William Siborne, the author of this fascinating history of Waterloo, was himself a fascinating figure. The son of an officer who had fought at Waterloo, he grew up obsessed by the battle, and set himself the task of constructing an enormous model of the action. To this end, he interviewed scores of survivors and tirelessly toured the battlefield, measuring instruments in hand, and received generous cash support from both Waterloo veterans and a grateful government. But when Siborne – as a matter of strict historical accuracy, for which he was a stickler – insisted on including Blucher’s Prussian army at the turning point of the action, and thus appeared to downgrade Wellington as the architect of victory, he lost the support of the Iron Duke – and of the entire Establishment with its cash. Siborne, a stubborn man, refused to back down and exhibited his famous model – complete with those pesky Prussians! This book is the literary equivalent of his model – an exhaustive and avowedly objective account of the battle and the campaign that led up to it, complete with an appendix giving the Order of Battle. However many books there may be on Waterloo – this one is absolutely indispensible.
SIBORNE’s WATERLOO CAMPAIGN 1815
Exhaustive and apparently objective account of Napoleon’s last battle by a Waterloo obsessive who also built a giant scale model of the action – annoying Wellington who thought he was being downgraded by Siborne.