
Thank you very much for that Jill.

message 63: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This BBC link explains the Battle of Waterloo and each aspect of that battle. So if you want to know everything about Waterloo, you can find it here.

message 62: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Thanks for those interesting adds, Jerome.

message 61: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3830 comments Another:
Release date: February 10, 2015

The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo

The Longest Afternoon The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo by Brendan Simms by Brendan Simms (no photo)


In 1815, the deposed emperor Napoleon returned to France and threatened the already devastated and exhausted continent with yet another war. Near the small Belgian municipality of Waterloo, two large, hastily mobilized armies faced each other to decide the future of Europe—Napoleon’s forces on one side, and the Duke of Wellington on the other.

With so much at stake, neither commander could have predicted that the battle would be decided by the Second Light Battalion, King’s German Legion, which was given the deceptively simple task of defending the Haye Sainte farmhouse, a crucial crossroads on the way to Brussels. In The Longest Afternoon, Brendan Simms recounts how these 400-odd riflemen beat back wave after wave of French infantry until finally forced to withdraw, but only after holding up Napoleon for so long that he lost the overall contest. Their actions alone decided the most influential battle in European history.

Drawing on previously untapped eye-witness reports for accurate and vivid details of the course of the battle, Simms captures the grand choreography and pervasive chaos of Waterloo: the advances and retreats, the death and the maiming, the heroism and the cowardice. He describes the gallant fighting spirit of the French infantrymen, who clambered over the bodies of their fallen comrades as they assaulted the heavily fortified farmhouse—and whose bravery was only surpassed by that of their opponents in the Second Light Battalion. Motivated by opposition to Napoleonic tyranny, dynastic loyalty to the King of England, German patriotism, regimental camaraderie, personal bonds of friendship, and professional ethos, the battalion suffered terrible casualties and fought tirelessly for many long hours, but refused to capitulate or retreat until the evening, by which time the Prussians had arrived on the battlefield in large numbers.

In reorienting Waterloo around the Haye Sainte farmhouse, Simms gives us a riveting new account of the famous battle—an account that reveals, among other things, that Napoleon came much closer than is commonly thought to winning it. A heroic tale of 400 soldiers who changed the course of history, The Longest Afternoon will become an instant classic of military history.

message 60: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3830 comments Another:
Release date: February 1, 2015

Waterloo 1815: The British Army's Day of Destiny

Waterloo 1815 The British Army's Day of Destiny by Gregory Fremont-Barnes by Gregory Fremont-Barnes (no photo)


The Battle of Waterloo is one of the most important moments in military history. This book seeks to not only tell the story of this great battle, but also to challenge conventional thinking about the opposing forces and the British victory. At noon on June 18, 1815, the might of the Imperial French Army under Napoleon faced the Anglo-Allied Army, commanded by the Duke of Wellington and bolstered by the Prussian Army. It has recently been argued that the British Army alone would never have been able to withstand Napoleon’s troops and that the glory for the victory should be laid at the feet of the Prussians, who swept into battle in the evening. Leading Napoleonic expert Gregory Fremont-Barnes is one of the first authors to challenge this stance, proving that the British Army alone was more than equal to the French, and that victory would ultimately have been theirs with or without the arrival of the Prussians. He uses numerous previously unpublished sources to examine both armies and give one of the most insightful accounts of the battle yet to be published.

message 59: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3830 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: December 5, 2014

Waterloo: A New History

Waterloo A New History by Gordon Corrigan by Gordon Corrigan (no photo)


Wellington remarked that Waterloo was a damned nice thing, meaning uncertain or finely balanced. He was right. For his part, Napoleon reckoned the English are bad troops and this affair is nothing more that eating breakfast. He was wrong and this gripping and dramatic narrative history shows just how wrong. Fought on Sunday, June 18th, 1815, by some 220,000 men over rain-sodden ground in what is now Belgium, the Battle of Waterloo brought an end to twenty-three years of almost continual war between imperial France and her enemies. A decisive defeat for Napoleon and a hard-won victory for the Allied armies of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussians, led by the stalwart Marshal Blucher, it brought about the French emperor s final exile to St. Helena and cleared the way for Britain to become the dominant military power in the world. The Napoleonic Wars are a source of endless fascination and this authoritative volume provides a wide and colorful window into this all-important climatic battle.

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Jerome | 3830 comments Waterloo: The True Story of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Waterloo The True Story of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell by Bernard CornwellBernard Cornwell


Bestselling author Bernard Cornwell is celebrated for his ability to bring history to life. Here, in his first work of non-fiction, he has written the true story of the epic battle of Waterloo – a momentous turning point in European history – a tale of one campaign, four days and three armies.

He focuses on what it was like to be fighting in that long battle, whether officer or private, whether British, Prussian or French; he makes you feel you are present at the scene. The combination of his vivid, gripping style and detailed historical research make this, his first non-fiction book, the number one book for the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

It is a magnificent story. There was heroism on both sides, tragedy too and much misery. Bernard Cornwell brings those combatants back to life, using their memories to recreate what it must have been like to fight in one of the most ghastly battles of history. It was given extra piquancy because all of Europe reckoned that the two greatest soldiers of the age were Napoleon and Wellington, yet the two had never faced each other in battle. Both were acutely aware of that, and aware that history would judge them by the result. In the end it was a victory for Wellington, but when he saw the casualty lists he wept openly. ‘I pray to God,’ he said, ‘I have fought my last battle.’ He had, and it is a story for the ages.

