‘The battle of Waterloo is both one of the most decisive in history and the most difficult to describe. Andrew Roberts, by prodigous research and by virtue of a clean, well-argued analysis, has produced the most convincing description of that fearsome day I have ever read. It should remain the most authoritative account for many years.’ Paul Johnson

Andrew Roberts’s Waterloo is a small masterpiece. The proportions of his painting (unlike many other histories, this is a painting rather than a sculpture) are near-perfect, telling and just. Roberts’s main talents have been demonstrated in his political histories, Waterloo is a military history of a high order.’ John Lukacs

‘By painting broad brush-strokes, and avoiding unnecessary detail, Roberts gives us a typically concise, pacy and well-argued account that puts many of its predecessors to shame. Clearly and honestly presented, with due regard for other historians’ work, it represents a masterly synthesis of the latest scholarship.’ Saul David, Sunday Telegraph

‘In the case of Waterloo, the ground is everything, and Roberts shows himself an absolute master of it. Roberts’s prose is as lively as the action he describes; he is comprehensive in his survey of Waterloo historiography, and generous in his attributions. This is altogether a masterly synthesis, a veritable deforestation of what too often obscures the wood of Waterloo.’ Allan Mallinson, The Spectator

One of the bonuses of Andrew Roberts’s frustratingly short but well-written account of the engagement is the way in which he dispatches myths thrown up by claim and counter-claim. Canards are shot with aplomb. Roberts writes with great clarity about the shape, progress and tactics of the battle.’ Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

‘ Andrew Roberts has amply demonstrated why Napoleon lost in this short but wonderfully lucid account. He tells us all we need to know about the strategy and tactics and maintains a felicitous balance between narrative and analysis. Above all, he imposes order on what all present remembered as nine terrifying hours of chaos, during which few had any idea of what was happening outside their immediate vision. Each phase of the fighting is detailed and Roberts dissects the judgments of commanders at all levels without the irritating intrusion of hindsight.’ Lawrence James,London Evening Standard

‘This elegantly produced book, with good maps and photographs, would be a perfect introduction to those who are starting on the endless interest in Waterloo but it also has new aspects for those who already have a lifetime’s involvement. Andrew Roberts has followed his excellent ‘Napoleon and Wellington’ with this equally excellent account of the battle, relatively short but lively and thoughtful.’ Elizabeth Deverell, The Waterloo Journal

‘In this admirably concise and spirited book, Roberts shows how Napoleon broke all his own rules of warfare and was ill served by his commanders. Roberts mixes just the right amount of specific anecdote and human detail into his analysis of how this extraordinary battle unfolded.’ Christopher Silvester, Daily Express

‘Roberts always has something original to say, and here he presents a concise account. Its brevity has an advantage. It is of ideal length to read on a Eurostar train to Brussels on the way to visit the haunted battlefield.’ Tom Pocock, Literary Review

‘Andrew Roberts covers the five distinct phases of the battle with panache, and he touches on all of the major areas of controversy that make Waterloo so fascinating. It is the first in a new series of short books dealing with dramatic ‘turning points’ in history. If subsequent volumes turn out to be as readable and illuminating as this, then the exercise will have been worthwhile.’ Simon Shaw,Mail on Sunday

‘ Andrew Roberts’s new book takes the reader back to a war zone that resembles the big paintings. Although Mr Roberts does write about the difficulties of battlefield communications (the Duke of Wellington kept losing the aides de camp whose job it was to convey his orders and ended up relying on passers-by), Napoleon and Wellington are definitely directing the picture, rather than sitting in the back row munching popcorn. It is also unashamedly grand. So much so that the soldiers sometimes seem to have been displaced from a 1950s Hollywood epic. Mr Roberts has one British general “shot through the right temple with the words ‘Charge! Charge! Hurrah’ upon his lips.” ‘ The Economist

‘ Roberts’ original contribution to historical contingency – for such an exhaustively studied battle, his research, amazingly enough, turned up new evidence – is that a cavalry charge by Marshal Ney, possibly the gravest error the French made during the battle, was a spontaneous assault rather than an intended one. Smoothly integrating the what-ifs into the chronology, Roberts joins the essential facts about Waterloo, such as its area and relief, the soldiers and arms available, and the weather, to the morale of individual units involved. Emphasizing the courage and fear that rippled over the battlefield during its daylong course, Roberts instills an appreciation for Waterloo as a horrific experience saturated with alternative possible outcomes. A must for the military shelf.’Booklist, USA