Nelson's Lost Jewel
The Extraordinary Story of the Lost Diamond Chelengk
After the Battle of the Nile in 1798, Sultan Selim III presented Horatio Nelson with a chelengk – a diamond-studded turban ornament, its central star rotated by clockwork. Worn in the admiral's hat, it became his emblem. This book tells the story of its creation, and how it passed down through the family to be exhibited at the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich, where it was stolen in a 1951 burglary and never seen again.
The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo
The Battle's Hidden Last Half Hour
The author of this revisionist history of the Battle of Waterloo presents a detailed account of how the 52nd Light Cavalry delivered the coup de grâce in the battle, thanks to the initiative of its commander John Colbourne. Using first-hand accounts to support the case, the analysis concludes that Wellington omitted to give the 52nd proper credit in his initial despatch and thereafter managed the story of the victory to his advantage.
Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon
After a long history as a site of strategic importance, Gibraltar, the lone British stronghold in the Mediterranean, played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). This history examines how the military and naval offensive potential of the hitherto defensive fortress was realized; the part Gibraltar played as the site of British and Spanish negotiations during the Peninsular War; and how its garrison and dockyard contributed to Nelson’s victories in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.
Charts of War
The Maps and Charts That Have Informed and Illustrated War at Sea
Information is power, and sea charts, with their details of harbour approaches, coastal hazards, tides and currents, have often been closely guarded secrets. Handsomely illustrated with historic maps drawn from maritime archives around the world, this large-format book explains how sea charts developed in response to changing military techniques and technology. Informative captions set the charts in context, and describe their function in planning, preventing, conducting and recording war at sea, from Francis Drake to the D-Day landings.
Spanish Regiments and Uniforms from The Estado Militar of 1800
This book reproduces hand-coloured illustrations of Spanish military uniforms taken from a rare version (c. 1800) of the Spanish Army’s ‘order of battle’ or estados militares. Each drawing is captioned with full descriptions of regiments and uniform style.
The Battle of Waterloo
This handsomely illustrated volume tells the story of one of the greatest battles of all time, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the three leaders, Wellington, Napoleon and Marshal Blücher, the nature of their armies and available weaponry, and the controversies surrounding the French defeat. Featuring journals and letters describing troop movements and conditions during the campaign, this account identifies the generals who made mistakes, and questions whether the victory was really Wellington’s alone.
British Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1807–1815
Despatches from the Front
Engaged in various theatres around the world, Britain was expanding its influence in the early years of the 19th century, having achieved dominance at sea after the Battle of Trafalgar. This collection of the original despatches from commanders in the immediate aftermath of engagements includes several from Wellington during his campaigns in Portugal and Spain, and from Waterloo, as well as accounts of the attacks on Copenhagen, Spanish territories in South America, the Dardanelles and Mauritius.
The News from Waterloo
The Race to Tell Britain of Wellington's Victory
It took three days for the outcome of the battle of Waterloo to reach London. Described by Sir Tony Robinson as 'a fascinating eye-opener', this book draws on untapped records to reveal the story of how the momentous news was brought from the battlefield via feverish horseback journeys, a Channel crossing delayed by falling tides and a flat calm, and the final dash by coach-and-four from the Kent coast to a grand soirée in St James's Square.
The Grand Old Duke of York
A Life of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, 1763–1827
Although commander-in-chief of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars and a reformer responsible for transforming the British military, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany is remembered now as the bungling ‘Grand Old Duke’ of the nursery rhyme. This biography shows him to be far from incompetent; it offers a new assessment of Prince Frederick’s distinguished career as a general and administrator, a full account of his scandalous private life – and the origins of that nursery rhyme.
Reminiscences 1808–1815 Under Wellington
The Peninsular and Waterloo Memoirs of William Hay
William Hay's military career in the 52nd Light Infantry and the 12th Light Dragoons took him from Iberia to Waterloo under Wellington and thereafter as a staff officer to North America. This memoir, written as private reminiscences for his family in the 1840s, is a frank account of the life of a young officer in the Peninsular War and a cavalry commander at Waterloo, and is illustrated with contemporary paintings and maps of key engagements.
Although Arthur Wellesley left no memoirs or autobiography there is a mass of private and official correspondence, amounting to millions of words, giving incomparable insight into the mind of the great commander and illuminating his decisions as events unfolded. This collection of his dispatches, edited and with contextual commentary by Charles Esdaile, begins with his arrival in Portugal in 1808 and reports on the campaigns in the Iberian Peninsula, southern France, and Waterloo in 1815. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Waterloo Archive
Histories of the Battle of Waterloo seldom mention that the majority of Wellington’s forces were in fact German, including troops from Nassau, Brunswick, Hanover and the King’s German Legion. Many of them left first-hand accounts of the engagement, more than 60 of which are translated here for the first time. These letters and reports greatly enlarge our understanding of this momentous battle, and offer dramatic accounts of the fighting from the perspective of both officers and private soldiers.
