On Wellington: A Critique of Waterloo (Volume 25) (Campaigns and Commanders Series)
University of Oklahoma Press (July 8, 2021)
Paperback: 260 pages
The Battle of Waterloo has been studied and dissected so extensively that one might assume little more on the subject could be discovered. Now historian Peter Hofschröer brings forward a long-repressed commentary written by Carl von Clausewitz, the author of On War.
Clausewitz, the Western world’s most renowned military theorist, participated in the Waterloo campaign as a senior staff officer in the Prussian army. His appraisal, offered here in an up-to-date and readable translation, criticized the Duke of Wellington’s actions. Lord Liverpool sent his translation of the manuscript to Wellington, who pronounced it a “lying work.” The translated commentary was quickly buried in Wellington’s private papers, where it languished for a century and a half. Now published for the first time in English, Hofschröer brings Clausewitz’s critique back into view with thorough annotation and contextual explanation.
Peter Hofschröer, long recognized as a leading scholar of the Napoleonic Wars, shows how the Duke prevented the account’s publication during his lifetime—a manipulation of history so successful that almost two centuries passed before Clausewitz’s work reemerged, finally permitting a reappraisal of key events in the campaign. In addition to translating and annotating Clausewitz’s critique, Hofschröer also includes an order of battle and an extensive bibliography.