The Battle of Waterloo is a much-discussed bit of military history for many reasons, so it was a logical choice for Ospery’s Campaign series. Really, the surprise is that it didn’t appear until book number 15.

It is much less surprising that it was eventually replaced a set of three Campaign books covering everything in more detail. I haven’t read the original, but the first volume of the new work was offered for free (in electronic formats) during 2020, and I’ve finally gotten to reading it.

As usual, we have a great visual presentation, with six full-color maps, three of their isometric-view maps, and three double-page illustrations by Gary Embleton, along with a host of paintings and engravings from the time. Embleton is one of their better current artists, and while I think a couple of the pieces are more on the passable side, the first is pretty good.

Since this is volume one of three, the real subject matter is the preliminary fight at Quatre Bras. The introduction gives a few words on the abdication of Napoleon, but mostly concerns itself with the formation of the United Netherlands, and then Wellington being installed as the local commander of the allied forces after Napoleon took control of France again. The usual introduction to the major figures and the armies on both sides ends with a 3 1/2 page order of battle down the battalion level – a handy source for those wanting to research such, but a bit much for anything else.

The narrative of the battle itself is well done, and I can tell it was informed by Robinson’s The Battle of Quatre Bras. While it’s not nearly so one-sided as that account, there is generally a lot more detail given on Anglo-Allied movements than French. Sadly, Hussey’s two volume work didn’t come out until about three years after this. However, there is at least some discussion of Allied plans to invade France, and Wellington’s assumption that Napoleon would seek to repeat his 1814 defense of France.

For a detailed treatment of the campaign, Waterloo: The Campaign of 1815 by John Hussey is definitely the place to go. This however still gives a good amount of detail for its size, is a good jumping off point for anyone truly wanting detail, and of course has a wealth of illustrations and maps all in full color. Especially nice are some photographs at the end with an aerial view of modern Quatre Bras, and photos of Petit Pierrepont and Gémioncourt, which are still extant.