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Robin de Wilde (London, United Kingdom)

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The Waterloo Archive: British Sources v. III: 3
The Waterloo Archive: British Sources v. III: 3
by Gareth Glover
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars what the fine detail was as to what occurred on 'Bloody Sunday' ..., 9 April 2016
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The first review says most of what I thought as I read through it. Gareth Glover has produced a series of volumes of considerable evidential value. I am constantly surprised about the quantity of material hidden away in Libraries, families and elsewhere.

The broad outline of what happened is clear, but the detail is important as Gareth Glover's 2014 volume on 'The Defeat of Napoleon's Imperial Guard', emphasises. I think it clear that it was not just the 52nd Regiment that contributed but the whole of Clinton's Division and that part of the Army under the leadership of Hill. It was a ragtail concoction of Hanoverian, King's German Legion battalions as well as the 95th and the 71st Regiments, all of whom participated and contributed to that particular episode.

Also, the Duke was there at the epicentre of the flanking attack. I suspect that he really did have a grasp as to the vital importance of that moment and it was his leadership that convinced everyone else that this was the moment.

I have never understood why the Duke of Wellington should be criticized for failing to include every twist and turn of the action in his Despatch. The Battle itself was a vulgar brawl, with so many incidents, but he was able to see the big picture and he achieved the desired result, which gave Europe peace for almost 100 years. He also seemed to be everywhere and that was crucial as well. It was a complex occasion and he managed to weave all the subtleties together into the final scheme, depending as he did on both the mistakes of Napoleon, the arrival of Blucher and the rush to the final battlefield by parts of his own forces, many of whom lacked food, were soaked to the skin through appalling weather, or suffering the consequences of the earlier events at Quatre Bras.

The world, at large, appreciated what the outcome was and how it was achieved, but every final detail will never be known. It was complex, messy and confusing. The critics often seem to fail to understand that evidence is often complex, messy, confusing and difficult to interpret, but that is often the case. Life is messy contradictory, confusing and often difficult to explain. the bigger the occasion, the more difficult it will be to interpret.

For example, after a mass of evidence, we still do not really know after two major Inquiries, what the fine detail was as to what occurred on 'Bloody Sunday' and we never will. So, why should one of the most significant Battles in our history, where more than 300,000 people were involved, be as
clear, when there were no cameras, perfect views were made difficult by the smoke of gunfire, the noise, confusion as to what had happened or was going to happen next; the weather was appalling, as was the slaughter, and few present would have been able to interpret every nicety of what took place.

Everyone present, who survived, would have been both surprised, confused, shocked, stunned and amazed as to the detail of what was taking place at the time or, afterwards what had taken place. Life is like that, as is death! There has to be some sense of realism!


The Very Thing: The Recollections of Drummer Bentinck, 1807-1823
The Very Thing: The Recollections of Drummer Bentinck, 1807-1823
by Jonathan Crook
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 April 2016
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A classic Regimental history, with interesting details.


An Eloquent Soldier: The Peninsular War Journals of Lieutenant Charles Crowe of the Inniskillings, 1812-14
An Eloquent Soldier: The Peninsular War Journals of Lieutenant Charles Crowe of the Inniskillings, 1812-14
by Gareth Glover
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 April 2016
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A finely written, handsomely annotated Memoir.


The Waterloo Archive: British Sources v. 1
The Waterloo Archive: British Sources v. 1
by Gareth Glover
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars what the fine detail was as to what occurred on 'Bloody Sunday' ..., 9 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first review says most of what I thought as I read through it. Gareth Glover has produced a series of volumes of considerable evidential value. I am constantly surprised about the quantity of material hidden away in Libraries, families and elsewhere.

The broad outline of what happened is clear, but the detail is important as Gareth Glover's 2014 volume on 'The Defeat of Napoleon's Imperial Guard', emphasises. I think it clear that it was not just the 52nd Regiment that contributed but the whole of Clinton's Division and that part of the Army under the leadership of Hill. It was a ragtail concoction of Hanoverian,King's German Legion battalions as well as the 95th and the 71st Regiments, all of whom participated and contributed to that particular episode.

Also, the Duke was there at the epicentre of the flanking attack. I suspect that he really did have a grasp as to the vital importance of that moment and it was his leadership that convinced everyone else that this was the moment.

I have never understood why the Duke of Wellington should be criticized for failing to include every twist and turn of the action in his Despatch. The Battle itself was a vulgar brawl, with so many incidents, but he was able to see the big picture and he achieved the desired result, which gave Europe peace for almost 100 years. He also seemed to be everywhere and that was crucial as well. It was a complex occasion and he managed to weave all the subtleties together into the final scheme, depending as he did on both the mistakes of Napoleon, the arrival of Blucher and the rush to the final battlefield by parts of his own forces, many of whom lacked food, were soaked to the skin through appalling weather, or suffering the consequences of the earlier events at Quatre Bras.

The world, at large, appreciated what the outcome was and how it was achieved, but every final detail will never be known. It was complex, messy and confusing. The critics often seem to fail to understand that evidence is often complex, messy, confusing and difficult to interpret, but that is often the case. Life is messy contradictory, confusing and often difficult to explain. the bigger the occasion, the more difficult it will be to interpret.

