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Excellent insight into the minds of two great generals who only meet in the final battle of Waterloo Wellington came over ashumane than I imagined though he was quoted as describing his men as the scum of the earth on one occasion My only real criticism was the lack of maps I would enjoy both plans of battlefields and wider maps of campaigns. I started my march with Mr Scarrow with one foot in Corsica and one in Protestant Ireland Over 4 entertaining and educational his 4 volumes of the military political and social lives of two of the most iconic figures in History and not just the Napoleonic Wars This final volume is , in my opinion, the best of the lot Having spent many hours approximately 2800 pages which is 1200than the average King James Bible I have learned much from Scarrow s quartet The author describes both I started my march with Mr Scarrow with one foot in Corsica and one in Protestant Ireland Over 4 entertaining and educational his 4 volumes of the military political and social lives of two of the most iconic figures in History and not just the Napoleonic Wars This final volume is , in my opinion, the best of the lot Having spent many hours approximately 2800 pages which is 1200than the average King James Bible I have learned much from Scarrow s quartet The author describes both the aristocratic Arthur Wellesley Duke, Lord, Field Marshall and , at first, a Welsley and his peasant antagonist Napoleon Bonaparte Buono Parte He takes them from childhood to their final and only military confrontation at Waterloo.Everyone interested in those mid 1800 years already knows the basics But this book combined with it s triplet siblings brings alive not only the Battles of Jena, Leipzig Borodino, but smaller and still vitally important clashes such as Ligny Bony s last victory , Nosey as Wellesley s rankers called him in the pre Napoleonic wars in the Anglo Mysore and then the Peninsular War.As in the first three volumes we have seen the two protagonist evolve Upon each page we can find an increasing megalomania consuming the Emperor He has come to the conclusion that he is France Meanwhile the Duke of Wellington has become convinced that England and his enemy is not France but is, in fact Napoleon And Arthur believes HE is the only one who can stem the tyrannical desires of his Empirical rival The author has subtly led his readers into this extraordinary clash of titans.Enough time is spent upon figures known through history and literature the two Empresses, Talleyrand, Metternich, Kings Tsars and the paths of armies including the War of General Winter on the once Grand Army This book will scratch any itch from Europe 1800 to the 100 days and ultimately the exile to St Helena.sparrow weaves this I generally avoid paperbacks that come in at 700 pages, but a friend gave this one to me, so I cleared my diary for a couple of weeks and sat down to read it.The opening did not bode well Napoleon is attacking the Bohemian town of Ratisbon Where was that Bohemia Ratisbon It s hardly the best known battle of the Napoleonic wars Still, Napoleon soon explains its importance to his officers and to Scarrow s readers Gentlemen, he says, Ratisbon must be taken if we are to cross the Danube I generally avoid paperbacks that come in at 700 pages, but a friend gave this one to me, so I cleared my diary for a couple of weeks and sat down to read it.The opening did not bode well Napoleon is attacking the Bohemian town of Ratisbon Where was that Bohemia Ratisbon It s hardly the best known battle of the Napoleonic wars Still, Napoleon soon explains its importance to his officers and to Scarrow s readers Gentlemen, he says, Ratisbon must be taken if we are to cross the Danube and force the enemy to face us on the battlefield Fortunately for us, Napoleon was apparently in the habit of providing quick summaries of the strategic underpinnings of his campaigns to his generals at regular intervals.It s all too obvious that we are not about to read great literature But Scarrow does succeed in sketching out the details of Wellington s peninsular campaign and some of Napoleon s greatest triumphs and disasters, culminating in the retreat from Moscow Although I dimly remember having to study this period for O level back in the days when there were O levels , I had never before understood how Napoleon was defeated and sent to Elba or how he had managed to come back so quickly to the position of Emperor And, despite an interest in the period that has seen me visiting museums with detailed displays of the Battle of Waterloo, I had never really understood what the French were doing there or how the British defeated them That I now have a much clearer understanding of military strategy and political manoeuvring in a critical period of European history is a credit to Scarrow s ability