From Corunna to Waterloo
The Letters and Journals of Two Napoleonic Hussars, 1801–1816
Major Edwin Griffith and his nephew Captain Frederick Philips served in the 15th (King's) Hussars during the Napoleonic Wars and both kept journals of their experiences and regularly wrote letters home. Often serving in separate wings of the regiment, their observations cover different actions, the contemporary accounts describing home service on policing duties as well as the campaign with Wellington through Portugal, Spain and southern France from 1813 up to Waterloo in 1815.
Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo
One of the distinguished Stanhopes of Chevening, James Stanhope’s military service took him to the Peninsular War where, between 1809 and 1813, he witnessed and recorded several battles, including Corunna and Barossa. At Waterloo he fought on the ridge while under attack from Napoleon’s cavalry. This collection of letters and journals, skilfully contextualized by editor Gareth Glover, offers fascinating insights and detailed descriptions of conversations, conditions and events during the Napoleonic Wars.
Great Cavalry Charges of the Napoleonic Wars
In a dramatic history, with eye-witness accounts and tales of outstanding courage, Digby Smith examines the different types of cavalry and the tactics they employed before describing the contribution of the cavalry charge to the battles of the Napoleonic Wars. The book gives accounts of 14 battles and other engagements, from Marengo to Waterloo and including Austerlitz, Borodino and the allied cavalry raids in Germany during 1813, with the orders of battle given in appendices.
The Battle of Barrosa, 1811
Forgotten Battle of the Peninsular War
With most of Spain overrun by Napoleon’s forces, the Spanish government remained free, but forced to find refuge in the fortress-port of Cádiz, assisted by British warships and troops under the command of Sir Thomas Graham. This study describes the ‘forgotten battle’ when, urged by the Spanish Junta, and with everything to lose, an Anglo-Spanish force met the besieging French army on the heights of Barossa.
Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars
Field Artillery, 1792–1815
Although artillery had been around for centuries, technical advances in the 18th century allowed field guns and ammunition to become lighter, more powerful and more accurate, and the improved weaponry was used with greater efficiency in the field. With reference to the part gunnery played in key battles of the period, this detailed study investigates the nature of guns used and how they were operated, comparing Napoleon's French artillery with that of the British, Russians and Austrians.
Through Spain with Wellington
The Letters of Lieutenant Peter Le Mesurier of the 'Fighting Ninth'
From 1808, when he joined the 9th Foot as an ensign, until the eve of his death in battle shortly before the end of the Peninsular War, Peter Le Mesurier kept up an extensive correspondence with his family, giving a wry officer’s-eye view of Moore and Wellington’s campaigns against Napoleon. These letters have been freshly transcribed and are now published for the first time, with a connecting narrative giving background information and commentary on the episodes described.
How the French Won Waterloo
(or Think They Did)
Most English historians see Waterloo as the Anglo-Prussian victory that ended Napoleon's political and military ambitions and changed the course of European history. In France, however, many people - historians included - share the opinion of the former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin that 'this defeat shines with the aura of victory'. Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French, investigates the complexities of French thinking about Waterloo and their enduring admiration for Napoleon.
The Burning of Moscow
Napoleon's Trial by Fire 1812
As soon as the French troops entered a deserted Moscow in September 1812, a fire broke out that destroyed two thirds of the city and ultimately forced Napoleon to embark on the disastrous winter retreat that routed his army. Drawing on French, German, Polish and Russian archives and eyewitness accounts, Mikaberidze examines this pivotal event from Russian and French points of view, exploring the Russians’ motives for the conflagration and assessing its consequences.
British Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1793–1806
Despatches from the Front
The Napoleonic Wars were fought as far afield as South America and the Caribbean as well as in Europe, and in line with British military procedure every action was reported to the Admiralty or War Office in an official dispatch. This book collects these original communiqués from over 50 battles, up to 1806, including Nelson's victories at Trafalgar and the Nile and the first encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte himself, as a young captain, at the Siege of Toulon in 1793.
Beginning with the horror of the battlefield where 50,000 men lay dead and injured as night fell on 18 June 1815, O'Keeffe's study covers the months between Wellington's victory and the confinement of Napoleon on St Helena. It describes how, once the dead and dying were gone, the site was visited by tourists; how the news of the battle was spread; the advance of the British and Prussian armies into France; and Napoleon's final weeks as surrender became inevitable.
The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles
Bernard Cornwell is renowned for his historical fiction, particularly the Sharpe series set in the Napoleonic Wars. In this book he combines those storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history of the days leading up to Waterloo and the battle itself. Cornwell's aim is to give an impression of what it was like to be on the field on 18 June 1815, and he agrees with Wellington's judgment: Waterloo – no matter how many accounts you read – 'is a cliffhanger'.
