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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for ANY Waterloo buff
This is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Napoleonic Wars and the 1815 campaign in particular. Just took receipt and watched it within ten minutes of taking it from the box. This is real in depth stuff - accurate and original - great re-enactments and clever delivery. This has to be the best and longest overdue treatment of the subject to date and I am...
Published on 1 Jun 2011 by Mr. Steven Dwan

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview
If you are looking for an exciting, fast flowing, polished and detailed account of the battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny, this is not it. It is, however, faults included, a good overview.

Some faults lie in the poor editing and overall quality. The sound, in my copy, was bad at the beginning and in other parts, I had to keep raising and lowering the volume to...
Published on 1 July 2011 by Mr. John Walsh


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for ANY Waterloo buff, 1 Jun 2011
By 
Mr. Steven Dwan "the voltiguer" (london, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
This is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Napoleonic Wars and the 1815 campaign in particular. Just took receipt and watched it within ten minutes of taking it from the box. This is real in depth stuff - accurate and original - great re-enactments and clever delivery. This has to be the best and longest overdue treatment of the subject to date and I am looking forward to the next three parts which I believe will be even better! Don't just go out and buy this DVD - buy it twice - you will always want a back-up handy! Superb - and if you love anything 'Waterloo', this is the best you will get.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best DVD on the subject, 11 Dec 2011
By 
Bor (Amsterdam) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
This is part one of a series of four DVD's on the Waterloo campaign of 1815. The series DVD's each have three programmes of about half an hour each, making for a total of twelve programmes in total. This DVD contains the first three: The opening of the camapaign, The Battle of Quatre Bras and The Battle of Ligny.
The story is told by a number of people that act as battlefield guides when they don't make DVD-programmes, each taking care of a part of the story. Reenactors are used to show some action and to illustrate period uniforms, and sometimes to explain about weapons and tactics. I think this is a great approach, because this is the one thing books cannot replace (unlike showing paintings and museum pieces).
This approach also has a number of drawbacks though, that you should be aware of. First of all, although the actual battlefields are used as the stage to tell the story, they don't look anything like they did in 1815. But despite that being there does add flavor. The second thing is that there are never enough reenactors to form units of the size they had in 1815. You'll continually see fairly small groups of troops moving through the screen, and as long as the camera stays close this is all right. But from further away it becomes very noticable. Finally it is impossible to clear modern gear from the background, so you'll see Napoleonic troopers moving by with modern houses or moving cars in the background. I've been to a number of Waterloo reenactments, and this is just how it is, so I don't mind.
The story is told in a well balanced way, but firmly from the Allied perspective. The role of the Prussians and Dutch-Belgian and German Allies is told honestly, and credit is given where it is due. This is not always the case with British stories of the campaign, so I think this is worth a compliment. Waterloo was an Allied victory, not just a British.
As much as I've enjoyed this DVD, there is still one major fault with it that I should mention, and that's the sound. As other reviewers have already mentioned the sound is not constant. Especially where presenters are discussing events with others, the sound gets hollow and soundlevels are not constant. I found that I had to have volume controls at the ready to make frequent adjustments. This was an annoyance, but not one to take much away from the overall judgement. Just be aware of this when you decide to buy it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, 1 July 2011
By 
Mr. John Walsh (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
If you are looking for an exciting, fast flowing, polished and detailed account of the battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny, this is not it. It is, however, faults included, a good overview.

Some faults lie in the poor editing and overall quality. The sound, in my copy, was bad at the beginning and in other parts, I had to keep raising and lowering the volume to hear what was being said. In one case, in which four presenters stood side by side, the first and third speakers could be heard, but I had to raise the volume for the second and fourth speakers. In another case one presenter is cut off even though it was clear he was still speaking.

The impression is also given that the presenters were only given one chance to say their lines. The editing problem can also be seen clearly when, in one scence that depicted British re-enactors marching, a Scottish drummer leading the troops looks to be wearing sunglasses. It may have been for health reasons but it was bad editing and ruined the period effect.

Sadly, you do not really learn enough about the actual battlefields or the armies involved and there is nothing offered concerning both battlefields, that can't be found in books. It is certainly not a step by step guide to each battle. It is almost as if those involved, such as The Guild of Tour Guides, were afraid to show too much incase no one bothered with going on the actual tours. But the DVD should have been created to inspire enthusiasts to want to visit the sites.

