skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

Wall Street Journal review of Brendan Simms' 'The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo'.

last modified Apr 22, 2015 08:11 PM

Originally published by The Wall Street Journal.

The Good Germans: Was the Battle of Waterloo primarily a 'British' or a 'Prussian' victory – or a genuinely 'Allied' one?

Whether holding the "Hot Gates" against the Persians, manning the Alamo in defiance of Santa Anna's massed Mexican troops or repelling waves of Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift, the outnumbered defenders of improvised strongpoints exert a powerful hold on the popular imagination. In "The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo," Brendan Simms recounts another defiant stand, the exploits of a battalion of German soldiers who defended the substantial farmhouse of La Haye Sainte, which bolstered the center of the Duke of Wellington's line during his bloody and decisive encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte near Brussels on June 18, 1815.

The defense of La Haye Sainte already features in many books and was depicted on the big screen in the epic 1970 movie "Waterloo." Yet the protracted and ferocious struggle for the farmhouse is typically treated as a small act in a much larger drama, and Mr. Simms believes that its true significance has been underplayed. Shifting the farmhouse and its stubborn garrison to center stage, "The Longest Afternoon" is among the opening shots of what promises to become an intensive barrage of books timed to the Waterloo bicentenary this summer. While running to barely 150 pages of text, Mr. Simms's fluent and meticulously researched narrative nonetheless provides enough context to engage not only specialists, but also readers unfamiliar with the broader historical background.

Read the full article here.

Upcoming events

After-ISIS: the future of Raqqa and Northern Syria

Jan 09, 2018

Peterhouse, Upper Hall

Top of the Trouble Spots: Forecasting geopolitical trouble in 2018

Jan 17, 2018

McCrum Theatre, Corpus Christi College

Brexit, Germany, and the Future of the European Union

Jan 23, 2018

McCrum Theatre, Corpus Christi College

The Partition of Ukraine: A Nightmare

Feb 07, 2018

Peterhouse Theatre

Upcoming events

« December 2017 »
December
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31