Waterloo: Napoleons Last Gamble (Making History (Paperback))

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Amongst the all-too-human explanation for the blunder that cost Napoleon his throne, Roberts sets the political, strategic and historical scene, and finally shows why Waterloo was such an important historical punctuation mark. The generation after Waterloo saw the birth of the modern era: By the time of the Great War, chivalry was utterly dead. He lives in New York City. The broadest selection of online bookstores.

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The links will take you to the Web site's home page. Interest-specific online venues will often provide a book buying opportunity. Various other barricades and gunpowder defences were in place, and the toll at the breaches was heavy. Wellington ordered a withdrawal. Elsewhere, the fortress walls were achieved by escalade , encouraging an attack on the breaches again. The fortress was taken, at great cost over British casualties , and for three days the army sacked and pillaged the town in undisciplined revenge.

Soon after the assault on Badajoz, Wellington marched his men to confront the French near Salamanca.

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For a month the armies marched and counter-marched against each other, seeking advantage, and on 22 July Wellington attacked in the Battle of Salamanca , achieving a comprehensive victory. Diversions were set up, including the "Light Division Theatre", in which the 52nd were described as "highly gentlemanly men, of steady aspect; they mixed little with other corps, but attended the theatricals of the 43rd with circumspect good humour, and now and then relaxed.

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In spring, , the army returned to the offensive, leaving Portugal and marching northwards through Spain to Vitoria where the French stood in preparation for battle, which took place on 21 June. Once peace agreements had finally been settled — the French Governor of Bayonne being the last, on 26 April — the army left the Peninsula; the infantry marched to Bordeaux for transportation to their new postings. Gales prevented sailing, and by the time conditions had improved, news had arrived of Napoleon's escape from Elba. The field at Waterloo was 5.

The Allies took position on the northern ridge. Activity was happening elsewhere on the field, however, and as the battle drew to a close, Napoleon's Middle Guard launched an assault on the British line, to the 52nd's left, and were met by a number of regiments including the 1st Foot Guards , who repulsed the 3rd Chasseurs , but had to themselves retreat when the 4th Chasseurs moved forward to threaten their left.

The 52nd, under Sir John Colborne, wheeled to the left, deploying parallel to the French column, and fired volleys against their left flank. The 1st battalion were sent to Paris after Waterloo, and remained stationed in France until In , the 2nd battalion were disbanded, [11] in line with the other reductions in the army which occurred following the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. Returning to England in , the 52nd were stationed in the Midlands , where they were responsible for domestic peacekeeping and policing under the command of Lt. Charles Rowan , experience which fitted Rowan for his posting to establish a military-style metropolitan police service under Sir Robert Peel.

In , the regiment were posted to Dublin. The 52nd later returned to India, arriving in Allahabad in The Kashmir Gate was blown by a party of engineers, accompanied by Bugler Robert Hawthorne of the 52nd, who won the Victoria Cross for his bravery. The 52nd remained in India until , when they returned to England.

Over the next sixteen years they received postings in Ireland, England, Malta and Gibraltar. Like most British regiments, the 52nd carried flags known as "colours": The First had the Union Flag with the Regiment's number in the centre, surrounded by a wreath. Attending the colours in battle was dangerous, since they were a target for enemy artillery and assault; due to the symbolic significance of the colours, their loss was a grave issue, and extreme measures were often taken to prevent such dishonour occurring. For this reason, the newly raised 95th Rifles received no colours, but the converted line regiments, such as the 52nd, retained their existing colours.

While some light infantry regiments opted not to carry them in the Peninsula, the 52nd and 43rd did.


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Battle honours are awarded to a regiment for their performance in certain battles and campaigns, and are displayed on their colours. The 52nd received the following honours: The Regimental Badge of the 52nd showed a bugle horn , suspended by cords from a knot, with the number "52" below the tassels.

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The bugle horn had been the badge of light infantry regiments since , adapted from the Hanoverian Jaegar regiments, and became standard for the newly formed Light Infantry regiments, since it represented the bugle calls used for skirmishing orders instead of the standard line infantry drum.

During the Peninsular War , the 52nd fulfilled their dual role as line and light infantry by contributing to fortress assault parties. The companies that led the breach assaults were known as the " Forlorn Hope ", from the Dutch "verloren hoop" lost troop. It was deemed an act of high honour, since the lead troops faced the greatest danger. Officers and sergeants who survived would be very likely be put up for battlefield promotions although it was not assured while other ranks would receive laurels from their commander also with the chance of promotion being greatly increased.

The 52nd, however, offered its own recognition: From that date until the 52nd merged with 43rd in , two soldiers from the 52nd were awarded the Victoria Cross, both at Delhi in Bugler Hawthorne accompanied a party of engineers, led by Lieutenants Home and Salkeld of the Bengal Engineers , who had been ordered to lay a charge and blow the Kashmir Gate, so that entry to the city might be obtained.

Lance Corporal Smith's medal was won during the following assault on the blown gate, when he "most gallantly carried away a wounded comrade under a heavy fire of grape and musketry, in the Chandnee Chouk of the city of Delhi, on the morning of the assault". Three others from the explosion party were awarded VCs that day: Sgt Smith , Lt. Salkeld, who was the first posthumous recipient of the VC. Colonels of the regiment were: Throughout most of the regiment's life, the 52nd Foot wore traditional British Army red coats , with buff facings.

During the American wars, the coat was long tailed, with buff facings, buff waistcoat and breeches. The grenadier company wore a bearskin hat with the King's Crest and the regimental number. Officers wore crimson sash, gorget and silver epaulettes. Bookshout App We have partnered with Bookshout and recommend using their app as a simple way to read our e-books. Enter your HarperCollins account username and password.

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Waterloo: Napoleons Last Gamble (Making History (Paperback)) Waterloo: Napoleons Last Gamble (Making History (Paperback))
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Waterloo: Napoleons Last Gamble (Making History (Paperback)) Waterloo: Napoleons Last Gamble (Making History (Paperback))
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