Wellington The Iron Duke eBook Æ Wellington The PDF

Wellington The Iron Duke eBook Æ Wellington The PDF

10 thoughts on “Wellington The Iron Duke

  1. Nooilforpacifists Nooilforpacifists says:

    Very basic introduction to Wellington; almost a high school book Not that it was poorly written but that it was so shallow Oh there were the occasional confusions such as when Holmes uotes Wellington we might as well call him that consistently; his list of titles takes a full page in the book describing the siege of Burgos as the worst scrape that ever I was in Yet though the author later dutifully uotes Wellington calling Waterloo as a close run thing there's nary a mention of which came closest to failureMy greatest disappointment with the book I had some notion on his India campaigns and a reasonably good feel for at least the timing geography and opponents of the Peninsular campaign and at this point easy familiarity with Waterloo but knew nothing about his childhood and little about his political career I admit to being somewhat satisfied on the first his father went bankrupt; Wellington had to withdraw from Eaton And Wellington had his then successfulbrother Arthur purchase an Army Commission because he ran out options his wishes if he had any were in favour of a civilian life But after that Wellington as was custom at the time merely transferred from the books of regiment to regiment seeking promotion not fighting but taking a real job often as an ADC to someone higher on the patronage chain Holmes gives good discourse on late 18th century infantry tactics and shows how the Army became meretricious by the height of the Napoleonic conflict in 1810 only one fifth of Army commissions were bought But based on this book it would seem that Wellington did no than appear at the occasional parade drill and pass the claret at the regimental mess Holmes agrees with historian Andrew Roberts that while it is possible to write a long book on Napoleon's early career not much could be said of Arthur WesleyHis break came when transferred to India where brother Arthur now was Governor General Wellington is given the 33rd regiment of Foot leapfrogging other senior Colonels because his brother wants a uasi official representative a situation causing substantial and lingering jealousy The goal is to take Seringapatam the stronghold of Tipoo something Cornwallis flunked eight years before Again by virtue of his brother's prestige Wellington also commands the Sepoy Indian troops and places his 33rd in the lead position of one side of a pincer attack The 33rd was the first to arrive at Tipoo's outer defenses and routed them Both British armies now joined the siege of the the granite fort Seringapatam After suffering a brief defeat when ordered to attack ground he had not been able to reconnoiter a lesson never forgotten The siege began in earnest on different ground with better sited guns It succeeded almost immediately with fewer than 400 casualties among the attackers to between 8000 9000 dead among Tipoo's Mysore tribe Wellington slept; his soldiers got wildly drunk and the next day Wellington was named to garrison the fort again over the head of the senior officer Wellington restored order flogging many and hanging four British soldiers for theft This only convinced the local General that Wellington was just the man to take charge of the whole Mysore province which he did through a 5 year old puppet the closest surviving descendent of the former Hindu rajahs Wellington vice puppet ruled fairly and had to kill another challenger for the province which he did though his forces were badly outnumbered and short of suppliesThis was my WTF? moment The book never explained how or why Wellington became such a military tactician leader fair disciplinarian and above all a pioneer in military logistics Some talents I grant you may be innate Others may be learned by observation But the book makes it appear that all four were gifts from the gods Wellington earned the derisive nickname Sepoy General from these exploits but did his talents spring unbidden from the thigh of Zeus? Anyway now a Major General he is assigned to pacify the Peshwa Starting with a complete rece and ensuring a secure supply chain he did so this this sparked a wider rebellion among three other provinces Waiting for the natives to fire the first shot and overcoming the nervousness of the East India Company Wellington with help from other British forces them each in detail another portent of a great battle to come One of his most famous victories relied on his gaining the other side of a river where the enemy lay Although no crossing was known to exist he lead his army parallel to the river until finding a place where two villages were just across the river from each other they could not have been built so close without some habitual means of communications and a ford swiftly was found; the battle joined The British won despite a miscommunication in orders that led to needless deaths and despite Wellington's being shot off his horseThe war still was on when in 1804 Wellington asked for a transfer he's tired Ill and homesick In fact brother Arthur's term as Governor General was ending and the regular army would doubtlessly take its revenge So he returns no longer penniless but with £42000 and a Knighthood And he later was supposed to have claimed all knowledge about military matters as I ever had sinceLife as a Major General in London was less notorious aside from his famous meeting with Vice Admiral Nelson the latter on his way to join the fleet at Trafalgar A year later Wellington commanded a division in the raid on the Danish Navy he cleared the whole island of Zeeland of Danish regulars and militia at a cost of only 6 killed and 115 woundedBut his first efforts in Spain ended in ignominy when The Convention of Cintra nominally a surrender that he signed allowed the French to take all their private property arms and ships back to France Only a solid Tory majority saw off that investigation on top of fresh news of Sir John Moore's martyrdom during the otherwise miraculous evacuation onto Royal Navy vessels of