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To War with Wellington: From the Peninsula to Waterloo Hardcover – 16 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; First Edition/Third Printing edition (16 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848541031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848541030
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Dublin as the son of a British army officer, Peter Snow is a highly respected journalist, author and broadcaster. He was ITN's Diplomatic and Defence Correspondent from 1966 to 1979, and presented Newsnight from 1980 to 1997. An indispensable part of election nights, he has also covered military matters on and off the world's battlefields for 40 years and at the Royal Television Society Awards in 1998 Peter won the Judges' Award for services to broadcasting. In 2004, Peter and his son Dan presented the BAFTA-winning Battlefield Britain for BBC2 and worked on the follow-up series, Twentieth Century Battlefields. Together they wrote two books to accompany the series. Peter is married and has six children.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 65 people found the following review helpful By B. Hurst on 6 Sep 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wellington is one of the most famous and written about figures in British history.
Snow's work (I only realised it was the telly man half way through the book) seeks to be an immediate and above all `human', account of the great man and the soldiers who fought with him.
Drawing from some of the famous accounts written by the participants, including Harry Smith and Edward Costello, To War With Wellington grabs your interest from the first page.
The characters amongst the senior officers, such as `Black Bob' Robert Crauford and Thomas Picton are well drawn, mostly through the accounts of their soldiers
This is in no way an exhaustive account of Wellington's career from the Peninsula War onwards - many battles and sieges are only referred to in passing, while others are passed by with only a few paragraphs.
What we do get is a very enjoyable romp through Wellington's career. We don't find an awful lot out about his life before Portugal, but we do get a real flavour of life at war in Napoleonic times.
Wellington himself is cold and aloof, but his attention to detail shows why he was such a successful general.
He may have called his soldiers the `scum of the earth' but he made sure they were fed and looked after, realising, as many commanders of that age did not, that their welfare was crucial to his success.
Attention to detail, courage under fire, amazing luck and tactical mastery were all attributes which led to Wellington's success, Snow says, and he develops a narrative which produces compelling arguments to back this up.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Aussie Reader on 27 Sep 2010
Format: Hardcover
This new biography on the Duke of Wellington by Peter Snow is an excellent addition to the many books on this British General. The book mainly covers Wellington's time in the Peninsular with fourteen of twenty chapters devoted to that campaign. The final four chapters obviously cover the lead up to, and the conclusion of, the Battle of Waterloo.

In just over 316 pages the author provides an excellent account of this period and Wellington's role in defeating Napoleonic France. Although I may not agree with all of the author's assertions I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The narrative is full of first-hand accounts, some well know and some never before seen, and great stories. The book just moved along at a cracking pace and if not in-depth certainly detailed enough for most military enthusiasts. There were 20 maps supplied and numerous colour illustrations which added to the story.

Overall this is book well worth reading and I am sure most readers, both first-timers and those well read about the `Iron Duke', will have a great time following the career of Wellington from the Peninsular to Waterloo.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Koetzsch on 30 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover
Peter Snow's account of Wellington's campaign in the Peninsula and at Waterloo is an excellent book.
As the author notes in his introduction this was the first war where a lot of people involved kept extensive diaries and by quoting a lot from these diaries he tells a livelier story than if he were just to narrate the events as they unfold.
What must have been a pain in the neck to Wellington is that he couldn't promote his officers and at the same time was stuck with people thrust upon him by his commander-in-chief. He was lucky that some of these turned out to be competent, but quite a few were `political postings'. That he still managed to fight and win the Peninsula War certainly adds to his qualities as a strategist and leader. The other thing I found puzzling is that Napoleon did not show up on the Peninsula himself to deal with what became a major problem. A result of hubris perhaps?
Peter Snow spends four chapters to describe the run-up to Waterloo and the battle itself. He does point out more than once that Napoleon made a number of mistakes - or call them uncharacteristic moves - at Waterloo, but I don't think that diminishes Wellington's achievements in any way.
All told I found this book a very lively and readable account and I enjoyed every page of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jmg Mcdonald on 14 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover
a thoroughly enjoyable history lesson - you cannot put the book down. So many facts are brought to light. 1st class!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Philip Adams on 16 Oct 2010
Format: Hardcover
Easy to read,makes history entertaining. I liked the way the personal accounts are interwoven into the bigger picture. Left me wanting to learn more about the characters and this period of history. Thoroughly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cyclingdave on 21 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed this book and learnt a few new historical snippets. Its an easy read and the excerpts from the diarys of the soldiers make the battles a bit more personal. It reads in a similar manner to one of Peter Snows TV documentaries but without the excellent graphics, the book would benefit greatly from much better battle maps. It also tends to become a bit repetitive, each battle being very similar to the previous one, the personal accounts here makes a difference. However, I've picked up enough from this book to make lunchtime conversation with workmates a bit more varied.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Perry on 22 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This would be a good introductory volume for those who are new to the subject, but it does not appear to be intended for readers already possessing an understanding of events and personalities. Being one of the latter, I found it an easy and pleasant read, and would also recommend it to anyone wishing to brush up on events without being troubled by the weightier alternatives.
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