The Operations of the Armée du Nord: 1815 is a reference of French military correspondence for the Waterloo campaign that serves to continue Stoffel’s vision of producing a more complete record. Items from private collections and obscure archival sources fill in large gaps of the historical record, dramatically altering the conventional history.
Operations of the Armée du Nord: 1815
“This book is one of the most valuable books on Waterloo that has come out in many years. Future scholars are now able to see how well, or poorly, French command and control functioned during the critical days leading up to the start of and during the first several days of Napoleon’s final campaign. The value of these books is incalculable! This will be the go-to source for scholars for decades to come. Highly recommended.” Reviewed by Robert Burnham, full review can be found at the Napoleon Series
“The first duty of one who wishes to faithfully write the history of a modern-day war is to obtain the orders, dispatches and reports that were sent and received throughout its duration. These documents in their entirety form what one may call the framework for the history of that war, a cornerstone upon which the author must build his work. Previous historians of the 1815 campaign seem not to have been concerned with this necessity and have for this reason produced incomplete accounts filled with falsehoods, the most serious of which was to accuse Napoleon of intentions he had never had. While it is nearly impossible to gather every last order, dispatch and report relating to the war of 1815, one may, through diligent research, acquire as great a number as possible. Heretofore, we have merely been aware of the few orders published by Marshal Grouchy based on his correspondence book and that of the major-general, Marshal Soult.” – Colonel Baron Stoffel, 1905
This volume contains an index to the reference volumes, a Chronological Summary of all 2000+ transcriptions, and a detailed analysis of the French concentration that solves long standing mysteries such as why Soult changed Napoleon’s orders on June 12.
Preview the work by downloading the 100 page Master Chronology – this is the most complete reference of French correspondence from the Waterloo campaign.
Volume 1: The Registries
This volume includes key correspondence of Napoleon and Davout but focuses on Registries of key officers.
Volume 2: The Organization, May – June 4
This volume includes the key daily correspondence from the moment Soult was appointed major-général of the Armée du Nord until just prior to concentration on the frontier began.
Volume 3: The Concentration, June 5 – June 11
This volume includes the daily correspondence during the week where the scattered elements of the Armée du Nord were ordered to their initial staging area in preparation for the upcoming invasion.
Volume 4: The Invasion, June 12 – June 17
This volume includes the daily correspondence during the week the Armée du Nord was given its final orders into position south of the Sambre, and then launched against the allies. It covers the battles of Quatre-Bras and Ligny and the pursuit the following day.