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Ligny and Quatre Bras DVD (DVD)

Military DVDs Battlefield History TV Napoleonic DVDs Battle of Waterloo Napoleonic BHTV


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The Waterloo Collection.

This is the first part of a suite of programmes that will cover the Waterloo Campaign as a whole, from the concentration of the Armies astride the north eastern frontier of France, through to the Allied pursuit of Napoleon's defeated army to Paris. Over the coming months the Waterloo Collection of four DVDs, with a running time of nearly six hours, will become the most comprehensive portrayal of the 1815 Campaign ever undertaken on film.

An introduction covering the political and strategic situation facing both Napoleon and the Allies, along with detail of the opposing armies and their deployment prior to the Campaign's opening moves, will be followed by programmes on the twin battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny. Waterloo itself will be covered in five programmes each taking a detailed look at one of the recognised phases of the great battle. These are the attack on Hougoumont and its epic defence by the Guards, D'Erlon's infantry attack and the famous charge of the Union Brigade, the fight for the farm of la Haye Sainte in the centre of the battlefield, the final French cavalry attack on the battered British line and the final assault by Napoleon's Imperial Guard and last but not least the arrival of the Prussians at Plancenoit. In the concluding part the battle of Wavre and the aftermath of the great battle, which culminated in Napoleon's surrender and exile in St Helena, will be covered.

Included with each programme will be vignette's on an aspect of Napoleonic warfare; weapons, clothing and equipment and, of course battlefield tactics. The collection of programmes will be accompanied by detailed orders of battle, maps and battlefield tour notes. For the first time a Mini Guide will be included with each programme for downloading to most types of modern mobile phone or PDA. This will compliment both the programme and the printable material for the battlefield visitor who likes to travel light.

Military historians Tim Saunders, Andrew Duff and Tom Dormer along with experts from the Guild of Battlefield Guides (Graeme Cooper, Mike Peters and Frank Toogood) and members of the Napoleonic Association, travel the roads along which the soldiers of the opposing armies marched to the field of Waterloo and to the Campaign's other three significant battles; Quatre Bras, Ligny and Wavre.

At the writing of this review, I had not seen Parts III and IV. At first I was skeptical when I received the DVDs. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to spend my time watching a DVD on something that I had read many books about. I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised by their quality and depth. The narrators were engaging and had a good grasp of the subject. Several things stood out that makes the Waterloo Collection worth the money.

- The narrators take the viewer step-by-step through the whole campaign. It begins with an overview of the political and strategic situation and what Napoleon was trying to accomplish. Each day of the campaign is discussed in detail, including where the various armies and their units were located at that time.

- The perspective and actions of all participants (French, British, Prussian, Nassau, Dutch, etc.) are shown.

- Whenever possible, re-enactors were used to provide period color and to illustrate the points the narrators were making.

The Napoleon Series - October 2011 - reviewed by Robert Burnham

This is the first part of a suite of programmes that will cover the Waterloo Campaign as a whole, from the concentration of the Armies astride the north eastern frontier of France, through to the Allied pursuit of Napoleon’s defeated army to Paris. Over the coming months the Waterloo Collection of four DVDs, with a running time of nearly six hours, will become the most comprehensive portrayal of the 1815 Campaign ever undertaken on film.
Military historians Tim Saunders, Andrew Duff and Tom Dormer along with experts from the Guild of Battlefield Guides (Graeme Cooper, Mike Peters and Frank Toogood) and members of the Napoleonic Association, travel the roads along which the soldiers of the opposing armies marched to the field of Waterloo and to the Campaign’s other three significant battles; Quatre Bras, Ligny and Wavre.

Friends of the National Archives

The Pen and Sword Waterloo Collection DVD’s at £15.99 have been absolutely great. I have to say, that I cannot find fault at all in the presentation. I was truly hooked to the silver screen as the various scenes were played out by the excellent re-enactors of the Napoleonic Society which all take place whilst the historians add their commentary.

Military Historical Society

The DVD brings the battle to life with the story being set in the fields of fight, with the colour and detail of uniforms and equipment worn by the living historians. This is both entertainment and historical knowledge that will be enjoyed by all ages, from the total novice to the knowledgeable enthusiast and historian. Highly recommended.

Firetrench

The general approach is nicely low-key, with a mix of direct narrative and discussions between various presenters. The mix of experts means that each army gets a fair mention - in particular the Dutch army which is often dismissed or ignored, but that actually performed rather well at Quatre Bras, where it held up Nay all morning and most of the afternoon before British reinforcements finally arrived. Part One provides a background to the campaign, looking at Napoleon's plans and the British and Prussian responses, before moving on to examine the various armies involved in the fighting - the British (with many German troops), Dutch, Prussians and French. Part Two looks at the narrow Dutch and British victory at Quatre Bras, part three at the narrow French victory at Ligny.
The presentation is low-key but informative. The expert narrative is supported by film of the annual Waterloo re-enactment, and is supported by some clear maps. This is an informative, well presented and gimmick free documentary.

History of War

The DVD offers the viewer a fair summary of the actions in what amounts to a battlefield tour, whichm, given the price of the DVD compared to the cost of anctual battlefield tour, is good economy. In summary, a promising start to the series.

Military Modelling

A marvellous montage of speech and re-enactment. Certainly kept my interest from start to finish and once it was over, wanting more. For everyone interested in the Napoleonic Period this DVD is really great viewing, with so much in-depth analysis from senior historians. It is a very 'watchable' film, in which one is transported from one's armchair to the original battlefield locations.

The Bulletin
Major Mike Peters

About Major Mike Peters

Mike Peters - a serving officer in the Army Air Corps - is also a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Throughout his over twenty years of service, the importance of the history of the forebears of his Corps, the Glider Pilot Regiment, has grown on Mike.


About Major Tim Saunders

Tim Saunders is a former Army officer and author of thirteen Battleground titles on a wide range of Second World War battles. Tim is now also a script writer, programme maker and presenter for Battleground History TV.

In addition he regularly leads battlefield tours, including to the scene of Glider Pilot actions in Sicily, Normandy. Arnhem and the Rhine.


About Battlefield History TV

Pen and Sword Digital and Battlefield History TV formed their partnership in 2008 to provide customers with a wide variety of specialist programmes presented by well-known battlefield historians and qualified guides. The subjects they cover in detail are the First and Second World Wars, The Waterloo Campaign and Peninsular War and they even go back as far as the Dark Ages. Each DVD will be of interest to military enthusiasts, wargamers, battlefield tourists, re-enactment groups, students of particular battles or campaigns and military modellers.

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