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"To what extent did napoleon lose the battle of Waterloo due to his own mistakes?"

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Introduction

"To what extent did napoleon lose the battle of Waterloo due to his own mistakes?" Record Of Procedure In order to answer my question I decided to break down the question to begin with. I did this by researching what actually happened at the battle and why Napoleon lost. Rather then to look at if it was Napoleons mistakes that cost him the battle straight away. This allowed me a much easier start to my personnel study and allowed me to get a platform from which I could work. In my study I would have to evaluate all the factors of Napoleons loss, working out which of those were Napoleons mistakes and which weren't, finally determining if his own mistakes outweighed the factors he could not control. As well as looking at the background of the hundred days saga and how the Anglo-Dutch forces and the Prussians won the battle. I chose to do this question, as I was very interested in how Napoleons grip on Europe came to an end. The hundred day episode seemed extremely storyline like with the return of Napoleon to the throne of France[1] with the return of a great general there always had to be a great battle and Waterloo was its name. ...read more.

Middle

It was however of a little use when combined with the analytical books a read. As I could verify the information of the forces participating in the battle. After submitting my question the moderator suggested reading "Waterloo and the hundred days" by David chandler. This is an extremely good book looking at the battle from an objective view with blow-by-blow accounts. This also has a comprehensive analysis of how the battle was lost and won. However the best part of this was the ability of it to place the battle in its proper historic context and show Waterloo's legacy[3] .This book was incredibly useful as it looks at everything that comprises the battle and provides a good insight into the decisions Napoleon took. The major factor the book was missing however was it needed more analysis on Napoleons marshals as the actions taken by these commanders of men during the battle were pivotal. To this end I started reading the book "Napoleons Marshals" by R.P Dunn-Pattison. This as you can gather is an analysis of the marshals Napoleon placed in charge of his men. These two books contrast in their views of why Napoleons marshals made mistakes at Waterloo. While Chandler believes Napoleon was to blame due to lack of communication Pattison blames specifically Ney for his mistakes[4] and to a lesser extent the other marshals on the field individually for their mistakes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Looking for such a vast book I came across The Age of Napoleon by Will and Ariel Durant. This large book encompassed everything I was looking for. This book provided an objective and unbiased look at Napoleons time in power In reading the books I have chosen I found that the involvement of the British was negligible in comparison to the other factors leading to Napoleons defeat. I felt that I had to change my direction and to this not to investigate Wellington as this may have lead me too bias towards the British being the cause of Napoleons defeat. I had great trouble in attaining Chandlers book as it had been out of print for twenty years. Both Waterstones and Borders were unable to order it and the second hand bookshops and charity shops I visited did not have it. To that effect I had to order it from Amazon.co.uk from which it arrived on the third attempt. This was my largest obstacle in doing my study. [1] Vincent Cronin Napoleon, London, 1971 p.232 [2] David Chandler Waterloo: The Hundred Days, p.10-11 [3] Will and Ariel Durant, op.cit p.730 [4] R.P Dunn-Pattison, op.cit p.119 [5] Correlli Barnett, Bonaparte. New York, 1978 p.68 [6] Will and Ariel Durant, op.cit p.743 ...read more.

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