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The Resource The longest afternoon : the 400 men who decided the battle of Waterloo, Brendan Simms.

The longest afternoon : the 400 men who decided the battle of Waterloo, Brendan Simms.

Label
The longest afternoon : the 400 men who decided the battle of Waterloo
Title
The longest afternoon
Title remainder
the 400 men who decided the battle of Waterloo
Statement of responsibility
Brendan Simms.
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • For history readers who appreciate grainy, detailed battle accounts, this fine book concerns the carnage, heroism, and occasional stupidity that occurred around a single Belgian farmhouse at the center of the battlefield at Waterloo during a few hours in 1815. Normally, images of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington are conjured when thinking of that conflict—when the deposed French emperor tried to retake his imperial throne after a triumphal return from Elba. But as usual, these historical giants had much less to do with the battlefield than their soldiers, many of whom on the British side hailed from the German kingdom of Hanover. With the aid of astonishingly-preserved and vivid contemporary accounts, Simms (Europe), of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, brings these soldiers' actions brilliantly alive. From battlefield records two centuries old, he's extracted moving scenes of their courage, bravery, and initiative. In the end, there's no question that the shape and history of 19th-century Europe owes a debt to these 400-odd warriors, who withstood repeated waves of French forces and prevented Napoleon's breakthrough. It's a remarkably detailed book, which is both its greatest strength and greatest weakness. Nevertheless, Simms shows that without these troops, Great Britain and the German states would have been deeply imperiled. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed February 16, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 07, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ There are times when a relatively small number of men can make a difference. Napoleon's armies routed Prussian forces before the critical battle of Waterloo (1815) but Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher—in support of British solider Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington—refused to concede. Blücher rallied his troops and guided them back to battle. His return was the decisive moment in the final defeat of the French army. Before Blücher's reappearance though, French pressure on the line of the Duke of Wellington threatened to overwhelm the Allies. That is, until the battle for farmhouse-compound La Haye Sainte where, in the middle of the battle line, 400 Hanoverians fended off repeated attacks from French troops for five hours, buying Blücher enough time to reengage and attack. It can be easy to forget that history started as telling stories and that good stories explain things, imposing order on and assigning significance to the chaos of contingent events. Simms (history, Cambridge Univ.; Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present ) has done an admirable job of showing that stories do still count. VERDICT This thoroughly engrossing account will thrill all history lovers.— David Keymer, Modesto, CA --David Keymer (Reviewed January 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 1, p116)
  • A slim but gripping account of the bloody, heroic defense of La Haye Sainte, a farmhouse that Napoleon had to capture to reach the Duke of Wellington's army.The massive stone building survives intact; not so its defenders, a battle-tested unit of the British army. Simms (History of International Relations/Peterhouse Coll., Univ. of Oxford; Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present, 2013, etc.) begins in 1803 when Napoleon annexed the German principality of Hanover and dissolved its army. Following these events, many soldiers fled to Britain, where they and other expatriates were numerous enough to form the King's German Legion, which fought in Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain before its supreme test in Belgium on June 18, 1815. As the author writes, they "were motivated by a combination of ideological opposition to Napoleonic tyranny, dynastic loyalty to the King of England, German patriotism, regimental camaraderie, personal bonds of friendship and professional ethos." The Duke of Wellington placed most of his army behind a ridge and ordered a battalion of the legion 400 meters ahead to occupy the house, but he sent the legion's engineers elsewhere, making extensive fortification impossible. Worse, he made no provisions for resupplying ammunition beyond the standard issue of 60 rounds. At 1 p.m., the French attacked, surrounding the house. Beaten back, they attacked again and again, setting it on fire but not capturing it until after 6 p.m., when the surviving defenders retreated for lack of ammunition. This allowed Napoleon to launch the Imperial Guards at Wellington's lines, which were beaten back as the Prussian army arrived to turn it into a rout. Since literacy was common even among enlisted men, Simms takes advantage of abundant letters and memoirs to deliver an engrossing, often gruesome nuts-and-bolts description of that afternoon.(Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10401314
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Simms, Brendan
Dewey number
940.2/7
Illustrations
maps
Index
index present
LC call number
DC242
LC item number
.S56 2015
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Waterloo, Battle of, Waterloo, Belgium, 1815
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the 400 men who decided the Battle of Waterloo
Label
The longest afternoon : the 400 men who decided the battle of Waterloo, Brendan Simms.
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prelude -- For King and Fatherland -- A Tragedy of Errors -- Bolting the Barn Door -- Inferno -- Hand to Hand -- "Heat and centre of the strife" -- Legacy: A "German Victory"?
Control code
ocn886746215
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
xvii, 186 pages
Isbn
9780465064823
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
maps
System control number
(OCoLC)886746215
Label
The longest afternoon : the 400 men who decided the battle of Waterloo, Brendan Simms.
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prelude -- For King and Fatherland -- A Tragedy of Errors -- Bolting the Barn Door -- Inferno -- Hand to Hand -- "Heat and centre of the strife" -- Legacy: A "German Victory"?
Control code
ocn886746215
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
xvii, 186 pages
Isbn
9780465064823
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
maps
System control number
(OCoLC)886746215

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