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Waterloo General (ePub)

The Life, Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby 1772 - 1815

Peninsular War

By John Morewood
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 20.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 267
ISBN: 9781473868069
Published: 4th July 2016

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£15.00 RRP £25.00

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As featured in the Evening Standard as part of their ‘Best Books of 2016’ feature

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At the Battle of Waterloo Sir William Ponsonby, a man who the Duke of Wellington stated had ‘rendered very brilliant and important services and was an ornament to his profession’, was killed by French lancers after leading the Union Brigade (the three Dragoon Regiments of the Royals, Iniskillings and Scots Greys) in a charge that wrecked a French advance that threatened Wellington with defeat. Sir William was a career soldier who had led his regiment in the decisive charge at the Battle of Salamanca and served with great distinction during the Peninsular War. Yet historians have blamed him because the charge at Waterloo got out of hand.

In this book John Morewood uses family sources, including Sir William’s letters, as well as French and German accounts, to restore his reputation and, by shedding new light on the battle, establishes what really happen to him on that fatal afternoon. It is also a biography of a man whose bravery and professionalism distinguished him as one of the outstanding cavalry commanders of the age.

Feature article extracted from Waterloo General as featured in

Ireland's Military Story, Summer 2017

As featured on Army Rumour Service!

ARRSE

Best Books of 2016

Evening Standard

Mr. Morehouse teases the reader with the title of the book: Waterloo General: the Life,
Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby. Does he deliver
on what the title promises? He definitely does. Waterloo General is an excellent
biography of a British general who was destined for obscurity until fate placed him in the
right place at the right time that allowed him lead the epic charge that led to the defeat
of Napoleon’s Army. Unfortunately he died in the charge and was never able to enjoy
the many accolades that ensued. Waterloo General is well written and is a valuable
addition to our literature on the Napoleonic Wars.

Read the full review here!

Napoleon series

All in all an excellent book for the historian, the gamer and even the casual reader: something for everyone here. Well written and an easy read, I found it hard to put down once I had started as I got engrossed in the events and suffered from 'just the end of the chapter' syndrome, but then found myself sitting reading on until my wife moaned too much about the bedside lamp being on.

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, December - January 2017 - reviewed by Ian Beal

As featured in

Harpenden Now

As featured in

The Herts Advertiser

This new work provides a full biography of this officer who was killed after leading the charge of the Union Brigade at Waterloo 1815, describing the circumstances of the charge and Sir William’s death. He was a career soldier who had led his regiment in a decisive charge at the battle of Salamanca and indeed, had served with distinction throughout the Peninsular War. Some opinions have expressed criticism of his actions at Waterloo, when his Union Brigade (1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons) of cavalry got out of hand after cutting up a French advance which threatened Wellington with defeat. In this book the author has used family sources, including Sir William’s letters, plus French and German accounts, to restore the General’s reputation, as well as establishing just what really happened to him at Waterloo. Following a Preface then Prologue, the author then recounts the life and passing of the Major General in some detail. The text is rounded off with three Appendices: Sir William’s brother and sister; The 5th Dragoon Guards and Sir William’s Sword. Notes, a bibliography and an index round off the text, which is supported by nearly 40 monochrome illustrations of varied subjects. This really is an excellent addition to the Napoleonic bookshelf.

Stuart Asquith, author

About John Morewood

John Morewood read history at Oxford University. He was editor of the Nelson Society from 1997 to 1999 and of the Waterloo Association from 2001 to 2011. He writes articles and lectures on the Napoleonic Wars and co-authored HMS Vanguard at the Nile: The Men, the Ship, the Battle. The mystery surrounding the circumstances of Sir William Ponsonby’s death during the Battle of Waterloo, and the criticism levelled at him by historians, prompted John to research in depth Sir William’s life and career, following in his footsteps through Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

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