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

Mark Adkin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
RRP: 45.00
Price: 29.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Aug 2001

While many books have been published on Waterloo, none have rivalled this in either scale or authority.

The text, based on Adkin’s fastidious research, including many days spent on the battlefield itself, does far more than simply narrate the events of 18 June 1815. The author provides as much analysis as he does description: plans are examined, commanders assessed and manoeuvres painstakingly related to the ground. Armies, weapons and tactics are comprehensively explored and evaluated.

As with Adkin’s companions to the battles of Trafalgar and Gettysburg, the text focuses on myths and controversies surrounding the events, as well as elements often neglected in other narrative accounts –such as the performance of the French ‘Grand Battery’ or the Prussian attacks on Plancenoit.

Divided into ten sections, The Waterloo Companion can be dipped into as a reference guide or read cover to cover. Featuring little-known information and first-hand accounts of those who fought at Waterloo, it also covers soldier and command structures, tactics and topographical details. Each section is put in context of the battle and enhanced by maps, plans, drawings and diagrams.

The Waterloo Companion is an absolute must-have for any historian hoping to further their understanding of one of the world’s most famous land battles.


Frequently Bought Together

The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle + The Trafalgar Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Sea Battle and the Life of Admiral Lord Nelson + The Gettysburg Companion: A Complete Guide to the Decisive Battle of the American Civil War
Price For All Three: 104.02

