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24 Hours at Waterloo: 18 June 1815 by [Kershaw, Robert]
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24 Hours at Waterloo: 18 June 1815 Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A blow-by-blow account of the fateful day. I couldn't put it down." (Independent)

"‘Gripping … The hour-by-hour account is packed with fascinating and often poignant vignettes'" (Daily Express, 5 stars)

"Kershaw writes well and makes sense of the battle ... a clear and straightforward military view." (Literary Review)

"Shows us the battle at its grittiest and bloodiest, but through it all manages to maintain a grip on the bigger picture." (Scotsman)

"So where does this leave Robert Kershaw’s 24 Hours at Waterloo? Very simply, in a class of its own ... brings the events to life with judiciously chosen first-hand accounts ... there could be no better companion to the battlefield than Kershaw’s." (Spectator)

Book Description

A vibrant and exhilarating hour-by-hour portrayal of this iconic battle, drawing on the eye witness accounts of those who fought it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6798 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Digital (28 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K2U4M3O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,237 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Most of the arguments and differences of opinion that precede a battle are delberately hidden because they touch political interests. Thay are like scaffolding to be demolished once the building is finished.

The battle of Waterloo is one of the most interesting events of modern times. 'The Duke entertains no hopes of ever seeing an account of all its details which shall be true'. Thus wrote the Duke of Wellington to a friend in 1821.

Napoleon and Wellington were born in the same year. Prior to Waterloo,they had only ever fought each other by proxy, in the Peninsular War. On the eve of the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon had described Wellington as a bad general, and his soldiers as a rabble of little consequence.

Numerous historians are currently turning out accounts of the battle, spurred on by next year's celebrations of this important battle that ended Napoleon's domination of Europe. This book joins the flow. More are to follow before Xmas.

It is an account of one 24 hour period, namely the 18th of June 1815. It is about Wellington's final stand after suffering very heavy losses at Quatre-Bras some three months after the Allies declared war on the greatest general of the day, some argue of all time.

Kershaw tells us many human stories that were at the heart of this epic encounter. We are placed shoulder to shoulder with the foot soldiers. The author has used letters, diaries and eyewitness accounts in order to relay what the fighting felt like . The detail is vivid and enthralling.

The author is a former Para officer. Commissioned in 1973, he served in the first Gulf war and Bosnia. He retired in the rank of Colonel in 2006. This is his ninth book. It gives an excellent and detailed account of the final battle.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read many books about the Waterloo campaign, but I have to say that this is the best for giving an appreciation of what it must have been like to involved in the battle. Skilfully interweaving an account of the course of the fighting with eye witness reports, he conveys vividly the horror and the scale of the carnage. As John Kinkaid of the 1/95th Rifles observed, 'I had never heard of a battle in which everybody was killed, but this seemed likely to be an exception'. That Waterloo was 'a near run thing' is well known, but Kershaw's account illustrates just how close the Allies came to defeat. The outcome turned on what MacCready of the 30th Foot said was '...which side had most bottom, and would stand the killing longest.'
All in all this is an excellent book, covering not only the actual fighting but also other aspects of the battle such as the plight of the wounded on what Kershaw calls the 'Via Dolorosa' - the road to Brussels, packed with the severely wounded as they made their way to some sort of sanctuary. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in the 100 days.
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Format: Paperback
This volume stands out among the large number of books released for the recent Waterloo bicentenary simply because it concentrates on the personal accounts of people who took part in the battle. Naturally, there is some coverage of wider events and Kershaw adds his own analytical remarks concerning the letters and journals he examines but the use of primary sources is where this book excels. While the first-hand accounts of senior officers are used, Kershaw has made a serious effort to concentrate on those written by junior officers and the rank-and-file, which is another strength of this work.

While I have read many books on Waterloo, the author has unearthed some rarely quoted memoirs and letters and some that I was totally unaware of. For example, accounts by Dutch-Belgian and Prussian participants are quoted, giving a far more balanced view than many of the rather Anglo-centric books I have read in the past. Indeed, Kershaw constantly reminds the reader that Wellington’s army contained Dutch-Belgian, German and other nationalities in addition to British soldiers and his occasional emphasis on Wellington’s ‘multi-coloured line’ (in reference to the variety of different uniforms) is a constant reminder of this throughout.
While there are no illustrations, I liked the 3D maps that show where the regiments of the men whose memoirs are quoted were located on the battlefield at different stages during the battle. This gives the reader a further insight to what these participants could have seen (or were unable to see) from their locations due to the lie of the land (line of sight was particularly relevant at Waterloo). Admittedly, these locations are approximate due to the scale and size of the units involved but this is a nice touch and I found it useful.
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A book that explains the history and the battle in detail. to help you understand what it was like for the troops and the officers as well as the civilians caught up in it.

There are hour by hour and sometimes minute by minute descriptions by the people involved as if they were sitting in a room with you talking. No long winded speech's, just normal people talking to you.

One example is from a soldier on each side telling how they coped through the first night after it rained.
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