Download A Desperate Business: Wellington, the British Army and the by Ian Fletcher PDF

By Ian Fletcher

This is often the tale of the Waterloo crusade from the point of view of the British military. Uniquely, it starts with the break-up of Wellington's military on the finish of the Peninsular battle, keeps with the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, after which examines the combating that undefined, as Wellington's military driven directly to Paris

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Additional resources for A Desperate Business: Wellington, the British Army and the Waterloo Campaign

Sample text

William, unable to do so, 62 assembled an army drawn not just from Normandy but the lands that would subsequently be known as Brittany, Flanders, and Germany. He did so not with the lure of coin but the promise of lands and titles in the island of Britain. Gibbon, in the Decline and Fall, describes Charlemagne fearing “the destructive progress of the Normans,” but in truth William’s victory at Hastings was Charlemagne’s as well, because it was William’s feudal army—a heritage from the Carolingian emperor—that destroyed the Saxon host.

Mobilizing took some time, but by fall, both Harald Hardrada and William had assembled armies, and departed for England . . though they did so in very different ways, and with even more significant consequences. In September 1066, King Harald landed near York, and Duke William in Sussex, each with an army of perhaps ten thousand men, though, as always with medieval orders of battle, solid numbers are hard to come by. The two battles that followed were each, in their way, decisive. Though the town of Stamford Bridge occupies the site today, it was nothing but a river crossing over the River Derwent when Hardrada’s forces arrived around September 16, 1066.

5 million to more than 5 million; France from fewer than 6 million to between 17 and 21 million; and Italy, whose population had declined by more than a third after the fall of Rome, rebounded to nearly double, from 5 million to more than 9 million. Farther east, the phenomenon was even more dramatic: the population of that portion of Europe that makes up modern Germany and Poland nearly tripled. More food increases fertility. Increased fertility means more mouths; and more mouths demand more food.

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