Book Review: Waterloo Rout and Retreat
Author: Andrew W Field
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
This is the fourth book in Andrew Field’s series on Waterloo from the French perspective. Finally then, we have the rout when the battle was lost, the retreat to Laon, the rallying of the troops and lastly, the end of the fighting and the dissolution of the Grande Armée. Although this does cover Napoleon’s flight and fate, it’s mainly told through the diaries of the soldiers on the ground. The rout itself is particularly vivid, with accounts from soldiers and officers in all parts of the army. It really does convey the panic as the French fled the field with the English and Prussians closing in.
By the time the narrative gets to 25 June, all the commanders can do at this point is use the forces that are in order, to man the defence of Paris and try to avoid the disordered ones spreading even more panic. The disbanding of the army followed shortly afterwards. This is a hefty, yet fascinating look into the outcome of the defeat at Waterloo.
352 pages • Hardback • £25
As reviewed in The Armourer June 2018