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Book Wellington's Brigade Commanders: Peninsula and Waterloo


Wellington's Brigade Commanders: Peninsula and Waterloo

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Wellington's Brigade Commanders: Peninsula and Waterloo.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Robert Burnham(Author) Ron McGuigan(Author)

    Book details

Recent research into the Duke of Wellington's armies during the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign has enhanced our understanding of the men he led, and this new biographical guide to his brigade commanders is a valuable contribution to this growing field. Ron McGuigan and Robert Burnham have investigated the lives and careers of a group of men who performed a vital role in Wellington's chain of command. These officers were the brigadiers and major generals who, for a variety of reasons, never made the jump to become permanent division commanders. Their characters, experience and level of competence were key factors in the successes and failures of the army as a whole. Their biographies give us a fascinating insight into their individual backgrounds, their strengths and weaknesses, and the makeup of the society they came from. Each biography features a table covering essential information on the individual, his birth and death dates, the dates of his promotions and details of his major commands. This is followed by a concise account of his life and service.

Ron McGuigan has been studying the British army for over five decades. He is the author of Into Battle: British Orders of Battle for the Crimean War and co-author, with Robert Burnham, of The British Army against Napoleon: Facts, Lists and Trivia 1805-1815. Robert Burnham is the editor of the largest Napoleonic history site on the internet ( and author of Charging against Wellington: the French Cavalry in the Peninsular War. Both authors contributed to Inside Wellington's Peninsular Army.

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Review Text

  • By JSR on 4 July 2017

    Definitely one for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast. This is very much a reference book to dip into rather than one to read cover to cover. It contains 71 potted biographies of those who commanded Brigades within Wellington's Army in the Peninsula and at Waterloo. The authors have applied very strict criteria - for example, it doesn't include those commanding Portuguese Brigades and I can't really fathom how one of my particular favourites (Sir Andrew Barnard) somehow missed the cut. It's a masterpiece of research and contains some interesting and illuminating comments from Wellington's correspondence with the authorities at home. Very worthwhile but a little dry.

  • By Rory Muir on 10 August 2017

    This is one of the most useful and important new books to appear on the British army in the Peninsular War and Waterloo to appear for many years. It is not difficult to find information about Wellington or his leading generals – the Pictons and the Craufurds – but the next tier of commanders, those who commanded brigades but not divisions in the army are almost unknown with a very few exceptions. Ron McGuigan and Bob Burnham have given us short biographies of 71 of these officers, including the brigadiers of the KGL, but not British officers who only commanded Portuguese brigades. Each biography begins with a table of basic information about the officer’s career, based on original research in the army lists, London Gazette and Wellington’s General Orders. This is followed by a biographical sketch of three or four or five pages which not only gives details of the general’s service under Wellington, but of his whole career, and gives a well informed impression of his character and contemporary reputation, enlivened by quotes from his correspondence and from the memoirs and diaries of the soldiers who served under him. His private life is not ignored and the authors are particularly good at spotting the connections between officers – for example that two brigadiers married sisters or that two others were close friends. I always hoped and expected that this book would be good: I have known both authors for years and collaborated with them on a book of essays Inside Wellington’s Peninsular Army. They have always been extremely generous in sharing their information with me, and I urged them to undertake the project so as to make the rich resources at their fingertips available to anyone with a serious interest in the subject. The result surpasses my expectations. It is not a book to sit down and read from cover to cover, but for anyone with some background in the subject it is great fun to dip into, and very often one entry will lead to another, one discovery prompt a fresh query, and a new insight suggest a second look at a familiar story. It belongs on the shelf of anyone with a serious interest in the history of the British army.

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