Volume Two: 206 pages, A4 format, 69 illustrations (photographs, battle scenes and portraits), 8 maps, bibliography, index, (written in English), published May 2013.
Black & white edition: ISBN 978-90-819318-3-0
Colour edition: ISBN 978-90-819318-2-3
The Battle of Quatre Bras is the main focus of this second volume, where the part played by the Netherlands field army is examined and presented in detail. Whenever various events and battlescenes coalesce with those from British, Hanoverian and Brunswick troops, these are included for a balanced history. Likewise we present the memoirs and reports from the opposing French troops (soldiers and officers), to add even more depth.
From the early morning events onwards, we present how the Netherlands troops regained lost ground at Quatre Bras, were reinforced and deployed their small forces in such a way, that the French had no idea about their actual strength. When the battle starts at 2 p.m. we follow each and every battalion and artillery battery, including the cavalry charges by the two regiments of General van Merlen. Particular attention is given to the fighting in the Bois de Bossu, which has hitherto always been neglected to a large extend, while maintaining position inside this wood formed the actual pivot point in the defence of the crossroads.
During its course the character of the battle changed from first serving the safe concentration of the Anglo-Allied army at Nivelles, to next blocking the French advance towards Brussels and maintain communications with the Prussian army simultaneously fighting in a much larger battle at Ligny.
This volume also spends further attention to other events on 16 June concerning the Netherlands troops, such as the frontline that was created on the own initiative by the Netherlands high command of I Corps south of Nivelles to assure the safe arrival of further Anglo-Allied troops and which extended from Arquennes all the way to Quatre Bras. Particular attention is given to the events with the Netherlands forces commanded by Prince Frederik in II Corps and their role within the plans of the Duke of Wellington’s Secret Memorandum.
Furthermore it is interesting to read how rumours and even panic about the advance of Napoleon and his army spread through the southern provinces of the kingdom on this day, which is illustrated by accounts of Netherlands soldiers and officers garrisioned in fortress towns like Mons, Tournai and Antwerp. Of special interest in this case will be the conduct of the royalist French forces cantonned around Alost.
Once again we present a history based on primarily Dutch archival material, like in our first volume From mobilisation to war. This includes reports, original orders, army, divisional and brigade journals and private memoirs from soldiers and officers. The wealth of all this material will show every reader of this volume, that indeed the role played by the Netherlands troops in the initial two hours of the Battle of Quatre Bras deserves much more intention.
An additional and higly detailed Order of Battle is added for the Netherlands and French forces engaged in the battle of Quatre Bras.
This volume presents numerous unknown portraits of Netherlands officers and other battlescenes never published before. The maps are computer generated. Furthermore there a many photographs included of important buildings, battlefield positions and the like, made by the author during his investigative battlefield walks.
To learn more on Volume Two consult this preview
What readers say