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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Napoleonic land warfare is not a particularly strong interest of mine except as it pertains to the evolution of tactics used half a century later during the American Civil War. However, once in a while something on the subject will catch my eye. And extraordinarily eye-catching is Mark Adkin's "The Waterloo Companion" - over 400 large-format pages on glossy paper, a volume crammed with highly informative text and informative illustrations. Too often, the illustrations in such over-sized volumes as this seem to exist for no other purpose than to fill up space and look pretty. But this is not the case in "The Waterloo Companion." There are dozens of exquisite small-scale topographical maps depicting various critical moments of the battle. Photographs either focus in upon key terrain features or, in the case of panoramic images, are overlaid with markings to show the position and movements of troops during the battle. The course and form of the famous struggle are made...
This book is not just another book on the Waterloo campaign. As the author states this book is not meant as a blow by blow account of the action but rather a look at different aspects of the battle including: The campaign, Orders of Battle, Command & Control, the battlefield, the various arms of the armies, and of course the main highlights of the battle. The last section takes an impartial look at the predominate myths and controversies surrounding the battle of Waterloo and the author comes up with his own conclusions in regards to them. The book is massive (432pages) and makes superb use of colourful maps and photographs of the battlefield which explain the battle situation at key times, the deployment and various formations of forces. The book also provides additional curious information by the use of text boxes including some first account experiences of the battle. All in all this is an absolutely superb book, well researched using various sources of information,...
I give this book 5 stars because of it's overall unique contribution to the battle as an "all in one" volume for those who do not own (or wish to own) any of the available books on the army's, the weapons, and soldiers, and also because it's treatment of the main phases of the battle in color coded maps is essentially unbeatable. It also contains the mother of all Orders of Battle for the Waterloo Campaign. That being said the narrative of the battle is NOT for the seriously interested as it only briefly covers the highpoints of the battle very near the end of the book, and much of that in anecdotal format. The problem with Adkin's Waterloo is it's inherent omissions give the false impression that the battle was not the "damned near-run affair" that it actually was. This is found in the author's faulty statement that the height of D'Erlon's assault was the closest Napoleon ever came to winning the battle. Yet the reader is dismayed to find that excepting a goodly...
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