The Battle of Quatre Bras was critical to the outcome of the Waterloo campaign - to the victory of the allied armies of Wellington and Blucher, the defeat of the French and the fall of Napoleon. But it has been overshadowed by the two larger-scale engagements at Ligny and at Waterloo itself. And too often the clash at Quatre Bras has been seen mainly through the eyes of thThe Battle of Quatre Bras was critical to the outcome of the Waterloo campaign - to the victory of the allied armies of Wellington and Blucher, the defeat of the French and the fall of Napoleon. But it has been overshadowed by the two larger-scale engagements at Ligny and at Waterloo itself. And too often the clash at Quatre Bras has been seen mainly through the eyes of the British and their allies - the viewpoint of the French has been neglected. It is this weakness in the history of the battle that Andrew Field focuses on in this original and highly readable new study. Drawing on French eyewitness recollections and later commentary, he reconstructs the French experience of the battle - and the French interpretation of it. He quotes extensively, and subjects to critical analysis, the conflicting accounts written by Napoleon and his subordinates as they sought justify their decisions and actions at this pivotal moment in the campaign....
|Title||:||Prelude to Waterloo Quatre Bras: The French Perspective|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Prelude to Waterloo Quatre Bras: The French Perspective Reviews
WhilstThe author repeats at nausea, again and again each subject to make sure we, poor mortals, finally understands.He used the word "whilst" up to 3 times in one page and even in one sentence.!!! Ney failure to concentrate or understand is stated also every other page... I did not learn anything from this frustrating account "from the French side" except that the allied army was destroyed, cut down, massacred, slaughtered so many times that I wonder how the French lost with so many victories.
Having read Field's book on Waterloo, I decided to also read his take on Quatre Bras, which occurred two days before the great battle of June 18, 1815. Quatre Bras was certainly smaller in scale since it concerned only the French left wing under Marshal Ney and elements of the Allied army, but it is no less interesting because of its importance in conjunction with the other battle fought that day at Ligny.After reading this book, I discovered some facts that previously escaped me, in particular that Napoleon really did not care about 'winning' at Quatre Bras as long as Ney kept the Allies in place so they would not reinforce Blucher at Ligny. For Napoleon, Ligny and the destruction of the Prussian Army was essential. Then, he could turn and with Ney's men they could take the Anglo-Dutch Army.I had realized that Napoleon felt his only chance to win was to keep the two armies apart, but after reading this book, it would seem that Marshal Ney did not fully realize his part in the day's fighting.He did not display the aggressve spirit of other battles, and in one of the great 'moments' in a battle, he recalled d'Erlon's 1st Corps when it was on its way to Ligny to reinforce Napoleon. Unfortunately for the French, d'Erlon tried to play it safe, splitting his forces which only served to do little for either Ney or Napoleon.Field also points out some of Napoleon's mistakes, particularly on the morning of the 17th, but it is the story of the Belgian crossroads at Quatre Bras that is at the crux of this book. This is just another good example of the vagaries of battle. As Field points out, Napoleon was working against time, and by midday of the the 17th, his two opponents had slipped away from him, only to meet again at Waterloo.
Like Field's earlier Waterloo: The French Perspective, this book looks at the fighting around Quatre Bras (2 days before Waterloo) from the perspective of the French. Unlike the earlier book, there are far fewer first-person accounts of this battle -- Waterloo's deep shadow? In terms of strategy, though, the French fight against the allied army at Quatre Bras and their simultaneous battle against the Prussians at Ligny were critical, and I now see far better why.As well as the excerpts from memoirs and personal accounts, the text includes reprints of some of Napoleon's orders and other missives, written by his commanders or by himself. Since many questions revolve on who was ordered to do what when, reading the actual wording (often strikingly vague but undoubtedly patriotic) illustrates what commanders in the field were working with. Still, it's a drier read than the Waterloo book, though many of these excerpts do carry juicy detail.The maps are helpful, and the photos include present-day images of the land, buildings, and roads the battle was fought on. Also interesting to see how many times (3? 4?) Wellington was nearly caught or hurt this day.
Military history at its bestThis book is an engaging s study of decisions and results of action and, critically, lost opportunities, making the desperate battle of Waterloo unavoidable. The perspective of the participants cannot be known for certain, as the author makes clear. Fields shows an army rife with desperation, looking over their shoulder, and lacking crucial elements and leaders, such as Murat and Davout, and relying on such as Ney who instead performed as he had in previous battles (such as Eylau, Bautzen and most of the time in the Peninsular War). I am next reading the book Waterloo: The French Perspective.
I've not read anything about the battle of Quatre Bras before, and there lays the problem........ this book is really needs a good understanding to get the most from it. If I'd read anything before I'd given it 3 stars and if I was recommending it to a student of the napoleonic wars, 4 stars.In all, don't start here....... :-)
Square BrasThis is a very detailed description of the battle with a good review on it the only thing I didn't like was no maps of the troop movements