Review of Waterloo Logistics

By Gareth Glover / a few months ago

Stephen Summerfield has done a wonderful job editing these papers from the early 20th Century by Major Becke. It consists of a large number of articles the Major produced on Waterloo. Some are discussions of certain aspects of the battle and are a little dated unsurprisingly in the light of more modern research. However when Becke writes on the logistics of the campaign regarding horses, supplies and marching rates etc Becke is really worth listening to. Being an officer who had trained in the period before mechanisation, he knew what he was talking about and it is real gold! The requirements of a horse in the 1900’s would have been the same as in 1815.  These articles on the weights of men’s packs etc are really outstanding and make the book a ‘must have’ on their own. But Stephen has then improved on this by providing copies of masses of maps of Waterloo, some of which I had never come across before, including some from Prussian historians. This book is therefore thoroughly recommended if you really want to understand the logistical nightmare that was a Napoleonic army on the move!

Available from Ken Trotman Publishing

About the author

Gareth Glover

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