to inject some life into what is all too often taught as a boring and confused sequence of attacks and counter attacks.That is not to say that Scarrow always gets it right There are occasional maps, but it s not at all clear why he has chosen to provide this kind of help for some battles and not others Where there are no maps, the constant references to advancing on the left flank, falling back on the river, cutting off their retreat to the south, and so on ad nauseam, is simply confusing to those who, like me, are neither military strategists nor the sort of people who easily draw maps in their heads But even where the details of who is flanking whom can become obscure, the essential importance of breaking the enemy s line, the strength of the British thin red line compared to the columns used by Napoleon, the tactical use of artillery and the importance of cavalry are all clearly explained.Occasionally, I was worried about the accuracy of some of the details The ludicrously awful dialogue can draw attention to the fact that many of the meetings between Napoleon and his marshals are far from a precise report of what went on Presumably Napoleon did not really summon his staff simply in order to tell them why a battle was important, before dismissing them with an assurance that their written orders would be with them soon Obviously, the main reason for this scene has been so that we, the readers, can benefit from Napoleon s strategic overview But Scarrow does suggest that Napoleon s failures after Elba were, at least in part, down to poor communication with some of his generals So the question of how Napoleon did communicate with his generals is quite important and, to be brutally honest, I don t trust Scarrow s account of this And, once doubt sets in, I begin to wonder about someimportant things Did Napoleon really attempt suicide once he realised that Paris was going to fall Is his relationship with Josephine accurately portrayed I have no idea There are few historical notes at the end of the book which will allow me to judge how much is fact and how much fiction.Where I am confident that Scarrow is getting it right is in his details of the battles themselves The friend who gave it to me is in the Army, and this book must be an absolute delight for anybody who cares about the way the British fought in the Napoleonic wars.Books like this occupy an uneasy ground between fact and fiction I felt that I was reading mostly in order to improve my understanding of the period The writing is clear and there is no doubt that Scarrow has done a good, workmanlike job But we never really get into the heads of any of the characters Scarrow tells us what they are thinking and how they feel, rather than allowing this to come out from their own behaviour And his dialogue really is awful On the other hand, I have read many accounts of battles of this period and come away little wiser than I was when I started Having got to the end of this book, I am definitely much better informed than I was when I started Writers of historical fiction are often dismissive of work such as this because it fails to meet any of the standards of style, characterisation and interpretation that many authors and critics value But books like The Fields of Death should not be dismissed They set out to tell us something about our history and they do it well They are widely read by people who want to be better informed, but who do not want to spend their time in the dry wastes of the academic military historian Simon Scarrow understands the needs of these readers and his books meet these needs He is to be congratulated on a job well done This final chapter begins with Napoleon, who was hit in ankle in one of the battles in Spain But after occupying Vienna there was crucial battle of Wagram, French victory Even so there were moment like one of Marshal Lannes, who lost his both legs by cannon boll And even he, ruler had dismissed Bernadotte from army during battle Emperor has child with countess Walewska at that time But He divorced Josephine in order to get male hair or as he thought So he marred Marie Louise.Fouch was dis This final chapter begins with Napoleon, who was hit in ankle in one of the battles in Spain But after occupying Vienna there was crucial battle of Wagram, French victory Even so there were moment like one of Marshal Lannes, who lost his both legs by cannon boll And even he, ruler had dismissed Bernadotte from army during battle Emperor has child with countess Walewska at that time But He divorced Josephine in order to get male hair or as he thought So he marred Marie Louise.Fouch was dismissed from his position for plotting with Talleyrand and willing to negotiate with English Napoleon chose General Savary for his successor.Also there was attempt for piece between France and Russia trough negotiations among Kurakin, Talleyrand