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; 1st edition (1 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185410764X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854107640
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 29.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mark Adkin, a former army officer, is the author of The Waterloo Companion, The Trafalgar Companion and The Gettysburg Companion, all published by Aurum. He has also authored several other books on military history, including Goose Green, The Bear Trap and The Charge. He has also written the bestselling Sharpe Companion to accompany the TV series.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap at twice the price 26 Aug 2007
Format:Hardcover
Like me, you may well shop on Amazon on a budget, adding your target books to favourites and waiting for a copy with a torn cover to come up for 50p. In other words, you want value. If that's the case you would hardly look at this book - 30 new and around 25 Used and New. My friend, if you are interested in Waterloo BLOW THE BUDGET ON THIS BOOK. Use the `Search Inside' facility on the Amazon website - it gives you a good idea of the clarity of the writing, the superb quality of the maps and the use of boxes in the text (almost extended footnotes) to record topics that would slow the narrative but provide good background detail.
There is a lot of information here on the armies, their organisation (which didn't interest me very much) and their battle tactics (which is superb). In fact, the actual coverage of the 18th June itself probably only takes up about half the book, but given that the whole thing is over 400 pages, who cares!
The sections on the battle are illustrated with lots of great pictures of the battlefield today, taken on foot and giving you a feel for gradients, lines-of-sight, etc. Of course, the ground around the crossroads has altered a lot but combined with the superb detailed maps you can take this into account. The text is clear and considering the number of Waterloo books there are, the thinking is quite original. The sections addressing controversies (the "what ifs?" is fascinating because the author so clearly `knows his stuff'.
I paid 45 for this book when it came out, have read it several times cover to cover, and use it for reference. I love David Haworth's book on Waterloo and Barberro tells a more conventional chronological account but if the house was on fire and I could only rescue one Waterloo book, this would be it.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 12 Sep 2002
Format:Hardcover
A well thought out and clear book that was excellent for someone like myself who has an interest in the battle but isn't an expert. The book gives some very clear photographs and diagrams which explain the flow of the battle very well which together with some good insights make this an enjoyable book to pick up and reread either from cover to cover or specific chapters.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waterloo all the facts. 3 Mar 2006
By BryBo
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is bigger and has more information than most Peninsular War or Napolionic books put together. It has all the facts that are unparalled and includes the myths like "Would Napoleon have won if he started the battle early" and so forth. The battle maps have been put on a modern level showing motorways and contours and in the 1815 level how it looked then both are excellent. The battle movements are also put in the 1815 map to make it easy to see where every body is. It has a blow by blow account of the battle in the most detail and shows the Infantry, Cavalry and Artillary moving around the battle zone. The photos are from the present battle field but also have the 1815 troop dispostitions superimposed on them which is very informative. You get an idea of what was going on and where. It also has great plates (16 in all), diagrams and army's personal equipment including the weapons and how to form infantry squares, Cavalry movements, helmets style and Artillary firing positions. The text boxes are very informative and a brilliant addition to the book.
This book could be used as a Napoleonic book in it's own right and you can never put it down.
Exciting to read and look over, informative and an excellent book to take with you to Waterloo.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about everything you need to know 3 Oct 2003
Format:Hardcover
My only regret about this book is it's size - it's really hard to carry a copy about the battlefield! But Mark Adkins treatment is otherwise so detailed and so comprehensive that no-one can seriously complain. And the "current" view photographs are so good that theoretically you don't have to go to the battlefield to understand what happened there (how is he going to do the same thing in the forthcoming companion to Trafalgar? All those pictures of waves will be a bit dull!). Adkin is also impressively objective - a rare thing in the recently re-opened controversies about this battle. If you are even vaguley interested in this battle, don't hesitate: buy this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Waterloo Companion 3 Oct 2005
Format:Hardcover
Concise, well-illustrated, informative... Completely brilliant.
Provides all the facts about the armies, commanders, the battlefield and the events in the form of maps, diagrams, illustrations, photos and text.
Also includes many anecdotes, myths and controversies, and contemporary quotes. Anyone who is studying or interested in Napoleonic history should get this book.
I also look forward to reading the Trafalgar Companion...
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
With the thousands of books on the subject of Waterloo, it is extremely difficult to approach the subject from a new direction. The author appears to have succeeded to a great extent. All aspects of the battle are covered, including detailed maps, diagrams of the important buildings, comprehensive orders of battle (of those units on the battlefield, but not others involved in the campaign generally), biographical details of senior commanders, and substantial coverage of the tactics and use of the three service arms (Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery). The author has attempted simply (if that is the word) to project a detailed over-view of all of the different aspects of a single day of battle. Quatre-Bras, Ligny and Wavre are briefly mentioned, but the emphasis is entirely concentrated on Waterloo and the armies fighting there. If there are any aspects of the battle which have puzzled you over the years, this will be a major source-book for years to come. And according to the dust-jacket, the author is compiling a similar book on Trafalgar, having already written on the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in his earlier book "The Charge! It is very interesting to find an author who succeeds in casting new light on what may have been thought to be over-analysed battles.
Heartily recommended to all military historians.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on Waterloo.
Perhaps not a primer for those new to the battle, but for those with some knowledge, this book is a great source for details of organisation and tactical movements which affected... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Heedless horseman
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic
After reading previous reviews thought I would give it a go and ordered myself one and so glad I did. Read more
Published 6 months ago by James Sturch
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressively Comprehensive, but...
This is an impressively comprehensive volume and lavishly illustrated. It has two defects. There should be a glossary explaining, for instance, the meaning of chasseur and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Samuel Romilly
4.0 out of 5 stars Waterloo
It's a very good history book but I would of liked more pictures illustrating the cavalry and artillery especially the big guns and limber teams. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Colin Valenti
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Difficult to fault this. The maps and illustrations are wonderful, the photography or modern sites is excellent and text is extensive and well informed. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zigerastica
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat over-rated
Somewhat over-rated:
Don't blow all your money on this book. Buy Barbero's The Battle combined with Haythornthwaite's Uniforms of Waterloo - and if you still want more... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Musetti Gianon
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressively Comprehensive
This is an impressively comprehensive volume and lavishly illustrated. It has two defects. There should be a glossary explaining, for instance, the meaning of chasseur and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Samuel Romilly
4.0 out of 5 stars A very comprehensive study of the battle of Waterloo and the events...
This a book for Napoleonic Wars enthusists who want to get a little deeper into understanding the battle of Waterloo, what happened, why it happened and some thoughts behind the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by J T Rynkiewicz
5.0 out of 5 stars My opinion
The book did what it said it would do that is to provide the detailed information that the various accounts of Waterloo don't do. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Geoff Haberfield
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must for Napoleonic nuts
A bit pricey but worth the money all the same. A very detailed account of the battle of Waterloo with all the various regiments that took part in the battle. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Robert Cathcart
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