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"Wellington's Command: A Reappraisal of His...." Topic

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse14 Aug 2019 12:19 p.m. PST

… Generalship in the Peninsula and at Waterloo

"The Duke of Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo cemented his reputation as a great general and much subsequent writing on his career has taken an uncritical, sometime chauvinistic view of his talents. Little has been published that fully pins down the reality of Wellington's leadership, clearly identifying his weaknesses as well as his strengths.

George E. Jaycock, in this perceptive and thought-provoking reassessment, does not aim to undermine Wellington's achievements, but to provide a more nuanced perspective. He clarifies some simple but fundamental truths regarding his leadership and his performance as a commander…."


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LT Sparker14 Aug 2019 4:54 p.m. PST

Thanks Armand. A pile of pulp emerged in the 1990s and 2000, trashing Wellington. That the publishing blurb can be so inaccurate suggests approaching this work with caution…

As always, if an author is going to criticise and second guess an operational commander in the field under fire, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and from the safety and comfort of his armchair, I would want to know his own military experience before taking him seriously…

nsolomon9915 Aug 2019 2:57 a.m. PST

Wow! What a flame war starter this will be. Someone has dared to question Wellington's generalship. Hope this Jaycock bloke is REALLY thick skinned. All hands brace for impact!!!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse15 Aug 2019 11:05 a.m. PST

A votre service mon ami!. (smile)


MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 2:01 p.m. PST

I see nothing wrong with taking a critical but balanced with credible research look at Wellington's generalship. Such an approach would--or should--show strengths, weaknesses, and a few moments of "Bloody brilliant!" and "What was he thinking?!"

The same is true for Napoleon.

One is not "better" than the other; one is not a better this or that than the other. They were both exceptional within certain constraints; they had different command and leadership styles; and different military and strategical philosophies.

Where it has always become ludicrous to me is this incessant need to build Naps up by trashing Wellie, and vice versa. Neither were such military geniuses that they could--or did--sustain that genius continuously.

LT Sparker15 Aug 2019 4:40 p.m. PST

I believe Wellington regularly and publically rated Soult as his most formidable – and feared opponent – so he wasn't beyond criticism.

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