For example, after a mass of evidence, we still do not really know after two major Inquiries, what the fine detail was as to what occurred on 'Bloody Sunday' and we never will. So, why should one of the most significant Battles in our history, where more than 300,000 people were involved, be as
clear, when there were no cameras, perfect views were made difficult by the smoke of gunfire, the noise, confusion as to what had happened or was going to happen next; the weather was appalling, as was the slaughter, and few present would have been able to interpret every nicety of what took place.

Everyone present, who survived, would have been both surprised, confused, shocked, stunned and amazed as to the detail of what was taking place at the time or, afterwards what had taken place. Life is like that, as is death! There has to be some sense of realism!


Inside the Regiment: The Officers and Men of the 30th Regiment During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Inside the Regiment: The Officers and Men of the 30th Regiment During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
by Carole Divall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, 3 April 2016
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A good analysis as to how a regiment worked at the time of the Peninsular War, in this case including a comparison as to how the other battalion operated, which was not directly involved in the Peninsular War. Also, it provided a good idea how the war improved the quality of the more active battalion. A valuable addition to the literature of this fascinating era. It was worth reading.


The Peninsular War with the Coldstream Guards: Reminiscences of an Officer in Portugal and Spain
The Peninsular War with the Coldstream Guards: Reminiscences of an Officer in Portugal and Spain
by John Cowell Stepney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but limited, 3 April 2016
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This was an interesting reprint of a series of records, which gives a participant's recollections based, it appears, on what he recalls. It is not well edited, and lacks the full panoply of footnotes and research that is done by, for example, Gareth Glover, at his best. The reality is that the best evidence of what happens comes either from contemporary letters written home at the time and/or the fruits from a Diary/Journal written at or about the time of the event, when the matters being recorded are still fresh in the memory. It is contemporaneity that is best.


Wellington's Engineers: Military Engineering in the Peninsular War 1808-1814
Wellington's Engineers: Military Engineering in the Peninsular War 1808-1814
by Mark S Thompson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Development of the Royal Engineers in the Peninsular War., 28 Feb. 2016
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When Wellington started the Campaign in the Peninsular, he was scarcely equipped with the expertise that he needed. By the end of the Campaign at Bayonne, Toulouse and the Nivelle he had the expertise, skill with experienced soldiers who assisted in many of his victories, as their particular expertise and skills developed and improved, as did the equipment with which they were provided. It was a pleasure to understand how he used those wide range of skills that the Engineers provided, starting with so little and encompassing Surveying, Map making , Army Guides,Bridge Building, all in the most difficult circumstances and when faced with laying siege to the various obstacles in his path, as he proceeded to his complete dominance of that part of the French Army which was pitted against him. Neither should the Lines of Torres Vedras be forgotten which turned out to the greatest obstacle of all in the defence of Lisbon. It was not only a great piece of military scholarship but also a pleasure to read.


With Wellingtons Outposts
With Wellingtons Outposts
by Andrew Bamford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read., 28 Feb. 2016
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This is an excellent book about an aspect of soldiering during the Peninsular War, which is scarcely covered in the broader brush writings on this War. The author would have been surprised and delighted to discover that it has been published for any enthusiast to read.. It is something which would be difficult to conceive would be produced some 200 years after the events to which it relates.


The Complete McAuslan
The Complete McAuslan
by George MacDonald Fraser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read, again and again., 12 July 2015
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This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
This is a compendium of George MacDonald Fraser's 4 books about his life immediately after the end of the Second World War, as a junior subaltern in, what he admits at the end of the compendium, to have been the 2nd Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders (the 92nd of Foot). It is a joy to read, but his book about his prior experiences in Burma, entitled "Quartered safe out here" should not be neglected. Anyone who has served a period in uniform will note the eternal verities of military life and of the existence of people such as 'Private MacAuslan'. It is a joy to read and occasionally re-read. I particularly like the comment about the real pleasure for the true Highlander is "enjoying the knowledge of a victory that you have achieved, that your enemy does not even know about!". The particular story is set in West Perthshire and is about the disappearance of a whisky still. You need to think about that and the cast of the Highlander's mind!


The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters
The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters
by Adam Nicolson
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making one think again!, 12 July 2015
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This is a stimulating book, well written as with all the many other Adam Nicolson books, putting forward interesting and beguiling arguments as to the date of the events described in the Iliad and the Odyssey, which makes perfect sense and but which adds one or two added levels of complication not only as to when both were composed and but how and when both were written down for posterity. Whether he is right or wrong does not matter; but the fact that he makes people think about whether the earlier assumptions may be right or wrong is the crucial function of a book such as this. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey could be properly described as foundation blocks of European and World culture, I recall,vividly, being in a class at my Prep School, aged about 12, having the 'Slaughter of the Suitors' read out with enthusiasm and relish by a potty schoolmaster! I was so intrigued that I went and bought the EV Rieu translation in paperback. Whether trained in the Classics or not, reading this book makes you think again about what other commentators have said about the dating, origins and transmission of both books. I also like the idea of the Greeks at Troy being compared with 20th and 21st Century street gangs in New Jersey, to explain the sort of people the original Greeks were.


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