Saturday, 19 April 2014

Review: 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: The German Victory

1815 The Waterloo Campaign: The German Victory
1815 The Waterloo Campaign: The German Victory by Peter Hofschrser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Second volume of Hofschröers depiction of the Waterloo campaign. Starts with the reorganisation of the Prussian army on the 17th of June, the march up to the Waterloo battlefield and the Battle of Wavre. Then follows the Prussian army in pursuit and the march on Paris. The third main part is the fortress war that stretches on into the autumn of 1815 and the exploits of the North German corps.

These include useful discussions on the delays of the Prussians in getting to Plancenoit and puts light on two interesting episodes that aren’t normally dwelt on by histories of the campaign. The joy of the book is also found the use of many sources not normally accessed by Anglophone or Francophone writers.

As in all Hofschr√∂ers books on Waterloo, the innuendo on Wellington’s duplicity and post war reputation management continues unabated. The political competition between Prussia and Great Britain fits neatly into the difficult co-operation between Russia, Prussia and Austria during the 1813 and 1814 campaigns. It would also have been understandable in a 1915 book. But coming from a late 20th century history of the campaign that tone of argument sounds shrill and forced.

Despite that, this book (with its sister volume) is a vital pillar for studying the campaign.

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