and Napoleon However it has led to nothingthan Russian campaign of 1812 It was at that time that Napoleon, somehow has grown to appreciate Poles as allies and was demanding that east Lands of formal Poland has to be given back, by Russia.So then, Wellington took charge of Spanish captain and fortunately, has won it And if not minor miracles of General Ebl and Michel Ney or Marshal Poniatowski, no Frenchman would return from Russian Capain.In addition, Metternich, just like Talleyrand, has beend advising Napoleon on stable, peace based European politics.However, the best of these who served France and Napoleon has left him for exile as he had to abdicate because of his actions that has been War Not for long though as he apparently appears again as French leader.Napoleon started battle of waterloo with Polish Lancers alongside And after all, he has remembered his friend from school years, Arthur who played violin at that time.And finally, Napoleon has gone to final exile, at St Hellena Island, and died after six years Arthur, on the other hand, lived twodecades.Thus my sympathies goes to Arthur Overall these series of books has been very good with historical accuracy The series comes to a satisfying end as it charts the last years of the Napoleonic Wars Scarrow makes no secret of having been influenced by authors such as Patrick O Brian and this series could easily be a land based companion to Aubrey Maturin Indeed, if you take this series as focussing on the leaders and upper classes of the respective armies, you could throw in Cornwell s Sharpe series as representing the ordinary soldiers and between the three you get a decent sense of the whole picture The series comes to a satisfying end as it charts the last years of the Napoleonic Wars Scarrow makes no secret of having been influenced by authors such as Patrick O Brian and this series could easily be a land based companion to Aubrey Maturin Indeed, if you take this series as focussing on the leaders and upper classes of the respective armies, you could throw in Cornwell s Sharpe series as representing the ordinary soldiers and between the three you get a decent sense of the whole picture And I learnt from these books too I have to admit that prior to reading the series, my knowledge of the land campaigns was fairly minimal apart from the basics This book covers both Wellington s campaigns in Iberia and Napoleon s invasion of Russia as well as the run up to Waterloo I like that we delve into the psychology of them both Napoleon unable to contemplate being wrong while Wellington still struggles to gain the support of the British politicians despite his growing reputation It s interesting to see how both sides viewed things and where luck or mistakes played key roles Inevitably, with such a lot to cover, there are times when you would like to knowinstead of skipping over parts, but I can always research things later on my own.A large hardback like this one hurts my hands when I hold it for a long time, but it is worth that small pain to read such a fascinating novel I was in a good position to read this series as I didn t really know the history of Napoleon or Wellington Yes I had heard of Austerlitz and Waterloo as the decisive battles Yes I had seen the picture of Napoleon with the Sphinx in Egypt Yes I knew that Napoleon took Moscow but his army struggled with the Russian winter Yes I knew that Napoleon started out as an artillery officer Yes I had heard the quote that an army marches on its stomach I didn t know how Napoleon rose to power in pos I was in a good position to read this series as I didn t really know the history of Napoleon or Wellington Yes I had heard of Austerlitz and Waterloo as the decisive battles Yes I had seen the picture of Napoleon with the Sphinx in Egypt Yes I knew that Napoleon took Moscow but his army struggled with the Russian winter Yes I knew that Napoleon started out as an artillery officer Yes I had heard the quote that an army marches on its stomach I didn t know how Napoleon rose to power in post revolution France Most of the intricate details I didn t know, which meant that this could play out as a mostly unknown story for me, so there were limited spoilers as such That means I don t know where the glaring untruths are I also now understand why there are towns called Picton and Nelson near the city that I grew up in, Wellington New Zealand From what I know, the characterisation of Napoleon and Wellington seem bang on The haughty, willful, almost regal while staunchly anti aristocracy , upstart of an emperor versus the humble, stoic, worked his way up from the low ranks, third son of a wilting house, impoverished noble The contrasting opposing characters is well done here In general, I thoroughly enjoyed these books As it drew to a close, I had hoped that there would be an epilogue with Napoleon on St Helena