Help support TMP

"‘The Belgians ran at the first shot.’ The battle of ..." Topic

8 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


1,286 hits since 20 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse20 Apr 2018 3:50 p.m. PST

…. Waterloo and the rhetoric of cowardice

"For many generations British historians have decried the conduct of the Dutch troops at the battle of Waterloo as cowardly, an accusation which Dutch and Belgian historians, in their turn, have tried time and again to refute. This accusation of cowardice results from the exclusive and uncritical use a chauvinistic British historiography made of compatriotic eyewitness accounts. The slighting assessments of the Dutch military they contain, in most cases, derive from misinterpretation: the smoke and noise, the chaos and danger of battle precluded an objective appraisal of each other's combat performance. Miscommunication further enhanced this negative opinion. Since the occasional allies of Waterloo were not allowed time to get to know and appreciate one another, they were unfamiliar with each other's language, uniforms, and command structure. Nonetheless, the British were certainly acquainted with fighting side by side with foreign troops, and they were more than willing, if applicable, to appraise their professionalism. As this common battle experience was lacking at Waterloo, historical prejudices could easily prevail."
Main page


Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2018 3:16 a.m. PST

We should certainly beware of eyewitness accounts, even about Waterloo, and even from scrupulously truthful German sources.

Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse21 Apr 2018 11:05 a.m. PST



Gazzola22 Apr 2018 4:10 a.m. PST


I think we should be careful with all eyewitness accounts no matter who they are by and how interesting and enjoyable they are to read. Eyewitness accounts are generally based only on what areas of a battle or campaign the writers were personally involved in. However, they do form part of historical research and can offer insights to events and historical characters of all nations.

In terms of the Dutch and Belgians, there is a book that looks at how they were and are sometimes viewed even today:

Wellington's Hidden Heroes by Veronica Baker-Smith, 2015

Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse22 Apr 2018 3:07 p.m. PST

Thanks my good friend….

Well… I consider myself as an eyewitness of war… and then … I have read books were the authors never be there and told a war that I have never saw… (smile)

So… it seems that everything is relative … (smile)


Prince of Essling27 Apr 2018 6:54 a.m. PST

See link Knoop, Willem Jan. Remarques critiques sur l'ouvrage du capitaine Siborne, intitulé : "Histoire de la guerre de 1815 en France et dans la Belgique" et réfutation des accusations qui s'y trouvent contre l'armée néerlandaise, par W. J. Knoop,… traduction française par P. G. Booms,…. 1847.

Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse27 Apr 2018 11:19 a.m. PST

Many thanks!.


Munster27 Apr 2018 9:22 p.m. PST

"Well… I consider myself as an eyewitness of war… and then … I have read books were the authors never be there and told a war that I have never saw… (smile)"

All too true, glad you came through, historians of modern conflicts often have a story to tell, rather than telling the story of those who were there

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.