15 April 2019
We’re off to the Napoleonic Wars again with this hefty book about the three regiments of Guards that fought at Waterloo.
Author: ROBERT BURNHAM & RON MCGUIGAN
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
We’re off to the Napoleonic Wars again with this hefty book about the three regiments of Guards that fought at Waterloo. Wellington positioned them where the battle would be fiercest, at the Château d’Hougoumont, and sure enough waves of French attackers were beaten back. As the battle reached its climax Napoleon sent in the Imperial Guard but just when they thought the Allied lines would collapse, the 1st Guards Brigade decimated them with a rifle volley, then mounted a ferocious bayonet charge.
This book tells the story of the Guards, what they did or didn’t do, and uses many quotes from those who fought there. The brutality of 19th century battles becomes very evident as you read comments from the surgeons treating shattered bones and bleeding arteries, amputating limbs and binding wounds. Rank and title were no protection either. For all the glory of the victory, the reality was a battlefield that took five days to clear and where bodies lay in heaps for miles around. Definitely a great read for all Napoleonic War enthusiasts.
• Frontline Books
• 390 pages • Hardback • £25
As reviewed in The Armourer April 2019.
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