Certainly, there should have been more clips of the actual battlefields and, although some of the maps employed were fine, others were too small and faint and the names of places on them hard to see. In the text itself, there is a hint of anti-Napoleon bias, when, within a few minutes, the Emperor is described as a Corsican tyrant, an orge and a despot. In fact, the whole narrative appears strongly from the Allied side of events. This perhaps ties in with the cameo appearance of the author Mike Robinson, who wrote the book on the Battle of Quatre Bras, purely from the Allied point of view.

There was also far too much reliance on clips of the Napoleonic reenactors for effect, which basically meant a small amount of troops marching and firing at each other supported by loud bangs from the odd cannon or two. However, although the DVD does have an amateur feel to it, the amateurish feel is perhaps its strongest point, in that, rather than viewing a documentary made by some media people, you feel you are watching one created by Napoleonic enthusiasts.

I would still recommend this DVD and I am looking forward to seeing the following three parts, although I do hope the editing and sound quality will have been improved. But I am sure they will be equally appealing as Part 1.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought, 4 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
I really enjoyed this DVD. It is true that some of the the editing and presentation can be lacking at times, but overall it is well worth watching. In many ways it is the lack of 'slick' camera work and narration that gives the DVD its quality. Here you have people who know what they are talking about explaining the subject to the viewer in a calm way. I particularly like the use of Living Historians, the interview with one chap,Simon?, was very informative. Have ordered the next in the series. At this price it is bargain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A high price for an excellent series, 16 July 2013
By 
Samuel Romilly (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
An excellent and informative series, but it comes at a high price. There really should be a boxed set at a reduced cost.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Kicking the Cat, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
As someone with an interest in 'the One Hundred days' it is always nice to find a new book on the subject. It is especially nice to find a DVD on Waterloo as there are very few and for this reason I think this series will do quite well.

The story is told by a group of (amateur?) historians who are linked to an organisation that does battlefield tours. As such there is little doubt that these chaps know their subject and are not reticent about sharing. It's such a pity that they are not more media savvy as some of the performances are stilted and, perhaps a little terrified? Generally though it adds to the charm of the film and you don't feel like they are bluffing their way through the facts (qv. anything with Dan Snow in it).

This DVD is part 1 of 4 and tells the story of the battles of Quartre Bra and Ligny (pronounced here as 'Linny' rather than 'Lean-knee' by some, but not all presenters). These battles were the first round of fighting that led to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo 2 days later. The story is told by these chaps zipping around the countryside pointing at woods that are no longer there and showing vistas that have changed considerably in the last 200 years. It would have been nice to have geographical features highlighted on screen by overlays but I suppose that was not within the technical abilities of the company that made the films. You do get a sense of the battlefields but I think they could have tried harder to get more of a feel for how it was rather than how it is now. There are a couple of nice maps on show and the occasional arrow hits the screen but its all a bit hit and miss. One example is the way individual units are dealt with on map where it is often difficult to know which square is which as none of them are labelled. Equally, whilst it is difficult with places like Ligny where the place has grown considerably in the last 200 years, Quartre Bra, which has not been substantially built on could easily have been taken back in time by just a few drawn on trees ...

The presenters are accompanied by film of re-enactors trudging around the fields and, presumably, these shots come from the various shows that are put on around the 16-18 June in the area. They do add a bit of colour and it is nice to see the uniforms and equipment but little attempt is made to explain why they wore what they wore or even the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons involved.

The sound is weirdly inconsistent jumping in volume and even from speaker to speaker. At times some of the contributors are muted whilst the chap in the obligatory blue shirt and Chinos mutters and shouts according to the whim of the sound engineer. Again a bit of judicial editing would have been nice.

I am aware that the above is a bit negative and nit-picky but for 11 a pop or 45-50 for the series (the prices keep changing) I expect a bit of a more professional attempt. That said there is a definite charm to this series and there can be no faulting the seriousness, enthusiasm and knowledge of the people involved. I'm just going to wait for the price to drop further before buying the last 2 ..

For that reason its is a bit like kicking the cat. You feel mean and unworthy afterwards but if it stops him doing that on the carpet ...
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very basic and Amateurish, 20 April 2012
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This review is from: Ligny and Quatre Bras: The Waterloo Collection DVD Part 1 (DVD)
I can see that this DVD is aimed at the market of new comers to the Battle of Waterloo but it is unprofessional and outrageously expensive for the purpose - with every man and his dog seemingly involved. Factually, it is all there but pointing at woods and villages within the 2D frame of a DVD documentary is ineffective and unhelpful. Some of the speakers are very bad - hesitating and stammering - prompting one to ask whether they know their stuff or are simply shy and bashful? The use of props besides maps is not exploited and yet there are so many readily available features from the period. This is one of the most expensive DVDs on Amazon and yet one of the worst ... please explain?
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