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I bought this as a result of attending a presentation by the author in Brussels in January (you'll hear me contributing to the discussion from about 58:48 onwards). It's lucid, enjoyable and moving - an account purely of one action on the battlefield that day, the ultimately unsuccessful defence of La Haye Sainte by the King's German Legion, a force of expat soldiers, originally exiles from Hanover, who held their position throughout the course of the day, absorbing massive amounts of fire from the French. Simms draws some wider lessons about European defence cooperation from the episode which I don't think are really valid, but the rest of it is an entertaining and enlightening description of a small but crucial episode.

Alas, I've left it too late to sort out my bicentennial tickets. But where there's a will, there's a way...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mike Glyer
Apr. 20th, 2015 03:04 am (UTC)
Simms book
Thanks for the recommendation -- immediately bought the book. Sounds fascinating.
Mike Glyer
Apr. 24th, 2015 07:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Simms book
I read it -- what an excellent book. Especially appreciated the author's effort to understand the psychology of how soldiers could persist in that dire situation -- and his willingness to look for the holes in some of his possible answers. (I.e., bonding might explain part of it, but what about all the rest of the soldiers sent to the farmhouse during the battle who weren't part of the unit.)
Apr. 24th, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Simms book
He's a meticulous scholar; also at one point in my life I played wargames with his younger brother...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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