Greenhill Books: Napoleonic Library

Waterloo Lectures

A Study of the Campaign of 1815

By Colonel Charles C. Chesney

New Introduction by Peter Hofschröer

Waterloo Lectures cover


Charles Chesney's Waterloo Lecturesis one of the most outstanding of the many works written on the great battle of 1815, but has been out of print for many years and until now has been inaccessible for modern Napoleonic enthusiasts. Colonel Chesney brilliantly realised his aim of presenting and analysing all the available facts in an impartial and accurate way, at a time when other historians were more concerned with painting the picture most flattering to national pride.

Colonel Chesney consulted English, German, Belgian and French sources on the battle, and brought a logical and objective mind to bear on them. Waterloo Lectures was quickly translated into German and French, and approved by such renowned soldiers as Moltke the Elder. A number of German and French authorities subsequently offered further evidence that Chesney was able to include in the later English editions that were published. The edition now being made available is the last, best and most complete.

Colonel Chesney's standards for judging the evidence were so scrupulous, and his arguments so clear and precise, that Waterloo Lectures remains one of the great classics on the subject.


  • Outstanding masterwork on Waterloo
  • From the preparations for the battle to its aftermath
  • Reprinted from the fourth and most comprehensive edition


"...Chesney's intellectual rigour and historical methods are beyond reproach, as his peers acknowledged. His impartial comments still manage to prick many a modern bubble of misplaced nationalism, sloppy scholarship, and ignorance of the real sequence of events. Nor does he flinch from critical judgements. His almost forensic analysis of 'who knew what, when' lays bare Wellington's failure to grasp the true axis of Napoleon's thrust on Brussels and his own slowness to concentrate the Allied army to the south west. The layout of this admirable book, with its references to the courses and direct quotations from those involved on every page, plus the content and the clarity both of thought and of writing, will undoubtedly make this book once again one of the primary texts on Waterloo. It deserves to be on the book shelf of any student of the campaign." - Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, Journal of The Royal United Services Institution

"...An authoritative introduction by Peter Hofschröer ... A concise and most informative analysis of the campaign ... This reprint from Greenhill Books ... Is particularly welcome." - Practical Wargamer

"...A concise and most informative analysis of the campaign...this reprint from Greenhill Books as Napoleonic Library 32 is particularly welcome." - Stuart Asquith, Military Modelling


Colonel Charles C. Chesney (182676) was an officer of the Royal Engineers and professor of military history at Sandhurst and the Imperial Staff College.

ISBN 1-85367-288-2 | Price: £19.99/$40.00

Format: 222 x 141mm | Pages: 272


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