The second book of Hussey’s study of the Waterloo campaign starts with both armies struggling to deal with the aftermath of the large battles of June 16th. It starts with chapter 31, which shows how much this considered one study in two covers, though you could read either independently, I think.

At any rate, it picks up right where volume one left off, and continues much the same kind of analysis as before. It’s not quite the same, as circumstances have changed. Before, a lot of attention was paid to the initial planning for the upcoming campaign, and we’re now in the middle of it.

So, a fair amount of the book is spent dealing with everyone’s movements on June 17, and what they knew. I think we could use just a bit more focus on Grouchy here, and the French fumble of finding out where the Prussian Army is retreating to. But, it does actually get a lot of attention, especially Napoleon’s misapprehensions possibly diverting Grouchy’s attention in the wrong direction.

And of course, there is a quite thorough look and analysis of the Battle of Waterloo itself.

But we don’t end there. Instead, the book takes a look at the Allied advance on Paris, and path of the main remnant of the French Armée du Nord in front and to one side of the advance. This occasionally breaks up a bit more than I’d like, but there is a lot to cover, and Hussey certainly covers it well, most especially including Prussian and English disagreements to the fate of Paris. This is the main part that makes this book different than others, and as valuable as the planning analysis of the first book.

For anyone studying up on the Napoleonic period, this set is some of the most important books to get. There’s a lot of import here that gets missed elsewhere as everyone is eager to get to the action. But this is much more than that, and has a lot to say about the troubles inherent in fighting as a coalition.