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Sharpe's Waterloo: The Waterloo Campaign, 15-18 June, 1815 (The Sharpe Series, Book 20) [Format Kindle]

Bernard Cornwell
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY eBook edition of Bernard Cornwell’s classic novel, with a new foreword by the author.

It is 1815. Sharpe is serving on the personal staff of the Prince of Orange, who refuses to listen to Sharpe’s reports of an enormous army, led by Napoleon, marching towards them.

The Battle of Waterloo commences and it seems as if Sharpe must stand by and watch the grandest scale of military folly. But at the height of battle, as victory seems impossible, Sharpe takes command and the most hard-fought and bloody battle of his career becomes his most magnificent triumph.

Soldier, hero, rogue – Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Ingram

Bernard Corwell, author of Sharpe's Company, Sharpe's Seige, and Sharpe's Revenge, continues the saga of Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe in this, his final adventure. Just as he comes face-to-face with his estranged wife and her lover at a grand society ball, news comes that the British-Prussian link is under attack. In the Battle of Waterloo, Sharpe once again plays a pivotal role in the outcome of a great British triumph.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent. Captivating and interesting 10 octobre 2013
Par Paul
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I admit that I like Cornwell's books. They may be fiction, but they have the feeling of authenticity (historical facts) and you can imagine what was happening.
In this book, Sharpe is the person that links various events during the Battle of Waterloo. And Cornwell writes in such a captivating manner that you keep reading. And when the book is finished, I downloading history books on Napoleon, the Battle ...
The Kindle version has 1 disadvantage : it is not that easy to get back to maps etc. but you can look up words (and that is a really practical feature).

Waterloo is a very good book. Recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  105 commentaires
35 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 What a Great Story! 31 octobre 2001
Par "p_trabaris" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Bernard Cornwell's "Waterloo, Sharpe's Final Adventure" is fast paced fun and an action packed thriller. Here Cornwell tells the story of Waterloo; the unbelievable hubris of the commanders (both sides), the complete waste of human life and especially the fear of the average soldiers. Cornwell paints a picture of France and anti-French forces coming together to do battle, somewhat like two huge forces on a collision course. The point of view is more from the average soldier and not from the generals, so don't count on a lot of quotes from Napoleon or Wellington.
This time Sharpe is a lieutenant-colonel in the Belgian Light Dragoons under the command of the 23 year old Belgian Prince of Orange. Sharpe's primary function is to provide military advice to the youthful prince and try to keep himself from killing the idiotic monarch. Really he is there to collect soldier pay. Along the way Sharpe encounters a wife's betrayal, monumental military bumbling, senseless slaughter, and of course battle. For it wouldn't really be a Sharpe story without battle.
However, (and I cannot put my finger on it) "Waterloo" is written differently from Sharpe's other stories. Perhaps the characters are more mature or maybe it is the fact that half of the story is about the actual battle. Cornwell's Sharpe's books usually devote a chapter to the battle and not half a book. But lets face it the battle is one of the biggest in history.
What makes Sharpe stories so great is the writing, Cornwell knows how to convey a story and keep it interesting. I recommend this book to military history buffs, arm-chair generals, and any one else who enjoys a story told well.
43 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Yes, but who won? 20 septembre 2000
Par Allan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I was dining a few nights ago with - oddly enough - a German,an Englishman, and a Frenchman.
The topic came around to Waterloo. The Frenchman told the table that Napoleon didn't lose. He made a strategic defeat, and anyway it was the Prussians who won the battle. The German said the Prussians won the battle, and the French were beaten spitless. The Englishman said that Wellington and his army of scum won the battle, that Napoleon ran like a rabbit, and the Prussians arrived too late to do anybody any good. Before sabres were drawn, I poured another port and laid out an excellent Blue Vein cheese from New Zealand's Kapiti Coast.
No matter what Cornwell did with this Sharpe story, he was going to be in trouble. I loved the book. Great battle! It's hardly a Sharpe book at all: Sharpe's merely the device Cornwell uses to draw the battle together for the reader.
But Cornwell was always going to cop it in the neck from the Dutch (What? The Dutch run? Never! ) He was always going to be mocked by the Germans (Loiter on the way to a battle? Nein! ). The French have never believed they lost the battle anyway, so Cornwell's version would have to wrong, wrong, wrong.
The book's an entertainment, so let's not get our knickers in a twist about "the facts". It's Cornwell's view of the battle - accept that. And when you come to accept it as an entertainment, you'll enjoy it. This is battle on a huge scale - the largest number of men ever committed to battle at the time. And it's described expertly, with a feel for the blood, terror, glory, and unthinking heroism of the day.
Deeply satisfying, dramatic, gory - with a neat wrap-up for Sharpe's adulterous [...] ex. What more could you want for a Sunday afternoon?
29 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Waterloo 21 juin 2001
Par David M. Beall - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book was great fun and also educational. I do not give five stars simply because it is not in the same literary category as say a Patrick O'Brien novel. Easier to read though.
I am bewildered by some of the criticism. Obviously Sharpe is a fictional character and only a very confused reader would be led astray by his over achievement on the battlefield. Sharpe is simply the readers tour guide. You don't get the same criticism from readers in the other books which indicate that national pride is causing this shallow concern.
For French historians to attempt to lessen the scope of Napolean's defeat is easily shown up by the fact that the French were subsequently routed and then surrendered. End of Napolean exiled (again) and end of story.
As for the Germans. Did they arrive very late or not? The answers to these basic questions lie in the simple facts. If they were there at the start , and if they shared the leadership responsibilities then they could claim equal credit. But they weren't- so they can't.
Also Look at the casualties - 40,000 French 15,000 British, Belgium, Dutch and 7,000 Germans. Look at the dispatches by Wellington and Napolean immediately after the battle. Wellington's dispatch is modest, brief, understated and credible. Napoleans has a somewhat more colourful, exagerated, self righteous and perhaps understandably self serving tone.
There are colourful criticisms of the Dutch and Belgiums - but there were also numerous insightful observations on the imperfections of the British Army. The landed gentry officer class are endlessly mocked.
Wellington was an extraordinarily successful military leader. He was also somewhat more concerned about casualties than Napolean.
Of course Wellington deserves the credit for the victory at Waterloo. Victory may not have happened with out the late arrival of the Germans - but Wellington made a wise choice for the battleground and then held his position against the constant withering attacks by a normally brilliant and perhaps desparate Emperor. Without heroism and bravery Napolean's tactics would once again have achieved an easy victory with Napolean getting the glory (piles or no piles) This was the meat of the battle. It was Wellingtons battle. As the author says - to suggest otherwise is mad. Also it was not all luck since Wellington had a long track record of beating the odds. If you are intelligent and brave enough then you will make your own luck.
Sharpe was not there, therefore we can all figure out that the Prince was not assailed as described- but who can't figure that out? But it was a nice liteary detour.
Great book, and if it encourages one to learn more then so much the better.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five stars just isn't enough! 19 août 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
For lovers of the Sharpe series Waterloo will provide you with both a triumphant and riveting ending, and a sad farewell. For lovers of Napoleonic history, Waterloo will take you beyond the tactics and strategy and let you feel the thunder of the cannons, smell the clouds of powder smoke, and hear the cries of the dying and wounded. Cornwell places you on the ridge overlooking the valley and lets you watch the battle unfold. The book is really the next best thing to a time machine.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A breathtaking account of one of history's greatest battles 26 juin 2009
Par Daniel Berger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
"Waterloo" isn't the last book in the Sharpe series, either chronologically, or to be written, but it's the one you're waiting for, the culmination of it all. Sharpe and Wellington have been fighting through Spain and France for years, we've read 19 previous books about Sharpe, and now it's that earth-shattering historical battle.

