Colborne: A Singular Talent for War: The Napoleonic Wars Career of One of Wellington's Most Highly Valued Officers in Egypt, Holland, Italy, the Peninsula and at Waterloo by John Colborne (Hardback, 2007)
The military career of the Duke of Wellingtons champion There have been few British soldiers during the Napoleonic era of comparatively junior rank who achieved fame in their own time rather than as a result of their subsequent careers. Many of the names we kw today owe that to their authorship rather than their deeds. The subject of this book is different. John Colborne was a great soldier. He possessed the talents of his master-the Duke of Wellington-and but for his humble background could have become one of our foremost military men. Every superior he served under became an admirer and his advancement through a time of almost perpetual warfare-based upon an appreciation of his ability-was rapid. From Moore to Wellington, Colborne was more than a reliable and trusted lieutenant-he could unilaterally combine daring, vigour, aggression and sound judgement making him an invaluable asset. Students of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars will all be very familiar with his name and many would have wished for an account of his military career. This riveting book, compiled from his correspondence and other writings and combined with many anecdotes by those who knew him well, is enhanced by an informed commentary by G.C Moore Smith. We join Colborne in battle on the bloody sands of Egypt, during the gruelling Peninsular War and finally on the apocalyptic fields of Waterloo where his inspired flank attack on the advance of the Imperial Guard delivered the final coup de grace of that momentous day. These are the exploits of John Colborne-the consummate warrior of whom Napier would say here was a man with 'a singular talent for war'.