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"Who's more obsessed Waterloo or Gettysburg devotees " Topic

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Trajanus01 Mar 2018 7:11 a.m. PST

I sort have a foot in both camps but if pushed I would say Waterloo addicts by some distance.

That said there's plenty of books and other material out there for both. Of course Waterloo had a 48 year start but then Gettysburg probably had an edge on the availability of printing and maybe more literate participants.

So who goes for the fine detail 1815 lovers or the 1863 buffs? Whose most likely to tear new authors limb from limb? Does Waterloo still have more disputed points or does Gettysburg.

Split it between the Campaign and actual Battle events of the two eras if that helps.

What do you think?

cavcrazy01 Mar 2018 7:18 a.m. PST

What, No Little Bighorn?

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 7:19 a.m. PST

Waterloo by a smidge.

advocate01 Mar 2018 7:33 a.m. PST

I'd have said Waterloo, because, well, it is Napoleonics.
But then I didn't know there were disputes about Gettysburg.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 7:42 a.m. PST


USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 7:53 a.m. PST

Because of Napoleon, who has had more books written on him than any other person in human history.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 8:04 a.m. PST

Actually, he is a distant also-ran. Jesus Christ has more books written about him than any other historical persoange.

Jim Selzer Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 8:17 a.m. PST

got to be Waterloo because I rarely see a post that xyz''s collar color were about Gettysburg but Waterloo units are all about the bling if you know what I mean

but then again one would need to be fluent in at least 3 languages to truly research Waterloo but 99% of Gettysburg veterans spoke some form of merican so single language needed for research might make it the otherway.
As a 3rd point since Gettysburg was a purely American conflict while Waterloo was Multi national means there might be broader appeal to it

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 8:23 a.m. PST

Waterloo — uniform details for the win!

And equipment details even. Don't forget types of gun, limber, and their colours for Nassau, etc.

Brechtel19801 Mar 2018 8:31 a.m. PST

Waterloo by a longshot.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 9:05 a.m. PST

Waterloo, no contest.

bobspruster01 Mar 2018 9:17 a.m. PST


Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 9:18 a.m. PST

I think, wrt books written about them, I thought it was Jesus Christ, Alexander then Napoleon. Will have to look that up.

4th Cuirassier01 Mar 2018 9:22 a.m. PST

I don't see the scope for more than one or two books about Jesus or Alexander. There's almost no source material to work with in either case. If there really are more than there are about Napoleon, this can only be because there's been ten times as long for them to be written.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 9:26 a.m. PST

It depends on whose list you read. The fact that Napoleon is up there next to or near Jesus on the list makes him a big deal. Napoleon commanded the French at Waterloo. Therefore I reason that Waterloo trumps Gettysburg. Both important battles.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 9:30 a.m. PST

4th Cuirassier, I was too slow to post. My comment was for Dave Jackson and StoneMtnMinis.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

Waterloo by far, I mean really really by far. There are a lot of rude "Waterloo Experts" who are amateur historians that have never put themselves out there by writing a book. They are quick to slag someone's book, but they never give examples of why they think the book is so horrible.

If you can't say nothing nice, then……

wrgmr101 Mar 2018 9:41 a.m. PST

+1 DAF

Digby Green01 Mar 2018 10:05 a.m. PST

I'm a huge Waterloo fan.
Unfortunately being so far away, it is not easy for me to visit the battle site.
Most of you above seem to favour Waterloo
I have read a couple of primer books on the ACW and watched a few documentaries on Gettysburg. And I can imagine that it would be very interesting.

I'd say its 9 to 1 for Waterloo so far.
But what if you posted the same post in the ACW forum?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 10:05 a.m. PST

There is little controversy about Gettysburg beyond what should and should not have been done. It does have going for it that is allegedly the "turning point".
Picket had the best answer for why the Confrderates lost. He thought the Yankees had a lot to do with it. That's hard to refute.

Waterloo on the other hand…
One has to give out credit for who did all the heavy lifting to win the battle. And there are a lot of contenders.
It's usually acknowledged that had the French won, there were more and larger vindictive armies converging. Not by all.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

Who's had the most books written about them?

Got to be that German bloke with the funny moustache….

Trajanus01 Mar 2018 11:10 a.m. PST

But what if you posted the same post in the ACW forum?

Ah but I did. Just waiting on the response, it's a time zone thing!

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 11:17 a.m. PST

Based on General population interest-- here are some stats I googled. Don't know how accurate they are?
Visitors per year to the following battlefields.

1. Alamo = 2.5 million
2. Gettysburg = 1.2 million
3. Waterloo = 300,000- 500,000
4. little big horn = 200,000 – 300,00

May indicate a more general interest?

Russ Dunaway

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 11:25 a.m. PST

Another interesting thought -- many full featured movies have been produced about the Alamo and the little big horn through the years-- and only a couple about Gettysburg and Waterloo?
May be some indications of level of interest in the general public?

Russ Dunaway

d effinger01 Mar 2018 11:46 a.m. PST

Waterloo I think but personally it is Gettysburg for me!!!!!!!!

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

DAF: +2

Korvessa Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 12:13 p.m. PST

Based on General population interest-- here are some stats I googled. Don't know how accurate they are?
Visitors per year to the following battlefields.