besieged troops that only months before had thrust deep into SpainMoore's death was Wellington's chance He was appointed as senior officer in defense of Portugal where after his usual preparations he drove the French from Mendellin and Talavera This brought him a viscountcy but as there was no time to consult over the title his brother William chose Wellington on the ground that there was a town called Welling not far from the town of WelleslieThe remainder of the Peninsular campaign is in some ways as tediously defensive as World War I butSalamanca gives the lie to the suggestion that Wellington was simply a great defensive general Maximillen Poy who commanded a French division that day thought that the battle 'raises Lord Wellington's reputation almost to the level of Marlborough'Viatoria of course can be counted as a similar offensive triumph It broke the French grip on Spain forever and got Wellington a promotion to full General Welling made it as far as Toulouse before Napoleon abdicated While diplomats met in Vienna to dance tryst and write a peace treaty Wellington becomes Britain's envoy to France a position Napoleon thought unwise at time as he would be expecting to be treated as euals by those he humbled Although briefly enjoying the restored Salons of Mme de Staēl and trying to persuade the French to abolish the slave trade it became clear Napoleon was right assassination plots abounded So Wellington went to Vienna to assist Castlereigh Three months after arriving Napoleon escaped from Elba lands on France and the Czar of all Russia placed his hand on Wellington's shoulder and said Now it is up to you to save the world againI propose to skip the book's account of Waterloo both because I learned little new and I've treated extensively elsewhere With this exception when his Prussian aide Müffling asked whether he really expected Macdonell and 1500 of the Coldstream Guards to hold Hougoumont a small farm key to his right flank Wellington said Ah' you don't know Macdonell I've thrown Macdonell into itFor me the last uarter of the book was the most interesting Wellington as politician a subject I had not studied He was bull headed invited immediately to join the Tory government he was piued when Canning not he became Prime Minister So he resigned as Commander in Chief and Master of Arms Canning's death restored him to the Tory Cabinet as Commander in Chief and following a crisis in the Crimea he ascended to the top of the greasy pole but only after promising the King he would not push for Catholic emancipationWellington it is clear became a reformist Tory and although no one would compare him with Disraeli Wellington was one of Disraeli's early heroes He ran the government as he ran the army a poor delegator unwilling to listen to other opinions Wellington started his term with the support only of the high Torys He fell out with them when he sided with those favoring dissolution of the two most rotten boroughs in England Needing support from the Whigs he turned to championing Catholic emancipation Wellington had to out wait the King's opposition; the Royal Assent contained a postscript God knows what pain it costs me to write these words GRWellington still needed approval of the Lords where a particularly obnoxious Ninth Earl of Winchilsea spoke for hours the word filibuster was not born for another 25 years Winchilsea accused Wellington of desiring to infringe our liberties and introduce Popery into every department of the state These literally were fighting words and Wellington demanded satisfaction The duel was fought at dawn the next day when Wellington turned he saw Winchilsea's arm kept firmly at his side Wellington aimed wide and shot and Winchilsea fired into the air Winchilsea's Second read a prepared statement to which Wellington insisted the word apology be added and with that the affair of honor was doneFor a Prime Minister to break the law and duel was remarkable But it completely changed public opinion The Lords began to swing behind emancipation The mob hooting Wellington a week before now took to cheering him Wellington created the embryo of the metropolitan police usually credited to his protege PeelHe was out of power for a while though not out of work as lord lieutenant of Hampshire He also cleaned and re made the Tower of London of which he had been made Constable In opposition he and the other Tories fought Lord Gray's 1832 reform bill to a standstill in the Lords at the cost of two mob scenes at his own home two attempts at changes in government and finally threatened by a greater evil mass creation of Whig peers to break the stalemate Wellington chose the lesser of two evils and called off the hounds in the Lords allowing the bill to passHe lived long enough not just to see Victoria coronated but to outlast the Whig Lord Melbourne and become one of the young ueen's favorites And in one of his last acts in the Lords he helped vote away the Corn Laws so noxious to economics and to the British poor So Holmes provides the FACTS allowing us to conclude that Wellington wasn't just the stiff high Tory of history but little of the reasoningHe died in 1852; the no longer young ueen Victoria was the first visitor to where he lay in state but never got beyond the centre of the hall where her feelings uite overcame her and whence she was led weeping bitterly Well over a million thronged the streets for the funeral; another 300000 had seats in the stands Holmes's best analysis comes nearly at his last pageWellington's death marked the passing of an age He was born when the countryside dominated the town industry bowed to agriculture and Britain ruled North America He was buried next to Nelson NOfP amidst the smoke of busy railways in an accomplished industrial revolution in a nation which ruled the centre of the greatest empire the world had ever seen and had begun the long ascent to parliamentary democracy He ranks with the Duke of Marlborough as one of the two greatest generals Britain producedAll good But as everyone knows the British LOVED Nelson and Respected Wellington The difference is crucial But Holmes's book won't tell you why