Waterloo is remembered as a defining British victory, but there were more Belgians, Germans and Dutch in the Allied army than British, and the arrival of the Prussians was the decisive intervention. This book assesses the battle and also examines how it was subsequently interpreted by the belligerent nations: less important to the Dutch and Germans, and a heroic last stand to the French that helped to reinforce the legend of Napoleon. Great Battles series.
The Scandalous Destruction of a British Army
Attempting to open up another front against Napoleon, Britain sent a force of 40,000 men and 600 ships to the Dutch coast at Walcheren in 1809. Although 4,000 men were lost in the debacle, few of them were casualties of any fighting but rather a mysterious disease that became known as Walcheren Fever. A Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Pathologists, author Martin Howard applies medical as well as historical analysis to this account of the campaign.
Waterloo in 100 Objects
Historical relics have a rare power to bring the past to life, providing a tangible link to distant events and people. This book presents a collection of items associated with the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, from a gown worn at the Brussels ball the night before to uniforms, muskets, cannonballs, orders, maps and amputation equipment. Each item contributes to the telling of the story and helps us to imagine, with a little extra verisimilitude, how the battle unfolded.
The British Invasion of the River Plate 1806–7
How the Redcoats Were Humbled and a Nation was Born
When the Spanish made common cause with Napoleon, it gave the British an opportunity to attack Spanish possessions and an attempt was made to seize control of the colonies on the River Plate. This book describes the events of the two ultimately unsuccessful invasions, analysing the political and military circumstances and the actions of the chief protagonists as well as the longer-term impact of the campaign in the emergence of the independent countries of Argentina and Uruguay.
Waterloo Voices 1815
The Battle at First Hand
'The enemy fired round shot, and shell – grape and canister – and new horse nails, tied up in bundles, nine bundles in a gun... unlawful carnage.' This report from 'a sergeant of the Guards' gives a vivid insight into the brutality of the pivotal battle that raged in a field near Brussels on 18 June 1815. This collection of eyewitness testimony includes letters, diaries and published accounts from participants on all sides, from ordinary soldiers to Wellington and Napoleon.
Wellington's Right Hand
Rowland, Viscount Hill
Rowland Hill succeeded the Duke of Wellington as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1828 having successfully served under him throughout the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo. This biography of the trusted and popular leader, written by a descendant, draws on a wide range of primary sources, including the Hill papers in the British Library which contain an extensive collection of letters to and from Wellington and other military figures as well as personal correspondence.
The British Army's Day of Destiny
More than 50,000 men were killed during the Battle of Waterloo, on a day that proved to be the culmination of more than 20 years of war and a decisive turning point in European history. This detailed analysis of the battle draws on hundreds of first-hand accounts by men of all ranks and from practically every British regiment and corps present, and examines the wider strategic picture before focusing on the tactical roles of individual British units.
The British Soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars
If Wellington valued the rank and file of his army (despite calling them 'the scum of the earth') much of the civilian population had a low opinion of their qualities. This detailed survey of the ordinary soldiers in the British Army of the Napoleonic era draws on contemporary testimony and records to describe the men and their backgrounds, explain the military organization and harsh code of discipline that governed them, and explore their living conditions and place in society.
Wellington Against Junot
The First Invasion of Portugal 1807–1808
Before the great general had been granted his dukedom, Arthur Wellesley achieved success in Portugal defeating Napoleon's trusted general Jean-Andoche Junot at the battles of Roliça and Vimeiro. This detailed account of the campaign examines the personalities and tactics of the opposing commanders, charts the rise of popular resistance to the French in Iberia and the outbreak of guerrilla warfare, and examines the wider implications of these early engagements on the unfolding of the Peninsular War.
Redcoats Against Napoleon
The 30th Regiment During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Giving a fresh perspective on key events between the Siege of Toulon in 1793 and Waterloo in 1815, Divall focuses not on commanders or elite units, but on the ordinary fighting men in the 30th Regiment of the Line.
Scott on Waterloo
Sir Walter Scott was among the many tourists who visited the battlefield after Wellington's victory at Waterloo, but he went with a commission to write a travel book and a long poem. Edited, with notes and introduction by Paul O'Keeffe, this book presents those writings: Paul's Letters to His Kinsfolk, which records Scott’s travels in Holland, Belgium and France in 1815; and two poems, The Field of Waterloo and The Dance of Death.
The Battle of Waterloo
Compiled and published soon after the battle, this book presented a 'series of accounts published by authority, British and foreign, and other relative documents, with circumstantial details, previous and after the battle, from a variety of authentic and original sources'. The present volume is a facsimile reprint of the seventh edition (1817). As well as eyewitness accounts, there are letters, honours and casualty lists (officers) and, folded in, a panoramic sketch of the battlefield. With a new introduction by Simon Adams.
The Battle that Brought Down Napoleon
In a concise reinterpretation of one of history's most argued-over battles, the eminent military historian Jeremy Black uses Waterloo and its aftermath to discuss the changing nature of warfare, the rise and fall of Napoleon's empire, and the effects of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars on Europe and on Britain's role in the world during the 19th century.