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Bentley | 35355 comments Mod
So many good books and so little time in a day for reading.

message 56: by Jill (last edited Mar 19, 2015 10:00AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I haven't read this book but it surely looks interesting.

Wellington's Guns: The Untold Story of Wellington and his Artillery in the Peninsula and at Waterloo

Wellington's Guns The Untold Story of Wellington and his Artillery in the Peninsula and at Waterloo by Nick Lipscombe by Nick Lipscombe (no photo)


The history books have forgotten the artillery of Wellington's army during the Napoleonic Wars, but in this book Nick Lipscombe offers a study of the gunners through first-hand accounts, bringing life and color to their heroic actions.

Wellington was, without doubt, a brilliant field commander, but his leadership style was abrupt and occasionally uncompromising, especially to his artillery. He trained his infantry generals as divisional commanders but not army commanders; for his cavalry commanders he had little time often pouring scorn on their inability to control their units and formation in battle; but it was his artillery commanders that he kept at arm's length in particular, suspicious of their different chain of higher command and of their selection through ability, rather than privilege. In consequence, Wellington's relationship with his gunners was dutiful at best, and occasionally failed completely. Frequently frustrated by his lack of control and influence over the artillery off the battlefield, Wellington would occasionally over-exert his authority on it, personally deploying the guns sometimes against the advice of his experts. Wellington's personal distrust culminated in a letter to The Master General of the Ordnance in December 1815 in which he commented, 'to tell you the truth, I was not very pleased with the Artillery in the battle of Waterloo'. This resulted in the mistaken belief that the gunners performed badly at this crucial battle, supposedly abandoning their guns and fleeing the field, in direct contrast to French eyewitness accounts.

Wellington's Guns is the long overdue story of this often stormy relationship, the frustrations, challenges, the characters, and the achievements of the main protagonists as well as a detailed account of the British artillery of this period. Even with the valiant contribution of some 12,000 gunner officers, NCOs and rank and file, five battery honour titles, and numerous primary accounts, this is a story which has never been told. This despite the fact that the artillery itself was revolutionized during the course of the Napoleonic Wars from developing the vital 'danger-close' missions in the woods of Hougoumont, Belgium to the mountain gun attacks during the Pyrenean campaign of the Peninsular War and creeping barrages and Congreve rockets in all theatres, with the ultimate result that the artillery itself became a crucial component of any future and indeed modern army.

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) A biography of Napoleon's great commander at the Battle of Waterloo.

Marshal Ney: The Bravest of the Brave

Marshal Ney The Bravest of the Brave by Andrew Hilliard Atteridge by Andrew Hilliard Atteridge (no photo)


A. H. Atteridge's biography of Michel Ney. Napoleon's most famous marshal, is a classic work of its kind. He describes Ney's meteoric career in vivid detail, from his enlistment as a hussar in the army of Louis XVI, his rapid promotion through the ranks of the revolutionary armies and his long service under Napoleon. Ney's pugnacious character and his capacity for inspiring leadership come across strongly in innumerable actions across 25 years of almost constant warfare. Particularly striking are the author's accounts of Ney's contribution to Napoleon's most famous campaigns - Ulm and Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau and Friedland and the catastrophic march on Moscow. Ney's last battle. Waterloo, and his subsequent execution by the returning Bourbons form the last chapter of this fascinating story.

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This is one of those "must read" books about the famous battle written by a noted historian.

Waterloo: A Near Run Thing

Waterloo A Near Run Thing by David Howarth by David Howarth(no photo)


The first shots were fired at about eleven-thirty on a Sunday morning in June, 1815; by nine o'clock that night, forty thousand men lay dead or wounded, and Napoleon had abandoned not only his army, but all hope of recovering his empire. From the recollections of the men who were there, esteemed author David Howarth has recreated the battle as it appeared to them on the day it was fought. He follows the fortunes of men of all ranks and on both sides. But it is on the French side that the mysteries remain. Why did Ney attack with cavalry alone? And was Napoleon's downfall really due to the minor ailment he suffered that day? Beautifully written, vivid, and unforgettable, this illuminating history is impossible to put down.

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Jerome | 3830 comments That looks quite interesting, thanks, Jill.

message 52: by Jill (last edited May 13, 2014 05:44PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Did you know about the Duke of Wellington's brothers and how they helped shape the British Empire? If not, try this well done biography of the family.

Architects of Empire: The Duke of Wellington and His Brothers

Architects of Empire The Duke of Wellington and His Brothers by John Severn by John Severn (no photo)


A soldier and statesman for the ages, the Duke of Wellington is a towering figure in world history. John Severn now offers a fresh look at the man born Arthur Wellesley to show that his career was very much a family affair, a lifelong series of interactions with his brothers and their common Anglo-Irish heritage. The untold story of a great family drama, Architects of Empire paints a new picture of the era through the collective biography of Wellesley and his siblings.

