Volume One: 280 pages, A4 format, 21 illustrations, 11 maps, bibliography, index (written in English), published June 2012.
Black & white edition: ISBN 978-90-819318-1-6
Colour edition: ISBN 978-90-819318-0-9
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In March 1815 the fledgling Netherlands state saw its existance threatened by the escape from Elba and return to power in France of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Without hesitance a field army was mobilised of ultimately 30,000 men strong to defend the newly acquired territories in Belgium.
This history explores in detail the unique perspective from the Netherlands field army for the period of mid-March 1815 up to the outbreak of war on 15th June, when it faced the French Imperial army for the first time at the village of Frasnes close to Quatre Bras. The history offers both the perspective of the highranking Netherlands governmental officials and generals, as well as those of the lower military ranks. The initial ideas and memorandums for a strategy to defend Belgium are presented, which were drafted in 1814 by the Dutch General Staff and conflicted with those of the Duke of Wellington and other British officers sent to inspect Belgium, but would have great relevance to the events in June 1815. Especially the contingency plans drawn up in May 1815 by the command of the Netherlands field army, which had a significant impact on the field operation for 15th and 16th June.
Furthermore in this history the build-up of the field army is explored in its various aspects as it settled in cantonments in Belgium to prepare for the invasion of France, as well as the troubled relationship between King Willem and the Duke of Wellington over the command of the Netherlands troops and the various fortress garrisons. Similar awkward relations are presented between the French royalists in exile in Belgium and the Netherlands government. Finally the operations on 15th June are described in detail for the field army forming part of the Anglo-Allied 1st Corps, such as the early knowledge in the morning about a French offensive, the rapid concentration of the army corps, the visit of the Prince of Orange at Brussels to alert the Duke of Wellington and of course the fighting in the evening around Frasnes.
This history draws almost exclusively from archival sources and presents numerous hitherto unpublished or unknown contemporary documents, to recreate the history of the Netherlands field army during the campaign of 1815.
This volume present a number of portraits and other paintings from the Dutch-Belgian perspective unknown to the iconography of the Waterloo campaign. The maps in this volume are handdrawn.
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"From mobilisation to war" has received a number of very positive reviews in the international press.
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