  2. Mike Mike says:

    Aussie Rick got me reading about the Napoleonic Era 2 years ago and it has been a rich vein of history to explore Really how many historical figures are known by one name? In Wellington The Iron Duke we are introduced to the man credited with ending the threat of Napoleon The book is a companion to the eponymous BBC TV series available on YouTube We follow WesleyWellesleyWellington from his early childhood to his days in India through his campaigns in the Peninsular War ending his military days as the victor at Waterloo and then on to his political career The book frames the man and his role in the era in an easily understood manner A hero with plenty of warts Read the book and then watch the series to see the battle sites and fortifications 4 Stars only because the final part of the book on his political career was not all that interesting

  3. Andrew Andrew says:

    Finally got around to finishing this last night A well researched well written biography of Wellington someone I knew of only through Joyce studies and the eponymous Beef as well as a window into the politicalmilitary complex of the British Empire at its height Wellington participated in establishing suzerainty over India ejected the French from Spain defeated Napolean at Waterloo and later as Prime Minister brokered Irish voting rights into law The little details are what make the book worth the bother Wellington's numerous love affairs sleeping on table tops after victories intimidating would be assassins with his horsemanship and of course his legendary conduct under battle One particular point should be studied Wellington the master of counterinsurgency Wellington studied the local languages of countries where he served studied their customs had a direct rapport with foreign soldiers and strove to maintain the wellbeing of the civilians in conuered areas by providing them food and supplies in a culturally sensitive manner I like to think of the British Empire as savage and indifferent But this little glimpse into Wellington's life shows a man whose understanding of the total conseuences of strategy is something sorely lacking in our imperial pursuits