Severn takes readers from the British Raj in India to the battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars to the halls of Parliament as he traces the rise of the five brothers from obscurity to prominence. Severn covers both the imperial Indian period before 1800 and the domestic political period after 1820, describing the wide range of experiences Arthur and his brothers lived through.

Architects of Empire brings together in a single volume a grand story that before now was discernible only through political or military analysis. Weaving the personal history of the brothers into a captivating narrative, it tells of sibling rivalry among men who were by turns generous and supportive, then insensitive and cruel.

Whereas other historians have minimized the importance of family ties, Severn provides an unusually nuanced understanding of the Duke of Wellington. Architects of Empire casts his career in a new light—one that will surprise those who believe they already know the man

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) You are more than welcome.

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Bentley | 35355 comments Mod
Thank you Jill for all of your adds.

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The "go to" book for an in depth overview of the Battle of Waterloo, complete with art work.

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

Waterloo Companion, The The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle by Mark Adkin by Mark Adkin(no photo)


There have been many books about Waterloo, but never one to rival this in scale or authority. The text, based upon extensive research, describes both the battle and the campaign that preceded it in detail, drawing upon the first-hand accounts of participants on all sides in order to give the reader a vivid feeling for the experiences of those who fought upon this most celebrated of all battlefields. The many full-color maps, all specially commissioned for the book, and the numerous diagrams and photographs, the majority in color, as well as sixteen pages of original paintings, make the book a feast for the eyes and a collector's dream.

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Here is an interesting look at Napoleon's defeat from the standpoint of the French.

A French view of the reasons for Napoleon's defeat

General Antoine-Henri, Baron of Jomini one of the leading military writers on the Napoleonic art of war, had a number of very cogent explanations of the reasons behind Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.

"In my opinion, four principal causes led to this disaster:

The first, and most influential, was the arrival, skilfully combined, of Blücher, and the false movement that favoured this arrival; the second, was the admirable firmness of the British infantry, joined to the sang-froid and aplomb of its chiefs; the third, was the horrible weather, that had softened the ground, and rendered the offensive movements so toilsome, and retarded till one o'clock the attack that should have been made in the morning; the fourth, was the inconceivable formation of the first corps, in masses very much too deep for the first grand attack." (Source:

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Thanks for those additions, Jerome. They look interesting.

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Jerome | 3830 comments The Battle: A New History of Waterloo

The Battle A New History of Waterloo by Alessandro Barbero by Alessandro BarberoAlessandro Barbero


At Waterloo, some 70,000 men under Napoleon and an equal number under Wellington faced one another in a titanic and bloody struggle. In the end, as John Keegan notes, contemporaries felt that Napoleon's defeat had "reversed the tide of European history." Even 190 years later, the name Waterloo resounds.

Italian historian Alessandro Barbero's majestic new account stands apart from previous British and French histories by giving voice to all the nationalities that took part. Invoking the memories of British, French, and Prussian soldiers, Barbero meticulously re-creates the conflict as it unfolded, from General Reille's early afternoon assault on the chateau of Hougoumont, to the desperate last charge of Napoleon's Imperial Guard as evening settled in. From privates to generals, Barbero recounts individual miracles and tragedies, moments of courage and foolhardiness, skillfully blending them into the larger narrative of the battle's extraordinary ebb and flow. One is left with indelible images: cavalry charges against soldiers formed in squares; the hand-to-hand combat around farmhouses; endless cannon balls and smoke. And, finally, a powerful appreciation of the inevitability and futility of war.

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Jerome | 3830 comments 1815: The Waterloo Campaign, the German Victory: From Waterloo to the Fall of Napoleon

1815 The Waterloo Campaign, the German Victory From Waterloo to the Fall of Napoleon by Peter Hofschroer by Peter Hofschroer (no photo)


In this masterly study of 1815, Peter Hofschroer challenges the accepted version of events at the battle of Waterloo. He demonstrates convincingly that Allied victory hinged on the contribution of German soldiers. Drawing on previously unpublished accounts, Hofschroer gives not only the Prussian perspective of their march to Waterloo and decisive attack on Napoleon's flank, but also details of the actions fought by some of the 25,000 Germans in Wellington's µBritish' army v more than a third of the Duke's force. A gripping narrative of astonishing detail captures such key episodes of Waterloo as La Haye Sainte, Papelotte, Hougoumont and the Prussian struggle with the Imperial Guard for Plancenoit. In addition, Hofschrer examines the battle at Wavre, the Allied offensive into France, the taking of Paris and the sieges across northern France.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Wellington's Smallest Victory: The Duke, the Model Maker, and the Secret of Waterloo (other topics)
Wellington: The Iron Duke (other topics)
On Wellington: The Duke And His Art Of War (other topics)
Wellington: A Military Life (other topics)
Waterloo: New Perspectives: The Great Battle Reappraised (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Peter Hofschröer (other topics)
Jac Weller (other topics)
Richard Holmes (other topics)
Gordon Corrigan (other topics)
David Howarth (other topics)