Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo, by Brendan Simms

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...
Tags: bookblog 2015, history, world: belgium
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