The Little Corporal's Last Laurels, or how Boney battered Blücher's shield at Ligny, preventing Wellington's spear-thrust at Quatre Bras, momentarily deferring defeat.
Uffindell then turns to an analysis of the commanders and forces of the three main adversaries. He sets down a very interesting analysis of all the antagonists, but for me it was his exposition of the Prussian forces that was particularly intriguing, as English language histories have tended to focus first on the British contributions, and second on the French. This is now changing, with writers like Peter Hofschroer waving the flag for the Prussian (and other Germanic) contributions.
'Lieutenant Barral of the French grenadiers charged through Ligny, along a street paved with corpses. His feet did not touch the ground itself once. Behind him followed a French battery which trampled and galloped over the crushed bodies. The merciless passage of heavy hooves and wheels caused corpses seemingly to spring to life again by a freak of elasticity. Lieutenant Barral found it horrible to contemplate.'
And so it is that, like so many other books coming out on Waterloo at present, whether totally new or just re-issued, this one addresses some of the controversies that this epic and epochal battle has left to posterity. However, unlike some of these other books, The Eagles Last Triumph doesn't seek to justify its existence primarily on this basis, nor does it get bogged down, despite a very high level of detail, in either the examination of such issues, or the potentially partisan arguments that can rage over them (even all these years later!).
Uffindell reflects, rather sombrely, 'Today, the cars from Charleroi to Brussels rush unheedingly past the spot where the Frenchman bled to death.'