  4. Chris Wray Chris Wray says:

    This largely positive biography of the Duke of Wellington is informative enjoyable and accessible and like all of Dr Holmes writing it proceeds in a brisk and orderly fashion He clearly has a deep admiration and affection for his subject commenting that I was the sort of boy who had heroes and long before I ever dreamt of becoming a military historian the Duke of Wellington was firmly established in my personal pantheon He seemed to have every virtue; he never lost a major battle made war on soldiers not civilians understood grubby logistics just as well as the rather dashing tactics and set the seal on his military career by defeating Napoleon the towering genius of his ageI admired the duke’s iron sense of dutyHe was brave showing physical courage on a dozen battlefields and moral courage throughout a long political career He was also a master of the sharp often cutting aphorism and I found myself smiling several times at one of the Duke’s witty and piercing remarks That said this is no shallow hagiography as Dr Holmes goes on to say that But as I grew older and looked harder at the evidence there were an awful lot of cracks in the ducal portrait Wellington was not invinciblehis reprimands were scathing and not always justHe was also something of a snob preferring talent with a title to talent without He often privately expressed contempt for his alliesA strong thread of harshness ran through his character To this I would add his disastrous showing as a husband and father and his seemingly complete emotional absence from his family The cruelty of this is compounded by the fact that he had a mistress who he clearly loved dearly and was natural with and fond of children that weren't his own These are deep and uite distasteful personal flaws and who could help but be moved by his son's anguish at inheriting his father’s title They will announce the Duke Wellington and instead of him I will walk inWhatever his shortcomings there is no doubting the Duke's achievements as a both a general and perhaps uestionably as a politician On the former Dr Holmes concludes that His military achievements were founded on eighteenth century ualities of order discipline regularity and a regard for place and precedent here he was Jomini with his linearity and slide rule than Clausewitz with his conviction that 'violence and passion' lay at the heart of war On the latter he insightfully points out that The eighteenth century also formed his political views he was an oligarch not a democrat The French Revolution inspired his hatred of the mob his experience in Spain reinforced it and throughout his life he 'held popularity in great contempt'While I have always had interest in Wellingtons military achievements no doubt sparked by a youth spent reading Sharpe novels his political career is particularly fascinating Wellington's later years were a time of intense social upheaval and unrest and are arguably the period when Britain was closest to violent revolution Despite his austere and rigid conservatism Wellington’s humanity wisdom and pragmatism shine through and this is a part of his life I am particularly interested in reading about in detail Dr Holmes concluding remarks on his subject are well founded as he observes that Wellington's death marked the passing of an age He was born when the countryside dominated the town industry bowed to agriculture and Britain ruled North America He was buried amidst the smoke of busy railways and an accomplished industrial revolution in a nation which ruled the centre of the greatest empire the world has ever seen and had begun the long ascent to parliamentary democracy He ranks with the Duke of Marlborough as one of the two greatest generals Britain has ever produced It is no accident that both based their success on mastery of logistics and both were principally commanders within coalitions always obliged to blend the military with the political as much strategists as tacticiansHe helpfully explains the ongoing significance of Wellington when he comments that While Wellington’s story may not precisely be one of rags to riches it is certainly one of obscurity to fame and of a confident maturity confounding the scanty hopes of youthI was again struck by the sheer scale of the man Whatever we may think of him he did bestride the Britain of his age like the proverbial colossusWellington may not always have been good but he was unuestionably great For most of his life Wellington was as stern with himself as he was with others he is easy to admire harder perhaps to likeI admire his courage and his determination his modesty and his honesty He was built on a grand scale and I see little sign of such figures in our own landscape he was indeed a great manI like and appreciate the approach to our heroes that Dr Holmes has struck in this book A particular hero of mine and someone I have read about than any other historical figure is Robert Falcon Scott In reading this biography of Wellington I was left with a similar impression of a man who is towering but yet flawed and brittle That portrayal of authentic humanity is something I find endlessly fascinating and good biographies like this one reinforce the effort to understand what made someone tick and what they were really like It would have been nice to have Dr Holmes provide a detailed treatment of Wellington's development as a soldier and politician with analysis on what shaped him but nonetheless this is a well written and enjoyable primer and has sparked my interest in finding out about the Iron Duke

  5. Lynn Walker Lynn Walker says:

    really an excellent book and what a fascinating person

  6. Rohan Rohan says:

    Mr Holmes outshines us all in typical fashion with his profound insight into the life and story of arguably one of Englands finest generals Arthur Wellesley the 1st Duke of Wellington What becomes apparent as one reads the book is the exceedingly competent level of detail to which the author conducted his research So much so that he physically retraced the steps of the great man himself from the imposing bastions of India to the battlefields of the peninsular campaign This book is an important stepping stone into this area of history whereby an individual can acuire a base level before carrying on amassing knowledge at a deeper level To any historian and dare i say patriotic Englishman this is a must read

  7. Robert French Robert French says:

    Wellington The Iron Duke provides a brief summation of the life of Wellington I was probably expecting a lot particularly after recently reading John Sugden's two volume biography of Nelson Although the book covers all the major periods of Wellington's life ie his early years time in India the Peninsular Wars Waterloo and his later political life I definitely came away wishing for much and for a comprehensive treatment I also found the structure of the book a bit disconcerting with each major period of Wellington in a long chapter with no logical breaks Since the book is not extremely long these chapters are not long but they seem to go on and on with minimal structureI am definitely going to be looking for a better and far comprehensive biography of the Iron Duke The majority of the books I read come from our local regional library and I was uite surprised to find that there are a significant number of books about Napoleon but this is the only book available about the Wellington I find that a bit ironic Not my favorite biography but it did provide a foundation about the Duke of Wellington

