A Bold and Ambitious Enterprise (Hardback)
The British Army in the Low Countries, 1813–1814
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The British campaign in the Low Countries in 1813–14 in support of the Dutch revolt against the French is one of the lesser-known campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars, but one of which the great historian of the British Army Sir John Fortescue
wrote that it was impossible to understand the Waterloo campaign without a knowledge of.
Under the command of the Peninsular War hero General Sir Thomas Graham, an inexperienced and under-strength British army, short on supplies and enduring terrible winter weather, sought to capture the port of Antwerp and neutralise the French fleet based there. The problems of liaison and cooperation between the British and their Prussian allies under von Bülow, which blighted their attempts to capture the city despite Graham's success on the battlefield at Merxem, prefigured similar difficulties during the Hundred Days. There were further controversies with the Dutch, and with the Crown Prince of Sweden – once the French Marshal Bernadotte, but now overall Allied commander in the Low Countries – who was accused of hindering operations for his own ends. The campaign culminated in the disastrous night attack on the French fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom, in which British soldiers paid with their lives for the failures of their masters.
The book deals with all aspects of the campaign, from grand strategy and the proposed marriage alliance between the House of Orange and the House of Hanover, to tactical analysis of the battles
and sieges that took place. This is a fascinating account both of a neglected Napoleonic campaign and of Britain's wider role in the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon.
“Bamford can cover the Dutch story and the operation of the Prussians and the French, it's intriguing”The Napoleonic Historical Society Newsletter
“He mines the British sources skilfully, writes well and has a good eye for detail. It may have been a forgotten front in a bigger war, but no one has covered it before.”
“Bamford and his publisher must be praised for venturing into new territory, and this is a book I can happily recommend.
This book by Andrew Bamford, a professional historian is therefore a very welcome publication and covers just about everything one could hope for. The writing style is engaging and pacing is spot on. For anyone interested in the specific campaign or the command and combat of the late war, it will certainly not disappoint. It is an overdue and relevant addition to the Napoleonic library. Very highly recommended.Miniature Wargames
This book by Andrew Bamford, a professional historian is therefore a very welcome publication and covers just about everything one could hope for. The writing style is engaging and pacing is spot on.Miniature Wargames
For anyone interested in the specific campaign or the command and combat of the late war, it will certainly not disappoint. It is an overdue and relevant addition to the Napoleonic library.
Very highly recommended.
Sir Thomas Graham’s Netherlands Campaign of 1813–1814 has produced a surprisingly rich crop of memoirs and letters. This compelling new book brings together six of the shorter accounts, several of them never before seen in print, to help shed new light on the triumphs and disasters of these forgotten operations. Mixing formal reports with lively personal narratives, and contemporary letters and diaries with later reflections, this selection covers all the major actions of the campaign and the authors range from one of Graham’s senior staff to an NCO in one of his infantry battalions. In…By Andrew Bamford
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