where he could ruminate over his achievements and failures Not allowing Napoleon some final thoughts I think is a shame The last couple of chapters wrap the story up hastily, perhaps a little too hastily I see that Arthur and Kitty actually divorced later thanks Wikipedia That said, hats off to Simon Scarrow for bringing this massive story to life I d like to see him tackleshort series like this Oh, and Jonathan Keeble s narration is terrific Almost 700 pages, but it moves fast and it takes you to the end of Napoleon s adventures as well as those of the Duke of Wellington War wasn t pretty in those days not that it is now and Scarrow makes sure all the bloody, gory details are related to the reader The best way to read this series is to read them in order, one right after the other it s kind of like reading War and Peace if you do it that way but you have a sense of continuity and you stay interested Before Waterloo ther Almost 700 pages, but it moves fast and it takes you to the end of Napoleon s adventures as well as those of the Duke of Wellington War wasn t pretty in those days not that it is now and Scarrow makes sure all the bloody, gory details are related to the reader The best way to read this series is to read them in order, one right after the other it s kind of like reading War and Peace if you do it that way but you have a sense of continuity and you stay interested Before Waterloo there was Spain and the Iberian Peninsula for Wellington and the ill fated Russian campaign for Bonaparte Eventually, the two met up at Waterloo and the rest as they say, is history.Having read Bernard Cornwell s non fiction rendering of the epic battle, it was amazing how much Scarrow stuck to the facts when it came to people, places and events In this genre, that s the mark of a good author, they only embellish where they need to and don t create new battles, new locations and the like.The whole series is highly recommended and if you ve read Scarrow s other works centered around ancient Rome, you ll be pleased to see he s able to deal with other historical periods as well and make them just as realistic This was a satisfying conclusion to a very well written series If you are interested in military history or just history in general than I would highly recommend this series I really enjoyed the way that Simon Scarrow presented the two main characters throughout this series, allowing the reader to get a better understanding of Napoleon Bonaparte as well as Arthur Wesley AKA The Duke Of Wellington It is an amazing insight into the thought process of Napoleon, from book one were you can empathi This was a satisfying conclusion to a very well written series If you are interested in military history or just history in general than I would highly recommend this series I really enjoyed the way that Simon Scarrow presented the two main characters throughout this series, allowing the reader to get a better understanding of Napoleon Bonaparte as well as Arthur Wesley AKA The Duke Of Wellington It is an amazing insight into the thought process of Napoleon, from book one were you can empathize with his frustration about not being able to advance in life because of his low birth, to book four where he has become a tyrant that doesn t listen to anyone and believes he is invincible It is also interesting to think about what could have been If Napoleon had not declared war on all Europe and had been content with just France What if Napoleon had come to America instead of going to battle at Waterloo Overall this was a very good series and I would recommend it to fans of military history (FREE PDF) õ The Fields Of Death ⚸ It s , and both Viscount Wellington and Emperor Napoleon have made great names for themselves as outstanding military commanders Wellington expands his achievements and enjoys further fame during his years in Spain but knows his most challenging test will be to face Napoleon s mighty army But when Wellington invades France inhe gains a swift and certain victory He indulges in a spell of self congratulation at Vienna until news comes of Napoleon s triumphant return Napoleon, ambitious as ever, embarks on a Russian campaign which ends in disaster and is then defeated at Leipzig in the biggest battle ever fought in Europe With Napoleon s power waning at long last, Wellington must seize the opportunity to crush the tyrant once and for all and so the two giants face each other for the final time, at Waterloo The final book leads us to the battle of Waterloo , we follow Wellington s campaigns in Portugal and Spain , Napoleon s descent into the madness of bad decisions like the march on Moscow which destroyed the grand Army.Cracking series.My only major thought was how Wellington would have done against a Napoleon in his prime , i found it surprising that Waterloo was the only time they were on the same battlefield