Jacket for 'The Longest Afternoon. The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo'


UK - Penguin
Germany - Beck

The Longest Afternoon. The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo

By Brendan Simms

Published Sep 2014

‘No man will desert you’, they cried out to their commander, ‘we will fight and die with you.’

On 18 June 1815, at a farmhouse in Belgium, the fate of Europe was decided. Brendan Simms’ gripping, minute-by-minute account tells the story of how, against all the odds, a small band of soldiers defied Napoleon and won the Battle of Waterloo.

Europe had been at war almost continuously for over twenty years. After a short respite in exile, Napoleon returned to France and threatened another generation of fighting across the devastated and exhausted continent. Near Waterloo in present-day Belgium two large, hastily mobilized armies faced each other to decide the future of Europe.

Unknown either to Napoleon or Wellington, the battle would be decided by an elite group of British and German troops given the task of defending the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte. This book tells their extraordinary tale, brilliantly capturing the fear, chaos and chanciness of battle and drawing on many previously untapped eye-witness reports. It shows how, through determination, cunning and fighting spirit, some 400 soldiers frustrated many thousands of French attackers for long enough to deny victory to Napoleon – and change course of history.