  8. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    While some readers hoping for a complex account of Wellington's life may be somewhat disappointed with this book I think it is a great starting point for those interested in the life of the 'Iron Duke' I also recommend watching the documentary alongside this book because they make great components together if you ask meHolmes gives an insightful account into the career of Arthur Wellesley exploring not just his victories but also the lessons he had to learn during his experience in the military I'm also not the biggest fan of politics but the section dealing with Wellington's political career was uite fascinating especially since he is often considered to be the worst British prime minister in history uite ironic for the man considered to be the greatest British Napoleonic Wars leader after Admiral NelsonIn conclusion watch the documentary get the book and see what you think from there I can understand why it won't appeal to everyone but I remember this being one of the first books that got me into military history and my fascination hasn't changed since

  9. Herbert Herbert says:

    This is a serviceable biography of Wellington and accomplishes what it sets out to do—be an accessible introduction to Wellington’s life and times Holmes is certainly an able scholar and researcher and his prose is very readable I was occasionally disappointed that he was not opinionated than he was He is at his best and most entertaining when he interjects his own voice and delivers some penetrating analysis often with a clever turn of phrase This style was of course his trademark in his BBC documentaries I often thought he was holding back here in print than he would like One major shortcoming of the Kindle version which is what I read is the lack of maps timelines or any other aids Kindle version is text only Found myself going to the online atlases at West Point and doing Google searches to supplement the text I assume the print version has maps so if you can get a hard copy read that instead of the ebook

  10. Oliver Oliver says:

    A brief ish account of Wellington's career Holmes in a military historian so he tends to be rather concerned with battle plans than Wellington's political or private life Nonetheless he writes with a good balance of detail summary and anecdote often deferring to detailed accounts Occasionally I got a little lost in Holmes terminology what is the difference between say Light Dragoons and Riflemen but overall it's an enjoyable read However Holmes fails to get inside the mind of the man a difficult target for sure but to have not attempted it is a failing

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Wellington The Iron Duke ❰PDF / Epub❯ ★ Wellington The Iron Duke Author Richard Holmes – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Richard Holmes highly acclaimed military historian and broadcaster tells the exhilarating story of Britain’s greatest ever soldier the man who posed the most serious threat to Napoleon The Duke of W Richard Holmes highly acclaimed military historian and broadcaster tells the exhilarating story of Britain’s greatest ever soldier the man who posed the most serious threat to Napoleon The Duke of Wellington’s remarkable life and extraordinary campaigns are recreated with Holmes’ superb skill in Wellington The PDF \ this compelling bookRichard Holmes charts Wellington’s stellar military career from India to Europe and in the process rediscovers the reasons ueen Victoria called him the greatest man the nineteenth century had produced Combining his astute historical analysis with a semi biographical examination of Wellington Holmes artfully illustrates the rapid evolution in military and political thinking of the timeWellington is a brilliant figure idealistic in politics cynical in love a wit a beau a man of enormous courage often sickened by war As Richard Holmes charts his progress from a shy indolent boy to commander in chief of the allied forces he also exposes the Iron Duke as a philanderer and a man who sometimes despised the men that he led and was not always in control of his soldiers Particularly infamous is the bestial rampage of his men after the capture of Cuidad Rodgrigo and BadajozTHE IRON DUKE is a beautifully produced book complete with stunning illustrations and colour plates Richard Holmes’ TV series to accompany THE IRON DUKE will be lavishly constructed in four parts and filmed on location in Britain India Spain Portugal France and Belgium.

  • Paperback
  • 324 pages
  • Wellington The Iron Duke
  • Richard Holmes
  • English
  • 13 June 2015
  • 9780007137503

About the Author: Richard Holmes

See this thread for informationRichard Holmes was Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Royal Military College of Science He was educated at Cambridge Northern Illinois and Reading Universities and carried out his doctoral research on the French army Wellington The PDF \ of the Second Empire For many years he taught military history at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst A celebrated military historian Richard Holmes is the author of the best selling and widely acclaimed Tommy and Redcoat The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket His dozen other books include Dusty Warriors Sahib The Western Front The Little Field Marshal Sir John French The Road to Sedan Firing Line The Second World War in Photographs and Fatal Avenue A Traveller’s History of Northern France and Flanders also published by PimlicoHe was general editor of The Oxford Companion to Military History and has presented eight BBC TV series including ‘War Walks’ ‘The Western Front’ and ‘Battlefields’ and is famous for his hugely successful series ‘Wellington The Iron Duke’ and ‘Rebels and Redcoats’.