1. Alamo = 2.5 million
2. Gettysburg = 1.2 million
3. Waterloo = 300,000- 500,000
4. little big horn = 200,000 – 300,00

May indicate a more general interest?

Russ Dunaway

I am 2 of the Gettysburg visits & 1 LBH
Would love to visit Waterloo (& Normandy) but am on wrong side of the pond

RudyNelson01 Mar 2018 12:19 p.m. PST

As a Napoleonic fan since 1971, I would have to say Gettysburg. A lot of areas to research in Napoleonic era than ACW. Gettysburg was a very limiting battle yet the focus on it is fanatical.
Any new book on Gettysburg would be dissected mercilessly. Condemn by southern or northerners or both depending on the premise.
The key word is obsessed. Waterloo readers seem to be more into the research or learning. Gettysburg folks or into re-fighting the battle if not the war.

Jim Selzer Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

not quite a fair comparison on visitors as Alamo is in Texas 3rd or 4th most populous state. therefor more casual visitors. How many of those numbers are school kids who don't really care where they are, rather be on a field trip than in school?

As for me I have been to the Custer Battle Site 2x but was under age 12 both times. Visits were a family thing because Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone Park were main propose of trip not the battlefield but it was close enough to "toss in" because we were already so near. Love a chance to visit Waterloo because I was going to be in the neighborhood anyway.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 12:39 p.m. PST

Nonetheless, they still attract attention as well as the film makers.

Russ Dunaway

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

I am 10 of the LBH visits, 7 of the Alamo, to many to mention of the Gettysburg, and two of Waterloo.

Russ Dunaway

von Winterfeldt01 Mar 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

Belle Alliance due to one of the greatest liars of all times.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 1:23 p.m. PST

Among wargamers and the military historians – Waterloo.

Among the wider population – Gettysburg. To support this I can do no better than quote William Faulkner:

"It's all now you see. Yesterday won't be over until tomorrow and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago. For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world's roaring rim."

From the novel "Intruder in the Dust" – which should be as widely read as "To Kill a Mocking Bird" since they explore similar themes.

Doctor X01 Mar 2018 1:33 p.m. PST


14Bore01 Mar 2018 2:15 p.m. PST

To Americans I would think Gettysburg, to the rest of the planet Waterloo, but as a whole think Waterloo by a nose.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 2:27 p.m. PST


Great question. I am an American and I am more obsessed by Antietam than either Gettysburg or Waterloo. But on the whole I would say Waterloo. I agree with DAF that based on TMP the Waterloo fans can get into really heated discussions.

Dynaman878901 Mar 2018 3:43 p.m. PST

The difference is too fine to worry about.

Edwulf01 Mar 2018 4:05 p.m. PST

I'd guess outside of the USA it'll be Waterloo.
In the USA Gettysburg.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 4:56 p.m. PST

I wonder if most of the millions living in Asia or Africa have ever heard of any of them ?? 🤔

Russ Dunaway

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 6:00 p.m. PST

Gettysburg evokes strong emotions even today. Jim S. above mentions Texas is the 3rd or 4th most populous state ,it's actually 2nd largest. That as suggested is why the Alamo gets a ton of visitors.

CPBelt Inactive Member01 Mar 2018 6:36 p.m. PST

Most of my fellow Americans think Waterloo is an old Abba song.

pbishop1201 Mar 2018 6:42 p.m. PST

Sad to say as an American, but i can tell you more about Waterloo than Gettysburg.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 7:22 p.m. PST

Who's had the most books written about them?

Got to be that German bloke with the funny moustache….

According to Google Books/World Cat.

The most biographies written about:

George Washington 1,070,000
Napoleon 652,000
Jesus Christ 597,000
Franklin Delano Roosevelt 568,000
Peter the Great 565,000
Abraham Lincoln 561,000
Stalin 548,000
Alexander the great 515,000
Winston Churchill 503,000
JFk 368,000
Mao 248,000
Adolf Hitler 197,000

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 7:25 p.m. PST

San Antonio has great weather year round. Not so much the other locations.

Sean Kotch01 Mar 2018 9:34 p.m. PST

Your definition of great weather differs from mine, Rallynow. Unless face meltingly hot in the Summer is great.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2018 12:17 a.m. PST

Rallynow, that is an interesting list.

The average history section in a bookshop in Britain might have a couple of books about Churchill and Napoleon, maybe the odd one about Stalin, Mao, and Alexander the Great, and about twenty on Hitler!

Actually you are more likely to find books about ElizabethI or Henry VIII than most on that list!

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2018 1:01 a.m. PST

Yep, it can get hot during the summer in the Alamo City but I will take that over a Pennsylvania or Belgian winter.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2018 1:06 a.m. PST

I was surprised by that list too. I would have bet the farm that Lincoln would have been number one.

4th Cuirassier02 Mar 2018 2:44 a.m. PST

@ CPBelt

I am surprised Abba never thought to release that in America with the title changed to Gettysburg.

My, my, at Gettysburg the rebels did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself

Gettysburg – I was defeated, you won the war
Gettysburg – Promise to love you for ever more
Gettysburg – Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Gettysburg – Knowing my fate is to be with you
Gettysburg – Finally facing my Waterloo

langobard Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2018 3:22 a.m. PST

DAF: +3

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