Cornwell does not disappoint. The subject matter's importance is signified deliberately in Cornwell's signoff - he does not conclude with "Sharpe's Waterloo" - and unwittingly in the American edition's dropping of Sharpe's name from the title. Cornwell suggests elsewhere that this was not his choice, but it's just as well. It would have been a stretch to make this "Sharpe's Waterloo". Cornwell does well to find a couple of key places to throw Sharpe into the action, helping hold a key redoubt, a walled farm, early in the day, and rallying one of three battered British units - another led by Wellington himself - to stand and hold against a superior French advance late in the day.

As he writes elsewhere, he tried to work in the small story - in this case, Sharpe's estranged wife Jane, who in the previous installment has taken up with a Nancy-boy aristocrat, stolen Sharpe's fortune and now needs him dead so that she may remarry and shake off the scandal attaching to her. The lover seeks some military experience for the glory it will bring him, and the three meet in Belgium.

But there is less here than meets the eye. Cornwell says he just couldn't get going in the small story, what with Waterloo looming in the background.

Sharpe, now living with Lucille Castineau in Normandy, signs up with the Dutch force led by William, Duke of Orange, mostly for the pay but really because he can't stay away. Neither can Harper, now a civilian tavern owner and horse trader in Dublin. Their loose affiliation allows Cornwell to let them roam at the battle, giving the reader an opportunity to see more theaters of action.

His description of the battle, as well as the Franco-British battle leading to it, at Quatre Bras, is just breathtaking. This is the climactic meeting of Napoleon and Wellington, who have never faced each other in battle - the tyrannical French battlefield genius, who inspired an empire and an army while bringing death to millions; and the underrated, understated, but undefeated general for a nation which takes its sailors more seriously, and who amazingly retook Spain and Portugal back from much larger French armies.

In so doing Wellington learned to trump Napoleon's signature tactic: the use of huge columns of soldiers marching shoulder to shoulder to a terrifying drumbeat, those in front sure to die but protecting those behind them, who ultimately overwhelm the enemy with their numbers and relentless advance. This worked until French troops met disciplined, fast-firing British musket lines. Still, Napoleon at Waterloo has a huge force at his disposal, far more artillery and cavalry than Wellington does, and brings the latter to bear in all its medieval pageantry. And the fate of Europe, and the course of history, is in the balance; we know it now and they knew it then.

Cornwell takes 120 pages to describe the climactic day itself, and at the end, the reader feels wrung out. The sweep of the battle - the many changes of momentum, the numerous cavalry charges, the threats of the big columns - is awe-inspiring, and Cornwell succeeds in letting the drama emerge naturally.

Wellington is outmanned by Napoleon and salvation lies only with the arrival of his Prussian allies, for whom he waits ... and waits ... and waits. The Allies almost lost this battle, with egregious tactical errors that Cornwell places largely in William's lap, although Cornwell notes that historians don't all agree with that, or indeed about much of what happened. One wonders how Napoleon, on the attack most of the day, managed to lose, but then that's what makes for the drama - the moments that the tide is about to break, and some heroic countermeasure stops it. You realize that battles like these are not all about gunfire and numbers, but about the hearts of the men who fight them - what sinks their spirits to the breaking point, and what lifts them to victory.

(Having Sharpe in their midst, of course.)
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