Walking Waterloo, A Guide...

 

... from Pen & Sword

 

Title: Walking Waterloo, A Guide

Author: Charles J. Esdaile

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52674-078-6

 

Over the years I have visited a number of battlefield site, yet there is one that has long been on my wish list. Waterloo is perhaps one of the most famous historical battlefield in Europe. On the 18th June 1815, when the French under Napoleon clashed with allied forces under the Duke of Wellington. No photos of course at the time, though a good number of painting created after the battle. The sight, sound and smells of thousands of soldiers and horses, artillery, and of course casualties littering the ground is difficult to imagine. This new book has been published with the assistance of The War Heritage Institute, Brussels, who have provided a selection of period illustrations. and these are mixed in with plenty of modern day colour images illustrating the battlefield as it is now, with what you will see on the various tours.

The book has an introduction and some historical background details, and a number of maps illustrating the positions of the various units across the battlefield The bulk of the book is made up from 8 different Walking Tours, each of which have  map and appropriate images to illustrate the detailed text description of each tour, and each of which also includes nots on the events that happened in the areas you are looking at. The selection of each tour and the historical background that is featured show us the excellent knowledge of the battlefield and the events of that day in 1815.

The 8 tours are Grand Waterloo: The French Positions: The Defence of Hougoumont: Drouet's Attack: Uxbridge's Counter-Attack: The French Cavalry Charges:Bulow, Ziethen and Mouton: and finally the attack of the Guard. I must say I find the modern day pictures offamous buildings from the story of Waterloo, such as Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte and La Belle Alliance are remarkable for how they have survived looking so similar to as they would at the time all help to bring the stories from the battle to life.

If you enjoy battlefield visits, Waterloo deserves to be on your list.  I would certainly aim to have this with me for any trip to the area.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin